If you were born in America with the name Dayton, there is a high probability that you descend from our common progenitor Ralph Dayton, my 9th great-grandfather.

Hello. My name is Steve Dayton. I’ve created this blog for anyone who has interest in the Dayton family in America and earlier ancestry in England. I descend from Ralph, Samuel, Abraham, Henry, David Senior, David Junior, Henry, Charles, Wilber and Paul.

There were two main purposes for creating this site:

1. To provide a means to communicate with those who share our interests in early Long Island or the Dayton family.

2. To make everyone aware that my brother Jim and I published our work, a compilation of records and interpretation with extensive documentation, entitled Our Long Island Ancestors, the First Six Generations of Daytons in America, 1639-1807. The paperback is available from major booksellers at $19.95 while the hardcover will continue to be offered at Jim’s reduced price on eBay.

You are encouraged to leave a comment or ask a question at the end of any post.  We would like to make your acquaintance and we seek to be receptive of challenges or other interpretations. -Steve

However, if you prefer to contact us privately and securely, please use the contact form on the Contact page. Your message will arrive in a private email account and will not be copied to a public section of the website. Email is checked on a daily basis and I will usually respond, if requested, on the same day, unless I’m traveling.

Become a follower by clicking on the FOLLOW button in the right-hand column.

My goal is to add a fresh post at least once per week. The most recent post begins directly below.

Posted in Daiton, Dayghton, Deighton, Drayton, Dyghton, Long Island, New Haven Colony, Quinnipiac, Ralph Dayton, Samuel Dayton | 2 Comments

Ralph Dayton’s son and the dead cow

Thomas Barnes asked the court for “satisfaction of Ralph Dayton” for the loss of his cow which had perished while in the care of Ralph’s son. The account can be found in Hoadly’s Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven. 

According to Jacobus (1959),

In May 1645, a son [Samuel] of Raiph Dighton was blamed for the loss of a cow when the youth was acting as herdsman.

With utmost respect for Jacobus, I humbly suggest that the son was probably not Samuel, but instead was his younger brother Robert. Since it is uncomfortable to disagree with such a respected scholar, I would like to present my logic.

First, note that the suit was brought against Ralph and not the son, indicating that Ralph’s son was still a minor, as confirmed in the court’s judgement, “…the boy was innocent in the case” (Hoadly).

Second, consider that Samuel Dayton was baptized on February 1, 1623/24 while Robert Dayton was baptized January of 1629. Assuming that the cow incident occurred in May of 1645, Samuel would have been a legal adult (at least 21 years, 3 months) while Robert was still a teenager at the time.

It is understandable that so many genealogists repeat the opinion of Jacobus, but I am curious why he concluded the son was Samuel and not Robert. Anyone have ideas, in defense of Jacobus?

Posted in New Haven Colony, Ralph Dayton, Robert Dayton, Samuel Dayton | 1 Comment

Ralph stopped briefly in Southampton

I have been pondering an often-repeated statement that when Ralph Dayton left New Haven, he “stopped briefly in Southampton” on his way to East Hampton. Another popular version says he “stopped briefly in Southold and Southampton.”

Since it has become tradition that Ralph “stopped at Southampton,” on his way to East Hampton, I thought it might be a good idea to find the source and see if there is significance in the phrase.

Certainly, it is very likely he did stop along the way at Southampton, especially because North Sea (part of Southampton) was the harbor commonly used for arrival, even to East Hampton at that time. Besides, Sam had accommodations there, so it just makes sense.

Edson Dayton (1931) says that Ralph,

Leaving New Haven in 1649, tarrying by the way in Southampton, the same being true of Thomas Baker and Family…

The best theory I can come up with originates in George Rogers Howell’s Early History of Southampton (1866) where Howell, speaking about “family records” of inhabitants of Southampton says,

Ralph Dayton, from the records of the town, appears to have resided here a short time. He was one of the early settlers of East Hampton and had a son Robert also, who settled there and became the progenitor of the Dayton families now resident there.

Perhaps others have interpreted Howell’s statement as I did on first reading, that Ralph resided in Southampton a short time before moving to East Hampton in 1650. But I have since concluded that Howell was probably referring to Ralph’s brief North Sea (Northampton) residence before his death, after he had lived in East Hampton.

Does anyone have other ideas how statements such as “Ralph stopped briefly in Southampton” came about?

Posted in East Hampton, North Sea, Ralph Dayton, Southampton, Thomas Baker | Leave a comment

Happy 400th Anniversary

Thanks to the descendants of Wilber Dayton Jr.





Posted in Alice Dayton, Photos, Ralph Dayton | 2 Comments

Dayton Family and AMC’s TURN: Washington’s Spies

With season 4 of Turn: Washington’s Spies beginning in just two days, here’s a little bit of information about our ancestors in Brookhaven and Setauket in relation to the story as depicted in the AMC series. For me, it gives life and extra meaning to the story.

Disclaimer: Although most of the main characters were real people and the series does present the Culper spy ring in Setauket in an acceptable manner, AMC has taken some liberty with historical fact.

I believe that the grave of Henry Dayton, who died about 1759, was probably in the burying ground of the Setauket Presbyterian church. As depicted in Season 1, Episode 10 The Battle of Setauket, British soldiers and loyalists under the command of Colonel Hewlett occupied the church building in 1777, removing and destroying its contents in order to use it as a stable and fort.

Also depicted as part of  the fortification, soldiers and loyalists dug a defensive trench around the building, through the burying ground, unearthing the remains of Brookhaven forebearers. Grave markers and headstones were piled up as barriers, destroyed and were scattered around Long Island, repurposed in all manner of service.

As Henry Dayton and his father Abraham were members of the church, it is very possible that their remains suffered the same desecration, being unearthed and their markers pillaged (see Bayles, 1985).

Other connections to the drama are also interesting.

According to Ross (1902), when the patriots who launched the attack came across the sound before day break, they chose to land at Crane Neck, near that remote spot where Abraham Dayton’s family once lived (see Post, 1877 and Brookhaven Town Records).

Samuel Dayton, Abraham Dayton’s father, interacted on a regular basis with Richard Woodhull Senior, the grandfather of the central character in the TURN program, Abraham Woodhull. This Richard was the father of the Richard Woodhull character portrayed in the series.

After 1776, during the time the Setauket Spy Ring operated, the record of Henry’s son, David Dayton Senior falls silent until his death sometime before June of 1782. The circumstances of his death are unknown, but there is strong evidence that he and Ann had remained somewhere in the town of Brookhaven.

For more about Abraham Woodhull and the Culper Spy Ring, see History Close at Hand  http://www.historycloseathand.com/index.php?pr=Home_Page

Posted in Abraham Dayton, American Revolution, Ann Francis, Anne Frances, Brookhaven, David Dayton, David Dayton Senior, Henry Dayton, Samuel Dayton, Setauket | Leave a comment

Paperback on Sale Now

The paperback is now being offered by major booksellers for $19.95.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

John Youngs at Southold

The June 4 post should have mentioned that John Youngs’ church settled the plantation of Southold (Long Island) in 1640 “in combination with New Haven.” So, if there was some way to reconcile concurrent records of Thomas Baker at Milford, it would be possible that Thomas Baker had briefly gone over to Long Island, satisfying Whitaker’s claim. However, to the best of my knowledge, no evidence has been found that links Baker or Dayton with Youngs until both men settled in East Hampton a decade later.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

400th wedding anniversary of Ralph Dayton and Alice Tritton next week!

I had been saving this post for June 16, but it might be more fitting to post now as a reminder, in case anyone else wanted an excuse for a family celebration. We’ve already heard of one planned celebration in Tennessee, with anniversary cake!

The marriage of Ralph Dayton and Alice Tritton was recorded in the parish registry at Ashford, Kent on June 16, 1617, exactly 400 years from next Friday. The marriage record is particularly significant to the Dayton family in America because it is the earliest verifiable record of our Dayton line of ancestry. Of course, there were records of the Goldhatch and Tritton families before this time, but the entry continues to be the earliest mention of Ralph Dayton known to exist.

The registry says,
Ralfe Drayton and Alice Tritton wid: both of this parish were mar:



Posted in Alice Dayton, Ashford, Deighton, Goldhatch, Photos, Ralph Dayton, Tritton | Leave a comment