(UPDATED Dec. 24, 2022)
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 8th great-grandfather. I descend from Ralph> Samuel> Abraham> Henry> David Senior> David Junior> Henry> Charles> Wilber (my grandfather).

Our decades of research have been gathered into a compilation of records and interpretation entitled Our Long Island Ancestors, the First Six Generations of Daytons in America, 1639-1807. The original intent was to preserve discoveries for the larger Dayton family in the form of a book that might read as a story. The book is available in both hardcover and paperback, but a PDF version can be found on Archive.org and on Familysearch.org.

The book is not for profit, with proceeds going to Long Island historical societies.

My brother and I enjoyed contact with extended family and like-minded friends, so this blog has been created after publishing our book in order that we might establish contact and prompt discussion. From October 2016 to December 2018, over 150 posts were added to this site, most having to do with our first six generations of Dayton ancestors in America.

In December 2018, I decided to take a break while recovering from illness but I have continued to monitor the site. In May 2022, I retired from my full-time employment at Taylor University and am resuming work on a second book, a continuation of the first.

In December 2022, my brother and co-author James Paul Dayton passed from this world to the next, and we are rejoicing that he has been relieved from his suffering.

You are encouraged to leave a comment or ask a question at the end of any post. However, if you prefer to contact me privately and securely, please use the contact form on the Contact page.


In August 2022, we were very excited to announce that our cousin Deane Dayton began the Ralph Dayton Y-DNA Project. Since that time, he had been updating Jim and I weekly with latest developments. In turn, I will post progress reports of significance.

Your interest and responses are much appreciated and we are anxious in our anticipation to see what will be uncovered!

Posted in Daiton, Dayghton, Deighton, Drayton, Dyghton, Long Island, New Haven Colony, Ralph Dayton, Samuel Dayton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

February 2023 Ralph Dayton Y-DNA Update

The process is slow, but progress is being made toward determining Ralph Dayton’s Haplogroup. We now have matching Y-DNA results of at least four of Ralph’s descendants. Two are descended through Ralph’s son Samuel and one is descended through Ralph’s son Robert. We have a fourth match to Ralph, and Deane Dayton continues his work to determine if that match is connected through Samuel or Robert.

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Ralph Dayton Y-DNA September 2022 Progress Report

I take great pleasure in providing the first progress report, for September.

(1) Many contacts with Daytons are being established in these beginning stages of the project. We are learning about what is needed and who will be the best candidates to provide the most useful DNA for the purposes of the project. We expect that, in time, greater knowledge will lead to special appeals or solicitation for certain family lines.

(2) In September 2022, Deane Dayton, Administrator for the Ralph Dayton Y-DNA Project, has assumed responsibility as Co-Administrator for the established, surname-variant Deaton Project. We trust these additional data from other haplotype research could provide added value in the broader database.

(3) Acknowledging that Deane’s DNA match list is similar to the haplogroup, he also has been admitted to the Yorkshire Project in the UK. Does this fact suggest that Ralph Dayton descendants probably originate from York? We should learn more with time and with the addition of participants.

(4) Based on what little work we’ve done so far, we do have evidence what Ralph’s Y DNA chromosome looks like. If you are thinking about participating and you took the Y DNA test, we could say with reasonably high certainty if you are either a descendant of Ralph or are related to Ralph’s extended family. We now have evidence that gives us a more accurate picture of Ralph’s haplogroup. As more data become available, the more specific we can become.

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Ralph Dayton Y-DNA Project

A Note About Privacy

It is important that participants and prospective participants in the project be assured that your privacy is held in utmost importance. As a result of our interest in maintaining a degree of personal privacy, please understand that sometimes these safeguards mandate speaking in generalities. Personally identifiable information will never be made public.

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More Information about Ralph Dayton Y-DNA Project


What are the goals of the project?

  1. To help Dayton families determine if they may have descended from Ralph Dayton (1588-1658) who immigrated from England to America in the 1630s and settled on Long Island, New York.
  2. To help determine Ralph’s English Ancestral origins.

Who started the project?

Deane, Jim and Steve Dayton, tenth generation direct male descendants of Ralph Dayton (1588-1658) and grandchildren of Wilber Thomas Dayton (1870-1957) of Corinth, New York

When did the project start?

Summer of 2022

How many participants are there currently?

At the project start there are only a few known descendants of Ralph who have been tested.  The plan is to test other known descendants of Ralph and to find matches for them in the results of the hundreds of thousands of Y-DNA samples at Family Tree DNA.

What is needed to complete the project?

To better understand Ralph’s Y-DNA profile, we need probable direct male descendants of Ralph to have their Y-DNA tested by Family Tree DNA and included as anonymously tagged public data in two Family Tree DNA project groups (Deaton and R _R1b All Subclades).  Of particular interest are males who descended from Ralph’s son Robert.

Once Ralph’s Y-DNA profile is more defined, individuals who are unsure of their ancestry can use a Y-DNA test to see if their results are in a range that might make them descendants of Ralph. 

In addition, As the Family Tree DNA database grows, we hope to identify others who may have descended from Ralph’s ancestors.

How do I know if I am a direct male descendant of Ralph?

You may be a direct male descendant of Ralph if you are a male, your last name is Dayton (or a variant such as Deighton or Deaton) and you have a family tree that shows you descended from Ralph or from Dayton’s who were originally from Long Island, New York.

What is the cost to participate?

The cost of Y-DNA tests at Family Tree DNA ranges from $100 to $500, depending upon the sensitivity of the test.  Participants are encouraged to start with a lower sensitivity test.  Family Tree DNA will store your DNA sample and you can upgrade the test at a later time for a prorated cost.

Who can I contact for more information?

Deane Dayton (deanedayton@gmail.com) will help guide you through the process, including the selection of the most appropriate testing level.

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Announcement: Ralph Dayton Y-DNA project

(Written by Dr. Deane Dayton)

Thanks to the trail of information left by our ancestors, the effort of many genealogists, and a growing set of research tools, those of us in the Dayton clan have a good understanding of how we came to be.  Descendants of Ralph Dayton (1588-1658), the Dayton patriarch who immigrated to the new world from England, can trace our roots back to him.  We can stand on the land he once owned on Long Island in East Hampton, New York, or visit the graves and homesites of his descendants, our American ancestors.

But what about Ralph?  We know that he probably emigrated from Ashford, England, in the 1630s.  Who were his ancestors and how did he get to Ashford?  There are lots of theories, but the trail is fogged by generations of missing records, evolving naming conventions, a variety of phonetic surname spellings, and illiteracy.  Did Ralph descend from a Dayton, a Drayton, a Deighton, or other variant of the Dayton surname.  With a bit of luck, DNA may provide the answer.

Many of us have taken DNA tests from companies like Ancestry DNA, 23 & Me, or My Heritage DNA.  These autosomal tests help identify ancestors that are within the past 6-8 generations (back to 1700s) but cannot detect much beyond that.  To find Ralph’s ancestors (1500s and earlier), we must use Y-DNA, which relies on the fact that every human male has a copy of his biological father’s Y-Chromosome. 

Since I am a tenth-generation direct male descendant of Ralph, my Y-Chromosome should be a copy of Ralph’s ancestors, if there are only males in the genetic chain that connects us and each male is the biological son of his father.  By comparing my Y-DNA to that of other Dayton males we can determine if we descended from the same Dayton male ancestors.

Y-Chromosome copies are not always identical as they can mutate slightly between generations.  These mutation rates are somewhat predictable, allowing us to estimate the number of generations to a shared male ancestor.

By comparing our Y-DNA to that of other direct male English descendants of people whose surname is a variant of the Dayton name, we hope to gain a clearer picture of Ralph Dayton’s ancestral roots. 

If you think you share a copy of Ralph’s Y-Chromosome, you may be able to help with this process by adding your Y-DNA to Family Tree DNA’s Y-DNA database, the World’s largest of its kind.

If you would like to help find Ralph’s ancestors, you can join the Ralph Dayton Y-DNA project.

Posted in Daiton, Datton, Dayghton, Dayton, Deighton, Drayton, Dyghton, Ralph Dayton, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Book available online

In the next few days, we’ll be placing our book, Our Long Island Ancestors, the First Six Generations of Daytons in America 1639 to 1807, online in a free format. We plan to make it available at archive.org.

Please use discretion when copying passages from the book.  We have written the copyright usage parameters on page ii of the book.  You can still purchase paper copies at Amazon.com.  Our purpose in making it available in free PDF format is so Dayton researchers can gain easier access to its contents.

Posted in Abraham Dayton, Alice Dayton, Ann Francis, Anne Frances, Ashford, Daiton, Datton, David Dayton, Dayghton, Deighton, Dyghton, Haines, Henry Dayton, Medlen, Medlin, Ralph Dayton, Robert Dayton, Samuel Dayton, William Deighton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Second Book

Earlier this week, I started writing our second book. Actually, it’s more of an outline for now, but I intend to accumulate text over the next few years, with Jim providing information and editing as needed.

It will be a continuation of our story, adding four more generations to the previous six in the first book. These additional four lived in Hadley, New York. The book begins with Long Islander David Junior and wife Chloe Skiff moving to Hadley and will include his son Henry and his wife Christie Ann Cameron, grandson Charles and his wife Nancy Goodnow and great grandson Wilbur and his wife Jesse Belle White.

Posted in David Dayton Junior, David Dayton Senior, Dayton, Hadley NY, Henry Dayton, Skiff, Skiffe, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Acceptance to Mayflower Society

With the approach of the Mayflower 400th anniversary celebration, descendants of David (son of David Sr), Henry (son of David Jr) and Charles Dayton (son of Henry) should be aware that much of your work to establish descent from Mayflower passengers is already complete. Recognition has recently been received from the Alabama Mayflower Society for both John Tilley and John Billington lines.

Ascent for Tilley is from Ralph>Samuel (c1624-1690) > Abraham (c1654-c1726) > Henry (c1704-1759) > David Sr (c1739-1782) > David Jr (1766-1807), through David’s wife Chloe Skiff.

Ascent for Billington is from Ralph>Samuel (c1624-1690) > Abraham (c1654-c1726) > Henry (c1704-1759) > David Sr (c1739-1782) > David Jr (1766-1807) > Henry (1792-1849) > Charles (1732-1882) through Charles’s wife, Nancy Goodnow.

Posted in Abraham Dayton, David Dayton, David Dayton Junior, David Dayton Senior, Henry Dayton, Ralph Dayton | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Edson Dayton’s notation concerning birthplace of Ralph Dayton

Much of this post contains quotation from page 37 of our book.

I am curious if anyone has investigated the statement from Edson Dayton’s private notes, held at East Hampton Library, concerning the birth of Ralph:

Ralph Dayton…born 1588/9 Great Bentley, Essex, England…both of the Parish.

Edson isolated this notation by making use of the Latin abbreviation “q.v,” (quod videre) to separate personal notes requiring investigation from actual record, coming before and after the phrase in question. The origin of the idea for the note is unknown.

Since Shaw said in his letter that Edson Dayton, “wanted proof of every statement he makes in his book,” the fact that Edson didn’t use this birthplace for Ralph in his book says to us that he did not believe it to be reliable.

My brother Jim secured and examined microfilmed photography of the Great Bentley registry for that time period [courtesy LDS Family/History Library, Salt Lake City], but the pages were too tattered and faded to be legible.

If the Great Bentley record were to ever be found in the church record, as unlikely as that is, we imagine it was as if Ralph told the vicar on the occasion of his marriage to Alice that he was born there. Great Bentley, Essex is located about halfway between Colchester and Clacton-On-Sea, about ten miles from each, and is about 100 miles north of Ashford, Kent.

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Ralph Dayton’s first marriage?

(Discussion of this subject begins on page 37 of our book. Also see the November 20, 2016 post entitled Dayton History before 1617 for related thoughts)

As the search for pre-1617 records of Ralph Dayton continues, I often wonder if Ralph had another marriage previous to wedding 30 year old Alice Goldhatch Tritton. Alice was a widow with two daughters (Bennet and Rose) and, at his estimated age of 29 or 30, there is no reason to assume that this was Ralph’s first marriage. If Ralph had been married previous to 1617, the couple probably lived at another location since there is no record of Ralph in the Ashford parish registries prior to his marriage to Alice at St. Mary’s.

Because there is no record of Ralph’s children prior to his first with Alice, Ralph Junior, we should not conclude that this disqualifies the possibility. If such children existed, it may be safe to conclude that they were probably daughters since Ralph Junior, as eldest son, received his father’s name. Remember, Ralph Senior’s son Samuel and his son Abraham both “disposed” children, so that possibility also exists for children of Ralph prior to his marriage to Alice.

Posted in Abraham Dayton, Alice Dayton, Ashford, Bennett Meade, Drayton, Goldhatch, Ralph Dayton, Samuel Dayton, Tritton, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Descendants of Ralph Dayton, 5 generations

With Jim’s permission, I am adding his PDF which charts five generations from Ralph Dayton forward. Always a work in progress, he hopes it is helpful to many.

Ralph Dayton Descendant Chart 5 Generations

Posted in Abigail Dayton, Abraham Dayton, Alice Dayton, Ann Francis, Anne Frances, Beardsley, Brookhaven, Dayghton, Deborah Dayton, Henry Dayton, Isaac Dayton, Jacob Dayton, John Rogers, Mary Dingle, Mary Knight Haines Dayton, Medlen, Medlin, Ralph Dayton, Robert Dayton, Samuel Dayton, Thomas Baker, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Connecticut Daytons

Since it seems like many of the inquiries I receive from readers and from distant relatives have to do with lines descending from Connecticut Daytons, it might be fitting to repeat some interesting facts and speculation having to do with Caleb, son of Abraham, son of Samuel, son of Ralph.

Most of this post contains copy from our book, beginning on page 284.

Caleb was born to Abraham and Mary, before Abraham married Katharine (Catherine). Apparently Caleb’s mother died shortly after his birth, about 1687 in Brookhaven, NY.

Catherine’s first-born was Abraham’s second known son Jonathan, born about 1694. Catherine would have at least four additional children before about 1704, at which time Abraham was fifty and she was probably in her late thirties.

On May 12, 1696, Abraham bequeathed his son Caleb “Daighton,” then aged 8 years and 5 months, to William and Jane Rawlinson, of Stratford, CT. Some knowledge of the Rawlinsons might be gained from the Stratford Episcopal Church where Rawlinson was a member and was probably warden.

Continue reading

Posted in Abraham Dayton, Beardsley, Brookhaven, Dayton, Samuel Dayton, Sweezey | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Lord’s Song

I recently started reading the book “How Shall We Sing the Lord’s Song in a New Land?” by Barbara Myers Swartz (2018). The book was recently reviewed by Beverly Tyler and is available from the Three Village Historical Society, with materials archived in the Emma Clark Library. It is focused on the first 200 years of the Setauket Presbyterian Church.

Though I’m only one-third of the way through the book, it is proving to be very interesting and a well-researched project, worthy of its purchase.

Regrettably, on page 10, the author quotes a few lines from Fredrick Kinsman Smith, The Family of Richard Smith of Smithtown, Long Island, Smithtown Historical Society, 1967, pp. 5-6.

Samuel Dayton, with wife Medlin, and five sons (Samuel Jr, Ralf, Abraham, Iseck and Jacob) came in 1658 (out of Ashford, Kent, England, with a host of stop-overs in Boston, New Haven, East Hampton, Flushing, Southampton).

Continue reading

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The Next Generation

We’ve spoken about this before, but I continue to be fascinated by the contrast between many in the first generation of European settlers in America and their sons of the second generation.

Continue reading

Posted in Daiton, Dayghton, Dayton's Neck, East Hampton, New Haven Colony, Ralph Dayton, Samuel Dayton, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Mayflower Connections

The next few posts continue to be inspired by Pilgrims and Philbrick’s book, but will also be relevant with Puritans such as the Dayton family of Connecticut and Long Island.

Even though we knew beyond a doubt, the first few lines of Mayflower ancestry were made official this summer by a cousin Deane Dayton.

In case you didn’t know—if you are a descendant of David Dayton and Chloe Skiff(e), you may not be aware that you have at least four Mayflower ancestors through Chloe’s father, John. They are: John Tilley, Joan Hurst Rogers, Elizabeth Tilley and John Howland. If you are a descendant of Charles Dayton (son of Henry Dayton) and Nancy Goodnow of Hadley NY, you are also a descendant of Mayflower “strangers” John Billington and Francis Billington.

We have additional Mayflower lines on my mother’s side and I encourage you to investigate your own.

Posted in Alice Dayton, Dayghton, Dayton, Deighton, John Howland, Ralph Dayton, Tilley, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Puritans and Pilgrims

I’ve had time lately to do some enjoyment reading as I sit for chemotherapy treatments these last few weeks.

Finally, I’ve begun to read some from a stack of books that has been piling up since 2010. This week, I read Philbrick’s 2008 NYTimes bestseller “The Mayflower and the Pilgrims’ New World” (albeit mine is the shorter adaptation for young people–useful for chemo brainfog). There are several interesting points in the book that I had either forgotten or possibly I am just looking at the Mayflower differently now, after studying Daytons of the same period.

Continue reading

Posted in Ashford, Dayghton, Howland, Mary Knight Haines Dayton, New Haven Colony, New London, Ralph Dayton, Skiff, Skiffe | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


This is to let everyone know that I will be taking a rest from posting this fall. My plan is to resume posting again when I am able. For now, I need to focus energy on university responsibilities.

I will continue to check comments and email, thanks

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Charles Erastus and Nancy Goodnow Dayton

For anyone who may be interested, I’ve attached photos of portraits of Charles E. Dayton and his wife Nancy Goodnow Dayton. These period portraits are in my possession, handed down through my father.

They appear to be charcoal-enhanced, possibly from photo projections created sometime in the late 1870’s to 1880’s. It is assumed that both portraits existed during the lifetimes of Charles and Nancy although it is possible, judging from appearance and style, they were produced after their passing, in accordance with common Victorian custom.

Continue reading

Posted in David Dayton, David Dayton Junior, Hadley NY, Henry Dayton, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Approaching the origin of Samuel Dayton’s Indian bride

If a source was ever safe to cite, you’d think it would be Jacobus, but even he could make mistakes. Fortunately for us, when he found them, he issued additions and corrections. But how many well-meaning researchers have repeated his (already corrected) errors?

We all know his early account of the Dayton family:

Continue reading

Posted in Alice Dayton, Brookhaven, East Hampton, Medlen, Medlin, Ralph Dayton, Samuel Dayton, Tritton, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Jane Dayton and Jesse Rayner

The Daytons and the Raynors have had connections way back to the earliest years of the Southampton settlement.

Jim found the answers to the questions posed in the last post—what were the first names of Mr. Rayner and Ms. Dayton? More information on the situation was uncovered in the Brookhaven Town Records Book C, on pages 309 and 362.

The record tells us that the day before the date on the receipt (see last week’s post for photo), the Town Justices ordered Jesse Rayner to pay Jane Dayton Seven Pounds Seven Shillings, and we know that Jesse did comply.

Continue reading

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Mother Dayton

UPDATED 7/25/18: Jim has answered these questions. See them in the next post.

Another curious entry in Brookhaven Town Records is a receipt with a Dayton signature that has probably stumped researchers through the years because we have never found an interpretation or even a reference to it. I believe we can make out all but three words. The entry says,

May the 30th 1763
Received of the the trustees and overseers of the poor of the Town of Brookhaven the sum of Seven Pounds Seven Shillings in full for [keeping] my bastard child charged to [Jefrey] Rayner which pays in full to the 29th of this instant May I say received by me
[      ] Dayton

Would anyone like to suggest a first name for mother Dayton? Note that it is not particularly helpful to compare her handwriting to that of the receipt.

Posted in Brookhaven, Dayton | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Mysterious ledger entries for Abigail Norton Dayton

On October 7, 1759, at about age 55, Henry Dayton’s health was failing as he wrote his will. Henry, we believe, was the youngest of the five known sons of Abraham and he was also grandson of Samuel who was the son of Ralph.

Considering that late 1759 was also the time of Henry’s death, there are two entries in Joseph Denton’s account book that have interested me since I saw them for the first time in 2010. The ledger entries below are from transactions at Denton’s shop and store in Setauket.

The first of the two entries was dated May 15, 1759, when Henry’s wife Abigail had a balance of debt 12 shilling and 2 pence. It is followed by a second entry, almost six years later, when Abigail “then promised to pay it by the fifth of June Next upon her own account,” witnessed by Sarah Hallock.

(Note that many transactions were not recorded in the account book, particularly when items traded were of equal value or when cash was used without accruing debt.)

These entries are interesting for many reasons.

First, note that the debt was recorded as Abigail’s and not Henry’s, yet Henry was still living. Does the fact that most transactions in the ledger are recorded with men, and not women, indicate that Henry was not physically able to trade with the local merchant in May?

Second, are the entries related? There was no monetary amount or barter mentioned in the promise to pay. Note that the debt has a large “X” through it, meaning that it was either paid or written off. What is most interesting is that the “X” appears to be intentionally so large that it passes over both entries which might indicate that the preceding debt was being addressed in the promise below it.

If that was truly the case, why did Abigail wait so long to settle the account? Henry and Abigail were comparatively well-off, so you would expect his estate to pay the debt in 1760, after his death.

Posted in Abigail Dayton, Abraham Dayton, Brookhaven, Henry Dayton, Setauket | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

President Lincoln’s Communication With Dayton Family

The article below is copied from my brother Jim’s blog https://daytonfamilyhistory.com/. The content should be of interest to many, so I wanted to share it for those who had not yet read it.

When he was a young man in his 30’s, Dr. Wilber Thomas Dayton Jr ran across a letter from Abraham Lincoln in his grandmother’s trunk. His grandma, Anna Flansburg White Dingman, was the daughter of Rev. William Flansburg, a Wesleyan Methodist clergyman who began his ministry in 1849. His newly formed denomination had split from the Methodist Episcopal Church over the issue of slavery. Flansburg’s new denomination was abolitionist.

Much to Dr. Dayton’s delight, the letter was addressed to Rev. Flansburg, his great grandfather.

In it, President Lincoln stated, “you keep preaching it from the pulpit and I’ll preach it from the White House.”

Imagine the historical significance of such a document.

Wilber told me that he never saw the letter again. He did not know whatever happened to the trunk. I have pursued the case, but the relatives who would know anything about it have died.

Does anyone have any knowledge of this letter?

Our search for the letter led us to only one possibility (although it was a long shot)—our grandmother’s old trunk that had found its way to our uncle’s attic. His house had been passed to his son, who is still living there.

A few years ago, we contacted our cousin in Corinth NY, inquiring about grandma’s trunk. Our cousin remembers that many years ago he saw a few old books in the trunk, but now the trunk is empty. We imagine that the letter may have been placed in one of those books, for “safe keeping.”

Posted in Dayton | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Elizabeth Harvey Beardsley Dayton arrangement

(Sorry for the delay in posting while on vacation in the Adirondacks)

Yesterday, while doing a few Google searches, I came across a claim that Samuel Dayton “had a prenuptial agreement” with his third wife Elizabeth Beardsley. No source or explanation was provided, and I haven’t found it repeated anywhere else. Any ideas why someone might have come to this conclusion?

The only thing I can think of might be the statement that Sam was caring for “some horses for widow Elizabeth Beardsley, or good wife Daiton, for her children”—this according to the February 1669/70 Connecticut record, Entries in the old Brand Book of Stratford, 1640-1720.

Although the record does not state where the children were living, or if they were living with Sam and Elizabeth, the implication is that Sam was still caring for horses that belonged to Elizabeth’s children, even after the couple was married. Whether Elizabeth’s daughters remained with her after her marriage to Sam is not known, but it is possible that, while Sam was courting her, she made it a stipulation that the girls would not immediately be “put out,” as was customary for the time.

Posted in Beardsley, Dayton, New Haven Colony, Samuel Dayton, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Dunstable Curiosities

I’ve been looking again at Dunstable, a small town about 35 miles north of London, because I’m curious why Howell (1887), Burke, Whittemore (1897), and Mather (1913) among others, had the idea that Ralph and other American Daytons originated there. The period of interest in the search for Ralph’s parents is somewhere between 1560 to 1610, assuming that Ralph was born around 1588.

British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/beds/vol3/pp349-368 seems like a good place to start. More precisely, British History Online>Victoria County History>Bedfordshire>A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 3 Parishes: Dunstable. The registers previous to 1812 are in four books: (1) 1558 to 1749; (2) 1749 to 1812, marriages ending in 1754; (3) marriages 1754 to 1802; and (4) marriages 1802 to 1812.

Many Daytons are listed in Bedfordshire records for the time period of our search. Referring to Bedfordshire Parish Registers Volume XLII, Dunstable: 1558-1812 (1951) at https://archive.org/stream/bedfordshirepari42bedf/bedfordshirepari42bedf_djvu.txt , some baptisms include Christian Dyton in 1583, Eliz Dighton in 1588, Marian Dyton in 1589, Emery Dyton in 1593, Helen Dytonne baptized 1595 and most intriguing, a Ralph Dytonne baptized at Dunstable in 1580. There are also others listed under variants of “Dayton” so I imagine a more thorough search may uncover other interesting characters.

Some burials include an Alice Dyton in 1594, Emery Diton in 1601, Ralph Dighton in 1618, Alice Dyton (wife of Emery Dyton) in 1619, and also between 1591 and 1601 we find Rob Ditton and Alice Dytton in Cardington and Eliz Dyton, Alice Dyton and Jn Diton in Dunstable.

I should also mention that in a brief search, a place called “Dytonne” was discovered in Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, in the section called Recusant Roll for West Derby Hundred, 1641 on page 242 of the online copy. No attempt has yet been made to locate Dytonne.

Another resource Kent Online Parish Clerks; Dutch Refugees in Maidstone, 1585 (2013), claims that a Peter Daton and his wife were listed with Dutch refugees, described as “[a] stranger dwelling in Maidstone 1585.” Doesn’t that pique your interest?

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