Welcome

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.

My brother Jim and I descend from Ralph>Samuel>Abraham>Henry>David Senior>David Junior>Henry>Charles>Wilber (our grandfather).

Our compilation of records and interpretation entitled Our Long Island Ancestors, the First Six Generations of Daytons in America, 1639-1807, is available in both hardcover and softcover from major booksellers. Jim offers the hardcover at significant savings in his eBay store, where he also provides page previews. The book is not-for-profit, with contributions going to Long Island historical societies.

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

A safe distance, at Crane Neck

As we’ve discussed before, in May of 1710 Abraham Dayton, son of Samuel, petitioned the New York Council for charity and was referred back to the Justices of the Peace in Suffolk County, recommending that they provide for he and his family “as the nature of his circumstances require.”

Two years later in May, Abraham’s wife “Katherine” was mentioned by name for the last time in any known record. Without any mention of Abraham, the town of Brookhaven granted his wife and “eldest son” Jonathan the use of 20 acres of town land they had already occupied and were improving. The record says the property was about three quarters of a mile west of Flax Pond, placing the family on Crane Neck. She was roughly 44 years of age at the time the town acknowledged their need.

Crane Neck is the westernmost land seen in this Google© map. The red dot is between Crane Neck and Flax Pond, in its current shape and size. The pond could have looked much different 300 years ago.

There is no record of anyone pursuing Abraham to take responsibility for his family, as if they understood something unknown to us. The “nature of his circumstances” could indicate that he had become disabled either physically or mentally, as many did, from smallpox.

The selection of that particular plot of land the town lent to Catherine and Jonathan is very interesting because of its remote location, with its high bluffs along the Long Island Sound. It was probably because of its isolation that Old Field would be chosen for a hospital at the time of the 1770 eruption of smallpox and patients were ordered to remove to the place, “most safe and least dangres to ye inhabitants of this Town of Brookhaven.”

Twelve years after the town land was granted for Catherine and Jonathan’s use, 1724 Brookhaven Town Records say that Jonathan’s family was very ill, no doubt with smallpox. The epidemic had struck Boston in 1721 and had spread from there to Connecticut and Long Island. If Catherine was still alive, there was no specific mention of her since Jonathan was now of age—about thirty, with a family of his own.

The April 1724 and again in 1725, town record said,

Att ye same time voteed that Josefh Phillips shall bee payd for his Charg & truble in Doeing & prouayding for Jonathan Dayton & his famyle…

…pertickerlerly for Keepin Ionathan daytons famely In there Sickness.

It is assumed that most, if not the entire family, were suffering with smallpox and were in isolation.

Posted in Long Island, Abraham Dayton, Brookhaven | Leave a comment

Abraham Dayton, Brookhaven Pastor?

As I continue online research, I am a little surprised to find that there are still a few websites listing Abraham Dayton as “pastor.” Abraham was the son of Samuel Dayton and grandson of Ralph Dayton.

Twenty-five or thirty years ago, we were quite interested to learn that Abraham Dayton, among his other occupations, served as pastor in Brookhaven, at Setauket Presbyterian Church. We held on to that claim for years, until we got around to examine the record. Continue reading

Posted in Abraham Dayton, Brookhaven, Coram, Ralph Dayton, Samuel Dayton, Setauket, Sweezey, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“The dead want to be remembered”

I so much enjoy meeting a variety of interesting people who find me either through the book or on this blog, and connecting with them makes me wish for more time to develop relationships and collaboration. A few weeks ago, I was introduced to a particularly interesting relative, who has been studying family lines since the 1960’s. What a different world for research before the internet! She said something I continue to think about:

“My father told me to leave the dead alone—thus stirring me on to try to find out why. He was wrong, the dead want to be remembered.”

It reminds me that what we do is worthwhile because family matters.

For someone like myself, not yet retired, the challenge is finding the appropriate balance of attention to family present and time spent with family passed.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Daytons, a pilgrim family of Puritans

Most of us already know the difference between Puritan and Pilgrim, but not so many years ago, I wasn’t able to explain the difference and probably used the words interchangeably.

In the spirit of this Thanksgiving holiday, I’m posting directly from Pilgrim and Puritan: A Delicate Distinction by Richard Howland Maxwell, Continue reading

Posted in Deighton, Long Island, New Haven Colony, Puritan, Quinnipiac, Ralph Dayton, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Ralph Dayton’s disputed land

Shortly after the 1658 death of Ralph Dayton at North Sea (Northampton), Phillip Leeke of New Haven made certain that the particulars of his purchase of lands from Ralph almost ten years earlier were properly recorded. Why did he do this—had the purchase been incomplete or disputed? Continue reading

Posted in Abraham Dayton, Brookhaven, East Hampton, Long Island, New Haven Colony, North Sea, Ralph Dayton, Southampton | Leave a comment

When is generational history lost?

Specifically, I’ve wondered lately how many generations typically passed before parents or grandparents failed to mention to their children that their ancestors came to America aboard the Mayflower? Had that particular ship and group of people been any more noteworthy to remember and discuss, especially at times of harvest, than any other vessel crossing the ocean? Continue reading

Posted in David Dayton, David Dayton Junior, Howland, John Rogers, Skiff, Skiffe, Tilley | 2 Comments

Living “Neighborly and Peaceably with No Unjust Offense”

(NOTE: refer to the December 20, 2016 post entitled Accusations of Witchery, for the story)

As this is Halloween, I thought it might be fitting to consider a witch story—the accusations against Elizabeth Garlicke, the trial and her acquittal, and her reception back at East Hampton. Continue reading

Posted in East Hampton, Samuel Dayton, Thomas Baker | 1 Comment