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 (our grandfather).

My brother and I enjoy contact with extended family and like-minded friends, so this blog has been created in order that we might establish contact and prompt discussion. My current goal is to add a fresh post at least every 7-10 days.

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 not for profit, with proceeds going to Long Island historical societies.
Special Note: Please be aware of a few malicious sites advertising PDF downloads of our book which do not exist. Do not open these dangerous sites.

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

Posted in Daiton, Dayghton, Deighton, Drayton, Dyghton, Long Island, New Haven Colony, Ralph Dayton, Samuel Dayton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments


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.

Charles was the son of Henry Dayton Apr 18, 1792-Sept 26, 1849 and Christie Ann Cameron Dayton Jan 18, 1796-Oct 4, 1865. The graves of Henry and Christie were located near the SW corner of their Hadley Hill NY farm property, but their remains were moved to Dean Cemetery on the Stony Creek Road in 2005, where they rest next to Charles and Nancy.

Henry Dayton was the son of David Dayton Junior (our last ancestor from Long Island) and Chloe Skiff. Henry had siblings Joel, Chloe, Eunice, Telem, Irinda, Anna, Orrin, Orange, Erastus and Louisa.

Charles Erastus Dayton May 29, 1832-Sept 26, 1882 and Nancy Goodnow Dayton Jan 19, 1838-Mar 17, 1883, were born in Hadley NY and lived their entire lives there, running the family farm that had belonged to his father Henry. Both died there.

A tintype below, judged to be from the 1860’s, is held at the Stony Creek Historical Society.

The couple had five children: Delbert Henry Dayton of Iowa, James Warren Dayton of Greenwich NY, Jennie Finette Dayton Roach of Greenwich NY, Wilbur Thomas Dayton of Corinth NY, Carrie Belle Dayton Harris of Gloversville NY.

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:

In Additions and Corrections, Jacobus cited sources for errors Alice “Wilton,” the marriage year of “1616,” the existence of Sam’s mysterious wife Wilhelmina and he reveals that the legend of Samuel’s Indian wife came from “family sources” relayed through Sheldon B. Thorpe.

Are we close to discovering the original source? The author Sheldon B. Thorpe died about 1924, but the bulk of Thorpe’s work appears to be published before 1900, meaning he was actively researching, and possibly interviewing family, at the time when family story-telling was especially fashionable and prominent near the turn of the twentieth century.

New Haven, CT: Families of Ancient New Haven. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.) Originally published as New Haven genealogical magazine. vols. I-VIII. Compiled by Donald Lines Jacobus. 8 vols. Rome, New York: Clarence D. Smith, 1923-1932.

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.

When Jane appealed for help seven years later, we find out that both Jane and Jesse lived at the Manor of St. George, perhaps both employed by Mr. Floyd. Today, the Manor is a museum, located in Shirley, NY. Jane writes:

St. George’s Maner, October, the 27th, 1770.

Mr. Floyd, Sir: these are to Desire you to get the money that is due to me for keeping of Jesse Rayner’s child, for I stand in grait need of it and cannot due without it, and if you can’t attend to get the money, I desire that you would sine the noat over to me that I may get the money, and I desire that you would Let me know by sending me a few Lines.
So I remain your humble Servant Jean Datton.

In a February 4, 1773 record, we find a third spelling for “Jane.” The town trustees:

voted and agreed on that Jaine Dayton shall have paid to her the sum of four shillings a week until further orders out of ye Town Store for ye support of her sickley sister.

Jane probably used this spelling J-A-I-N-E in her receipt signature, making it even more difficult to interpret her first name on that document.

In the Parish Records of Mattituck and Aquebogue 1751-1809 Marriages, a Jesse Rayner and Mary Goodaile of the “Manner of St. Georges-South Hamton,” were registered to marry on May 17, 1775.

Is this the Jessie Raynor, son of Josiah Raynor and Sarah Higby, born Feb 1, 1721/22? If so, it’s interesting to note that Jesse’s brother Joseph married Jemima Dayton, daughter of Nathaniel Dayton, in 1762.

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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