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.

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.
Both the hardcover and softcover are available from major booksellers, but Jim offers the hardcover at significant savings on his eBay store. The softcover price is set at $19.95 at many booksellers.

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

Judging Dayton character

On occasion, I am asked questions about our Long Island ancestors that, for my reply, require character judgements that are personal and a little uncomfortable to convey. The natural tendency is to be defensive, but the attempt is made to avoid reaching conclusions that are distorted by pride and family protection. Then we find records where it seems obvious that actions cannot be defended.

For example, when trying to understand Sam Dayton’s Dutchman episode or Abraham Dayton giving up his young son after his marriage to Catherine, the immediate impression of both of these men is not favorable. Strangely, in both instances, I unexpectedly stumbled upon possible explanations and specific circumstances that, when applied, provide a different and welcome perspective.

For what it’s worth, and at the risk of sounding pretentious, I will relate my impressions of the first three generations. Please understand that I am not claiming that I know these people better than anyone else, these are simply my impressions of the men after studying them for some years.

Ralph Dayton was a “no nonsense” man. When considering Ralph, I cannot help but think of my father. My father was reserved, reliable, intelligent and a good, thoughtful provider—the same adjectives I apply to Ralph. Ralph earned respect, but at the same time, his humility is evident.

Samuel Dayton was Ralph’s middle son. He was colorful and adventurous, although unsettled and not always reliable, especially before reaching age forty. One gets the impression that his father had special concern for Sam’s impulsiveness. I envision Sam to be one of these smooth talkers who seem to be “working” multiple deals or scheming to get ahead. Despite some difficult traits, you just can’t help but like Sam.

Abraham Dayton, third son of Samuel and Medlin, is truly an enigma. From the beginning of his record to the mysterious end, his story is full of extraordinary highs and lows, and inexplicable twists and turns. Completing a character profile of Abraham seems nearly impossible due to ever-conflicted evidence, but despite this fact, I believe it would be worthwhile to study his family in the hope of uncovering useful information.

Posted in Abraham Dayton, Medlen, Medlin, Ralph Dayton, Samuel Dayton | Leave a comment

Medlin, Dayton’s own Pocahontas

This year is the 400th anniversary of the death of Pocahontas, the original Native American princess that provided the model and inspiration for so many families with colonial ancestors to acquire their own exotic Indian princess. Not to be left out, the Daytons discovered theirs, most likely sometime in the nineteenth century, when such acquisitions were very much in style. The most logical candidate for the assignment of such a wife was Samuel, the adventurous son of Ralph Dayton who conveniently did have early contact with local Native Americans.

It is unfortunate that so many years have passed, with so many research opportunities lost, because the distracting story has survived to this day and has misdirected inquiry.

Posted in Medlen, Medlin, Ralph Dayton, Samuel Dayton | Leave a comment

On this day, Henry Dayton prepared for his death

The seasons are changing in Indiana and I observe that some green leaves fall to the ground while others change to brilliant color before they finally lose their grip. As much as I enjoy the beautiful color and relief from summer’s heat, it is also a time of reflection and for some, a sense of melancholy. I guess it’s in my genes.

On October 7, 1759, even though he would live for some weeks longer, Henry Dayton was preparing for his own death. Much of what we learn about Henry and his family comes from the division of the wealth he held until his death. Included in these possessions were slaves, making Henry the only ancestor we are not able to believe rid himself of the practice.

Posted in Coram, Henry Dayton, Long Island, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Was Ralph Dayton’s grave at the Old Southampton Burial Ground?

Does anyone have further information or knowledge of the estimated 1,700 graves discovered at Southampton, beyond what was reported last fall? According to a piece written in The New York Times, October 30, 2016 by Arielle Dollinger, a mapping service used radar at the Old Southampton Burial Ground to find soil disturbances where graves may have been dug, each about 5 feet by 10 feet.

The burial ground located at 205 Little Plains Rd, Southampton is supposed to have operated about 1640 to 1712 and is most visible from Post Lane, as an open field.

According to the Times article, one pink granite stone stands out among the 47 visible tombstones. It says “Edward Howell, a founder and settler; Southampton 1640; died here 1655.”

Because the cemetery is only 4 miles from where Ralph Dayton died in 1658 at North Sea, there is a good possibility that his grave marker was once located there. It also becomes one of the possible locations for Medlin’s grave, since she and Samuel owned a house or two closeby.


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Ralph Dayton reference mystery solved

This post is a progress report and follow-up to the post Was Ralph Dayton bound for Massachusetts? posted on September 17.

Terry Brown has chased down the New Hampshire Genealogical Magazine reference given in the Topographical Dictionary of 2885 English Emigrants to New England, 1620-1650 for Ralph Dayton.

With generous assistance from Rebecca at the New Hampshire State Library, a thorough search had produced no mention of Ralph Dayton in any of the volumes, but Terry pressed on and solved the mystery.

Assuming the reference was a typo, Terry says,
“New Hampshire” should have been “New Haven,” which basically means “The Families of Ancient New Haven,” by Jacobus. Sure enough, when you look at Volume 3, pg. 528, there you are on the Dayton family and “Ralph, from Ashford, Kent.”

These eight volumes were created by Donald Lines Jacobus between 1923 and 1932, published as New Haven Genealogical Magazine. See Dayton entry below from volume 3.

We are disappointed that the search did not produce a new source, but we are grateful for Terry pursuing the mystery and discovering this error in Topographical Dictionary of 2885 English Emigrants to New England, 1620-1650.

Note: I feel obligated to point out some of the more obvious errors and omissions in the Jacobus listing. 1) marriage year should be 1617, 2) Wilton should be Tritton, 3) child Ellen should be inserted between Samuel and Robert, no doubt pushing Robert’s year of birth to 1628 or 1629, as is commonly given.


Posted in Ashford, New Haven Colony, Quinnipiac, Ralph Dayton, Tritton, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ralph Dayton was probably not born in Ashford

Nikki also says that Denise Bailey’s “detail of the Ashford families in the late 1500s/early 1600s is extensive.” Bailey mentions Hugh Tritton as borsholder (a petty constable) in 1604/5, when he attempted to arrest a yeoman named William Core. I wonder if “borsholder” is the same word I had interpreted as “householder,” another common term of the day?

Nikki says that “despite all the numerous families she (Bailey) mentions, there is NO mention of any Daytons other that your Ralfe Dayton.” Bailey “lists all the male residents that were called up for probable service in war against France (Spain). This is the Muster Roll of 1595 and includes all male Ashford residents who were eligible to be called upon. If the Daytons were living in Ashford at this time then Ralfe’s father should be on the list. There is NO Dayton (under any spelling variant) that is on the list she provides.”

Nikki concludes that all possible sources of information to prove that Ralfe Dayton was born and raised in or around Ashford have been exhausted—“Although the results are all negative I feel the positive outcome is that all those who say that Ralfe was born in Ashford are incorrect.” She continues, “Therefore he MUST have moved into the area. With that being the case he must have been born outside of Ashford…”

Posted in Ashford, Ralph Dayton, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Was Ralph Dayton bound for Massachusetts?

We are especially interested and excited to learn of Nikki Paine’s discovery of a book by Denise Bailey, (2003) Ashford People in the 1400s, 1500s and 1600s. A P Willox, Lyminge that is not much bigger than a pamphlet, but contains “a wealth of information on families in Ashford.”

Nikki reported to Terry Brown, “Your ancestor’s name (Ralfe Dayton) actually appears in this book as being one of the 17 emigrants who left Ashford and sailed for New Haven, Connecticut; possibly from Sandwich on the Hercules.” Bailey said her source for this information came from the “Topographical Dictionary of Emigrants” at the British Museum. Bailey also states that the reason for emigration was for religious freedom of thought.

Does anyone have access to the Denise Bailey work?

We located a copy of Bailey’s source, the Topographical dictionary of 2885 English emigrants to New England, 1620-1650, Banks, Charles Edward, 1854-1931 at https://www.hathitrust.org/ digital library and found Ralph Dayton on page 75. See image below.

As you can see from this image in the Topographical dictionary of 2885 English emigrants, the reference provided for Ralph is the New Hampshire Genealogical Magazine 3/528. Terry is searching for a copy of this magazine.

We are anxious to determine if Bailey assumed that New Haven was the possible destination of Ralph’s vessel because New Haven is the “New England Town” associated with Ralph, or if Bailey found further evidence in the magazine.

My own amateur observation of the table is that if Ralph traveled with others on the same Hercules voyage, he probably landed in Massachusetts, but of course, we don’t know that Ralph was aboard the Hercules (even though many from his congregation including Comfort Star, Rose Tritton and perhaps Tomas Osborne came on the Hercules about 1635). Personally, I still believe Ralph and family probably landed at New Haven a few years later with the Whitfield fleet as we explain in our book.

More coming from Nikki in the next post…



Posted in Ashford, New Haven Colony, Quinnipiac, Ralph Dayton, Tritton, Uncategorized | Leave a comment