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). Continue reading

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

Former Samuel Dayton property becomes Nature Center

The Washington Lodge estate in the Hamlet of Brookhaven, located on Dayton’s Neck, has been acquired by an Art & Nature Group to create Long Island’s first Nature Retreat Center with overnight lodging. The Mission Statement of the group is “To be a professional organization which promotes interdisciplinary lifelong learning in, for, and about the outdoors and inspires an appreciation of the environment for all people.”

There is a reasoned belief that the Lodge sits in very close proximity to the spot Samuel Dayton chose to locate his farm in the 1670’s.

Read about the Center for Environmental Education & Discovery plan to renovate the Lodge into a nature center for outdoor education http://www.ceedli.org/about-the-washington-lodge.html.

Posted in Brookhaven, Brookhaven hamlet, Dayton, Dayton's Neck, Long Island, Samuel Dayton | Leave a comment

Lord’s Day at Thomas Baker’s house

In the January 31 post, an interesting ingredient was left out of the story of the ongoing tension between Thomas Baker and Reverend Thomas James. I said “eventually” both men resettled at East Hampton, when actually the East Hampton record shows that the reverend had a town lot on April 22, 1651, so he was probably serving as pastor within one year after Thomas moved there.

Because the settlement did not have a meeting house before 1652, the town met for religious services in what was probably the largest structure in East Hampton at that time—the house belonging to Thomas Baker. The size of the house may indicate that it was the village inn or public house.

Do you think it was awkward for the pastor to lead Sunday Meeting in the house of the man he excommunicated just a few years previous?

Posted in East Hampton, Thomas Baker, Thomas James | Leave a comment

Ralph Dayton, “interpreter to the Indians”?

I am curious to discover the origin of the idea that Ralph Dayton was “an interpreter to the Indians”—has anyone found a primary source or even a secondary source that implicates him?

Nearly all of the time, the claim shows up in a statement similar to “…when he [Sam] and his father Ralph treated with Native Americans.” However, there are exceptions where Ralph himself is called interpreter, without mention of his son—like in the book by Laura Rowley,On Target, How the World’s Hottest Retailer Hit a Bull’s-Eye”.

Given all of the documentation, there should be no dispute that Samuel Dayton served as interpreter or intermediary between Europeans and Native Americans, usually involving land or whales. In fact, the number of occasions prompted Pelletreau to refer to Sam as “commissioner to the Indians.”

Has anything been found to support the claim that Ralph “treated with Native Americans?”

Posted in Ralph Dayton, Samuel Dayton | Leave a comment

Samuel Dayton contemplated going to Killingworth, Connecticut?

Google® the phrase “apparently contemplated going to Killingworth” and you will find many references to Samuel Dayton, repeating variations of the sentence “He apparently contemplated going to Killingworth, Conn. where four lots had been assigned him before 19 Apr 1667.” It’s unfortunate that the real story that is so interesting and significant is completely lost with this statement.

Of course, this date refers to the April 19, 1667 Underhill letter from Governor Nicholls where Kelenworth is named as the location in negotiation, and might be the proposed name for that particular area otherwise known as Killingworth upon Matinecock, on Long Island.

This is the same letter where the governor states,

That as to the buisnesse of Samuell Daytons having of foure Lotts & his exposing them to sale upon his Removall, Its thought fitt hee should have one either to enjoy or otherwise to dispose thereof, but no more the other three may bee reserved for the Encouragement of other familyes to come & settle upon them.

The reference to Sam in this letter indicates that Underhill acted in Sam’s behalf, inquiring of the governor what should be done with the vacated lots Sam had purchased. Consistent with the Governor’s statement that anyone already settled there should not be disturbed, “its thought fit hee should have one” but he would lose the other three lots.

The Frost Genealogy places Sam contemporary with the seven purchasers,

Contemporaneous with the Seven Purchasers on Killingworth upon Matinecock…were Richard and Josias Latten, William Frost, John Coles, Samuel Dayton, Edmund Wright, John Dyer, John Robins, John Davis, Joseph Eastland, Samuel Tillear, Auron Forman Junior, Henry Bell and Lawrence Mott, but with the exception of the Lattens, Frost and Forman all had removed from hence before the close of the century.

For more details of this story, which is part of the much larger story involving Sam and privateer Captain Underhill, refer to pages 200-205 in our book.

Posted in Brookhaven, Dayton, Long Island, Mary Dingle, Medlen, Medlin, North Sea, Samuel Dayton, Setauket | Leave a comment

The excommunication of Thomas Baker

Does the unexplained excommunication of Thomas Baker, beginning in January 1645/46, tell us more about Reverend James than about Thomas? Thomas Baker, the husband of Alice Dayton, was censured for two years from the Milford First Congregational Church, according to their records.

It seems apparent that Thomas was educated and self-assured and it may have been his competence and self confidence that got him in trouble with the minister at Milford CT. Therefore, I contend that the evidence makes it appear than the problem became more personal than theological.

Since many parishioners had not mastered reading or writing, a portion of the congregation depended on the minister to read, interpret and explain scripture. Of course, this dependence gave the minister some amount of control over what the congregation believed.

Cornelia Hughes Dayton wrote, “Each congregational church had the right to excommunicate a member for persistently defending religious ideas that departed from the fundamental tenets of true religion as expounded by the pastor and his cleric and magistrate colleagues.”

David Brown (1994) said, “very often this discipline was leveraged against an unrepentant member to force him to succumb to a rule or tenant of the church in which he does not agree.”

I believe that Thomas was in a position to disagree or even challenge James’ interpretations more than some others in the congregation. Thomas could not only read and understand, but he had his own Bible (currently held in the Long Island Collection at the East Hampton Public Library).

Excommunication could have meant Thomas was unable to attend church (mandatory for all) which had to be all the more difficult because the Baker’s house lot #10 was diagonally across the street from the First Congregational Church of Milford.

Eventually, both Thomas Baker and Reverend James resettled on Long Island, at East Hampton, where the back-and-fourth was resurrected with a disagreement over a horse dealing and the minister’s public opposition to Baker running for office, saying he was unfit because he had been excommunicated years before. Thomas struck back “in behalf of the people of Easthampton, protest(ing) to the Governor against the confirmation of a purchase of lands (by Mr. James and John Mulford) from the Montauk Indians…”

Note: the order of all these events at Easthampton is not known with certainty.

Posted in Dayton, Deighton, East Hampton, Long Island, New Haven Colony, Puritan, Ralph Dayton, Thomas Baker, Tritton | 2 Comments

Who was Abraham Dayton’s eldest son?

I continue to be fascinated by the theory that Mary Beardsley may not have been Abraham Dayton’s first wife. The very fact that Jacobus mentions it grants the question some measure of importance. Please refer to the related December 10, 2016 post entitled “Did Abraham Dayton have sons from a wife before Mary Beardsley?”

Has anyone been able to connect the Abraham or Jacob Dayton of Salem County NJ to their theoretical father Abraham (son of Sam)? Are you aware of anyone studying this possibility? When looking at this, please consider:

  • Centerton NJ in Salem County used to be known as “Dayton’s Bridge”
  • We must be careful not to confuse this unknown Jacob Dayton in New Jersey with our Abraham’s brother Jacob, also the son of Sam, living at East Hampton before moving to Cape May, NJ about 1693.
  • Keep in mind that Abraham’s son Henry later owned a farm or plantation at Great Egg Harbor, NJ.

Here is my reasoning to suggest there was sufficient time for Abraham and his unknown wife to have additional sons before Abraham’s marriage to his stepsister Mary:

If Abraham married as soon as he turned 21 (as most Dayton men did), it appears that the couple lived in Brookhaven because not only was Abraham recorded selling whale oil at South that year (1675), but he was also listed in the 1675 livestock valuations there. Likewise, it is supposed that the couple remained at Brookhaven because Abraham agreed to build a fence for Brookhaven resident William Jayne in January 1676/77, to be completed by the end of April 1677. Then we learn that 25 year old Abraham already had a newly-constructed house in Brookhaven by 1679, but we do not know when the house was built or if he was living in that house.

During the span of five or six years after the fence project, almost nothing is heard of Abraham until 1683 when his livestock can be found in another Brookhaven livestock valuation. Finally, we discover the following year that Abraham and Mary were together because records have the couple receiving a sizable inheritance in 1684 (see Brand Book of Stratford). That means, in theory, Abraham could have been married to an unknown wife for as many as 8 or even 9 years before marrying Mary Beardsley.

For reference, you may remember that Mary turned 21 about 1681, so the marriage could have occurred a few years before 1684.

Posted in Abraham Dayton, Beardsley, Brookhaven, Brookhaven hamlet, Dayton's Neck, Henry Dayton, Samuel Dayton | Leave a comment

Dayton book will be reviewed in the NEHG Register

We just received exciting news through Terry Brown, that The New England Historical and Genealogical Register will review Our Long Island Ancestors, the First Six Generations of Daytons in America 1639-1807, in their Spring 2018 publication.

This is quite an honor for us and Jim and I are truly humbled, as submission for scholarly review was certainly not in our plans. Thank you to our friends who have supported and encouraged us.


Posted in Dayghton, Dayton, Deighton, Dyghton, Long Island | 1 Comment