This is an update on our search to find more of David Dayton during the British occupation. Our hunt has led us to the Diaries of Captains Daniel Roe and William Yarrington, both of Brookhaven. There is little news to report yet, but the diaries contain many familiar names—friends and neighbors of David, so we might gain context. For example, in September of 1775, Captain Yarrington, who was a neighbor writes,
This morning Left home and went to Corum a according To orders and Time appointed. With wife and Children with me, Exercised the Comp. a Spel, Then Took Dinner at Mr. Daytons.
We cannot be certain which “Mr. Dayton” Yarrington was referring to since other Dayton families also lived close by, but there is a good chance it was David.
At the time of David’s enlistment in 1776, orders had just come from the New York Provincial Congress to the Colonels of Militia in the southern counties, telling them to prepare and hold their regiments in readiness to march on the first notice of an invasion. Along with David, many of these farmers were probably anxious to return to their farms by May, but some did not remain there because America would declare independence and a major battle would occur at Long Island.
It is important to note that we continue to find no record of military service for David after his brief stint ending May of 1776 through the duration of the American Revolution.
David was still at Coram at the end of 1779 and was a witness on this will:
Benjamin, Jonathan, of Coromm, Brookhaven Township, Suffolk Co., yeoman. Wife Elisabeth, daughters Phebe, Hannah, Behia, Sarah and Rachel. Real and personal estate. Executors the wife, son-in-law Benjamin Ovirton, and John Bellos. Witnesses Elijah Davis, David Dayton, John Leek.
Recorded in Wills and Probates, vol I, p.20
David was probably still alive until 1782 so we will continue our search to discover what happened between December 1779 and 1782 that would cause his death in his forties.