I have been pondering an often-repeated statement that when Ralph Dayton left New Haven, he “stopped briefly in Southampton” on his way to East Hampton. Another popular version says he “stopped briefly in Southold and Southampton.”
Since it has become tradition that Ralph “stopped at Southampton,” on his way to East Hampton, I thought it might be a good idea to find the source and see if there is significance in the phrase.
Certainly, it is very likely he did stop along the way at Southampton, especially because North Sea (part of Southampton) was the harbor commonly used for arrival, even to East Hampton at that time. Besides, Sam had accommodations there, so it just makes sense.
Edson Dayton (1931) says that Ralph,
Leaving New Haven in 1649, tarrying by the way in Southampton, the same being true of Thomas Baker and Family…
The best theory I can come up with originates in George Rogers Howell’s Early History of Southampton (1866) where Howell, speaking about “family records” of inhabitants of Southampton says,
Ralph Dayton, from the records of the town, appears to have resided here a short time. He was one of the early settlers of East Hampton and had a son Robert also, who settled there and became the progenitor of the Dayton families now resident there.
Perhaps others have interpreted Howell’s statement as I did on first reading, that Ralph resided in Southampton a short time before moving to East Hampton in 1650. But I have since concluded that Howell was probably referring to Ralph’s brief North Sea (Northampton) residence before his death, after he had lived in East Hampton.
Does anyone have other ideas how statements such as “Ralph stopped briefly in Southampton” came about?