Famous Ancestors

As I’m sure some of you have realized, we have not mentioned three of our infamous distant relatives—Elias Dayton, Jonathan Dayton and William Lewis Dayton, all descendants of New Jersey Daytons, and most likely in the lineage of Robert Dayton, who was Samuel’s younger brother. I have very little knowledge of the line, but expect that documentation should be available.

The reason for deliberately avoiding mention of these accomplished men is because it was our early observation that often we amateur genealogists are quick to introduce “important” historical characters and claim them as our own. This is a common way we attempt to inflate our personal value.

But since there are some descendants of Robert who follow this blog, it is important that you know these men are your forefathers.

William Lewis Dayton, the 1856 Republican candidate for vice president with presidential candidate John Fremont, was born in 1807 at Baskenridge in Somerset County, NJ. According to Benjamin Hall in The Republican Party and the Presidential Candidates with Biographical Sketches and Portraits of Fremont and Dayton (1856),

His ancestry on both his father’s and mother’s side, took an honorable part of the revolutionary struggle, and some of the family distinguished themselves; Elias Dayton, the brother of his grandfather, became a celebrated brigadier general, and his son Jonathan Dayton, became eminent as the speaker of the house of representatives in the fourth congress.

This Jonathan Dayton is also remembered as the youngest signer of the US Constitution (seen in the middle of the second column).

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