The marriage of Ralph Dayton and Mary Knight Haines (Haynes) is interesting in so many ways, one post is not sufficient to touch on most of the notable elements. I’ll try to limit the subject to no more than three posts, but would be happy to extend the conversation in more detail, if anyone desires.
We agree with Edson Dayton, who theorized that Alice Dayton was the “wife” mentioned in Feb of 1653/54, meaning Ralph and Alice had been married at least 37 years. Not long after her death, 66 year-old Ralph left East Hampton to join his son Samuel at North Sea (Southampton), the two being neighbors in the area of Towd.
Ralph Dayton married Mary Knight Haines of Southold in the summer of 1656, and Mary being more than 20 years younger than Ralph, still had eight minor children living at home, ranging in age from about 17 to 5 years old. Their names and dates of baptism can be found in the records of the First Congregational Church of Salem, Massachusetts.
Mary and her first husband, James Haines had removed from Salem to Long Island just a year or two before James died in 1652/53. He was still a relatively young man, so the fact that his death was delayed long enough to record his wishes for his young family means James wasn’t killed suddenly in an accident.
With the exception of his coopering tools which he left to his eldest son, James left his entire £123 estate to his wife, with the idea that it would provide for the raising of his children. According to his wishes, Mary would raise the children to majority, although he recognized that if she were to marry again, the children would be put out to trades (apprenticed). James also asked that his friends, Southold Pastor John Youngs Senior and John Herbert assist in these placements. NOTE: his friends will have significance in future dynamics.
I have not researched the fate of the children, but apparently they were “put out to trades” and the Southold Town Records indicate all members of the family left Southold.
To be continued…