Approaching the origin of Samuel Dayton’s Indian bride

If a source was ever safe to cite, you’d think it would be Jacobus, but even he could make mistakes. Fortunately for us, when he found them, he issued additions and corrections. But how many well-meaning researchers have repeated his (already corrected) errors?

We all know his early account of the Dayton family:

In Additions and Corrections, Jacobus cited sources for errors Alice “Wilton,” the marriage year of “1616,” the existence of Sam’s mysterious wife Wilhelmina and he reveals that the legend of Samuel’s Indian wife came from “family sources” relayed through Sheldon B. Thorpe.

Are we close to discovering the original source? The author Sheldon B. Thorpe died about 1924, but the bulk of Thorpe’s work appears to be published before 1900, meaning he was actively researching, and possibly interviewing family, at the time when family story-telling was especially fashionable and prominent near the turn of the twentieth century.

New Haven, CT: Families of Ancient New Haven. (Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.) Originally published as New Haven genealogical magazine. vols. I-VIII. Compiled by Donald Lines Jacobus. 8 vols. Rome, New York: Clarence D. Smith, 1923-1932.

This entry was posted in Alice Dayton, Brookhaven, East Hampton, Medlen, Medlin, Ralph Dayton, Samuel Dayton, Tritton, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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