Much of this post contains quotation from page 37 of our book.
I am curious if anyone has investigated the statement from Edson Dayton’s private notes, held at East Hampton Library, concerning the birth of Ralph:
Ralph Dayton…born 1588/9 Great Bentley, Essex, England…both of the Parish.
Edson isolated this notation by making use of the Latin abbreviation “q.v,” (quod videre) to separate personal notes requiring investigation from actual record, coming before and after the phrase in question. The origin of the idea for the note is unknown.
Since Shaw said in his letter that Edson Dayton, “wanted proof of every statement he makes in his book,” the fact that Edson didn’t use this birthplace for Ralph in his book says to us that he did not believe it to be reliable.
My brother Jim secured and examined microfilmed photography of the Great Bentley registry for that time period [courtesy LDS Family/History Library, Salt Lake City], but the pages were too tattered and faded to be legible.
If the Great Bentley record were to ever be found in the church record, as unlikely as that is, we imagine it was as if Ralph told the vicar on the occasion of his marriage to Alice that he was born there. Great Bentley, Essex is located about halfway between Colchester and Clacton-On-Sea, about ten miles from each, and is about 100 miles north of Ashford, Kent.