Monday, November 23, 2009


I notice that most of the other DFL gubernatorial candidates talk a lot about their families. I've heard about where they came from, which town they founded or helped found, whether there was an immigrant background, a farm background, a family history in mining and so on. We never hear much about Mark Dayton's family background. Sure, we all know about Dayton's Department Store and the Dayton/Hudson Corporation. That's something Mark Dayton never had a hand in running by his own choice. He wanted to go into public service instead. What about his earlier ancestors? This blog posting should please all the genealogy and history buffs.

The first ancestor to cross the Atlantic was Ralph Dayton. He was born c. 1588 in England. He married Alice Goldhatch Tritton on June 16, 1617 in Ashford Cty, Kent, England. He immigrated to the Colonies c 1639 through Boston Harbor. He settled in New Haven then moved to Long island. After that he founded East Hampton. Ralph is listed as a signer of the Fundamental Agreement and Covenant of Habitancy, the original governing instrument of New Haven.

The line goes like this: Ralph, Samuel, Abraham, Caleb, Josiah, Caleb, Isaac, David, George. This is all from a book called Our Story, by George Draper Dayton. He further writes, "On the 250th anniversary of the founding of East Hampton, the speaker of the day said of the Daytons, 'the family has generally a good record of intelligence, industry, purity and worth. Many have achieved eminence. The family has a long history of service to others.'" (Source)

One ancestor, Caleb Dayton, fought in the Revolutionary War. He is included in A Brief History of St James: 1764 to The Present in Historical Arlington, Vermont.

Mark Dayton comes from a long line of people who were honest and trustworthy and who devoted their lives to public service. As they say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Our Mark Dayton has a lineage he can truly be proud of, yet there's no evidence that he has ever boasted of it. We can add humble to his growing list of excellent characteristics. It sounds to me like it's Mark Dayton's destiny to be the next governor of Minnesota.


A History of the Town of East Hampton, NY (Dayton Family)
DAR Ancestor List
History of New Haven Colony
The Dayton/Deighton Family of Long Island
Ralph Dayton, Immigrant Progenitor
Biography of George Draper Dayton

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