Elizabeth Talbot Dalton

The Myth

Timothy Dalton of Bedford Co VA married Elizabeth Talbot.

Source of the Myth

Obscure.  The only support known for this is that Elizabeth witnessed the will of Matthew Talbot of Bedford County in 1758.  Apparently this has been taken as some indication of relationship to the Talbots.  Perhaps the appointment of John Talbot as executor of Timothy's will is also taken as evidence.

Straightening the Record

Fact 1: Timothy was married to a woman whose name was Elizabeth: she was a co-grantor on three different deeds:

Fact 2: Elizabeth Dalton witnessed the will of Matthew Talbot in 1758.  At that time, there were two Elizabeth Daltons--Timothy's wife and Timothy's daughter who would marry William Arthur Jr four years later. Talbot's will did not specify which Elizabeth witnessed his Will.

Fact 3:  In his will (Bedford County VA Wills and Deeds 1:188-90), Mathew Talbot names sons and daughters.  No Elizabeth nor Elizabeth Dalton is named.

Fact 4:  As in current practice, it was rare for children to witness wills in Colonial Virginia.  Witnessing by close relative complicated any legal matters that arose from the will.  Children or siblings fell into this category.

Fact 5:  Several searches into the records and into available Talbot family history has revealed:

Fact 6:  John Talbot was a person with some training in the law who handled many estates in Bedford County at the time.  This included not only most of the Talbot family but also others including, for example, Joseph Whitehead.  At the time of his death Timothy Dalton had title to his main plantation on Terrapin Creek at issue (an action subsequently lost).  Having someone with John Talbot's experience as executor would have been a reasonable action.

Fact 6: While Timothy had a long-standing business association with the Talbot family, there were no marriages recorded between the Daltons and the Talbots nor any continued association between the families after Timothy's death and settlement of his estate.

Fact 6:  If Timothy married only once, and Elizabeth is the mother of James, Timothy's oldest son born in the late 1730s, then Timothy and Elizabeth were married in Albemarle County prior to their move to Bedford (then Brunswick) County in 1745.  Unlike Timothy Dalton, Matthew Talbot Sr. did not live in Albemarle Co. prior to moving to the Bedford-Pittsylvania area. From all available records, Timothy did not know Matthew prior to 1745.

What does the record tell us about the myth?

There are presently no strong clues to the maiden name of Elizabeth, Timothy's wife.  From the record, however, it is quite unlikely that she was a Talbot.

Researched and Posted by Melanie Crain.  If you find evidence supporting or refuting this myth please contact the author.

Last revised February 11, 2001

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