David Dalton Sr. and Jr.

The Myth

David Dalton, Jr., of Pittsylvania County VA was the  son of David Dalton, Sr., of the same.

Source of the Myth

The use of Sr. and Jr. is probably the source, although the use did not mean father and son at the time, only older and younger.  Nancy Samuelson reports the relationship in The Dalton Gang Story,  but does not provide a source.

Straightening the Record

Fact 1:  The 1777 tithe list for Pittsylvania County VA listed two David Daltons: "David Dalton, son of John Dalton" and "David Dalton."

Fact 2:  David Dalton, Sr., was declared exempt from the tithe in 1784 (Pittsylvania COB 5:126).

Fact 3:  There were but two Davids listed in the tax lists and deeds in Pittsylvania County during the 18th century.

Fact 4:  The oldest John Dalton in Pittsylvania County was of David Dalton Sr.'s generation.  David was first listed in Southside VA records in Brunswick County VA COB 3:63, dated 1746.  Since this involves a debt, David must have been of age by then, thus born before 1725.  No record has ever been found of a John old enough to be the father of this David.

What does the record tell us about the myth?

David Dalton, Jr., was the son of John and Patience Dalton.  The indication Jr. was merely to indicate that he was younger than David Dalton, Sr.


This myth concerns the David Dalton, Jr. and Sr., of Pittsylvania County, VA, and neither the David Dalton Jr. and Sr. of Rockingham County NC, nor of Rutherford County, NC.

Prepared by James F. Klumpp

Last revised August 22, 2002

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