David Dalton and his wife Hannah

The Myth

Hannah, the wife of David Dalton of Pittsylvania County VA was a Goad.

Source of the Myth

Obscure.  No reasoning has ever been found except that "the Goads were a family often associated with the Daltons."  Nancy Samuelson in her book The Dalton Gang Story indicates only that Hannah "may have been a Goad."

Straightening the Record

Fact 1:  David Dalton, Sr, of Pittsylvania County was married to a woman named Hannah late in his life.  The Camden Parish Register named Hannah with David in 1797.  There is no proof in the record that this Hannah was his only wife, nor the mother of his children.  David and Hannah's support was provided by the Parish until 1802 and Hannah's until 1804.  She probably died that year.

Fact 2:  David was born before 1725.  David was first listed in Southside VA records in Brunswick County VA COB 3:63, dated 1746.  Since this involved a debt, David must have been of age by then, thus born before 1725.  

Fact 3:  Hannah was a common name in the Goad family.  But records establish the husbands of all possible Hannah Goads available for David:

Fact 4:  The Goads are often associated with Daltons in the records of Bedford and Pittsylvania Counties (and beyond that in Grayson County VA and Sullivan and Hawkins County TN).  But never is David or any of his children associated with a Goad entry.  The Goad associations seem to be with the family of Timothy Dalton.

What does the record tell us about the myth?

No record has been found to suggest that Hannah, wife of David Dalton, Sr., was a Goad.  Furthermore, the possible fathers of a Hannah do all have Hannahs named in their wills, and with husbands other than David Dalton.  If Hannah was a Goad, she married David late in life after being widowed and was not the mother of his children born between 1750 and 1770.

Some of the research reported on this page was provided by Kenneth F. Haas.

Page prepared by James F. Klumpp

Last revised May 11, 2000

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