Parents of Robert Dalton

The Myth

Robert Dalton, husband of Mary Key, of Pittsylvania County VA is the son of Timothy Dalton of Bedford County VA.

Source of the Myth

Obscure.  Nancy Samuelson lists him as son of Timothy in The Dalton Gang Story but notes that "it is possible that some of these men are either brothers or grandsons of Timothy, Jr. instead of his sons."

Straightening the Record

Fact 1:  Timothy Dalton of Bedford County was born in 1714 or 1715.  Bedford County COB 3:480 records testimony by Timothy in 1768.  Timothy indicated in that testimony that he was 53 years old.

Fact 2:  This Robert Dalton was married to Mary Key.  Mary's father, John Key transfered land to her in 1742 and named her husband as Robert Dalton (Goochland County VA Deeds 3:558).  That this was Robert of Pittsylvania was proven by the deed when his son John sold this land earlier given to his mother (Albemarle County Deeds 5:163).

What the facts tell us about the myth?

The 27 years between Timothy of Bedford's birth and Robert Dalton's marriage do not permit their relationship to be father and son.  They were most likely siblings, but this cannot be proven.

Prepared by James F. Klumpp

Last revised February 11, 2001

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