William Dalton and Mary Brockenbrough
William Dalton and Mary Brockenbrough were the parents of Timothy Dalton and/or
Samuel Dalton (1699-1807).
Source of the Myth
The origin of the confusion seems to stem from three printed sources
involving erroneous info, an obvious typographical error, and part of a
being incorrectly read by some. They are:
- Genealogies of Hughes, Dalton, Martin, Henderson by Lucy
Henderson Horton, 1922, pg. 78-79 say in part: "Old family papers
prove that Samuel Dalton (1699-1802) of Mayo River, Rockingham Co.,
NC, and John Dalton (1722-1777) of the firm Carlyle and Dalton in
Alexandria, VA. were brothers. [Ed. Note: No one since seems to
know the source of these "family papers," and no other evidence that
these were brothers.] They were children of William Dalton the
colonist, who came first to Gloucester Co., VA" [Ed. Note: no evidence
of this relationship has been found.]
- "The Brockenbrough Family" Vol. 5, p. 447, Virginia
Magazine of History and Biography says in part ". . . the
first of whom there is an account in VA, was William Brockenbrough, the
inventory of whose estate was recorded in Richmond Co. in 1701, showing
he died in that year. There is mention in the records of the same
county, in 1712, of William Dalton [Ed Note: this is no doubt an error
with John Dalton the correct name.] and Mary, his wife, exectrix
(sic) of William Brockenbrough. It is evident that she had been
the widow of the latter. . . . said William and Mary Brockenbrough had
issue: Austin, William of Richmond Co.; his will proved in 1733, names
his mother, Mary Dalton and brother Newman Brockenbrough . . ."
- The Compendium of American Genealogy, Vol. III, pg. 578, says in
part: "7. William Dalton (d.ante 1733), came from Yorkshire Eng., 1685 or
90, settled in Gloucester Co. VA; m. 1st Mary Dalton (widow of William Brockenbrough),(5).
6. Samuel (1699-1803) aet104, of Beaver Island, Mayo River, VA (later Rockingham
Co. NC) . . ." [Ed note: best evidence is that William was from Cambridgeshire
Straightening the Record
Facts related to Mary Newman
Mary Newman (ca 1654-Dec. 12, 1734)
m.1) 1684 to William Brockenbrough (ca 1650-1700).
- Austin Brockenbrough b.1685
- William Brockenbrough b. Nov. 10, 1687. Will proven 1733.
- Newman Brockenbrough b.1689
m.2) by Mar 5, 1701 to John Dalton children:
- Winifred Dalton (170?-1766) m.172? Henry Miskell
- Mary Dalton m.1) ca 1722 Thomas Stanfield m.2) 1729 Johathan Lyell
The above families are a compilation of data from "The Brockenbrough
Family" Vol. 5, pg.447, North Farnham Parish Records of Richmond Co. VA
1680-1861, and Mary Dalton's will written Sept. 18, 1734.
- From Court Order Books of Richmond County, VA. 5 Jun 1700: William
Brokenbrough takes oath as under-sheriff of Richmond County (p. 40).
3 October 1700: William Brokenbrough v. Nicholas Smyth. Case dismissed,
the plantiff being dead. Thus, William Brokenbrough died between June
and October 1700.
- From Court Order Books of Richmond County, VA. 5 Mar 1701: Anne
Brent, admx of Robt Brent v. Mary Brokenbrough, admx of Wm Brokenbrough, dismissed.
Defendant being intermarried with John Dalton (p. 147).
- From Richmond Co. VA court minutes March 1713: "The suit in Chancery between
Edward Jones Complaintant and John Dalton Respondant the Compaint by his bill
setts (sic) forth that in time past he hath had dealings with one William
Brockenbrough late of Richmond Couty dec'd and had accounts with said William
hath had some dealings with Mary his widow and administratrix and also with
Respondant who marryed (sic) the said Mary since such their intermarriage,
and upon adjusting and Setling (sic) all accounts. As well as those contracted
with the said William as also those with the said John and Mary his wife Admr.
of the said William . . ." With the consent of both parties, the Court
appointed Mr. George Eskridge to examine and settle the accounts. Mr. Eskridge
returned his report at Court of Richmond County Sept. 3, 1713 and the Court
ordered John Dalton to pay Edward Jones 2108 lbs. of tobacco and court costs.
- Richmond County Court Order Book 9:102 makes it clear that Mary Dalton was
living in Richmond County, not in Gloucester County in 1722.
Facts relating to William Dalton of Gloucester County VA
- From Abingdon Parish, Gloucester Co. Records 1680-1861: Children of
William Dalton and wife, Margaret: Tyrell b. Feb. 20, 1708; Elizabeth
Bapt. May 13, 1711; Margaret Bapt. Dec. 10, 1713; Sarah b. Oct. 11,
1716, Bapt. Oct. 12, 1716; Michael b. Sept. 1720. Also recorded:
William b. ? m. Sarah Mynne Mar. 19, 1729.
- From VA County Records, Spotsylvania Co. VA 1721-1800, published
for the Gene. Assoc. by Fox, Dufield. Reference to William's (Sarah) will
is in a deed Feb. 8, 1748, which says in part: "Thomas Chew of Orange Co.,
Gent., son and heir of Larkin Chew, late of Spts. Co., Gent., Decd., and Larkin
Chew of Spots. Co., Gent., son and Devisee of the sd. Larkin Chew, Decd.,
to John Thurston (Sarah's third husband) of Gloucester Co., Gent. Sd. Larkin
Chew, Decd., in his lifetime, April 2, 1721 . . . conveyed to WM. DOLTON of
Gloucester Co., 996 acres in Spts. Co., sd. DOLTON dying intestate, the sd.
land descended to his son, WM. DOLTON, who being possessed thereof, by his
will, dated Dec. 8, 1733, made the same land to his wife, SARAH DOLTON, and
the male heirs of her body, and in case of no issue, after her death to my
brother MICHALE DALTON, (sic) etc., then to my sister MARGARET DOLTON, sd.
Wm. dying soon thereafter his will was proven in Co. Court of Gloucester .
. ." (William and Sarah had no male issue.)
What do the facts tell us about the myth?
Mary Brockenbrough was Mary Newman when she married William Brockenbrough.
He died in 1700. There is no evidence that at that time she had any Dalton
children. She then married John Dalton of Richmond County and had two
Dalton children, both women, Winifred and Mary, whom she recognized in her will.
Typical dates listed for Samuel and Timothy (of Louisa County) Dalton's births
would make it impossible for either of them to be a legitimate child of John
Dalton and Mary.
The record indicates that Mary Brockenbrough was never married to a
William Dalton of Gloucester County VA was married before 1708 to
(surname unknown). There is no evidence he was ever married to
Brockenbrough, or that Margaret was a Brockenbrough.
Is William father of Timothy?
Nothing in the record proves with certainty that William is not Timothy's father.
But by the time of Timothy's birth in 1715, William and Margaret were having
their births recorded in the Abington Parish Register. Given the religious importance
of such registration it would be unusual for a child to not be recorded when
other children before and after were recorded.
In addition, that William, Jr., would pass over Timothy to bestow land on this
younger brother Michael would be unusual given English primogeniture traditions
in Virginia. Since William, Jr., did leave a will, this is, however, not a legal
There is no evidence of any of the unique William names -- Michael, Tyrell,
Margaret -- being used in the family of Timothy.
Above all, there is NO documentary evidence that indicates a link between William
Is William father of Samuel?
Nothing in the documentary records precludes this, but it would have to be
with some unusual circumstances. We do not know the birthdate of William, Jr.
But since he was his father's heir and his father died intestate the laws of
primogeniture dictated that William be the oldest living son. Since there is
contemporary testimony that Samuel was born before 1700, William would need
to have been born before 1699. Sarah Mynne was born in 1716, so this would have
been a marriage of a 30 year old to a 13 year old. Not impossible in Virginia
at the time but unusual. Of course, again William, Jr., would have passed over
his next oldest brother, his heir under traditions of primogeniture, in making
his will, when his brother would have been of an age when he was seeking land.
Again this is not impossible but would have been non-traditional. Above all,
there is NO documentary evidence that links Samuel to William of Gloucester.
The evidence of the church record and the legacy of William Jr.
indicate that John Dalton of Alexandria is also not the son of William
Originally researched by Helen Lu and Gwen Neuman, and published in Helen's
"Dalton Newsletter" Jan. 1978. Posted by Robert Dalton. Refined by James
Last revised January 14, 2015
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