THE DALTONS OF HAMPTON, N.H.
Among the early "Elect" of Hampton, N. H., was a distinguished family group, consisting of the two brothers TIMOTHY and PHILEMON DALTON, with their respective wives and sons, namely: RUTH and TIMOTHY, Junior, and HANNAH and SAMUEL, and their sister, DEBORAH, the wife of JASPER BLAKE, of the "plantation". All the male Daltons, except the younger Timothy - who died soon after his arrival - became prominent in the affairs of both town and colony. The elder Timothy left no surviving issue; but the descendents of Philemon and Deborah are numerous and widely scattered at the present day.
Our purpose was to study the English antecedents of these Hampton Daltons, and, if possible, to trace Timothy, Philemon, and Deborah back to their native parish. We admit that we have accomplished less than we desired. There is more than one "unfinished window" in our House of Dalton. We have no account of Deborah prior to the birth of her first child, Timothy Blake, at Hampton, in 1649; nor of Philemon earlier than his immigration, in 1635; nor of Timothy, anterior to his matriculation at college, in 1610. From that date, however, we are able to follow Timothy's course with a tolerable degree of accuracy until 1636, when he fell under the displeasure of the authorities. Then comes a blank in the record of his life; and we are doubtful as to the exact time of his appearance in New England.
The story of what we have done -- including our frequent disappointments -- may be useful to the subsequent inquirer. For ourselves, we remember the odd conceit of Worthy Thomas Fuller: "Some report that the toad, before her death, sucks up (if not prevented with suddain surprisall), the precious stone (as yet but a jelly), in her head; grudging Mankind the good thereof; such generally the Envy of Antiquaries; -- preferring that their Rarities should die with them; and be buried in their graves, rather than others receive any Benefit thereby."1