Show ContentsDayton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Dayton is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Dayton family lived in the North Riding of Yorkshire. They descended from the distinguished Norman family of Picot d'Auton, and it is from that local name, which means from Auton, that the surname derives. [1]

Early Origins of the Dayton family

The surname Dayton was first found in Yorkshire. There are three parishes named Deighton in Yorkshire: the chapelry in the North Riding; the township in the East Riding; and the parish named Kirk Deighton in the West Riding. [2]

All have the same meaning: "farmstead surrounded by a ditch," from the Old English "dic" + "tun." [3]

All date back to the Domesday Book of 1086 but with very different spellings in use at that time: Dictune (North Riding); Distone (near York); and Distone (Kirk Deighton.) [4]

The Dictune spelling had an impact on early rolls, Thomas and Henry de Dicton were found in the Assize Rolls of Yorkshire in 1204 and later in 1259. Richard de Dyghton was listed in the Feet of Fines for Yorkshire in 1327. [5]

Some of the family were found in Scotland where the name as "local, probably from Dighton or Deighton in the North Riding of Yorkshire. John de Dychton, subdeacon of Urquhart, 1343." [6]

Early History of the Dayton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dayton research. Another 172 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1340 and 1419 are included under the topic Early Dayton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dayton Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Daton, Dayton, Deighton, Dauton and others.

Early Notables of the Dayton family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Dayton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dayton Ranking

In the United States, the name Dayton is the 4,132nd most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Dayton family to Ireland

Some of the Dayton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Dayton migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Dayton or a variant listed above were:

Dayton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ralph Dayton who settled in New Haven Connecticut in 1630
  • Alice Dayton, who landed in Connecticut in 1643 [8]
  • Mary Dayton, who arrived in Virginia in 1648
  • Ralph Dayton, who arrived in New England in 1650 [8]
Dayton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Dayton, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1822 [8]
  • Benjamin Dayton, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [8]
  • B. W. B. Dayton, who arrived in San Francisco California in 1852

Canada Dayton migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Dayton Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Nathan Dayton U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784 [9]

Australia Dayton migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Dayton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

New Zealand Dayton migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Dayton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Dayton, aged 23, a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rooparell" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Dayton (post 1700) +

  • Bruce Bliss Dayton (1918-2015), American retail executive, businessman, and philanthropist, CEO of Dayton Hudson Corporation, now known as the Target Corporation
  • George Draper Dayton (1857-1938), American businessman and philanthropist
  • Douglas Dayton (1925-2013), American retail executive, founder of Target Corporation with 365,000 employees worldwide
  • Jonathan Dayton (1760-1824), American politician from the New Jersey, the youngest person to sign the United States Constitution, eponym of Dayton, Ohio
  • William Lewis Dayton (1807-1864), American politician, United States Senator from New Jersey (1842-1851)
  • Mark Dayton (b. 1947), American politician, United States Senator from Minnesota (2001-2007), 40th Governor of Minnesota (2011-)
  • Alston Gordon Dayton (1857-1920), American Republican politician, U.S. Representative from West Virginia 2nd District, 1895-1905; U.S. District Judge for West Virginia, 1905 [12]
  • Aaron O. Dayton, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County, 1829 [12]
  • Aaron O. Dayton, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Salem County, 1823 [12]
  • A. H. H. Dayton, American politician, Member of Minnesota State House of Representatives 2nd District, 1872 [12]
  • ... (Another 39 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Suggested Readings for the name Dayton +

  • Family History of the Warren, Stone, Dayton, Routh, Wurster, Daggett, and Young Families by Candy Daggett Young.
  • Indiana Cousins by Louise Axsom.

  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  9. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  10. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from
  11. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th April 2022).
  12. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from on Facebook