July 25, 2015

Reuben Dalton (1752-1801)

According to a 2006 Dalton genealogy report submitted by Jean England, Reuben Dalton was the first of his line to settle in Grainger Co., TN.1 He settled in Thorn Hill in 1801 after having served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War.2 Reuben had been an Ensign in Captain Isham’s company in the Virginia State Militia.  He died prior to the passing of the law that gave veterans of that war the right to apply for a pension.

He was born in Bedford Co., VA c1752.  He arrived in “Montgomery Co., VA from Pittsylvania Co. in 1772” and bought “170 acres in the area known as Little Reed Island Creek.”  In her report, Jean tells us that Reuben was listed on Tennessee tax rolls of 1797 as owner of 200 acres but was probably still in Virginia at the time.  He sold some of the Virginia property in 1797 and the rest of it in 1801 when he relocated to Tennessee.

Reuben died in 1801 and was buried “on the Fred Davidson farm on Copper Ridge Rd. near Cedar Springs Baptist Church” in Thorn Hill.  Archie Dalton, a long time Dalton researcher, wrote to me in 2005 and reported that Reuben "is buried in the woods close to the Bluff Davidson graveyard..." near Thorn Hill.  I have been unable to locate the farm or the cemetery and, it is not clear to me how either burial site is known.

On Jan. 4, 1808 he applied for a marriage license in Grainger Co. to marry Nancy Shockley.3 Nancy was born c1757 at Pittsylvania.  Her family likely migrated along with others into Grainger Co. about the same time as Reuben.

The union between the couple produced at least nine children:  Enos; Elizabeth; Agnes Anne; William Meredith; Reuben, Jr.; Mary; Carter; Hannah Ann and Timothy.  In this paper we will try to follow Timothy, thought to have been born in 1810.4

Timothy is the first known Dalton known to me to marry into the Coffey family.  His wife was Delphia Coffey, a daughter of George Coffey and Margaret L. Rucker.  We can follow George back to Edward and Ann Powell Coffey through his father, Benjamin Coffey who married Mary “Polly” Hayes.  I will only touch on the descendants of Timothy who also married Coffeys.

Delphia and Timothy were married in Grainger Co. on Dec. 29, 1828.5 Over the next 26 years, she became the mother of at least 11 of Timothy’s children. Timothy died c1863 in Grainger Co.; neither a death record nor place of burial has been located.  In any event, Delphia, yet with young children at home, married the widower Jacob Hipshire on Mar. 23, 1863.  Jacob was age 66 years and Delphia was age 48 when they married.  There were no known children.

Jacob was a North Carolina native and son of Henry and Delphia Delamar (sic).  His first wife was Matilda Hayes, born c1810 in NC, died 1855 in Grainger Co.  Her parents were Thomas and Sarah “Sally” Rucker Hayes.  Margaret Rucker, wife of George Coffey and Sarah “Sally” were sisters, daughters of Colby and Sarah Roberts Rucker.

The 11 children of Timothy and Delphia were:  David, born c1831; George Washington, born Feb. 3, 1832, died Dec. 24, 1904;6 Manerva, born c1834; Thomas, born c1834; Ally (Ollie?), born c1837; William Nelson, born Dec 6, 1839;6 Green C., born c1840; Colby Timothy, born c1842; Hiram, born c1843; Emeline, born c1844 and Harriet, born c1854.

Son George first married Charlotte Hedrick, a daughter of John and Lucinda Hipshire Hedrick. His second wife was Sarah Ann, Charlotte’s sister. George and Charlotte’s son Lafayette, known as “Lee Fate” married Cornelia Dalton, a child of Tandy Witcher and Matilda Coffey Dalton. Lee Fate’s son James Franklin, (1880-1947), married twice, the second to Louvernie “Vernie” Coffey (1887-1978), a daughter of Lacy and Margaret Ogan Coffey. James’ first wife was Mattie Collins to whom he was married in 1903.  I know of only one child, a son Creed, born 1913.  Mattie died in 1917 at the same time as Creed; she of “pulmonary consumption,” he of “lobar pneumonia.”7 I know of no children born to James and Vernie.

Daughter Ally (Ollie?) married William Hedrick and their daughter married Eva (1895-1963) married Guy Willis Hedrick, her multiple second and third cousin.  Guy was the son of William Henry and Margaret Jane Coffey Hedrick.  Jane was the daughter of Thomas and Martha Jane Shockley Coffey.

Son Colby Timothy (1842-1908) married Letitia Wolfe (1842-1904), a daughter of Moses and Catherine Wolfe Wolfe.  Their son Greenberry (1868-1942) married Lula May Coffey (1869-1948).  Lula was a daughter of Austin and Elizabeth Dalton Coffey.  Austin descends from Edward through his father Elijah Coffey who married Rebecca Shockley.  Elizabeth Dalton was a daughter of Colby John and Elizabeth McGinnis Dalton.  Colby goes back to Reuben through his father William Meredith Dalton who married Delphia Rucker, the daughter of Colby and Sarah Roberts Rucker.

The death date and place of burial for Timothy and Delphia is unknown. The death dates for many of the children are known and some of their burial sites are also known.  However, more research is required to confirm and verify.

Corrections and additions welcomed.



1 Jean England, Thorn Hill, TN, compiler, Dalton Ancestors, an attachment to e-mail from the author  to Jack Coffee:, Sep. 25, 2006. Most of the early information about Reuben is credited to Jean.
2 A monument to his memory has been placed at the Mount Pleasant Methodist Church in Thorn Hill.
3 "Tennessee Marriages, 1796-1950", index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X8YZ-WJ2 : accessed 24 January 2015), Reubin Daulton and Nancy Shockley, 04 Jan 1808; citing Grainger, Grainger, Tennessee, reference ; FHL microfilm 968,583.
4 Birth dates and locations for all of the children are inconsistent.  Some dates are prior to Reuben and Nancy’s marriage; some in Virginia and some in Grainger Co. He may have been previously married.
5 "Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002", index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VNDC-3SC : accessed 05 6Mar 2013), Timothy Dalton and Delpha Coffer, 1828.
6 Betty White Martin, "Descendants of Timothy Dalton". Grainger Co., TN, Jul. 18, 2005
7 "Tennessee Death Records, 1914-1955", index and images, FamilySearch.org

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