As always, greetings to all readers of "Daltons in History"!!

It is early March already, so I am late with my notes for this month. Kate and I spent the second half of February on vacation in South Africa and on our return we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary, which was on Sunday 4 March, with a family party. So the Editor has given me special dispensation and extended the deadline for my contributions to the March edition!

It is hard to believe that it is 40 years since we were married. Of course the DGS celebrated its 40th anniversary back in 2010, so we are getting used to celebrating 40th anniversaries!

We travelled widely in South Africa, starting in a private game reserve on the edge of Kruger Park. We then spent some time in the northern part of the Drakensberg Mountains before driving south to the Zulu War battlefields. This part of the trip was particularly special as it included Rorke’s Drift, where James Langley Dalton was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery and heroism fighting in the battle against the Zulus in 1879. From there we drove to Durban and flew to Cape Town for our final stop in Franschhoek, a delightful small town in the Cape winelands, surrounded by beautiful mountains.

So more will be found below about South Africa and Rorke’s Drift in particular, along with all the latest news about DGS events and activities, together with other updates to keep you fully informed about what we are doing.

Correspondence section in "Daltons in History"

I hope that the content "Daltons in History" continues to jog the memories of many readers, provoking questions which you may have, or reminding you of further information, substantive or anecdotal, which you might like to share with other readers. With this in mind, we now have a correspondence section in "Daltons in History", started at the beginning of this year. I know that our Editor, Dairne Irwin, will welcome correspondence from as many of you as care to write in! So why not make a comment, provide additional information, or ask a question? Such contributions will be welcomed most warmly and we want a lively discussion ensuing, which will be of interest to all our readers. "Daltons in History" is your online newsletter, so let’s see some of you becoming regular correspondents! I look forward to seeing the correspondence section grow over the coming months!

Future DGS events

For the 2012 Gathering and AGM we are returning to Yorkshire over the weekend of Fri/Sat/Sun 27th/28th/29th July 2012. The venue for this event is the Mercure Hull West Hotel, which is very accessible and ideally situated between Hull, which has a number of interesting Dalton connections, and Beverley with its Minster and excellent Record Office. The arrangements for the 2012 gathering have been published and they can be found in the “Forthcoming Gatherings” section of this website or just click here. These include the planned programme for the weekend, together with full details about costs, registration and how to book your place. This is turning out to be a popular event for both UK and overseas members, and, if you have not already done so, it is recommended that you register as soon as possible. This will secure a firm place for you, and the earlier we have an indication of likely numbers, the easier it will be for us to ensure that we can accommodate as many of you as wish to come. Thank you to all those of you who have returned your registration forms and deposits by the first deadline of 29th February 2012. Our next deadline is 31st March 2012. We look forward to responses from many more of you by then.

I am most grateful to Howard Dalton of Pickering for taking on the task of Gathering Organiser. Howard is a past DGS Treasurer and well known to many DGS members. He organised previous DGS Gatherings in Scarborough in 1992 and in Pickering in 2002. Howard and I will be in Hull on 19th and 20th April finalising arrangements with the hotel and checking out the details of each element of the programme for the weekend.

In this month’s "Daltons in History" you will find the third in a series of articles about Yorkshire Daltons and the County of Yorkshire, which we are publishing month by month leading up to the event itself in July. This third article is entitled "The Yorkshire Daltons" and originally appeared in the DGS Journal Vol 5 published back in 1974. You will find it reproduced below. It was written by the late Major General John Dalton, a descendant of the Daltons who were Mayors of Hull in the 16th Century, the subject of the talk to be given by Helen Good at the Hull History Centre on the Friday afternoon at our gathering. In the article John Dalton traces the line from Hull to the present day with many a story of the trials and tribulations of the family through 500 years.

For 2013 we are returning to Ireland. We will be based in Dublin, as we were in 2005, and the event will take place over the weekend of Fri/Sat/Sun 26th/27th/28th July 2013. It is planned that we will stay at the Ashling Hotel, where we were in 2005. Since then the hotel has been considerably refurbished and I am confident that we will be very well looked after. You can see more about the Ashling Hotel on Ciaran Dalton, our Irish Secretary and Chieftain of Clan Dalton, and I are now working to put a detailed programme together, and we will provide further details in July at our Hull gathering, on this website and in the next issue of the DGS Journal. In the meantime please reserve the dates in your diary. We will hope to see many DGS members there and particularly those with Irish Dalton ancestry.

For 2014 and beyond we have a number of suggestions already. But, if you have any particular thoughts about where you might like to meet, or a particular Dalton theme you think we should incorporate, we would really like to hear from you with your ideas.

The Dalton International DNA Project (DIDP)

We are indebted to our DNA consultant, Chris Pomery for all his assistance with the project over the past six years, which includes the preparation of three issues of the very comprehensive project progress report, and most recently a series of six reports covering individual genetic families. He has also given informative presentations at our annual gatherings on three occasions. We now have approaching 180 participants in the project, and well over 80% of these are members of one of the 15 identified genetic families. The latest DIDP update was published last month and can be found in the "Dalton DNA Project" section of this website or just click here. This reviews the current status of the project and looks ahead with our plans for further work in 2012.

The DGS Journal

Volume 55 of the DGS Journal for December 2011 was published and distributed to members in mid-January. Any member who has not received their copy should contact their local secretary in the first instance. As always this latest volume of the Journal contains much of interest and, if you are not a DGS member, please think about joining the Society. This will entitle you to receive the Journal regularly, and much more. Full details are in the "Join the DGS" section of this website, or just click here.

John always welcomes articles and other items for publication in the Journal. Any material for publication should be sent to him as early as possible, so that he can plan the content of future issues. John is happy to advise and assist contributors and, if you have any questions or need help, please contact him by email at The deadline for material for inclusion in Volume 56 for June 2012 will be mid-May.

Back issues of the DGS Journal continue to be available. On this website you can access the "DGS Journal Index" from the homepage or by clicking here. Here you will find a full synopsis of the contents of the Journal of the Dalton Genealogical Society commencing with Volume 1 published back in 1970 through to Volume 41 published in December 2004. Lists of contents are given for Volumes 42 to 55 and the full synopses will be uploaded in due course. Copies of all back numbers are available for purchase and these can be obtained through your local secretary using the order form that you will find on the link above. Details of prices, including postage and packing, will be found there as well.

We are most grateful to DGS member Mrs Pat Robinson, who holds stocks of back numbers for the Society and arranges for their distribution in response to requests from the local secretaries (address: Mallards, 3 High Street, The Green, Barrington, Cambridge CB2 5QX, UK email:


Enjoy this month’s issue of "Daltons in History", your regular monthly update on everything that is happening in the world of Dalton family history. We will be back again in April 2012.

Thank you for your attention

Yours very sincerely

Michael Neale Dalton
Chairman and Honorary Life President of the Dalton Genealogical Society

DGS Chairman, Michael Neale Dalton and his wife Kate have recently returned from a visit to South Africa. Here Michael recounts some of the highlights of a memorable trip and, in particular, their visit to the Zulu War battlefields, where James Langley Dalton was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery and heroism fighting in the battle at Rorke’s Drift in 1879.

Kate and I flew to South Africa on 14 February for a two and a half week visit to South Africa. Our first destination was the Sabie Sands Private Game Reserve on the edge of Kruger Park. Here we were taken out by George, the Head Ranger at our Lodge and his tracker, Solly on two game drives each day. George and Solly have been working together as a team for 18 years and between them they knew every inch of the reserve and where to find all the animals. In four days we saw and learnt so much. The photographs show just how close you can get to these animals and observe them. A fantastic experience and not to be missed!


The Big Five

From Sabie Sands we drove to Hazyview and spent a day exploring the beautiful and dramatic scenery in Blyde River Canyon on the edge of the Drakensberg mountains, and then we headed south for the Zulu War battlefields and the highlight of our trip, Rorke’s Drift, scene of the battle where no less than 11 British soldiers were awarded the Victoria Cross, one of these being to James Langley Dalton. I have read much about the Zulu War and the part played by JLD, and indeed there has been a substantial amount published about him over the years in the DGS Journal, and more recently in "Daltons in History" (see D in H Vol 11 No 7 July 2008), when we held the DGS AGM at the Royal Logistics Corps Museum at Deepcut Barracks in Surrey and saw the original VC awarded to him and purchased by the RLC at auction in 1986 for £62,000. But reading and research are no substitute for visiting the site of the battle and what better place to stay than Fugitives’ Drift Lodge, the home of the Rattray family who have done so much to bring the Zulu War to life and facilitate tours of the battlefields. Kate and I, together with Geoffrey Dalton, were lucky enough to hear David Rattray give one of his last lectures about Rorke’s Drift at the Royal Geographical Society in London in June 2006, before he was so tragically murdered in his own home in early 2007. For an account of this talk see D in H Vol 9 No 9 September 2006.

It is to the great credit of David Rattray’s widow, Nicky and her family that they have maintained and extended the work that was started by David. We were met by David and Nicky’s son, Andrew Rattray who has now assumed the mantle of his father and does a wonderful job lecturing about the battles, assisted by a team including Zulus who give an added perspective to this momentous period in the history of the British Empire. At Fugitives’ Drift one is looked after in magnificent surroundings which include gardens, a swimming pool, a safari park and a recent addition, the Harford Library which houses a fine collection of books and many other documents about the Zulu War and other related history. On our first day we were able to enjoy the walk to see Fugitives’ Drift on the Buffalo River and hear about the story of Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill, who lost their lives trying to save the Queen’s Colour following the defeat at Isandlwana. On the second day we were taken to the Isandlwana battlefield in the morning by Mphiwa Ntanzi, whose grandfather and great grandfather both fought for the Zulus in the battle, and then in the afternoon Andrew Rattray took us to Rorke’s Drift and gave a superb, graphic and moving account of the defence by just over 100 British soldiers against the attack by some 4,000 Zulus which continued all through the night of 22 January 1879. Rorke’s Drift is on the Natal side of the Buffalo River and was the army staging post for the attacking forces that crossed the river into Zululand and were so heavily defeated earlier that same day at the Battle of Isandlwana. They were defending a store and a makeshift hospital, and much credit is now given to James Langley Dalton for his presence of mind and organisational skills in persuading his commanding officers, Lieutenants Chard and Bromhead, that they should defend the post rather than retreat, and then supervising the erection of the defences between and around the two buildings by utilising the mealie bags and biscuit tins in the stores. At the height of the battle he maintained his cool and showed immense courage and fortitude as he fought against the relentless onslaught of the Zulus.

Charles from Fugitives' Drift Lodge explains the significance
of the Buffalo River that divides Natal from Zululand
Mphiwa Ntanzi shows us the Isandlwana battlefield
Andrew Rattray talks about
the remarkable defence of Rorke's Drift
James Langley Dalton
portrayed in the Rorke's Drift Museum
James Dalton's VC
recorded in the museum

Visiting Rorke’s Drift with its Dalton connection was an undoubted highlight. To have stood on the very spot where JLD would have been stationed as the hospital was being defended, and to walk the field of combat is something I shall never forget. James Langley Dalton is one of the most illustrious bearers of our name and the mystery of his Dalton origins remain. Somehow the story is still incomplete and I hope that one day we will be able to uncover these origins. I discussed this at some length with Andrew Rattray and I will be providing him with copies of what we know and what we have published for the Harford Library. Perhaps a future visitor to Fugitives’ Drift will stumble across these and be able to help us.

On leaving Fugitives’ Drift we drove south to Durban and then flew to Cape Town for the final stage of our tour, a stay in the delightful village of Franschhoek in the heart of the Cape Winelands. After all the drama of the game drives and the battlefields, it was a pleasant contrast to relax in this beautiful part of South Africa, touring the vineyards and enjoying good food, accompanied by excellent wines. The photographs tell their own story!

Government buildings in Cape Town
with Table Mountain behind
The Harbourmaster's Building
on the Waterfront, Cape Town
Penguins at Betty's Bay
Up in the mountains near the Franschhoek Pass
A vinyard nestling in the mountains at Franschhoek
The locals entertain in Franschhoek, Cape Winelands

This article originally appeared in Volume 5 of the DGS Journal published in 1974. It was written by the late Major General John Cecil D’Arcy Dalton and tells the story of his Yorkshire Dalton family descending from Daltons living in Kingston-upon-Hull in the middle of the 15th Century. It is being republished here as the third of a series of articles in "Daltons in History", which are appearing each month as we approach the 2012 DGS Gathering being held in Yorkshire at the end of July 2012. The Gathering is taking Yorkshire Daltons as its theme, and these include this Hull based Dalton family, who were Mayors of Hull in the 16th Century and will be the subject of a talk by Helen Good at the Hull History Centre on the Friday afternoon.

1. Kingston-upon-Hull

Whether or not there is a link between the Thurnham and the Yorkshire Dalton families (and the evidence is very strong even if proof is lacking), there is no doubt that the Daltons were well established in Kingston-upon-Hull by the middle of the fifteenth century.

The family were merchants of the staple (the staplers traded in wool and had their chief office at Calais) and must have been both prominent and prosperous, for as early as 1487, John Dalton was elected Mayor. The city had been founded in the reign of Edward I and the first Mayor was appointed in 1322.

All through the sixteenth century the family kept on producing the Chief Citizen, several of them serving twice or thrice over a period of years, often holding the office of Sheriff before being elected Mayor. One of them, Thomas, an Alderman and Merchant, was also very holy. By his will dated 1497 (the year Cabot sailed to Newfoundland and Labrador) he founded a Chantry in Holy Trinity Church. He also left his house near the church to the table-priests and their successors, and gave them his "great picture of beyond sea work which cost him 8 pounds sterling to set up over the Altar of St Corpus Christi in the Church". And he asked to be buried on the north side of the aisle.

The family’s activities as Mayor, however, were not always plain sailing. In 1540, King Henry VIII visited Hull on his way to meet his nephew, James V of Scotland, at York and, after being suitably entertained he left for that city. Meanwhile the election for Mayor was due, and the candidates were Mr Dalton and Mr Johnson. Alas! Before the votes were cast the King unexpectedly returned; the election was postponed and the candidates went to meet him. When he heard about the election, Henry ordered the Corporation to meet again and mentioned that Sir John Eland should be nominated along with the other two. At the election, the King voted for Sir John, and of course the latter was elected. I suspect that democracy was but skin-deep in those days, and in any case it was discreet not to thwart a Tudor monarch.

Another Dalton, Thomas, during the first of his three mayoralties, was in office in 1554 when a rich citizen called Sir William Knowles presented the Corporation with a gold chain weighing 4½ ounces upon condition that the Mayor should wear it every Sunday, holiday and on particular occasions or else forfeit 40 pence for every omission. This story has a sequel. The chain, presumably first worn by Thomas Dalton in 1554, is still the basis of the chain worn by contemporary Lord Mayors of Hull, and was worn when the writer, 10th in descent from Thomas, during his year as High Sheriff of Yorkshire, entertained the Lord Mayor of Hull to luncheon at the Assizes.

The last Dalton to be Mayor, in 1588, was Robert and I am sorry to say he brought discredit on the family. He was accused later of having "ingrossed most of the mills in his hands, taking (instead of money) moultercorn, and more of it than he should, and aggravated his offence by mixing plaster with it to increase the weight". For this grave offence he was "severely reprehended" and might well have been fined too had he not apologised and promised never to repeat the crime. Honesty compels me to record this blot; family pride makes me add that the culprit was not a direct ancestor of the present Dalton line!

By the end of the sixteenth century the family was ready to expand its life away from the channels of commerce. For some time they had married into the families of the landed gentry, and had been well educated. In particular, William Dalton, second son of that Thomas who had three times been Mayor, became a lawyer and was Recorder of Hull. He then moved and settled at or near Otley in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He was made a member of the Council of the North at York, was subsequently (in the language of the period) Attorney-General of the Northern Court – which probably meant Secretary to the Council in modern terms – and became also Recorder of York. His office was at King’s Manor in York, which is still in existence and is now part of York University. He was knighted by King Charles I at Whitehall Palace in 1629. A few years later we find his signature on a letter from the Council to the Mayor and Aldermen of Hull about the fortifications of the town and the payment for them. I hope it gave him satisfaction to take some part in the affairs of his native place. It is not known when he was born, but he died in 1649, a staunch but doubtless saddened Royalist, and was buried in York Minster. There is a portrait of him as an old man at Hauxwell Hall. It was in 1631 that he had bought Hauxwell for his son John, of whom more in a moment.

Before finally leaving Hull, it may be of interest to quote from an eighteenth century history of the town concerning the duties of Mayor in the earliest days, to show that the holders of that office were persons of consequence and had heavy responsibilities.

During his year of office he is to see the laws executed, and the King within his district exercises his authority by the Mayor’s administration, so that he is the King’s Lieutenant in his absence. The Mayor of Hull gives place and drops the insiginia of authority only to the Sovereign himself or the presumptive heir to the Crown, in the presence of whom only he is dispossessed and on such occasions carries himself the mace before the King.

2. Hauxwell

The manors of East and West Hauxwell and of Barden in Yorkshire belonged after the Conquest to Earl Alan of Richmond and his brother. They descended through various families over the years and early in the seventeenth century were possessed by the Jopsons. From this family they were acquired in 1631 by Sir William Dalton for his son John, who thus became "First of Hauxwell" for our family. John had married Dorothy D’Arcy of Hornby Castle near Bedale and only three miles from Hauxwell. The house at this date was small and simple and John was perhaps some sort of agent for the D’Arcys. He was certainly "of their party" politically and shortly became second-in-command of his brother-in-law’s troop of Royalist horse. Several pieces of armour of the period are still to be seen in the museum at Hauxwell. The family’s Hull origins were kept in mind by the inclusion in a window of Hauxwell Church of an heraldic shield of sixteenth century painted glass depicting Dalton impaling Tyrwhitt. Ann Tyrwhitt had been the second wife of Thomas Dalton of Hull and was John Dalton’s grandmother.

Whatever plans John, with his wife Dorothy, may have had as squire of Hauxwell, were shattered by the Civil War. John took service with his brother-in-law D’Arcy and in 1643 they were assigned the duty of escorting the Queen, Henrietta Maria, on her journey across England. The Queen had landed at Bridlington on the Yorkshire coast in February, and after a delay in York began the hazardous cross-country journey to join the King at Oxford. She arrived there in July, but regrettably John Dalton was no longer with her. At the crossing of the River Trent at Burton there was a skirmish with the Parliamentarian troops; John was badly wounded. He was taken back to Yorkshire, where he died a year later and was buried in York Minster. This melancholy event was recorded by his father, Sir William, in his own handwriting on one of the fly-leaves of his law manual (still at Hauxwell):

My only sonne John Dalton was wounded at Burton upon Trent the fift of July 1643 and thereof dyed 1644 the 24 or XXVth July who was a valiant man and a duetyfull and loving sonne.

Would not any of us be satisfied with such a simple and moving epitaph?

One can imagine the disruption and distress caused by the Civil War, with allegiance divided even within families. Yet things soon returned to normal, and after his restoration, Charles II now King remembered those whose families had loyally supported his parents. John’s son William was one of those knighted by Charles II. This second Sir William lived at Hauxwell and before he died had begun to enlarge the house. So far as is known, no celebrated architect was employed, but the work attributed to this period is typically restrained and eminently suitable for a squire’s house.

The Daltons continued in the male line all through the eighteenth century when their most important member was Sir Charles, younger son of the second Sir William. He had been born in 1660 and in middle life obtained some minor appointment as an Usher at the Court in London. Here he mixed with fashionable and cosmopolitan people and acquired knowledge (and possessions) which were to influence Hauxwell permanently. It was in 1717 that he became the owner of the property and commemorated the event by erecting a stone obelisk in front of his house. This monument stood sturdily for nearly 250 years before being severely damaged in the great gale which ravaged this part of Yorkshire in 1962. It has since been repaired.

Sir Charles never married. In 1727 he became Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, a position of some consequence in those days, which he held till his death twenty years later. During this time he built a wing to the house, the ground floor being a beautifully proportioned room decorated with carved wood panels and plaster work, and imported some notable pieces of Flemish tapestry which family tradition believes he "acquired" from the Palace of Westminster! He also collected books, many of which have survived, as has also his court dress sword and part of his black rod.

After Sir Charles’s death in 1747 the property passed through a somewhat twilight period. For more than 40 years his parson nephew, another Charles, was in possession and must have planted trees near the house where some very fine hard-wood specimens still stand. He in his turn was succeeded for a short time by his brother Francis. This brother had married a lady who was related to the Bathurst family and who inherited some family portraits as well as a house in Kent. This house was sold and the proceeds used to enlarge the Hauxwell estate. Francis and his wife had an only daughter who married into a distinguished local family called Gale and lived to be 95 years old. Her granddaughter, who inherited Hauxwell, took the additional name of Dalton to her married name of Wade. After three generations of Wade-Daltons, the last of that line being childless, gave the estate to his distant kinsman, Richard Dalton, born 1948, whose direct ancestor had bought it over 300 years previously.

3. Sleningford and The Hutts

We must now go back in time to chronicle the affairs of the present family.

Sir William the second, who lived at Hauxwell after the Restoration and who has already been mentioned, had a younger brother, Thomas. Nothing is known about him except that he lived at Bedale, a small country town a few miles east of Hauxwell. He had a son John, equally obscure, and this John’s only son was James, who grew up to obtain a commission in the army. So started a remarkable military tradition in the family. He himself was apparently hot-tempered and earned the nickname of "Fighting Jim" because of his propensity for duelling! His regiment was stationed for some time in Southern Ireland, where he married a Limerick lady. Later he was in Scotland, and in 1741 (having made his will and left everything he possessed to his wife Elizabeth) he set sail with his regiment for the West Indies where England was at war with Spain. He did not long survive, and within six months of leaving Scotland he had been drowned when making a landing on one of the islands.

Meanwhile his only child, a son John, had already been placed in the army and had been commissioned – at the tender age of 15 – into one of the new marine regiments raised for the Spanish war. A year later his father was dead, and what odds would have been laid against the survival of the family, vested only in young John about to go to war? Not only did he survive, but he became the head of a family that was to proliferate through several generations.

John’s career was remarkable, and started with five years as a second lieutenant on board HMS Preston of 50 guns, cruising in the East Indies and off the coast of Southern India. He then left the sea for the land and transferred to the East India Company’s service as a captain in command of the Grenadier company. This was in 1749. He became "a very intimate and worthy friend" (his own words in a letter home) of Robert Clive, a friendship which lasted for life.

From now onwards, John saw much active service in the Company’s war against the French. From 1752 he became the commander of the fortress of Trichinopoly, a key post which carried much responsibility both military and civil and which was not without excitement. Beleaguered by the French and their native allies, the commander of the fortress was the obvious target for assassination, and this was duly attempted. The would-be assassin however was caught and summarily killed by the gruesome (but effective) method of being blown from the muzzle of a gun.

By 1754, after nearly eleven years continuous service in the East Indies, John resigned his commission and sailed for home, having amassed a fortune of £10,000, and still being young and healthy. The journey home by sea took six months and covered 14,000 nautical miles. He lost no time in visiting his mother, to whom he had written many tender letters over the years and who had been living at Kendal in Westmorland since her husband’s death. It was on his journey north to see his mother that a charming and romantic episode took place. Having arrived at Bay Horse Inn at Green Hammerton, one stage out of York on the road to the north, he stopped for the night and occupied the only sitting room available. Later a coach arrived, carrying Lady Wray and her two daughters. John very naturally gave up his room to them, whereupon Lady Wray equally naturally invited him to have supper with them. He fell in love with one of the daughters, Isabella, and married her in Ripon Minster the following year – and lived happily ever after! The Church register of marriages records "John Dalton, Esq of the parish of Hauxwell and Isabella Wray of this parish". The Wrays had a property, Sleningford near Ripon. Some years later, John bought this from his brother-in-law, Sir Cecil Wray, and it remained in the family of his descendants for more than 150 years. He was a notably handsome man, perhaps a vain one too. On his visits to his mother in Kendal, he had himself painted twice by the well-known artist, George Romney, at 2½ guineas a time. Both pictures are still in the family. Later, when Romney went to London, the price went up to 5 guineas.

John had several sons. The youngest James went into the Church and became Rector of Croft in Yorkshire for over 40 years. (He was succeeded there by the Reverend Charles Dodgson, whose son "Lewis Carroll" wrote part of "Alice in Wonderland" in the Rectory garden.)

One of James’s brothers, and his son, grandson and two great grandsons all served in the army in the Royal Artillery, and all became generals. The grandson, James Cecil, retired from the army before World War I and settled at The Hutts, a small property near Ripon and not far from Sleningford. He had married Mary Caroline Barker, great granddaughter of John Barker of Clare Priory, Suffolk, who as a young officer fought in the English army in 1774-6 at Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill in the American War of Independence. The Hutts was and still is a remote and lovely place high up on the edge of moorland country and with superb views for 30 miles over the Vale of York. There he raised his family, including the author of this article and his elder brother Sir Charles, the latter going to live there on his retirement from the army. Both brothers incidentally, have served their year as High Sheriff of Yorkshire. Meanwhile the younger brother lives at Hauxwell as caretaker for one of his sons, Richard, who as has been noted above had received the estate in trust while still a child. In 1972 the wheel came full circle and Sir Charles’s son John married Amelia Stanley-Price in Ripon Cathedral 216 years after his great great great grandfather had wed Isabella Wray in the same place.

Here we leave the record of the Yorkshire Daltons for the last five hundred years. There is nothing exceptional in it, and many families could record the same sort of story. Yet, in these times of rapid change, it is a matter of gratitude to former generations who made the record that the story can be told.

The author acknowledges help from various family memoirs and papers; also from Gent’s History of Hull (1735) and History of Kingston-upon-Hull by the Rev John Tickell (1796).

It is interesting to note that the Melungeons are found the same area in the Southeastern United States as the many of the Dalton lines in Genetic Family A. Intermarriage may account for the presence of the Dalton surname among this group.

Karen Dalton Preston

From Cathy Negrycz, California, USA:

In December 2011, I attended a week-long genealogical conference in Salt Lake City called the Christmas Tour. Each day of the tour, several professional genealogists present talks on various subjects. Although I only attend talks that are relative to my personal research, I do like to read the handouts for every presentation. Professional genealogist Arlene H. Eakle, PhD of The Genealogical Institute in Tremonton, UT presented a class on "Tracing Tennessee and Kentucky Ancestors: ...." and as I read, I came to a paragraph entitled, "The Appalachian Quarterly, published by the Wise County Historical Society, P.O. Box 368, Wise VA 24293," which had a subparagraph listing surnames "considered to be of Melungeon descent."

I perused the huge list of surnames and was amazed to find "Dalton" among them. Arlene is doing research in Wise County, VA and was interested in the Melungeons because one of her husband's surnames was on the list.

I asked Arlene if she would give me permission to share this information with the members of the Dalton Genealogical Society in the event that one of our Dalton ancestors could be found in this group of people, and she agreed. She describes Melungeons as a "mixed race of people who have inhabited the Appalachian area time out of mind." She went on to say that "204 surnames were registered by 1996" on "the official registration list of Melungeon surnames of the National Melungeon Registry maintained by Wise County Historical Society."

Wikipedia describes Melungeon as "a term traditionally applied to one of a number of "tri-racial isolate" groups of the Southeastern United States, mainly in the Cumberland Gap area of central Appalachia, which includes portions of East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and East Kentucky. Tri-racial describes populations thought to be of mixed European, sub-Saharan African, and Native American ancestry. Although there is no consensus on how many such groups exist, estimates range as high as 200." Wikipedia describes Appalachia as "a term used to describe a cultural region in the eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York state to northern Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia."

An interesting website I found on Google might be of interest to those with ancestors in that region - Another interesting article on the Melungeons can be found on

I also discovered that there is a Family Tree DNA - Melungeon Core DNA Project. I checked the description in Family Tree DNA, and as of this writing, the Dalton name was not yet listed.

From Maureen Collins, Secretary for Australia and New Zealand

I have just read the following on the Lost Cousins site:

Irish court records now online

For a long time researchers with Irish ancestors have struggled to find 19th century records online, but now findmypast Ireland has made available 1.2 million Irish Petty Sessions records from the period 1850-1910 (the original records are held at the National Archives of Ireland). Most records have comprehensive details of the case including the name of the complainant, the name of the defendant, the names of witnesses, the cause of complaint, and details of the judgement, including the fine or sentence handed down. You'll find more detailed information on the records if you follow this link.

A further 15 million cases are to be added during 2012, and these court records build on the firm base provided by the 3.5 million prison records already available at findmypast Ireland.

More merchant seamen records at findmypast

In conjunction with the National Archives, has added a further 359,000 records to their collection of records for merchant seamen. The latest batch covers the period 1835-57 and whilst the information given in individual records varies, it can include name, age, place of birth, physical description, ship names and dates of voyages.

Findmypast already has records covering the period 1918-41. Wondering whether some of the relatives you can't find on the census may have been at sea? Why not carry out a free search and see whether there are any names that you recognise - where available the year and place of birth are shown, even in the free search results!

Another nautical collection recently added is the Thames Watermen and Lightermen records, which run from the 17th century to the 20th.

From Karen Dalton Preston, North American Secretary

The following is an email that I received from Kathleen Casey in Christchurch, New Zealand. I met her briefly when she attended the DGS Gathering in Birr in 2008. Kathleen talks about the aftermath of the devasting earthquakes that shook Christchurch in 2011, and how she and the city are rebuilding.

Hi Karen,

A long time ago you emailed me after our Feb 22 earthquakes last year and I'm embarrassed to find I didn't reply . . . I think I put it aside to write 'properly'. My apologies, your enquiry meant a lot, especially since you had been through such a quake. Many things didn't get done last year!

It was a year we will never forget and even now for a lot of us, we are just not the same. We had a 5.8 and a 6.4 quakes on 13 June and I got all the liquefaction back again and the aftershocks! As you know, that's what is killing and we've had well over 10,000 now. Probably about Oct-Nov, things seemed to quiet down and we thought it was finally over. But on 23 December, we had two violent quakes with big aftershocks, 5.8 and 6.0. These I found almost worse than February, just terrifying. Most of us had few breakages because we'd taken precautions, or the china was all gone anyway. Thankfully, after those December ones, the later aftershocks were smaller, so our nerves had a chance to settle, but we're still getting them, 3.0s and 4.0s. Now we have only a 17% chance of getting a 6.0 earthquake I think, but that still leaves a fair bit of scope.

Our central city is sadly demolished. We have a 'pop-up' city of shipping containers, all colours and very creatively arranged, one bit on 2 levels, in Cashel Mall where much of the devastation happened. They managed under great difficulty to get this up in time for our Cup and Show Week last November and it's been a hit. We have one anchoring department store, Ballantynes, still there, if smaller, and plenty of places for coffee and otherwise mostly expensive stores. But it's a place to meet someone. Many businesses have moved to the suburbs: some are in limbo and I guess some have gone. A local butcher has set up again with a lovely shop for the second time since Feb 2011. Near him is a big empty space where shops stood, including the fish shop I went to every week. A brick wall collapsed and killed a customer and the owner's wife. It could have been me.

We are all grieving for the almost total loss of our heritage buildings: Christchurch had a good swathe of them. You don't take a lot of notice until they're gone. Two prominent, now older, architects were featured in today's paper. They are nationally regarded and almost every building they designed separately has been, or will be, demolished. Some, like our noted town hall are 'uncertain'.

As for our neighbourhood: houses sinking and long grass. A few houses, the bad ones I suppose, have been demolished. I still have (good) houses around me, what's left of our suburb, but we are on uncertain land. Houses zoned red mean you can move and mostly get another house from insurance; green is ok, but we are in the green-blue zone, which means the land could be bad in a big shake. Complicated with foundations . . . means you can't sell really. There's now another assessment to come.

It sounds dismal, but we forge on. There's a great spirit in Canterbury and this has increased over the past 18 months. We had several memorials on 22 Feb to remember those who died. The major one in Hagley Park was just so beautiful but very sobering. It took 13 minutes to read out the names of the 185 who died. At the end, children released 185 monarch butterflies. There were smaller services, one down the road here near the twisted foot bridge. People threw flowers in the river and all the road/water workers brought their big trucks and lined them up and stood there with their high-vis vests. At the end there was a neighbourhood sausage sizzle.

Hopefully, the worst is over and we forge on in what is known as the "new normal", but the repercussions go on and on: many folk don't get enough for their houses to buy what they need: ok if you're young. Others are now happily resettled, but it's a huge move after say, 40 years, as it was for my brother and sister-in-law. It's encouraging to hear about other places where revival has taken place. I try to get away for short stints, as here we're faced with erupted roads and paths all around if you want to walk. A major part of the city felt the shakes, but have had no land damage, some no house damage, and for them life has just gone on, though everyone is affected by changed traffic flows and awful hold ups. Dozens of churches (heritage buildings) have been demolished or are out of action. We (Catholic) have one parish where 3 parishes have combined and they have no church of their own at all. There are one or two wooden churches around and they're largely ok.

What terrible tragedies the U.S. has had from the twisters. That must be so terrifying and like an earthquake, you can't do a thing, I suppose. I do feel for those people.

Thanks again for writing and kind regards. I hope all is will with you.

Kathleen Casey

1. From Gerry Dalton, Australia

It is with the deepest sadness that I write this note.

At 9.32pm Queensland time on Friday 27th January 2012, Fr Victor Dalton passed away at Townsville after a long and debilitating illness. He was comforted to the end by his devoted sister Heather as well as the Bishop for Townsville.

May he rest in peace. We pray for the safe deliver of Fr Vic's soul to heaven.

Vic was a wonderful caring man and a great family historian who brought back together and reunited several branches of not only our Dalton family but other related families. Vic's book "Who We Are" was my inspiration and with Vic's mentorship I gained the conviction to continue with family history research.

Father Victor Dalton with his sister Heather McGaw
Father Victor Lawrence Dalton's Funeral Notice

2. Dalton Minimum

Reply from Bill Dalton, Gig Harbor, Washington, USA

Let me be the first one to answer your question: The Dalton Minimum was a period of low solar activity, named after the English meteorologist John Dalton, lasting from about 1790 to 1830.[1] Like the Maunder Minimum and Spörer Minimum, the Dalton Minimum coincided with a period of lower-than-average global temperatures. The Oberlach Station in Germany, for example, experienced a 2.0°C decline over 20 years.[2]

3. From Maureen Collins, Secretary for Australia and New Zealand

I have obtained attached death certificate for a Michael Dalton on behalf of DGS member Virginia Higgins. Neither of us thinks this particular man is part of her family and I wonder if the details could perhaps go in D in H to see if anyone would like to claim him. Details are:

9th January 1881 Workhouse Walton Michael Dalton age 79 years, labourer of West Derby (registration district).

Cause of death: senile debility certified by P O'Connor, M.D. Informant was A E Donough, present at death, Workhouse Walton. Certified on 10 January 1881 by Wallace Smith, Deputy Registrar.

Registration District: West Derby 1881 death in the sub-district of Walton in the County of Lancaster.

Death Certificate for a Michael Dalton


This month, I offer some notes on a couple of websites that Dalton researchers may find of interest.

Website for Irish Landed Estates

Member Eric Dalton in Michigan found an interesting website for the "Connacht Landed Estates Project" which is being done by the National University of Ireland (NUI)-Galway. Here is the link:

From the website's home page:

"The Connacht and Munster Landed Estates project, funded by the Irish Council for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions respectively, undertook the research for, and the publication of, a comprehensive and integrated resource guide to landed estates and historic houses in Connacht and Munster, c. 1700-1914. The aim of the guide is to assist and support researchers working on the social, economic, political and cultural history of these provinces.

The project involved the distillation and collation of data from a broad range of historical sources, and the concise codification of these data on an estate/name basis. The optimum use of the data determined that the database be published in electronic form. Full details of the sources used can be viewed under Reference Sources in the database. See the Help link for further details on the creation of the database.

The Project was hosted by the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the National University of Ireland, Galway."

If you browse the database and type in a search for "Dalton", you will get a fairly lengthy listing of former Dalton estates in the Provinces of Connacht and Munster. You can then click on individual records which give historical details, locations, and pictures of old estates.

The Release of the 1940 United States Census

For those of you doing research of family lines in the U.S., the United States Census records are a valuable resource. The availability of the 1940 Census has been anticipated for some time.

Digitized images of the 1940 Census will be made available to the public on 2nd April, 2012. The National Archives and Records Administration has set up a web page with info:

Initially, the Census images will only be searchable by Enumeration District, since an index by name has not yet been created. The NARA website includes an introduction to the 1940 Census and links to pages with tools to help you identify an Enumeration District.

An announcement was made by, and posted in Dick Eastman's Genealogy Newsletter: and National Archives Announce 1940 Census Website

The following announcement was written by

Today and the National Archives are revealing the website that will host the 1940 Census beginning 2nd April, 2012: We encourage you to bookmark the website.

There is only a month until 2nd April, 2012, a day eagerly anticipated by genealogists, historians, and academics alike. and the National Archives are working diligently to bring you a website that makes it easy to explore the 1940 Census images. This will be the only website hosting the 1940 Census images on 2nd April, 2012.

To learn more about the 1940 Census and how you can prepare, visit Find on Facebook or Twitter, and follow the conversation at #1940census.

I hope these websites will help you track down some of your elusive Dalton ancestors!

Now to the usual monthly issues.

Web Sites Update:

For the period from 1 February, 2012 to 24 February, 2012

Updates to the Data Bank:

24 February, 2012: Chicago, Illinois - Added 1844 Chicago Directory Information Contributed by Chuck Brown, Illinois

23 February, 2012: Sydney, Australia - Added Dalton/Cody Marriage information Contributed by Frank Hunt, Australia

15 February, 2012: County Limerick - Added Monagea Parish Baptisms Contributed by Johnny Upton, Ireland

5 February, 2012: England - Added link to "Forces War Records" Pay Website Contributed by David Preston, Nevada

1 February, 2012: County Limerick - Added Monagea Parish Marriages Contributed by Johnny Upton, Ireland.

DDB Web Site Usage Statistics:

25,973 visitors came from 98 Countries / Territories

Dalton Forum:

There are a total of 273 Posts in 169 Topics by 368 Members.

During the reporting period, there were 5 new topics added, 5 new posts and 11 new members added.

DGS Web Site Usage Statistics:

1,495 Visits from 53 Countries / Territories

Google Ad Campaigns:

Dalton Data Bank Site:

12,334 Visitors reached the Data Bank by clicking on one of the 1,493,238 Google Ads served during the reporting period.

11,800 Visitors viewed the “Join Us” pop-up on the Databank site. The diagram below depicts the Top 5 Countries and Rest of the World where these visitors were located:

Google Ads for new memberships:

This Ad Campaign generated 3 visits to the Membership information from 298 Google Ads served during the reporting period.

Well that's all for this month.

With warm wishes to all,

Karen Dalton Preston
North American Secretary

Thank you to all who have contributed to the March 2012 issue of "Daltons in History".

Mel and I hope you have all had a good month. Sorry we are late but Michael was in South Africa and Mel and I were away for a few days.

Please send us any ideas you may have for future articles or areas of research we could look at. New ideas are needed!!

You will see that we have started the new "Correspondence section". Please make use of it! Come along now, all of you must have some nagging question or a query which you need an answer for. This section is your chance!!

Please consider contributing a short description of any Dalton-related travels you may have undertaken anywhere in the world. Also members who are travelling to do research, visit a Dalton-connected site, or have made a connection to a distant cousin through the DGS. might be interested in letting other members know what they are doing through "Daltons in History". Photos from your travels would be appreciated. Also, it would be a way of helping members get to know each other a little better, and might help members who are widely dispersed geographically to feel a bit more connected.

Contributions for the April 2012 issue need to be with me no later than 25th March, 2012. (e-mail:

Please continue to stick to the set deadlines!! There is no excuse for missing the deadline - PLAN AHEAD!!

Finally, Mel and I wish you all happy trails!!