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

March has been another busy month for the Society, catching up after our trip to South Africa, working on the preparations for the 2012 Gathering in Hull at the end of July, updating the Dalton International DNA Project list of participants and dealing with the usual enquiries and correspondence by email.

At the end of the month, John Dalton, Editor of the DGS Journal, and I attended the AGM of the Federation of Family History Societies to receive our Elizabeth Simpson Award for the DGS Journal. This was announced last November in “Daltons in History", and the presentation is covered in more detail in a separate section below.

Also at the end of the month, I hosted a Guild of One Name Studies Regional Meeting here in Reigate and again there is another separate section below covering this in more detail.

As always you will also find 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"

"Daltons in History" jogs 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 continuing to 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 final 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 second deadline of 31st March 2012. Our next deadline will be 30th April 2012. Reminder emails or letters have been sent out to many of you, and we look forward to further registrations from members and their families 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. We have a busy schedule in place for this final visit to Hull before the gathering itself!

In this month’s “Daltons in History" you will find the fourth 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 fourth article is entitled “David Hockney and the Yorkshire countryside" and you will find it below.

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 May 2012.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours very sincerely

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

At a General Meeting of the Federation of Family History Societies held in London on 24 March 2012, an Elizabeth Simpson Award was made to the Society for achieving second place in the One Name Societies section of the competition for 2011. Chairman, Michael Dalton and Editor, John Dalton attended to receive the award and Michael picks up the story.

We were notified by the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) that we had won an Elizabeth Simpson Award for the DGS Journal back in October last year and this was reported in the November 2011 issue of "Daltons in History" as follows:

Award for the Journal of the Dalton Genealogical Society

Each year the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS), to which the DGS is affiliated, makes awards for the best websites and the best journals. Two years ago we won an award for our website. I am delighted to announce that we have just been notified that the DGS Journal has won an Elizabeth Simpson Award in the one name society category of the 2011 competition. This prestigious award will be presented at the FFHS AGM and General Meeting in London on 24 March 2012 and John Dalton, our editor, and I plan to be there to receive it. Many congratulations to John – a very well deserved recognition of all his hard work. John took over as editor of the DGS Journal in 2005, and he has been on the editorial team since 1993 when Lucy Slater and Morag Simpson took over from me as joint editors. Just on a historical note, Elizabeth Simpson was the first general secretary of the Federation when it was formed in 1974 and I remember her well. The awards for best Journal were started many years ago in her name, and are a permanent reminder of the pioneering work that she undertook in the early days of the Federation.

The FFHS meets twice a year, usually in March and in September. The March 2012 meeting took place at Wesley’s Chapel and those who attended had the opportunity in the morning to enjoy a guided tour of this famous “Cathedral of Methodism” situated in City Road, London EC1. The Chapel was built in the 1770’s and John Wesley, who founded the Methodist movement in the 1740’s, lived the last 11 years of his life in a house adjacent to the Chapel. Since his death in 1791 the Chapel has been at the centre of the Methodist church worldwide and witnessed many historic events in the development of the Methodist movement. The photographs give a little insight into this delightful building and its setting.

Wesley's Chapel exterior and statue of John Wesley
Memorial to John Wesley in the grounds of Wesley's Chapel
Interior of Wesley's Chapel
Inscription on John Wesley's memorial
Michael Dalton and John Dalton in the grounds of Wesley's Chapel

After a buffet lunch it was down to the business of the day, the FFHS AGM and General Meeting. The Federation undertakes an enormous amount of work to support in excess of 160 affiliated societies, regional, one name and overseas. Many of these were represented at the meeting and there was much lively debate and discussion. Of course we were eagerly awaiting the announcements of the Elizabeth Simpson Awards, having previously been informed of our success. The Chairman of the Judging Panel, Geoff Gardiner of the Bristol & Avon Family History Society, introduced the awards with his summary of the 2011 entry. There were a total of 31 entries across the four categories of large, one-name, small and overseas societies. Winners in each category were announced, with three awards being made in the one-name section – first place to the Witheridge Family History Society, second place to the Dalton Genealogical Society and third place to the Stonehewer to Stanier Society. The overall winner was declared as the Genealogical Society of Victoria, Australia. Commenting on the quality of the entries, Geoff Gardiner said that the general standard was higher than last year and he congratulated the editors on the hard work that they put in to their entries. He extended these congratulations to all family history journal editors who contribute so much to family history. Their work is hard but rewarding and I know that John will echo this sentiment. So, special congratulations again to our editor, John – a very well deserved award.

The Elizabeth Simpson Award certificate awarded to the Society

Michael Dalton and John Dalton receive the award from FFHS President Dr Nick Barratt

On Wednesday 28 March, 2012 the Chairman again hosted a meeting of the Surrey & West London regional group of the Guild of One Name Studies at his home in Reigate, Surrey. This flourishing group continues to meet about six times a year for informal sessions to share experience of running one name studies. The group owes its success to the indefatigable regional representative, Jan Cooper, who started the group about three years ago. Jan is also the Secretary of the Guild. Here Michael reports on the evening.

Jan had specifically asked me to speak about the DGS Gathering held in Salt Lake City last year. Sixteen members of the group found their way to Harewood Close, Reigate and I had set out on the table various items from the gathering including the programme, sample badges, various leaflets and booklets about Salt Lake City and the event, and of course the beautiful plate with the Dalton coat of arms which Karen and David Preston had commissioned specially for the occasion. In addition there were DGS Journals, photograph boards from earlier gatherings and other Dalton books and records.

I started my talk by explaining a little about the Dalton Genealogical Society and its history and background over the past 42 years. I then moved on to the early gatherings, the first of which was held back in 1979. Initially, of course, they were one day events held every other year. In 1983 the first weekend gathering was held in Lancashire. As the years went by we gradually became more ambitious and the events grew into the annual weekends held in the UK and overseas that are now such an established part of our DGS activities.

We then moved on to the 2011 event and I illustrated the talk with my collection of photographs of the gathering and the places that we visited in and around Salt Lake City. I also explained the connections between the Dalton family and the Mormon Church and much interest was shown in the story of early pioneers and the hardships they endured as they trekked west and established themselves in Utah.

Much interest was shown in the technology used for broadcasting the conference proceedings live over the internet and I demonstrated the quality of our recorded talks accessible from our website on YouTube.

Jan commented that the Dalton weekend seemed well organised and appeared to be great fun and thanked me for sharing it with the group. A lively discussion ensued about many aspects of organising gatherings and what it involves.

Jan described the two gatherings that she has organised for the Greatheads and passed round some very interesting pictures and a most impressive book created to commemorate their meeting in Hartlepool.

Stuart and Teresa Pask also explained their gathering of Pasks and how they organised it. They were nearly overwhelmed by the numbers that attended (well over two hundred), but they were delighted at how successful the event had been.

As always on these occasions, time ran out and Jan had to draw the meeting to a close. I hope that everyone attending found the evening of interest. I certainly enjoyed sharing the experience of Salt Lake City and being reminded again of the amazing time we had last September.

Amongst the one-namers at the meeting were Sonia Turner,
Shirley Forster, Jean Toll, Cathie Whitcroft, Peter Lockwood
hidden behind Everett Leeds and Richard Franklin

….and also Stuart and Teresa Pask

The Chairman, Michael Dalton and his wife Kate recently visited the Hockney Exhibition at the Royal Academy in London. This major exhibition concentrates on David Hockney’s native Yorkshire and the prolific studies that he has made of the Yorkshire countryside. At our forthcoming Yorkshire gathering we will be visiting the Yorkshire Wolds, from where Daltons hail. Kate Dalton takes up this theme and gives a foretaste of what is to come.

A Foretaste of Yorkshire

Garrowby Hill by David Hockney 1998

Is it really only April? I feel as if the Dalton Gathering is upon me already as I meander through The Royal Academy studying the David Hockney paintings and drawings of East Yorkshire. Is this area so beautiful and does the countryside sport blue tree trunks and purple roads? The senses are touched as I feel the Yorkshire Wolds through the eyes of the artist as his imagination runs wild.

I look forward to us all meeting up in July when I hope the weather will be bright, and I will be able to remember Hockney’s interpretation of this relatively undiscovered part of Britain.

1. From Father Vic's Sister Heather McGaw (nee Dalton) - Typed by Colin Gray from Heather's hand written pages

Victor Lawrence Dalton's Eulogy

Father Victor Dalton was born on the 21st February, 1939, the eldest child of Joseph and Agnes Dalton at Ingham Hospital.

At age 2 Victor went missing on the cane farm on the banks of the Herbert River.

Mum couldn't find him and called the men in to look for him. They found him in amongst the cane with the goats. He had a bin and was trying to milk the goats like mum.

Aged 4, Victor was standing on the footpath outside Anthony's in Ingham, watching the bombers going over from the Ingham Airdrome. The planes loaded with bombs for New Guinea. One plane had engine trouble and was just skimming the tops of the Rain Trees in Herbert Street. A car travelling along, the driver had his head out the window watching the plane, when he mounted the footpath and collected Victor and put him through the plate glass window.

He was unrecognisable, except for a blazer he was wearing. Our mother played hockey and had material left over from a blazer that she made and made one for Victor. The fire brigade next door to Anthony's, the fire officer recognised his blazer. Victor suffered lacerations and internal injuries plus a very badly broken right arm in several places. He was admitted to hospital. Years later when he used to put his right arm straight out in front of him, the arm always had an “L” shape.

He attended State School, at Ingham. When he was about 8 he attended Lex Frasers Boxing School where he learnt to box. His sparing partner was Frank Ali, few people knew he was learning boxing. Around age 12 the school bully picked on Victor and they proceeded to fight under the mango tree. The bully was a street fighter, where as Victor was danced, ducked and weaved. The Teachers realized Victor was beating the bully. After the fight both boys were taken to the Office. Victor was very academic at school.

After a few months after this incident, the boys used to swim in the Sandy Waterhole, it had water lillies and Hyancinths growing in there. The bully was caught in amongst the vegetation and was drowning, and Victor saved him and they became friends. Victor and Trevor Pryor used to race each other in the waterhole.

Mum was a music teacher and taught Victor the piano and violin and later went on to the convent where he continued his lessons. At around age 11 Victor joined the Municipal Band where he leant to play the Euphonium, it is like a small tuba. Later in his teens he bought himself a trumpet and he also learnt the guitar.

When Victor was 12 mum enrolled him in a correspondent course with the Melbourne Art Training Institute, he proceeded to lean pencil drawings and went on to oil paints. He always loved the oil paints and did several paintings, he gave mum several. He used to come home on holidays and paint, he loved the colour blue.

At 15 he finished school in Ingham and received an apprenticeship with Spears, the electrician, after 12 months he transferred to N.E.A. where he finished his apprenticeship at the Townsville Power House.

During that time he bordered with Uncle and Aunty and their 6 children, Mums brother, while living there he learnt judo. He also was with St. Vincent de Paul as a volunteer and was on call and occasionally worked at the men's shelter.

When Victor had finished his apprenticeship he was in the control room at the power house. Reporting to work one morning, they had a fault and were having problems in the control room, he was investigating when he struck an arch and the place exploded and caught fire. He was burnt on the face, neck and hands, he had to climb down a 40 foot ladder to reach the ground, all this time he was on fire. When he reached the ground he was trying to put the fire on his face out with his hands on fire. He spent several weeks in hospital for burns.

Victor entered the Banyo Seminary in his 20's to become a Priest, Bishop Michael and Victor were in the same class at the seminary. Victor was ordained a Catholic Priest on the 28th June, 1969 at Sacred Heart Cathedral at 10am by His Lordship Bishop La Farlkner. Sunday 29th June, 1969 he celebrated Mass at St. Patrick's Church, South Townsville.

He served in Mundingburra, Ingham, Bowen, Inlea Creek, Railway Estate, Mt. Isa, Richmond, Hughenden and St. Mary's West End. He was always interested in St. Vincent de Paul.

While in Mt. Isa he became interested in the Dalton Family History. He met cousins, Uncles and Aunts in Mt. Isa, and that started him on the Family Tree, he was able to go back to 1770 in Ireland while Parish Priest in Hughenden.

The relations recently had a Family Reunion where Victor was praised for the Family History. Also Elizabeth Connor an Ancestor and Convict, her bonnet is now in the Cork Museum because of Victor.

While in Hughenden Victor learnt he had heart problems and Parkinsons disease and was transferred to St. Mary's Parish where he could receive treatment and care.

Victor was a humble, dedicated and caring person.


Note from Gerry Dalton:

Regarding the bonnet to which Heather is referring: Colin and Lou Gray of New Zealand commissioned a beautifully embroidered and hand worked bonnet to be made in the honour of Mary Connor, the Irish convict girl transported on the ‘Elizabeth’ in 1828. Mary married George Gray and had their family near the Crookwell district of New South Wales and this family formed the basis of our large extended family today. Colin and Lou took this bonnet to Ireland for a very special ceremony at the Cork Gaol and this bonnet is now on display in the gaol as a tribute to our ancestor. The bonnet was inspired by Dr Christina Henri’s ‘Roses from the Heart’ project which is a project to present a memorial bonnet for every female convict. Mary Connor and Mary Connor and George Gray had several children and one was a daughter Mary who married John James Dalton.

Mary Connor’s the great great grandmother to Vic and Heather Dalton as well as Colin Gray and the great great great grandmother to Gerry Dalton.

2. From Gerry Dalton

Father Victor Dalton passed away 27 January, 2012, Townsville, Queensland

It was back in the 1990s when Tom and I first met Vic Dalton. We were on our way back from a camping and fishing trip to the Gulf of Carpentaria and decided to swing down to Mt. Isa and locate Father Victor Dalton, the author of the book "Who We Are – A Family History". This book had become my family history reference book and I was very keen to meet the man who wrote this wonderful book. When we called at the Catholic presbytery, we were told Father Dalton was no longer in Mt. Isa and was now in Townsville. Townsville just happened to be about 1,000 kilometers away and on the road we would be taking to get back home to Cairns so we decided to spend a couple of days in Townsville and look up Vic Dalton.

On the off chance of Vic being home, we knocked on the door of the house next to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, West End and the housekeeper informed us that Father Dalton was available. We had a most enjoyable visit with Vic and just before we left that day we took a photo and Vic asked me to write my name and address in his little address book. Vic was unable to write by this stage as the dreaded illness, Parkinsons Disease was taking control of his body.

This meeting was the commencement of years of visits, communications and sharing of family history information. I looked to Vic as my mentor and the person who set me on a path of discovery and these discoveries have really changed my whole perception of the family unit. I will be for ever grateful to Vic for his generous sharing of his family history notes and research.

Vic was a marvelous ambassador for family history and fostered not only kinship but friendship over the various branches of our huge extended family.

On the last weekend of October 2010, a large family gathering was held at Crookwell, New South Wales. Tom and I were the publicists for this amazing family event. It was my honour and privilege to be able to publically give thanks to Vic Dalton for fostering the kinship over the various branches of the family. Many of the 200 plus people attending the reunion had met Vic when he was travelling and researching his family history. All the family members held Vic in high regards and have the fondest memories of Vic. This reunion at Crookwell was for the descendants of the convict Mary Connor and George Gray. One of Mary and George’s daughters, Mary, married John James Dalton and they are the foundation of our Dalton branch here in Australia.

Victor Lawrence Dalton was born 21 February, 1939, Ingham, Queensland.

Know mostly as Vic or Father Vic, he was always called Victor by his devoted sister Heather. Heather was at Vic’s bedside at his passing. Heather devoted her time to Vic, spending long hours with him in the hospital and she was an enormous comfort to him.

Vic’s parents: Joseph Michael Dalton (1911-1973) and Agnes Annie Hannah (1915-2005)

His grandparents: Joseph Francis Dalton (1875-1929) and Cecilia Violet nee Pill.

Vic’s grandfather Joseph Francis Dalton and my great grandfather, George Henry Dalton, are brothers.

After sending several emails to first cousins of Vic, it was discovered that most of the family members did not know Vic in his younger years. Other family members were mostly in the remote Queensland mining town of Mt. Isa and Vic grew up on the coast, over 1,000 kilometers apart. Australia is such a vast continent that unless you have visited our shores, the distances can be incomprehensible.

Vic was not only an inspiration to myself but to anyone who knew him. He shared, most generously, any family history information he had researched and gathered.

Vic’s memory will live on in the minds and hearts of the many people whose life he touched. His family history research work will be continued by the numerous family members he influenced and encouraged to take up the challenge to connect with the past.

"You don’t know who you are till you know where you come from" this is a quote from Vic’s book "Who we Are - A Family History".

Cheerio Vic. Rest in Peace.

Bishop Faulkner and Father Vic Dalton at Mt. Isa c.1982

N.B. There will be more on this in the next edition of the DGS Journal.

3. From Michael Dalton, Chairman of the DGS

I have received the sad news of the death of Madge Dalton. I have written to her son and to her husband. Further information will appear in the next DGS Journal.

4. From Maureen Collins, Australian and New Zealand Secretary

Here’s the obituary for Pat Adams, long-time member of the DGS in Australia and introduced to me by Jilly Warren before I became Secretary.

PATRICIA WINIFRED ADAMS – 5/09/1923 – 15/12/2011 by Jilly (Dalton) Warren

Pat Adams was my cousin 4th removed. We shared common gt. gt. gt. grandparents. Pat’s is the senior line from this ancestor. My line descends from the second son William Dalton the only other surviving son and the first Australian born child.

We only became "reconnected" as a family around 1987-88 at the same time the DGS was forming a Branch here in Australia. Pat, my parents Aub and Hazel Dalton and myself were founding members of the Australian Branch. I agreed to become the Australian Secretary, my parents having contacted Michael Dalton whilst they were in London about that time. Michael and Kate Dalton came here in 1988 for the Bicentennial Australian Genealogical Conference and Pat and Rai, Mum and Dad, my husband Ralph and I had fun showing them Sydney and the south coast of NSW. At that time we also met Australian members of Michael’s family when I hosted a dinner at my home.

Pat, and her husband Rai became instant extended family and we had many happy social occasions together including a small family gathering at Pat and Rai’s home in Lindfield (Sydney) with representatives of all the known lines of this London based Dalton family.

Sadly Pat was an only child and the Dalton name disappeared with her marriage. She is survived by two wonderful children, "Pip" Alan Philip Scott Adams a specialist doctor and Julie Elizabeth Scott Adams, a university librarian. Pip and wife Helen have 3 girls and Julie and husband Tim have a boy and a girl. These children in turn have 5 children perhaps six children, Pat’s great grandchildren, one or two either newly born or about to be born.

Rich Dalton Jnr

Herbert Dalton

Rich Dalton Ygr

Pat Adams

When the DGS celebrated it’s 25th Anniversary, Pat Adams was staying with friends in Southampton, England, so I collected her and we spent an enjoyable few days driving through Wales and then at the Anniversary in Herefordshire. She was indeed a lovely person and I shall miss our occasional conversations and greetings cards.

Maureen Collins

From the Editor, Dairne Irwin, Bolton, Lancashire, United Kingdom

How many times have you seen a place called Dalton and you have wondered why the place has been given this name?

This story begins when my husband and I visited a holiday and travel exhibition for groups at the Excel Centre at the Trafford Centre, Manchester, England. We were browsing the stalls for the Durham area, which lies in the North East of England when I saw a leaflet entitled "parkland – Get into park life. at Dalton Park". (I have copied the title grammatical mistakes and all!) This was advertising a recently opened out of town shopping centre. After a quick perusal of the leaflet to see if I could find out why it was called Dalton Park I found there was no explanation given.

Roll on a few weeks and it was time to put the April edition of the "Daltons in History" together. As usual I was short of copy so I decided to find the leaflet and begin my quest for the reason behind the name. I sent an email off to the shopping centre hoping they could supply the answer to my query. As of yet I have not had a reply so I commenced my own research using the internet.

I knew, from the leaflet that from as early as 1838 the site of Dalton Park was a tip site for colliery spoil mined from the nearby Murton Colliery. Mineral waste was transferred to the site via an overhead cable car that ran from the pit head in Murton. After the closure of the Murton colliery in 1991 the site lay empty until work began on Dalton Park in March 2002.

I decided to research the history of the Murton colliery first using a site This is an excellent on-line site of the Durham Mining Museum which lists all the coal mines of the area and gives detailed descriptions of the mines’ history, the owners and miners who have been fatally injured whilst working at the mines. If any one has a miner in their family tree who worked in the Durham mines this is the site to visit.

There on the title page was my next piece of information. The Murton colliery was also known as "Dalton Winning or Dalton New Winning". I read that the sinking of the first shaft the East Pit began 19th February, 1838, followed by the Middle Pit (Polka) and the West Pit (New). The mine started producing coal in April 1843 which was used for coking, gas, household steam and manufacturing. Its peak of employment was 1925 when there were 2799 men and boys working below ground and 837 above ground. The mine finally closed in on 29 November, 1991.

I then decided to look at the name Murton which is a common Old English place name meaning Moor Town. I was able to find a 1777 tithe map of the village Morton in the Winns, where it showed an area called Long Flat was the site of the colliery.

1771 Tithe Map of Morton in the Winns

Murton Colliery from Batter Law Hill c.1900

Murton Colliery c.1900

Continuing to use I discovered that Murton was one of 4 townships of the ecclesiastical Parish of Dalton. The Parish included the 4 constabularies of Dalton-le-Dale , Daidon/Dalden/Dawden + outlying farms, Moreton-in-the-Winns/Whins and Cold Hesledon. The land to the north of the village belonged to Rev. E. H. Shipperdson and to the south the Earl of Scarborough.

The ancient parish seat of Dalton-le Dale was first mentioned c. AD 700 by the Venerable Bede who described it as a "cluster of 10 households round the Guildhall of Witmar, a Saxon theign and Soldier of Christ".

In 1155 the boundaries between the church of Dalden and lords of Dalden were decided by arbitration. In approximately 1150 the Roman Catholic Church of St. Stephen’s Dalton in Dale was founded during the turbulent reign of King Stephen. This was only 84 years after the Norman Conquest. But c. 1575, during the reign of Elizabeth (1558 – 1602 it became an Anglican church.

In early 2000 the regeneration of the area began with the development of the Dalton Retail Park by ING Real Estate, a development arm of a major European bank. Over 600,000 cubic metres of colliery spoil was shifted in order to create space for the construction of the buildings and car parks of the retail outlet. All the material excavated on site was reused to create the hills and valleys of the parkland. Recycled organic waste was used to enrich the colliery shale so that the colonies of woodland, wetland and wildflower meadows could be established.

Dalton Park

Map of the Wildlife Areas and Trails

The lakes and wetlands provide a valuable habitat for wildlife, and help to clean the rainwater as it runs off the site prior to entering the Murton Dean, a stream which runs some 20m below the parkland.

On either side of the entrance road, colliery spoil has been sculptured into flowing terraces to form a gateway to the site. It is here, where the steps climb to the summit at Falcon Point, that the Sky Gate forms the entrance to the parkland.

The parkland covers 55acres. Besides the shopping malls of over 50 acres of outlet shops, there are 3 trails of varying length to follow. The Falcon Trail crosses the wetlands on its way to the high meadows along the southern ridgeline of the park. The County Durham coastline, the North Sea and a Bronze Age barrow can be seen from the Barrow Lookout. A shorter trail, the Hare Trail, climbs the Terraces, crossing the Valley Wetlands where plovers and lapwings, ground nesting birds can be seen. Hares and rabbits abound in the High Meadows. The Dragonfly trail is a more gentle stroll through the Valley Wetlands to the West Pond. It is hoped that the larger and deeper ponds will attract birds and animals and fish eggs may eventually be brought in on the feet of wading birds. The smaller and shallower ponds should attract insects, amphibians and reptiles.

Bird view of the Dalton Park Shopping Centre

So if you do visit the park perhaps you may reflect on what happened many years ago in this area first visited by the Venerable Bede. The establishing of the parish of St. Stephen’s, the sinking of Dalton New Winning where many thousands of men and boys toiled over the years and perhaps reflect that beneath your feet on 26 November, 1851 a young lad, Robert Davidson, aged 12 “ in company with another lad was riding on top of the cage when he fell backwards and was crushed at the staple in the Polka Pit”. How the area has changed!

Further interesting websites –

Robert J. and Winifred Dalton

The fifth instalment of the Dalton family who were descended from John and Susannah Dalton of Ireland, based on information given by Bill Dalton of Gig Harbour, Washington, USA with additional information from the Editor.

This instalment completes the story of the life of Robert J. Dalton, born in Ireland 1842, and his wife Winifred born in 1853 in Wales.

In 1912 Robert and his family moved to 582 East 107th NE Cleveland, Ohio where he continued to work as a watchman. The next mention is made of them is in the 1920 US Census when they were enumerated as still living at the same address. Robert, at the age of 73 continues to work as a watchman in a plate glass company. He is a naturalised citizen, married for 40 years who lives in his own house with no mortgage. A man who can read and write. Living with the couple is their 22 year old unmarried daughter Elizabeth C. Dalton. She has no occupation so perhaps she is helping to look after the couple.

They remained at this address until 1926. This is the last time Bill Dalton was able to identify the couple at this address. Shortly afterwards they must have moved as in the following year, on 24th February, 1927, at the age of 80, Robert Dalton died in West Brownsville, Pennsylvania. His obituary reads: "Dalton-Robert, at West Brownsville, Pennsylvania 24th February at 10.10pm. husband of Winifred (nee Morgan), father of Joseph T., Chicago, Mrs M.J. Engle and Joanna, West Brownsville; W.J., Thomas E., Edward N., and Charles E. of Cleveland. Funeral Monday, 28th, from family residence, 582 E. 107th Street. Services at St. Aloysius’ church at 10.30 a.m."

N.B. Daughter Elizabeth is not mentioned.

In the 1930 Census Win/n/ifred is found living with her daughter Johanna J. at 300 Rack Road Street, West Brownsville, P.A., the home of another daughter Mary who is married to Matthew Engel. From the Census Johanna is listed as Head of household paying a 25$ rent to Mathias and Mary. Winifred is a widow and 30 year old daughter Johanna is the manager of her own grocery store.

On Saturday 26th July, 1930 at Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio at the age of 77 years and 9 months Winifred Dalton died.

Her obituary reads:

"Dalton: Winifred, beloved wife of the late Robert, mother of Johanna, at home, James, Mrs M.J. Engle, William, Thomas, Edward and Charles and deceased John, Robert, Elizabeth Saturday 26th July, 1930 at 3pm. Funeral from the residence of her son Charles, 12725 Lake Shore Boulevard – Tuesday 29th. Services at St. Aloysius' Church at 9a.m."

Her death certificate states that she is widowed, that her birth place was Cardif/f, Wales and that she was born 1st March, 1853. The cause of death given was myocardial insufficiency of unknown duration and also senile. The latter may explain why she lived with first daughter Elizabeth and latterly daughter Johanna at the home of a third daughter Mary Engel.

A family who had travelled a long way – the father Robert from his birthplace of Dublin, Ireland, across the Irish Sea to South Wales where he met and married his wife Winifred who grew up in the Welsh valleys. They continued their travels together crossing the Atlantic Ocean to settle in the United States of America where they raised their family.

From Wendy Fleming, Australia

Congratulations to Wendy Fleming, President of the Melbourne Poets Union, on receiving an Australia Day Award from Jenny Macklin, Federal Minister for Families and Community Services, for her work in the Community for Literary Arts. Poets@Watsonia and Melbourne Poets Union.

Wendy Fleming (on the Right) receiving her Award

Spring is upon us here in Las Vegas! The trees are getting their new leaves and buds are beginning to appear on the rose bushes that are just outside my office window. There should be an abundance of flowers in another week or so, hopefully just in time for Easter!

Dalton DNA web site Updated:

There has been a lot of activity on the Dalton DNA website. The maps showing the geographic distribution of members of Genetic Family A and Genetic Family D have been updated to include recent testees. Anyone can visit the Dalton DNA web pages at, but only members of a particular Genetic Family may view the password-protected portions.

Albemarle Daltons are connecting on Facebook!

I am pleased to announce that there is now a Facebook Group for descendants of the Albemarle County, Virginia Daltons. The Facebook group is maintained by Brenda Faye Dalton Craig in Tennessee There is a collection of family photos and other info. The site facilitates the sharing of family history info and research. This link will take you directly to the Facebook page:

David has also added a link to the Dalton Data Bank, on the home page. If you are connected to the Dalton lines that originated in Albemarle County, Virginia, we invite you to visit, and send a Friend Request to be added to the group.

The Facebook page was brought to our attention via a post to the Dalton Forum.

Membership Database:

Some months ago, the membership databases that each membership Secretary maintains, were merged and converted into a relational data base. This will make it easier for email and postal address changes to be kept current, particularly when the Dalton Journal is sent out.

We need your help to make sure all info is current - if you have moved, or changed your email, PLEASE contact us!!! Sometimes we don't know about changes until we find that some hasn't received a copy of the Journal, or until an email message bounces back as undeliverable. North American members can send updates to me at

New Members:

Lisa D. Mahler, San Angelo, TX - Lisa has Dalton connection in two braches of her family tree, and traces her Dalton lines back to Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

Now to the usual monthly updates.

Web Sites Update:

For the period from 1 March to 25 March 2012.

Updates to the Data Bank:

25 March, 2012: Other Sites - Added link to David Dalton Descendants Contributed by Brenda Faye Dalton Craig, USA

15 March, 2012: Entire Site - Updated Site Navigation Contributed by David Preston, Nevada, USA

DDB Web Site Usage Statistics:

20,572 visitors came from 102 Countries / Territories

Dalton Forum:

There are a total of 275 Posts in 170 Topics by 380 Members.

During the reporting period, there was 1 new topic added, 2 new posts and 8 new members added.

DGS Web Site Usage Statistics:

1,391 Visits from 52 Countries / Territories

Google Ad Campaigns:

Dalton Data Bank Site:

24,033 Visitors reached the Data Bank by clicking on one of the 2,990,572 Google Ads served during the reporting period.

5,167 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 2 visits to the Membership information from 3,449 Google Ads served during the reporting period.

Well that's all for this month.

Best wishes for a very Happy Easter!

Karen Dalton Preston
North American Secretary

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

Mel and I hope you have all had a good Easter.

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

Please make use of the new "Correspondence section". 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 May 2012 issue need to be with me no later than 25th April, 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!!