The Daltons participated in another successful meeting and gathering at Lancashire in July 2004. Highlights are listed below and an extended summary will be available in the Fall DGS Journal.

from Millicent Craig

When the attendees at the Annual Gathering and Meeting of Daltons met in July 2004 at Preston, England, the host John Dalton announced that he had arranged for a dinner at Thurnham Hall on Sunday evening. This was not on the advance schedule so it came as a delightful surprise to all.

Thurnham was the ancestral home of a branch of Bispham, Lancashire Daltons from the 16th Century to the 20th Century. The Hall has undergone major reconstruction and refurbishing several times during the centuries and currently is an impressive time-share property. For those who have visited Thurnham in the past note the tasteful furnishings of the great hall of today.

Thurnham Hall
Kate and Michael Dalton
Rosemary and Charles
Photographers Comparing Settings
Barbara Craig and Howard J. Dalton
Members at Dinner

This was a most memorable evening for all. Photographs courtesy of Barbara Craig of California.

As part of the week-end activities of the Annual Meeting and Gathering of Daltons in July 2004, the manager of the event, John Dalton, arranged a tour of Hoghton Tower for the members.

Unlike former visits, the group was greeted by the Baronet, Sir Bernard de Hoghton who escorted the attendees through the magnificent ancestral home of the de Hoghton family. He maintains a residence on the estate and recounted some family history not previously known by the members and stimulated a lively discussion that evening at dinner. A few photographs taken by Barbara Craig of California are presented below.

The drive approaching Hoghton Tower
Sir Bernard greeting visitor Kate Dalton
Some DGS members with Sir Bernard
John Dalton inspecting the winding gear in the Tudor well house

The annual gathering and meeting of members of the Dalton Genealogical Society was held at the Swallow Hotel in Preston, Lancashire England in July 2004. These photos were taken at the annual meeting and dinner by Barbara Craig of California.

Howard J. Dalton, Pamela Lynam, Michael N. Dalton
John Dalton and Maureen Collins
Mel Irwin and Millicent Craig
David and Pamela Lynam forefront
Lucy Slater (in blue)
Croston Cousins, Millicent Craig
Derek and Madge Dalton

The 2004 Gathering and AGM in Preston

Saturday 10th to Sunday 11th July

June 2004

The DGS Gathering and AGM for 2004 is returning to Lancashire, which was last visited in 1998. Join us at the Swallow Hotel near Preston.

FRIDAY 9th July 2004


Dinner available at the Swallow Hotel


SATURDAY 10th July 2004

11.00 am

Dalton Genealogical Society Annual General Meeting (coffee and biscuits will be served)

12.45 pm

Buffet lunch


Visit to Towneley Hall, Burnley, or Samlesbury Hall

7:00pm for 7:30pm The Annual DGS Dinner


SUNDAY 11th July 2004


For those who wish to attend the Morning Service at Hoghton Church, it is across the road from Hoghton Tower.

1.00 pm

Lunch at Hoghton Tower

2.00 pm

Tour of Hoghton Tower


from Millicent Craig

During the Dalton Annual Gathering and Meeting in Preston, England in July 2004, one of the special activities was a visit to the ancient home of the de Hoghton family, Hoghton Tower. One connection between the Daltons and the de Hoghtons occurred with the marriage of Elizabeth Dalton of Thurnham and William de Hoghton in 1683. From the story that follows, there was another yet unknown connection some 180 years later.

The DGS has visited the Tower several times but this was the first time that the group was escorted by the current resident of the estate Sir Bernard de Hoghton and who recounted the tale of the auctioned paintings. He knew that there had been several paintings by the old masters Renoir, Van Dyke etc. that had belonged to the estate home and was curious about their whereabouts. After years of searching, a sale of the paintings was found on the microfiche/microfilm records of Christie's Auction House. The paintings had been sold for 300,000 pounds sterling by a Dalton and the money was used to support the Confederate war machine in America's Civil War. In today's market place, the 12 paintings are worth a billion pounds.

The Cotton Famine - 1862-1863

As early as the 1670's cotton weaving via handloom was noted on the Hoghton estate and an 1824 directory shows that a small number of textile workers, cotton spinners, weavers and calico printers were conducting their business operations from Hoghton Tower.

In America, English investors established the tobacco and cotton plantations in the southern colonies where slave laborers reduced the costs of production and resulted in profitable operations. Investment in Alabama was heavy. In England, the textile industry was growing dramatically and the American plantations became a stable source of raw cotton. Hundreds of cotton mills employing thousands of workers sprang up in Lancashire and in the Northern Counties. Manchester and Blackpool were significant centers. Raw cotton was processed and sent to other mills where it was woven into cloth, dyed, etc.. Apparel and textile necessities emerged as finished goods and were shipped back to America (and to other parts of the world). Southern grown cotton was to play a major role in the English economy.

During the Civil War the powerful Union Navy blockaded the Southern ports and shipments to England and other ports of the world ceased immediately. Not only did the economy of the Confederacy collapse but the domino effect was felt all over England. There was little raw material to keep the small cotton mills operating whereas the large mills had stockpiled in anticipation of the war. Hundreds of mills shut down and thousands of workers were unemployed. In England there was little alternative employment. Poor Laws for relief were slow in enactment and conditions were dire. Hundreds suffered starvation and even death.

Financial Support for the Confederacy

England was divided on whether to support the North or the South. Some favored the big, brawny military of the North to win the war. Others favored the Confederacy for a number of reasons. Insuring the cotton source was important but there were other political and economic reasons that existed. Those who were supporters of the Confederacy believed it would be easier to deal with a Southern republic that was comprised of landed aristocractic gentlemen who were more like themselves. Thus they floated millions of dollars in loans with a cotton collateral.

Dalton's Motivation?

Is this the scenario that prompted the sale of the paintings for a Confederate loan? Dalton's gamble may be viewed by some as sheer folly. Who was he and who did he represent? How did he have access to the paintings? Was he acting for a consortium with much higher stakes? There may be an answer in English banking or financial records. Or perhaps there may be some indication in the Confederacy records of Alabama. It has taken the de Hoghton family approximately 140 years to learn the disposition of the missing masters. How long will it take to unravel the remainder of the story?

from Millicent Craig

John Dalton, DGS Editor and Manager of the Dalton Annual Gathering and Meeting in Preston, Lancashire, England focused attention on nearby Thurnham Hall, the ancestral home of a Dalton branch stemming from the 16th Century.

Thurnham History

On Saturday evening July 10, 2004 members of the Dalton Genealogical Society were honored with an after dinner talk by a Mr. J. Hoghton (unrelated to the Hoghton Tower Daltons). Mr Hoghton, not a Dalton, has immersed himself in the history of the Thurnham Daltons from the time he was a small boy. As a young lad he often viewed the dilapidated structure that was Thurnham Hall and wondered about its history and significance. Through the years he researched its history and became friends with the Dalton occupants who lived there both before and after the rebuilding of the Hall.

Mr. Hoghton probably knows more about the Thurnham family and their social life than any other living individual. His talk will be covered in depth in the Fall issue of the DGS Journal.

One of the interesting aspects of the talk dwelt on the 50 or more boxes of documents that were taken from the Hall and deposited in the Public Records Office in Preston. He has sorted through the documents, many of which dealt with social niceties of the times.

After his talk, I asked Mr. Hoghton whether there was any indication in the records of a Thurnham Dalton who emigrated to America or anywhere else. Mr Hoghton thought for a moment and replied that there was no such mention. The only emigrating Dalton we are aware of at this time is Jane Dalton who married Rowland Thornbrough.

In America there are many Daltons who believe that they are descended from the Thurnham line and they may well be. The Thurnham line is a branch of the Bispham Daltons. The Croston line of Daltons is descended from the Bispham line. In the Gene Pool of the Dalton International DNA Project is the matching DNA of two Daltons from the Croston line. If you are descended from the Thurnham Daltons your DNA should match that of the Croston Daltons. The DNA of the Croston Daltons differs markedly from the DNA of any other line. If you believe that you are descended from the Thurnham Daltons then please consider DNA testing and confirm your ancestral lineage or learn whether you are actually descended from another line.

Dinner At Thurnham

A surprise treat was arranged by John Dalton for members who wished to gather and have dinner at the Hall. About 20 of us decided to visit on Sunday evening, July 10, 2004. For those who had never visited Thurnham this was a special occasion. It was the first visit of my family and they were especially impressed by their connection to Thurnham Daltons through their Croston ancestry. Well done John!

Members who attended the AGM of the Dalton Genealogical Society in Lancashire on July 10-11, 2004 had the memorable experience of visiting Towneley Hall, the residential home of the Towneley family who lived there from the 13th Century until 1902. During the centuries, additions and restorations were continually made culminating in a 1 million pound project that was completed in 2002.

Today the Hall is an Art Gallery and Museum that houses not only the period furnishings of the family but a large collection of oil paintings, early watercolours, archaeology, natural history and Regiment memorabilia. After the dissolution of the monasteries, vestments from Whalley Abbey were brought to Towneley for safe keeping and date from the 14th C. A priest's hiding hole and hint of a white lady ghost capture one's imagination.

The Towneley's, a Catholic family, resisted the Protestant religion and John Towneley was termed a recusant, subjected to heavy fines and imprisoned in 1564. Towneley Hall ownership reverted to London bankers when the Royalists were defeated and lands were confiscated in 1644. In 1661 the family was able to re-purchase the property. In the 18th Century several members of the family were implicated in the Jacobite rebellion and one was executed. The Hall remained in the family, was continually expanded, but costly to maintain. In 1895 it was offered to the Burnley Corporation and the Burnley Borough Council now upgrades and maintains it.

When examining the pedigree charts of some of the early Lancashire families many links can be made between theses families and the Bispham/Thurnham Daltons. One connection was through the marriage of Sir John Towneley and Isabella Pilkington. About 1842 a daughter Jane was born who married William son of Robert Dalton. Cecilia Standish, Lady of the Manor of Duxbury Hall married William Towneley in mid 18th C. Her ancestral chart shows the links to the families of Fleming, Molyneux and others who were connected to Daltons.

A visit to Samlesbury Hall was on the agenda for the Annual Gathering of Daltons in Lancashire, England on July 10/11 2004. The meeting was held at the Swallow Hotel in Preston near the Hall. If we look back far enough in time, we find that nearly all of the early Lancashire families are connected. In the Southworth family history of Samlesbury, the Thorneley and Molyneux families are connected to the Daltons.

Ghosts, Ghosts and More Ghosts

Spooky tales of Samlesbury are quite plentiful and continue to this day. One of the most repeated stories is that of the "White Lady" who appears in the Hall. The origin began in the seventeenth Century when Lady Dorothy Southworth, a devout Catholic fell in love with a young Protestant. On the night of their intended secret elopement, her brother learned of it and killed the young man and his two accomplices. Lady Dorothy the story goes was sent to a convent in France where she went insane and died. Recent discovery of three skeletons near the Hall reinforced the story and it persists despite the fact that Lady Dorothy lived a full life.

Throughout the 1940's and 1950's the apparition of a lady has appeared in the hall, on the outskirts of the hall where the old moat stood, and on walkways. Locals are convinced that it is Lady Dorothy and the minds of those who have experienced this phenomenon are not to be changed. If you are a lover of ghosts and ghost stories you will not want to miss Samlesbury, said to be one of the most haunted Halls in all of England.