Clan Dalton

In January 2007 Clan Dalton was officially registered with The Clans of Ireland and DGS Irish Secretary, Ciaran Dalton, was appointed Clan Chieftain.

Clan Dalton and the DGS held a joint Gathering at Birr, Co Offaly, Ireland on the weekend of 1-4 August 2008. A personal diary of this event by DGS Chairman, Michael Neale Dalton, is reprinted below. Full details may be found on the website by clicking on “Past Gatherings” on the left of this page.

Regular updates will be added to this page over the coming months. They will include all information pertinent to the study of Irish Daltons and their descendants. Generally the updates will also be featured in “Daltons in History” when they are published.
Updated April 2009.

The AGM of The Clans of Ireland - 03-2009

Transportation to Australia (Convicts) - 02-2009

Dalton Data Bank & Forum - 01-2009

Return to Ireland - 12-2008

Researching Irish Records - 10-2008

Clan Dalton Gathering, Birr, Co Offaly - 08- 2008

Update on Clan Dalton - 11-2007

Dalton v Daton - Notes on the Daltons/Datons of Ireland - 11-2007

Message from the Chieftain of Clan Dalton - 02-2007


The Annual General Meeting of The Clans of Ireland - 18 March 2009

Attended by Mel and Dairne Irwin

The 2009 AGM of the Clans of Ireland was held on Wednesday 18th March, 2009 in the Seminar Room of the National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin. The magnificent building, designed in a classical style by Thomas Deane, an Irish architect, was opened in 1890.

After we registered we had the chance to speak to some of the delegates, who had all travelled from different parts of Ireland.

The meeting was officially opened by The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Eibhlin Byrne, who spoke about her love of history and how the understanding of heritage and inheritance affects the values of the family. She continued by wishing well all who were gathered and emphasised how delighted she was to be present. This was followed by a presentation of a painting and a book, to the Lord Mayor, by the Chief of the O’Byrne Clan.

Unfortunately the Lord Mayor had to leave, for a further engagement, before the start of the first lecture by Karel Kiely, the Secretary of the Irish Family History Foundation.

She spoke about the Irish Roots On Line site describing how a wide group of people came together to input local records on to a computer system. We were surprised to hear that originally the resource was not intended for public access. Records, which were all sourced locally, were made available under individual legal agreements, which specified how the data could be issued. Karel also said that some parishes have still not given permission for their records to be used. The site was launched in November 2007.

Researchers can search for themselves or staff welcomed contact and were willing to give help if it was needed. The site is self financing with all money being put back into the project. In the future the site may become accessed by membership only, with a yearly subscription, resulting in the ability to do more advanced research. Karel emphasised that if any researcher had any queries it was always worth contacting the centre.

The second lecture was given by Dr Lorcan J. O’Flannery, of the Flannery Clan, who presented An Irish Clan Y-DNA Project Case Study. As project administrator he outlined the expectations and challenges of organising a DNA project through a powerpoint demonstration. He attempted to explain the emerging science of Genetic Genealogy and how it can be used as a powerful tool to dispel myths and confirm legends. He reminded us that of the 134 registered Irish Clans only 28 of the Clans had Y-DNA projects, of which the Dalton project is one. He explained the problems of organisation, sample size, mutation rates and participants expectations which caused challenges for the administrator.

The evening continued with the formal part of the proceedings – The Annual General Meeting of Clans of Ireland. The Chairman, Gerry Maloney, spoke about the importance of the Clans of Ireland to Irish Heritage and Culture and that Clan Heritage is the most important aspect of the heritage of the nation. The number of registered clans is more than 40.

As time was getting short - the lights went off at 9.00 pm - the meeting was quickly closed and a number of us crossed the road to the Buswell’s Hotel where we enjoyed a hot buffet together and were able to talk together more informally.


Transportation to Australia (Convicts) - February 2009

From Ciaran Dalton, Clan Chieftan and Irish Secretary

As we draw closer to the D.G.S 2009 Gathering at Duntryleague, Orange, N.S.W. and reflecting on the life of James Dalton of Limerick/Orange, transported from Ireland, I wondered perhaps if many other Irish Daltons had been transported. Fortunately most of the convict records of this period, that is from the late 18c to the mid 19c, have survived intact including the Transportation Registers. Searching the Net for further information I found a wonderful site in the Irish National Archives,

Included was an interesting and informative essay by Rena Lohan entitled "Sources in the National Archive for Research into the Transportation of Irish Convicts to Australia (1791-1853)". In it the author gives a history of Irish transportation to Australia and lists for us the many primary source documents available on the subject. It is said that over 160,000 men and women were sent from the British Isles including 26-30,000 Irish. Approximately 49 Daltons surfaced on my search of this site. Included in many of the profiles was the age, place and date of trial, crime description and sentence and in some cases, the title of the ship. In a few examples aliases are shown. It should be noted, however, that the place of trial was not necessarily the county of origin of the defendants. For the purpose of this brief extract I have utilised these four headings, but more information can be gleaned from the above mentioned website. Among the Daltons listed are the following:

Name: Michael Dalton, Place of Trial: Co. Kerry, Crime: Larceny, Trial Date: 22/10/1851

Name: Michael Dalton, Place of Trial: Waterford, Crime: Sheep Stealing, Trial Date: 10/04/1848

Name: Nicholas Dalton, Place of Trial: Kilkenny, Crime: Larceny, Trial Date: 08/01/1848

Name: Patrick Dalton (alias John Byrne), Place of Trial: Co. Dublin, Crime: Felony, Trial Date: 12/01/1846

Name: Patrick Dalton, Place of Trial: Kilkenny, Crime: Cattle stealing, Trial Date: 30/10/1850

Name: Patrick Dalton (alias Mulligan), Place of Trial: Dublin City, Crime: Larceny and Former Conviction, Trial Date: 26/10/1852

As we can see many of the crimes were of a general nature, although there were of course a number transported for political crimes.

To be continued.......

Convicts awaiting Transportation


Dalton Data Bank and Dalton Forum - January 2009

by Karen Dalton Preston, North American Secretary

The "Dalton Data Bank" now includes several recent updates to the data for the Republic of Ireland. This largely through the research efforts of member Mike Dalton in Portland, Oregon. Mike has contributed many new entries, and has also been reviewing the content, to provide corrections to the data that was previously posted.

David Preston has relocated the "Dalton Data Bank" to a web hosting service without advertisements and pop-ups

The home page of the "Dalton Data Bank" now contains information of the ' most recently updated ' pages to make members and other visitors aware of new contributions, without the need to actually search the pages for their area of interest. David, our DDB designer and webmaster, has added menu-driven links in a menu bar at the top of the page to make navigation easier. The existing navigation links have been retained, as they are currently implemented; you can use either.

Clan Dalton is also pleased to announce the launch of a new feature for the DGS website. Called the "Dalton Forum", it is intended to help members communicate and share information on their Dalton lines and Dalton research.

Please go to:

You may read any posted messages without registering, but to post messages or to respond to a message, you will need to register. This is much like other message boards on the Internet. On the home page, just below the log-in block, you will see several dark blue tabs, click on 'Register '. Fill in the form by choosing a username and password and your email address. You will then receive an email back to the email address you registered with, with an activation link. After you click on that link your registration will be complete. The registration requirement eliminates spam or inappropriate postings.

Clan Dalton members will then be able to post messages or reply to other member's posts. There is already a thread 'Ancestors in Ireland ' so that is probably the best place to start.

There is a 'Help' tab, if you need clarification on any features of the Forum. Please let me know if you have any difficulties with registration, or reading and posting messages. Email me at

When you visit the "Dalton Forum", you will see that there are already several postings. As with any forum or message board, it will be most useful to the members if we get a good response and people actively use it.

We hope that Clan Dalton members will visit both the Dalton Forum and the new Dalton Data Bank sites and give us their thoughts on these new services.


Return to Ireland - December 2008

by William Michael Dalton (Mike), Portland, Oregon

Part of my agenda for the trip to Birr, County Offaly, Ireland for the 2008 DGS Gathering was to locate the final resting places of some Daltons, particularly at older burial grounds. The reality is that many of these locales have faded inscriptions or none at all. There may be a record of death or burial, but the actual site of internment may be lost to memory or abandoned to nature. On the ground, walking around within graveyards is an important segment of genealogical research.

This research should be shared with those before us and those who are yet to come; privately and publically. In Portland, Oregon I have done volunteer work with a genealogical group to record inscriptions within a cemetery that first opened in 1888. There are a few Daltons (not mine) there.

From about 1700 on, the sites of old church ruins (Catholic and non-Catholic) have been used for burials. Some of the burials may be literally within the walls or beneath the floor of a church. This custom dates back more than 2,000 years in Christian and Prechristian Western Civilization. Families who have plots there, have preexisting burial rights. As the older burial grounds filled up, newer graveyards have been opened. Newer ones have key dates and names to trace back in research.

In my own trek along the Shannon River in North County Kerry, I came across Dalton burials at: Kilconly, Killehenny, and Doon; all of which are rural sites near the Town of Ballybunnion. There are also Daltons buried in a newer graveyard behind the Catholic church in Ballybunnion.

My own Daltons of Glenlea, Ballyheigue are at Killury by Causeway, Ballyheigue (old) and Ballyheigue (new). Ballyheigue (old) dates back before 1900; its history is unclear at present. The history of the Killury site dates back before the year 1,000 AD.

On the DGS tour of the Clonmacnoise National Monument, several Dalton burial plots were located in the newer graveyard adjacent to it. The sites of Daltons, on the abbey grounds, were not found.


Researching Irish Records - October 2008

From Ciaran Dalton, Irish Secretary of the Dalton Genealogical Society and Clan Dalton Chieftan

Many of those tracing their family history, especially if from abroad, often relate their difficulty in researching Irish records in general. Among the Irish Diaspora, estimated to be around seventy million, there is an increasing interest in family history and a corresponding wish to have more access to records. To be fair in recent times however, there has been a marked improvement in their availability. The Internet has played a tremendous role in facilitating this.

Of the most recent additions to the Net of special interest to members of the D.G.S. of Irish extraction, has been the digitising of the census of 1911. Similar records have been digitised already in Britain and America and other places, so it was timely for The National Archives here in Dublin to make this invaluable resource available to all. In conjunction with Library and Archives Canada, the census for Dublin City and County for 1911 is now online. The timetable at the Archives will have Kerry, Antrim, Down, complete on 23 December 2008, with the rest of the counties to follow. On completion of the 1911 census, the 1901 will also be digitised. While some data from the various census has appeared in "Daltons in History" and elsewhere, now we can do this research from the comfort of our own homes. Well done The National Archives!


Another area of research in Ireland that has caused some problems has been the non-availability, or difficulty in accessing records of some of the Catholic Parish Registers. Records from the Dioceses of Cloyne, Kerry, Cashel and Emly are now to be made available along with all the other dioceses of Ireland courtesy of The National Library of Ireland, we will now have access to all their microfilm copies of the priceless 19th century registers. The latter are essential records when researching family trees here in Ireland. We can glean much information from such sources as addresses, (townlands), names of both parents and sponsors(relatives?) at Baptism, etc. Marriage records have a lots of family data too.

This last mentioned development is good news for researchers and genealogists both amateur and professional. For the background to the parish registers debate visit Association of Professional Genealogists of Ireland at

See also Irish Roots, Issue No.67, Third Quarter 2008, Page 5.


Clan Dalton Gathering, Birr, Co Offaly - August 2008

by Michael Neale Dalton

There is no doubt that the weekend in Birr was a resounding success. For those who attended, I know that each of us will have memories of the event that we will treasure for a long time. For those of you unable to be there, we hope that the diary below and the photographs ( on this website, will capture a little of the spirit of the occasion and convey it to you.

I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped us to put the weekend programme together and ensure that everything ran smoothly. Particular thanks go to Ciaran Dalton who, with his wife Collette, ensured that we all participated in a memorable Irish experience; and to Jo Duignan and all the staff at Dooly’s Hotel who looked after us so well; also to Des Connole and his team at The Thatch who made Sunday evening so special.

Apart from the social aspects of the weekend, the gathering provided a serious opportunity to further our knowledge of Irish Dalton family history. The Saturday morning conference enabled delegates to share the many strands of Irish Dalton ancestry and, of course, this continued informally throughout the weekend. Many delegates extended their stays in Ireland before and after the weekend and visited locations associated with their particular lines. I am sure we will be hearing more from each of them here on this page or in “Daltons in History” or in the pages of the DGS Journal, as they piece together their individual Dalton family jigsaw puzzles.


Wednesday 30th July 2008

Left Reigate after lunch and drove to Parkgate on the Wirral where I stayed overnight with Dick and Jenny Stock.

Thursday 31st July 2008

Up in good time for a planned 8.30am departure for Holyhead where I arrived at 10.15am in more than ample time for the noon ferry crossing to Dublin. The weather was dull and the sea was described as moderate. In the event the crossing was very comfortable with a near empty club lounge and excellent complimentary refreshments. Disembarked at Dublin soon after 2.00pm and drove north through the new tunnel out to the airport and found a quiet spot to relax before picking up Kate and Maureen who were scheduled to land at 4.25pm. A text message from Kate informed me that their Ryanair flight was delayed by an hour and a half, so I settled down to some final preparation work for the Gathering. Drove over to the airport and parked the car around 6.00pm – met Kate and Maureen and, after telephoning Dooly’s and The Maltings to advise of later arrivals, we set off for Birr around 7.00pm. After a good run we arrived in Birr well before 9.00pm and found Mel & Dairne, John & Sheila, Pam & Dave, Howard and Velma Boudreau in the bar. John & Sheila were very impressed with the Walcot B&B where they had been moved to for the first night (four poster bed and all); Howard was less impressed with his enforced move to the Spinners B&B (Dooly’s had failed to book him in for Thursday night). Kate, Maureen and I had a late dinner in the bar and took an early night after what had been a long day of travelling for us all.

Friday 1st August 2008

After breakfast in the coffee shop, we set up the Cumberland Suite for our Gathering. With the help of the other committee members, plus Kate and Sheila, we soon had everything ready – projector working, displays arranged, charity raffle prizes set out, programmes and badges ready for the delegates. Mel and I sorted out the intricacies of the Gathering finances and worked out the balances in euros owed by each delegate. Before 12 noon delegates started to arrive – our 2008 Birr Gathering had begun. It was a pleasure to greet our many new delegates, attending their first ever Clan Dalton Gathering and, of course, to renew old acquaintances.

By 2.30pm there were well over 30 assembled in the group to walk over to Birr Castle for a tour of the grounds and the Scientific Heritage Centre. One of the highlights was a talk about the wonderful old telescope that has recently been restored and shortly will be in use again to view the night sky. Following the talk, delegates were free to wander around the grounds at leisure and enjoy the impressive parkland with its lake, its formal gardens, its magnificent specimen trees and its beautiful views. We were also blessed with warm sunshine – an added bonus.

Forward Facing View of Birr Telescope as it is Today

At 6.00pm we opened the registration desk again and welcomed the later arrivals. Then at 7.00pm there was a wine and cheese reception in the Cumberland Suite, which allowed all of us to mingle, meet old faces and exchange news, and get to know our new delegates. Howard organised the tables for dinner in the Emmett Restaurant and ensured a steady flow into the dining room, which enabled the hotel staff to manage our large party without a bottleneck. Howard did this impeccably, but the Dooly’s staff appeared rather overwhelmed and some of us still suffered a little delay! Following dinner there was time for mingling before retiring to bed.

Saturday 2nd August 2008

Delegates were asked to assemble at 9.45am for the Saturday morning conference, scheduled to commence at 10.00am. Some were there well before then to take a closer look at the displays and most had arrived in time for our prompt start at 10.00am when I opened the first session and welcomed all present and, in particular, those attending their first ever DGS Gathering, of whom there were no less than 18. Delegates had travelled from all over the world – Australia, New Zealand, the United States including Alaska, Canada including Newfoundland, together with Ireland and the UK, a total of 42 and a truly international gathering. After running through the programme for the weekend, we moved into an interactive session introducing the Dalton Genealogical Society and our Irish Dalton ancestors. I reported briefly on the Society’s AGM held at Camberley, Surrey on Saturday 7th June and then Geoffrey spoke about the superb tour of the medal collection at the Headquarters of the Royal Logistics Corps, which of course included the James Langley Dalton VC. Our editors, John and Dairne followed with updates on the DGS Journal and on the monthly web newsletter, “Daltons in History”. I gave an update on the Dalton International DNA Project – it was particularly good to see so many members of identified genetic families amongst our delegates, many of them meeting their fellow genetic cousins for the very first time. Then Maureen and Helen Smith informed us all about the plans for the next DGS Annual Gathering, taking place in Orange, New South Wales, Australia in March 2009. This concluded the first session and everyone took a well-earned and welcome coffee break.

Following coffee, we moved on to the talk given by Ciaran on Richard D’Alton Williams. Ciaran gave a witty and informative account of this interesting man, who he described as one of our more famous forebears. Born in Dublin in 1822, Richard D’Alton Williams spent his early life at Grennanstown in Tipperary. He studied medicine but then achieved recognition as a leading poet, writing in the “Nation” newspaper, a forum for new political thinking on Ireland in the mid 19th Century. Ciaran’s talk, illustrated with excellent slides, gave us an insight into the life and thinking of Richard and concluded with details of his later life in America, where he died of consumption in Louisiana in 1862, just short of 40 years old.

The remaining time before lunch was used for short presentations by delegates about their Irish Dalton ancestry. Contributions were made by Karen Preston (coordinator of genetic family D), Wendy Fleming (coordinator of genetic family B), Tom Daulton from genetic family X, Mike Dalton of Oregon with roots in Co Kerry, Margaret Engler (Co Waterford and Co Wexford), Mel Irwin (Co Tipperary), Velma Boudreau (Co Waterford and Co Wexford), Kathleen Casey (Co Galway), Cathy & Regina Negrycz (Co Cork), Ana O’Connell (Co Westmeath) and Pat Robinson (Co Tipperary). Their individual accounts about their ancestors and their researches informed us all and, along the way, were very entertaining as well. Just after 1.00pm, I had to draw the proceedings to a close and we adjourned for a buffet lunch set up for us in the adjacent room.

Emmett Square and the missing Duke of Cumberland

In the afternoon, we were joined by Margaret Hogan, a well known local historian, and member of the Birr Historical Society, who had agreed to take us on a guided walk around Birr. Before setting off, she gave us a short illustrated presentation to provide some historical background to our walk. We then commenced the walk in Emmet Square and learnt about the Duke of Cumberland, whose statue used to be at the top of the column in the square. From there we went along John’s Mall to see many fine Georgian buildings including John’s Hall. We walked on to the Birr Library, now housed in what was the Convent for the Sisters of Mercy, a very fine Gothic building designed by Pugin. Inside there were many interesting displays, including a facsimile copy of the Gospel Book of Macregol of Birr, a very fine 9th Century illuminated document, which is an important relic of the early Christian monastery at Birr. The original is in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Adjacent to the library is St Brendan’s Roman Catholic Church, another fine Gothic building opened in 1826, which includes some beautiful stained glass windows. Our walk continued along the walk by the side of the Camcor River to Market Square at the bottom of Main Street, where there is a somewhat controversial monument to the Manchester Martyrs, three Irish nationalists executed in England in 1867. Margaret’s knowledge of Birr and her lively commentary enabled us to see much that would otherwise have been passed unnoticed and we are most grateful to her.

Dooly's Hotel

There was a little time for delegates to relax before the DGS Annual Dinner and some of us walked on and explored other parts of what is a very interesting old town. At 7.00pm we assembled for the pre-dinner drinks reception and then 44 of us took our seats at five round tables for what we all agreed was a superb dinner prepared by the Dooly’s Hotel chef. Margaret Hogan joined us as a guest, as did Dave and Ann Hegarty, friends of Ciaran. Dave had been invited in order to entertain us after the meal by playing the Uillean pipes, an Irish version of the Scottish bagpipes. We much enjoyed the beautiful and subtle sounds of these Irish pipes and the programme of Irish folk music that he played for us. Following this musical interlude, we held our annual charity raffle, ably organised by Kate who had sold 236 euros worth of tickets. The chosen charity was the British Heart Foundation and a donation of £200 will be sent in memory of the late Dr Lucy Slater, for many years DGS committee member and Executive Secretary.

Dave Hegarty with his Uillean Pipes

To conclude the evening, Ciaran and Collette invited us to join in some Irish country dancing. They provided the music and the directions, and amongst much hilarity, DGS members were to be seen taking to the floor, and enjoying each other’s company in this way. Some displayed great talent on the dance floor and it was good to add this new dimension to our Gathering - another milestone for the Society!

Sunday 3rd August 2008

Sunday morning brought more fair weather and, following breakfast, we set off for a visit to Clonmacnoise. Pam and John had ensured that all delegates had seats in cars for the 30 minute drive and we met at the site at 10.30am. Clonmacnoise lies on the banks of the River Shannon, a few miles south of Athlone. It is an important ecclesiastical site founded in the 6th Century by St Ciaran. Our tour started in the Visitor’s Centre, which includes superb displays and some of the original high crosses, now housed inside to preserve them. The excellent audio-visual presentation gave us an insight into the history of the site and then we went outside to be shown round by Sean, one of the site guides. The amazing collection of churches, towers, crosses and gravestones is amongst the most extensive of their kind in Ireland. We know that Daltons are buried there, but unfortunately we were not able to locate the graves – only limited work has been done to record the inscriptions, but it is hoped to extend this and make it available in years to come. Adjacent to the site is a new churchyard where we found and recorded the inscriptions on six Dalton gravestones. A number of us also walked to the Nun’s Church, a fine Romanesque nave-and-chancel structure with a finely carved doorway and chancel arch. Clonmacnoise proved a most interesting place for the DGS to visit and it is perhaps fitting that our Irish Secretary shares his name with the founder. St Ciaran was well known for performing minor miracles, an attribute that perhaps he has passed on to his namesake!

From Clonmacnoise we drove to the Shamrock Lodge Hotel in Athlone where an enjoyable light buffet lunch had been arranged in a private room. Suitably refreshed, delegates embarked on an afternoon that provided a choice of activities. Some stayed in Athlone and looked round the very fine castle. Others went to Shannonbridge for a trip on the Bog Railway. This guided tour across the Offaly peat bogs provided an insight into the historical importance of peat to the Irish economy – indeed peat is still used today as fuel for the generation of electricity. A third group found a local distillery to visit and sample the Irish whiskey.

The Bog Railway

Everyone returned safely to Birr in the late afternoon to ready themselves for the traditional Irish evening arranged at The Thatch Restaurant at Crinkill, a small village just a couple of miles outside Birr. Des Connole, the owner, welcomed us and showed us to the private room reserved for our party. A magnificent three-course dinner was served and, after the obligatory group photograph and some rearrangement of the room, it was over to Ciaran and Collette again to lead us in an evening of traditional Irish music, interspersed with many contributions from delegates – songs, recitations, jokes (clean ones!) and reminiscences about the weekend. It was truly an evening to remember for its camaraderie and the demonstration of such diverse talents displayed by us Daltons. What a talented group we are! All too soon the evening drew to a close and we returned to Dooly’s where many of us enjoyed a nightcap before retiring.

Monday 4th August 2008

And so to the conclusion of the weekend and bidding our farewells. From the start of breakfast through until late morning, I found myself busy saying goodbye, but before the final farewell, there was many a further conversation, and these demonstrate the true fellowship that has become a hallmark of our Gatherings.

All agreed that it had been a superb Gathering, bringing together a wide and international group of people, sharing the common bond of Dalton ancestry. The mixture of family history, and the opportunity to enjoy and participate in some unique and truly Irish experiences, provided something for each of us to remember.

Kate and I finally packed up our car and departed from Dooly’s around midday. We set off for a week of exploring in Co Clare, Co Galway and Co Mayo with many happy memories of Birr fresh in our minds.


Update on Clan Dalton from Ciaran Dalton - October 2007

Clan Chieftain, Ciaran Dalton gives an update on the plans to develop Clan Dalton and, in particular, to expand this webpage, which is devoted exclusively to Clan Dalton.

A recent valuable addition to the Dalton Genealogical Society website is the section for Clan Dalton. The Society has, over time, successfully developed internationally and now has an ever-growing world-wide membership. This development has been greatly assisted by having in place English, Australian and American secretaries for the Society. We now have an Irish secretary for the Society, and a separate website for Clan Dalton to continue this progress. The site will primarily inform our members and potential members of matters pertaining to Daltons of Irish descent. The improvement in recent times of access to Irish records, coupled with the greater interest in Irish genealogy abroad, should help to feed and stimulate this forum. All relevant topics of interest to our Irish Daltons will be covered. We will also encompass relevant events such as the 2008 DGS Gathering in Birr, Co. Offaly.

The greater Irish Dalton/D’Alton family were and still are spread about through many parts of Ireland but especially in Westmeath, Tipperary, Waterford, Kilkenny and Limerick. According to the Griffith Valuations, there were Daltons also in Clare, Kerry Wexford, Kildare, Roscommon and Mayo, where the name is still to be found. Dublin as we would expect, also has a high concentration of Daltons, many of whom we would expect to have rural roots.

Our membership of The Clans of Ireland, the ongoing Dalton International DNA Project and the production of our excellent DGS Journal put us well in the forefront of the more active and progressive of the genealogy societies. Anyone wishing to learn more about our society should avail themselves of the wealth of information to be found in “Daltons in History” on the web and in the DGS Journal. All of this valuable data has been compiled over the years as a result of the dedicated work of officers and members of the Society, and it contains much to interest and inform those of Dalton descent and their friends who would wish to know more about their ancestors.


Dalton v Daton - some notes on the Daltons/Datons of Ireland

In this note, Ciaran Dalton discusses the relationship between the Dalton and Daton families.

The following is a brief attempt to examine the relationship or connection that has existed between the two Norman families of Dalton and Daton. Down the centuries some confusion has arisen between the two. There are a number of variations in the spelling of the Dalton/Daton name which further complicates the issue, for example De Aliton, De Alletone, D’Alton, De Dalatune and in Irish Dalatun or Daltun. Daton has been written as De Autune, Dawtone, Daughton and Dawtin. The Dalton name in all its forms has a strong sounding letter “L” i.e Da(L)ton, while it is silent or non existent in Daton. To what extent is this due to local pronunciation? Both names begin to appear in Irish records from the 13th century onwards. While the name Dalton is to be found in a number of counties, Daton was principally found in Kilkenny, Tipperary and Waterford. Rev William Carrigan, the historian, wrote that “the name Daton or D’Autun now incorrectly written Dalton appears in Kilkenny records as early as 1382.’’ Wolfe, the genealogist, wrote that Daton was an old Kilkenny family, sometimes incorrectly re-anglicised Dalton.’’ MacLysaght’s “Surnames of Ireland” says that the name Daton is now ‘’usually made Dalton by assimilation’’.

The Tudor records in Ireland, mainly those of Queen Elizabeth (Fiants) for the 16th century, mention Datons of Kilkenny in particular, with a few also in Waterford and Tipperary. (There is no mention here of Datons in Westmeath, the ancestral home of the D’Altons?). In the same Fiants there are some names with the prefix ‘’Fitz’’ as in Richard Daton Fitz Redmond or John Daton fitzGarrott. The same prefix does not appear as far as we know in relation to the Daltons.

Later on in the 17th century, the so-named ‘’Census of Ireland’’ in 1659 lists both Daltons and Datons, e.g. The Barony of Iffa and Offa in Tipperary lists nine Daltons and nine Datons. In the Barony of Iverk, Kilkenny, the ‘’census’’ lists no Daltons but 22 of the Daton family, and in the Barony of Ida and Ibercon, 8 Dalton and 6 Datons, Knocktoper no Daltons and 6 Datons. In Waterford Countie and City the Barony of Deaces (Decies) shows 10 Datons and no Daltons. While the compilers of this ‘’Census’’ listed both names separately, there can be little doubt that errors were made and that in some cases there was crossover between the two. Waterford for example having ‘’no Daltons’’ in the Census is very suspect as Dalton was then and is now a name that is found in Waterford. We know too that many names written by Crown officials in documents were open to be misheard and as a consequence could be written down incorrectly.

The writer of The Dictionary of Irish Family Names however was absolutely correct in claiming that ‘’ to unravel a Deaton(Daton) from the comparatively well-documented Daltons would require considerable painstaking research.’’ Perhaps then DNA would unravel this particular puzzle for ever. Any volunteers please?


Rev.William Carrigan

The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory (vol iv)

Rev Patrick Wolfe

Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall (i.e. Irish and Foreign Surnames)

Edward MacLysaght

The Surnames of Ireland

Seamus Pender (ed.)

A Census of Ireland (circa 1659)

Ida Grehan

The Dictionary of Irish Surnames


Early Dalton (d’Autun) or Dalton Family History in Kilkenny


Message from the Chieftain of Clan Dalton, Ciaran Dalton

The year 2007 began with the news that The Dalton Genealogical Society has been successful in registering with The Clans of Ireland. This new development should be of interest to their members, those of  Irish descent  in particular.  The D.G.S. was founded in 1970 by Daltons of English descent but later spread out to include members from many parts of the world, especially  Ireland, Australia and America.  Many of the latter are of Irish descent and now wish to know more of their origins in Ireland.

It is fully time that the Irish Daltons should stand with the Clans of Ireland, as they  have been  settled here since c. 12th century. Like their predecessors, the Danes, the Daltons, of Anglo-Norman descent, arrived here as invaders, wrestling the fertile lands of  Meath and  West Meath from their Gaelic  inhabitants, the  Mageoghegans ,O’Melaghlin and others. With their neighbouring allies the Petits,Tuites, Tyrrells Nugents, Darcys, Delamars and Dillons, the Daltons  settled  that part of  Ireland. The barony of Rathconrath in Westmeath was  formed by statute in 1584, from lands   previously known as  ‘’Daltons Country’’

         By the same authoritie is ordeyned and enacted That Daltons Countrey be

         from henceforth made and named the baronie or hundred of Rathconytre.

They had adopted over time many of the customs of the native Irish and so by 1486 A.D., it was recorded that their leader took the Gaelic title of ‘’An Daltunach’’ or The Dalton. They also forfeited lands for their part in the Rising of 1641 and later for supporting the Jacobite cause. The  sept  spread out  from Rathconrath, forming  minor  branches  in  the counties of  Kilkenny, Tipperary and  Clare. Daltons  are found too inWaterford, Limerick,  North Kerry, Wexford, with a number  still  to be found on the old ancestral lands  in county  Westmeath.  We are not saying that all Daltons originated  in  the Westmeath area but  further diligent research will  attempt to answer this  vexed question, that  of the origin of all Daltons in Ireland.  One of the main aims  therefore of  the  Irish members  of the D.G.S. should   be  to  document that   particular aspect of  research.

The credit for the 2007 registration of  the  D.G.S  is the culmination  of many months of work  spent by DGS Vice President Millicent and thanks is due to her for her efforts. The support of the officers of the Society should also be acknowledged. It was decided in 2006, that an Irish representative and secretariat would be chosen  from among  D.G.S members to further advance  the Irish participation  and also to  liase with the Irish Clans. Having been chosen in that capacity, I hope to further interest Daltons (Irish or non Irish) in the Society and endeavour together to learn more about  our common Dalton ancestry. We therefore issue an invitation to all Daltons to come and join with us. 

Ciaran  Dalton.