On Saturday 22nd/Sunday 23rd August 2009 the DGS Annual General Meeting and weekend took place in Lancashire, England. The weekend proved to be a great success and was much enjoyed by all those who attended. Apart from the AGM itself, which was held on the Saturday morning, delegates visited Queen Street Mill in nearby Burnley on Saturday afternoon, attended the AGM dinner on Saturday evening and then, on Sunday, visited Thurnham Hall and Cockersand Abbey. Thanks go to John Dalton, Editor of the DGS Journal, and his wife Sheila for making all the arrangements for this weekend.

A diary with some photographs of the weekend will be found below, together with the minutes of the AGM and the DGS Accounts for 2008.

Last update: October 2009.

Michael Dalton gives his personal account of the Dalton Genealogical Society’s Annual General Meeting and weekend gathering for 2009 held in Lancashire, England from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd August 2009.

Friday, 21st August 2009

Kate and I arrived at the Swallow Hotel at Samlesbury near Preston in Lancashire in the late afternoon after a journey from Warwickshire where we had stayed the previous night. We came through torrential rain on the M6 motorway – it always seems to rain on Fridays when we are travelling! However it brightened up in the early afternoon and this gave us the opportunity to revisit the villages of Croston and Rufford, both of which have strong Dalton links.

The Swallow Hotel felt familiar as we had stayed there previously for the Annual DGS Gathering in 2004, so we were soon settled in and enjoying a swim in the indoor pool. At 7.00 pm delegates met for a pre-dinner drink and then 15 of us sat down for an enjoyable dinner and the opportunity to catch up with each other’s news.

Saturday, 22nd August 2009

After breakfast, it was a 9.00 am departure for Oswaldtwistle and the Library & Research Centre of the Lancashire Family History & Heraldry Society, which John Dalton, Editor of the DGS Journal and organiser of the weekend, had arranged as the venue for our AGM. We were joined there by other delegates who lived locally and were not staying at the Swallow. We are most grateful to the LFHHS for allowing us to use their Centre, which, although small, is well organised with a good stock of books and journals and excellent computer facilities with PCs connected to the internet.

Howard Dalton explains an intricate genealogical point to Jane Dalton

These provided the opportunity for delegates to explore various websites including our own DGS site at www.daltongensoc.com. I was able to explain different aspects of what is available and, in particular, on the Family Tree DNA website, demonstrate how genetic distance can be used to identify how far back to look for a common ancestor. I was able to talk to small groups from three genetic families in the Dalton International DNA Project as follows:

• Genetic Family E was represented by Edna Redpath, her grand daughter Hannah Redpath, and Margaret Deyes. They all descend from Daltons of Croston, Lancashire.

Cousins Edna Redpath and Margaret Deyes in earnest conversation

• Genetic Family Y was represented by John Dalton and Audrey Dalton (wife of David Dalton) – this group is descended from Daltons of Oldham, Lancashire.

• Genetic Family Z was represented by the two Howard Daltons (Howard from near Pickering in Yorkshire and our past Treasurer and Howard J from Poole in Dorset, our minutes secretary). Their Dalton ancestors come from Yorkshire and Buckinghamshire respectively and there is more research work to be undertaken to establish how they might be connected.

This informal time focusing on how the internet helps the family historian proved very valuable and was over all too soon.

The Chairman preparing for the AGM

At 11.15 am, after coffee and Sheila’s very good homemade gingerbread, I opened the Annual General Meeting.

The full minutes of this meeting will be published in "Daltons in History" next month. I was able to give a very upbeat report on the Society’s activities since the last AGM in June 2008. The undoubted highlights were the gatherings in Birr, Co Offaly, Ireland last year and in Orange, New South Wales, Australia earlier this year. The Journal and "Daltons in History" are flourishing and our website is ever expanding. The DNA project continues apace and our finances are in good health. None of this can happen without the dedicated effort of all our officers, committee and other helpers. The AGM gives me an opportunity to thank them all for what they do. All the present officers and committee offered themselves for re-election and were elected again unanimously. With much to report and discuss, the meeting concluded just in time for the arrival of hot Lancashire potato pie for our lunch and delicious it was too. Well done Sheila!

Queen Street Mill Textile Museum

In the afternoon we all travelled over to the Queen Street Mill Textile Museum at Harle Syke on the other side of Burnley. Here we were treated to a fascinating tour of the last surviving 19th century steam powered weaving mill.

Delegates viewing the weaving machines - there are 380 of them

As we were taken round, we all thought about the conditions that workers in the mills had to endure and remembered that the livelihood of many Dalton ancestors in the Oldham Dalton branch of the family depended on being employed in places such as Queen Street Mill.

The steam engine that drives the whole mill

After a cup of tea we returned to the Swallow Hotel and readied ourselves for the AGM Dinner, described on the programme as “with a Lancashire flavour”. We all enjoyed an excellent dinner and then the Lancashire flavour became clear. John, suitably attired in a waistcoat that his grandfather might have worn, regaled us with reminiscences and readings about life in the mills as his forebears had known it – and all in John’s inimitable Lancashire accent!

John Dalton in costume... but which era!!

Full marks to John, and a round of applause, for this further insight into what the mills meant to so many. After dinner we were able to retire to the lounge, and continue our discussions and chat. A very sociable group made it an evening to remember.

Sunday, 23rd August 2009

A leisurely breakfast this morning and departure for Thurnham around 10.30 am. Kate and I wanted to visit Glasson Docks and Cockersand Abbey before meeting up for lunch at the Thurnham Mill Inn.

Datails of Cockersand Abbey

Chapter House at Cockersand Abbey looking westwards

Unfortunately it had not proved possible to book lunch at Thurnham Hall itself owing to a large christening party taking over the dining room. Never mind we had a very good lunch at Thurnham Mill and met up with John Regan, the local historian who had agreed to take the party on a tour of the Hall and then Cockersand Abbey. Kate and I were not able to stay for the Cockersand Abbey visit as we had to travel south to Cheshire to meet up with friends and a canal boat – hence our visit in the morning!

Thurnham Mill for Lunch

Then to Thurnham Hall

Our local historian gave us a fascinating tour of the outside of the Hall and, with his impressive knowledge of the history of the Daltons of Thurnham, he was able to give us a good insight into how the Daltons lived at Thurnham Hall from the mid 16th Century until 1973, when with the death of Alzira Dalton, the line came to an end.

John Regan, our local historian, explains the history of the Hall to delegates

The North facing facade of the Hall tells a story

Thurnham Hall and Cockersand Abbey are inextricably entwined with Dalton family history and over the years much has been written about both. It would be good to have a more in depth article from John Regan, and perhaps we can persuade him to write one for us. I hope so.

We were joined by a duck and her young family....

....but they decided that perhaps the history of the Hall was not for them!!

So concluded a most successful weekend. Although it was attended by a relatively small group of DGS members, the intimacy of the group enabled us all to get to know one another better and share that unique experience which is a Dalton gathering.

John and Sheila Dalton

Again, many thanks to John and Sheila Dalton for all their thought and hard work which made it such a success.

From Maureen Collins, Australian and New Zealand Secretary

We were treated to a lovely weekend by John and Sheila Dalton for the DGS AGM in August. The meeting was held at the Lancashire Family History Centre in Oswaldtwistle where we were also able to use their computers for research and Michael Dalton demonstrated the possibilities. Sheila was in charge of catering, providing us with a delicious Lancashire pie made locally.

In the afternoon we visited the Queen Street Weaving Mill at Burnley where we were able to view original equipment dating back to the 19th century, still in working order, and given a demonstration of how the various materials were made. I think we all thoroughly enjoyed this and marvelled at how hard and for how long the workers would have been occupied in deafening conditions.

Weaving Mill Rules

On Sunday we had lunch at a pub and then were taken on a tour of the grounds of Thurnam Hall, ancestral home of one of the earliest Dalton families. Jane Dalton came to my rescue with a pair of rubber boots to cope with the farm field when we were given a special visit to Cockersand Abbey which is on private land and in surprisingly good condition for such an ancient building.

Many thanks to all for an enjoyable time.

During the weekend Mel Irwin, Howard Dalton, Michael Neale Dalton and Howard J. Dalton took a number of photographs covering most elements of the weekend. A selection of these will be found in the AGM 2009 Gallery – just follow this link:


If you have any of your own photographs which you would like to add to the gallery, please email them to michaelndalton@aol.com and we will upload them – the more the merrier!!

Friday 21st August 2009

Check in to Swallow Hotel, Samlesbury. Evening meal available at the hotel.

Saturday 22nd August 2009


Meet at Lancashire Family History & Heraldry Society, Library & Research Centre, 2 Straits, Oswaldtwistle, BB5 3LU


Demonstration of DGS website and other internet resources on the Library's computers.


Break for coffee and biscuits.


Annual General Meeting of The Dalton Genealogical Society.


Lunchtime - Lancashire potato pie


Meet at Queen St. Mill, Harle Syke, Burnley


Leave Queen St. Mill to return to hotel


Informal reception at the Swallow Hotel, Samlesbury.


The Dalton Genealogical Society AGM Dinner, with a Lancashire flavour.

Sunday 23rd August 2009


Mid-day meal at Thurnham Hall (Paid for individually on the day)


Afternoon walk to Cockersand Abbey Chapter House

held at the Library and Research Centre of the Lancashire Family
History Society, 2 Straits, Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire
on Saturday, 22nd August 2009 at 11.00am.

1) Welcome and Opening Remarks by the Chairman

Michael Neale Dalton welcomed members to the meeting, making special mention of Edna Redpath, attending her first AGM, with her granddaughter Hannah. He expressed thanks to John and Sheila Dalton for organising the arrangements for the weekend.

2) Apologies for absence

Apologies were received from Millicent Craig; Karen Dalton Preston and David Preston; Pam and Dave Lynam; Ciaran Dalton; Gerry Dalton; Mike Dalton; Wendy Fleming; Martin Fitzgerald; Joy Goater; John Prytherch; Pat and Geoffrey Robinson; and Jilly Warren.

3) Minutes of the 2008 Annual General Meeting and matters arising

The Minutes of the 2008 Annual General Meeting were accepted by the meeting and signed by the Chairman as a true record with no matters arising.

4) Chairman’s Report

Michael Neale Dalton reported that in the fourteen months since the previous AGM, two major events had taken place with the 2008 Irish Gathering in Birr and the 2009 Australian Gathering in Orange, both of which had been fully reported on the DGS website and in the DGS Journal. He congratulated Ciaran Dalton, Irish Secretary, Maureen Collins, Australian Secretary, and their excellent and hard working teams of helpers for two highly successful Gatherings.

During the year Millicent Craig had retired as American Secretary, following a period with Karen Preston as Assistant Secretary and then the formal announcement of the full handover at the Orange Gathering in March 2009. On her retirement, Millicent accepted the invitation of the Committee to become the DGS Vice President. The Chairman praised the outstanding work of Millicent over many years which has greatly contributed to the success of the Society.

The Journal continued to flourish and John Dalton was thanked for all his efforts as Editor. Dairne Irwin was congratulated as editor of “Daltons in History” with help behind the scenes from Mel Irwin. The sheer volume of material published was amazing. Martin Fitzgerald was thanked for his major contribution to the DGS website, David Preston for his input in reformatting the Dalton Databank and creating the new Dalton Forum, and Chris Pomery for his continuing work on the Dalton International DNA Project.

Michael Neale Dalton reported that, as a founder member of the Guild of One Name Studies which had celebrated its 30th Anniversary this year with the Annual Conference at Peterborough attended by 160 delegates, he had been awarded a Certificate of Appreciation.

The Chairman concluded by thanking all officers and committee members and all those who had worked behind the scenes in a busy and highly successful year.

Maureen Collins commented on the value of the Dalton Forum and felt that it had already contributed to raising the profile of the Society.

5) Treasurer’s Report

Mel Irwin presented the Statement of Accounts for 2008 (reproduced below). He particularly highlighted the increasing costs of producing and sending out the Journal and then invited questions.

In reply to Margaret Deyes who asked why no Gift Aid had been reclaimed, the Treasurer explained that the claim was made every two or three years. Howard Dalton pointed out the complications in claiming Gift Aid and congratulated the Treasurer on producing this year’s accounts. The Chairman noted that the financial position of the Society was on a sound footing. This was the first year to take into account the increased subscriptions.

The adoption of the Accounts was then proposed by Alicia Riley, seconded by Margaret Deyes and carried unanimously. The Chairman thanked Mel Irwin for his hard work.

6) Secretary’s Report

The Chairman read the report of Pam Lynam in her absence. It has been a quieter year with fewer enquiries. The current membership stood at 291 active members worldwide. There had been two new UK members and one from Ireland in the past year.

It was with regret that she reported Michael Cayley, until last year the DGS Librarian & Archivist in which role he had made an invaluable contribution to the Society, had resigned his membership. She received the Charity Commission Newsletter on behalf of the Society by email on a regular basis.

The Chairman expressed thanks to Pam for her continuing work.

7) Election of officers and committee

All the officers and committee members offered themselves for re-election. There were no further nominations. It was proposed by Audrey Dalton that they all be re-elected en bloc and this was seconded by Alicia Riley and carried unanimously.

The Chairman requested more members to offer themselves to serve on the committee, particularly with the forthcoming 40th Anniversary celebrations. He especially thanked Pat Robinson for her able work in dealing with enquiries for back copies of the Journal which provided extra revenue for the Society.

8) Reports by the Editors of the DGS Journal and of “Daltons in History”

John Dalton requested a greater number of contributions for the Journal. This was a vital platform for members to write about their family history. All contributions were welcomed great or small. Mention was made of the improved quality of photographic printing in recent issues.

Dairne Irwin also requested a steady stream of contributions to “Daltons in History” and emphasised that they need to be received in good time. She referred to her “floor system” in order to collate the articles which usually took a whole day to organise. The Chairman showed a large folder which held an amazing spectrum of articles for “Daltons in History” for the past six months. Dairne and John were again congratulated for their expertise and hard work.

9) Report on the Dalton International DNA Project

Among the websites which members had been able to view and discuss immediately prior to the AGM was the Family Tree DNA site. The Chairman had taken the opportunity to show this to the various genetic family groups represented at the meeting.

Issue 3 of the DNA report by Chris Pomery was yet to be circulated. It comprised 53 pages and was still in the process of being checked. He highlighted the presentation he made at the Orange Gathering which continues to be accessible on the DGS website. The project as a whole was ongoing with further possible links for Australian and American Daltons back to English and Irish origins. It had undoubtedly helped a substantial number to further their family history research. Further new participants had joined recently. The Chairman thanked Chris Pomery for his professional support and encouragement for the project.

10) Australian Secretary’s Report

Maureen Collins was proud that the DGS in Australia and New Zealand was celebrating its 21st year and had increased membership to a present total of 45.

She thanked Helen Smith, Jilly Warren, Wendy Fleming, and so many others who had contributed towards making the DGS Orange Gathering such an amazing and successful event. Maureen then outlined the visits to the former home of the Dalton family at Orange, and other venues over the weekend. She was overwhelmed at the enthusiastic response and encouraged by the publicity for the Orange Gathering which promised well for the future.

11) American Secretary’s Report

The report of Karen Preston was presented in her absence by the Chairman. Karen had joined the DGS Committee as Assistant Secretary in October 2008 and took over fully as Secretary in succession to Millicent Craig in March 2009.

The DGS in North America had been registered as a non-profit corporation in December 2008, and tax-exempt non-profit charity status in the US was granted in June 2009. Also the DGS in North America is now a member of the Pay-pal online payment process service.

Major improvements and updates to the Dalton Data Bank, the introduction of the Dalton Forum, and the Google-Ad Campaign had substantially increased the profile of the Society in the past year. Details were outlined in the report.

The DGS had participated in the Southern California Genealogical Society “Jamboree” in June 2009 where the DGS was given space to advertise membership. She expressed her thanks to David Preston, who had designed and printed the brochures and designed the advert layout for the Jamboree syllabus.

Present membership renewals stood at 66 as of 15th August 2009 with more replies expected.

Planning had already commenced for the 2011 DGS Gathering to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 14th 15th and 16th October.

The Chairman praised Karen for her encouraging report and again paid to tribute to Millicent Craig as past Secretary. He stressed the need for promoting the new Dalton Forum, which had replaced the old guest book facility on the website.

12) Irish Secretary’s Report

In the absence of Ciaran Dalton, the Chairman passed on his greetings and looked back on a most enjoyable Gathering in Birr in 2008. It was hoped that a return visit to Ireland could be planned in the future.

13) Forthcoming Gatherings and and AGMs

2010 will be the 40th Anniversary of the formation of the Dalton Genealogical Society and this special Gathering is to be held in Reigate, Surrey with full details to be published soon in “Daltons in History”, and in the forthcoming Journal.

In October 2011, the Annual Gathering will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. There will be a separate AGM in England earlier in the year with details and venue yet to be finalised.

For 2012 or 2013, a possible return visit to Ireland is being considered.

14) Any other business

Maureen Collins highlighted the need for more active promotion and publicity for the DGS in the UK.

Howard Dalton suggested the idea of articles pertaining to Dalton place names and associations with a view to publishing in “Daltons in History” on a regular basis. He undertook to coordinate this.

There being no further business, the Chairman formally closed the meeting at 12.45 pm.

Accounts for 2008
Charity Number 298251
INCOME ACCOUNT for period 1 January to 31 December 2008
Income: Expenditure:      
2007 2008   2007 2008
Subscriptions       Journals Jun-07
400.00 428.00
734.00 560.00
Australia   293.30 274.77    
UK   624.50 687.50   AGM Leaflet
USA   1247.21 1170.73   Annual Gathering Booklet
Bank Interest 0.29 0.89   Distribution Jun-07
291.02 344.73
    Costs Dec-07
340.34 355.07
Binders, Journals       Journal Reprints
  70.00 0.00
and Leaning Book 0.00 33.00   Associated Expenses
  19.20 0.00
Sales of Memorabillia
201.00 0.00   F.F.H.S. Subscription   75.00 93.50
Gift Aid Rebate 0.00 0.00   Secretarial Expenses   46.00 0.00
    Treasurers Expenses   57.93 0.00
Anonymous Donation
400.00 500.00   DNA Consultant   500.00 500.00
  IT Consultancies
592.73 0.00
Income for Worcester 2007 5470.50 -   Expenditure for Worcester 2007 5066.71 -
Income for Birr 2008 - 2912.50   Expenditure for Birr 2008 - 2712.85
    Excess of Income over expenditure 43.87 405.24
8236.80 5579.39   8236.80 5579.39
CAPITAL ACCOUNT at 31 December 2008
HSBC Bank Account 6478.65 6883.89   Capital Account at 31 Dec 2007 6619.22 6663.09
Stock of Memorabillia 184.44 184.44   Add Surplus for 2008 43.87 405.24
6663.09 7068.33   6663.09 7068.33