from a talk given by Dr. Lucy J. Slater

This is not a story of a great knight, Sir Robert Dalton of Bispham, who rode forth to the battle of Crecy in 1346, in his best armour with his squires, his standard bearer and even a priest with a portable altar, so that he could have communion if all did not go well at the battle. It is not the story of a cavalier like Sir Robert of Thurnham, who rode with Prince Rupert in his plumed velvet hat and the high riding boots which proved to be so disastrous at the battle of Worcester, in September 1651. When their horses had been shot from under them, they could neither fight nor run away, thanks to their tight high heeled boots.

No, this is the story of hard labour, the everlasting fight against ill health, poor housing and near starvation, which was the lot of the Oldham Daltons. In 1664, as we saw in the article "Three Dalton Families of Oldham" in DGS Journal 15 (2) 1986, a John Dalton and his wife, Ellen, baptised a child, John, at Oldham St. Mary's. No mention of the name Dalton had occurred in the parish registers before then. But a recent search through the Oldham St. Mary's registers and the IGI have produced the fact that Ellen Jackson, was baptised at St. Mary's on 9 March 1634, daughter of Thomas Jackson of Jackson's Pit, and also that Thomas Jackson married Elizabeth Clarkson at Bury, on 18th November, 1632.

So it seems that John Dalton may have come from Bury. The printed registers of Bury St. Peter's, produced the facts that John, son of John Dalton was baptised there on 29 October 1658 and buried on 5th March 1658/9. Also Alice, a daughter of John Dalton could have been the child that John and Ellen buried at Oldham in 1665. I have not yet found the marriage of John Dalton and Ellen Jackson, despite extensive searches of the parish registers of Rochdale, Saddleworth, Ashton, Middleton and Manchester.

Certainly, the couple came to Oldham bringing with them three other children, John, James and Robert, who was probably the eldest son of John, but could have been his younger brother. It was probably the Act of Settlement after the end of the Civil War which brought John and Ellen to Oldham. Under this act, people wandering the countryside had to make their way back to their parish of origin and settle there. There seems to be some connection with Fox Denton, as Robert and one of his daughters married partners from there. Robert married twice and had eleven children, of who seven were buried as children in Oldham. His offspring seem to have moved away from Oldham soon after 1740 and we hear no more about them.

The Dalton family lived at Jackson's Pit, which was probably at that time an open cast coal pit belonging to Ellen's father, Thomas. John's second son, James, became a coal miner and his youngest son became a hand loom weaver. (Charts 1, 2, 3, of DGS Journal 15, 1986) show the descendents of John and the descendents of James are given in charts 5, 6, 7, and of the paper, "The Owd'am Rough Yeds"). The object of this paper is to piece together the remaining branches of the Daltons of Oldham, which have not already been covered by the previous papers. They were mainly weavers by trade.

The method used to put together the first part of these family trees up to about 1700 was a simple one developed in the 1960's by me and Dr. Scofield, using the Cambridge ICL Titan computer. Firstly, all references to the family name Dalton were extracted from the parish registers of Oldham St. Mary's. These were then sorted into strict time sequence and pieced together into family groups. This method always works well, even when it is done by hand, provided that the population study is not too large and is a closed one in the sense that not many people enter or leave the population except by birth or death.

Oldham was such a population at that time to about 1800. In 1790, it was about 1600, by 1811 it had risen tenfold by immigration to 16,500, 28,000 in 1841 and 40,000 in 1851. For more information about this approach to family history, see Peter Laslett, "The World We Have Lost", Methuen, 1965 and "Identifying People In The Past" by E. Wrigley, Edward Arnold, 1973. After about 1700, the population explosion means that this method cannot be expected to work well and it has to be supplemented by the ordinary hit and miss methods of family history.

In the early 1700's the main support of the family seems to have been coal mining, at first probably in Jackson's Pit and then when that seam of coal gave out, they got another pit at Bardsley Brow. There are many small seams of coal near the surface in the Oldham area, but these are mostly very thin and full of shale and so make for hard and difficult mining.

I remember going in the coal strike of 1926 with my uncles and an old pram to get coal from such a seam high on the moors. It could be just picked up from the ground. In the early 1700's, one man and his sons could earn some sort of a living from working such a seam. The last working coal mine in Oldham, the Chamber Colliery at the bottom of Chamber Road, shut down soon after the second war, about 1947. So there are no colliers in Oldham today. Coal mining, even in such shallow mines was not without its dangers. James' grandson, Benjamin, was killed in his coal pit. His son, also a James, became a joiner instead and his two sons, John and James, became hatters and had between them five wives and twenty one children.

The remaining brother, John the weaver, is the direct ancestor of several members of the DGS living today; me, John Dalton of Oswaldtwistle and his brother Anthony, Tom Dalton of Waterhead, Oldham and Alicia Riley. There are no doubt many more Daltons whom we have not joined onto this mammoth family tree".

Part II, Daltons of Oldham will continue in the May 1999 issue of "Daltons in History". A picture of the author, Lucy J. Slater, follows.

Editor's note. Beginning with the family of Robert Dalton of Priest Hill b. 1662, and who married Sara Stansfield of Fox Denton, the following surnames appear in the family tree; Stansfield, Ashton, Hadfield, Winterbottom, Halliwell, Scholes, Kershaw, Mellor, Thornborrow.

Dr. Lucy J. Slater, Secretary of the DGS Lucy is presiding over the DGS table at the Family History Fair at Cherry Hinton near Cambridge in November 1998. Note the DALTON MUSEUM memorabilia from the Coffeyville, KS Museum.

Preface by Millicent V. Craig

In the article, The Daltons of Oldham, Lucy Slater mentions in Part II (May issue) the plight of the cotton workers in the northern vales of England when the supply of fine cotton was disrupted by the American Civil War. On this side of the Atlantic, the War caused untold hardship through the loss of a husband or father, and destruction of the entire southern economy which was highly dependent on the low-cost farm worker.

Even before the Civil War, in the 1820's, 1830's and 1840's, the southern states increased the construction of cotton mills to the point where numbers had surpassed those of the northern mills. England had preferred to purchase all of the crop, spin and weave it, and return the finished goods to the states. Southern plantation owners and businessmen decided they would process the product from seed to finished goods, thereby maintaining the value added in production.

As reconstruction progressed the sharecropper system became a way of life for many disenfranchised people, not just in cotton farming but in tobacco and other crops as well. A sharecropper grew crops on rented land and labored along with all family members who were able to do so. The landlord supplied him with the land, a house, equipment, work animals and cash or credit to live on until the crop was harvested. Sharecroppers received one-half to
three fourths of the crop regardless of unfavorable weather conditions or crop pests. Many lived at the edge of poverty and had little in the way of material possessions.

When we examine the migration patterns of our Daltons across the south we can appreciate their contributions to its history and economic rebirth. The principal cotton growing states were North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma and there were heavy concentrations of Daltons in all of them.

One Texan's Story

From John Dalton of Gilmer, Texas we have an account of a sharecropper family's path to prosperity through a close family bond, hard work and education. This account was written by David B. Gibson, Raeford, NC.

David James Dalton's marriage to America James Hundley took place in Virginia, place and date unknown. David was killed during the Civil War and left two children: Nannie married Jippie Stone and David James Dalton (II) married Susan Bell. This David is the focus of our story. The family lived around Long Island, Gretna, and Hurt, VA. America remarried to Frank McMinnis and had five more children, Mary, Sally, Lucy, Bennie and Lester McMinnis.

David (II) was baptized on July 25, 1862 in Pittsylvania County, VA by J. W. Wallace. He married Susan Mitchell Bell on Jan. 8, 1891 at the home of Joe Bell, Susan's father. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Elmer Simpson and the witnesses were James Bell and Thomas P. Wyatt. David's sister, Nannie, smoked a corn cob pipe and wore a bonnet. She was contented with her pipe, a rocking chair and a corner to rock in. Susan's brother, Edward (Ned), who never married, had a beard down to his waist and lived on his farm on the Roanoke River, close to Long Island.

David came to Hoke (then Robeson) County and was working with a timber company. The timber company was from Red Springs, NC and had been logginng in VA. The company offered David a job in NC running the narrow gage railroad which ran to Red Springs from the edge of sandhillls. Its pupose was to haul logs to the mill. The railroad ran close to Duffie Station, forked near Millprong, with one fork going toward Wagram and the other through Bowmore to the edge of the sandhills. The railroad carried passengers on the flat cars as well as fertilizer and other freight to farms along the way. A fast walker could keep up with the speed of the train.

Susan was postmistress for a time at Millprong. Ladies in the area were amazed at Susan riding astride a horse as the ladies generally rode in buggies. The more spirited the horse, the better Susan liked riding. Yet she had a very sensitive side which she kept from David and family. She was homesick for her family in VA and often would weep for hours at being in this strange country.

David began farming, at first leasing a farm and sharecropping the remainder. The Daltons moved from farm to farm from Red Springs to Dundarrach to Antioch to Wagram as evidenced by the places of birth of their ten children. Finally, David's health failed and he had to stop farming. Their children were:

1. Nola Bell Dalton, b. 16 Oct 1891, in Millprong, baptised by E. B. Wilcox, 1891, d. 18 Apr 1966
2. Janie James Dalton, b. 22 Apr 1895 at McEachern Place, baptised by W. J. Smith 1895, d. 1 Apr 1972.
3. Mary Merritt Dalton, b. 13 July 1897 at Gilchrist Place, baptised by J. W. Wallace 1897, d.11 Apr 1976.
4. Bennie Booker, b. 4 June 1899 in Bowmore, NC, baptised by E. Pope 1899, d. 22 Jan 1994
5. Susie Earl Dalton, b. 6 Oct 1901 in Red Springs, NC, baptised by Z. T. Harrison 1901, d. 19 Jan 1994.
6. Virginia Lester Dalton, b. 24 Jan 1904 at Purcell Place, baptised by S. E. Mercer, 1904, d. 20 Sep 1998.
7. David Joseph Dalton, b. 14 June 1906 at Purcell Place, baptised by R. H. Broom, 1906, d. 9 Sep 1977.
8. Nannie Signora Dalton, b. 14 May 1911 at Purcell Place, baptised by J. W. Bradley, 1901, d. 15 Aug 1934.
9, Lacy Augusta "Pete" Dalton, b. 14 May 1911 at Purcell Place, baptised by W. J. Smith, 1911, d. 29 Sep 1962.
10. Margarette Louise Dalton, b. 8 Sep 1917, at Dundarrach, NC, baptised by Rev. Maness, 1917, Sandy Grove Methodist Church.

Education was a foremost consideration for the children. The oldest daughter, Nola graduated from business school and obtained steady employment as a bookkeeper in Lumberton, NC. Nola, David J. and other family members built their first home in Antioch. In their waning years, the parents lived with Nola in Lumberton, the only home that still exists of all the houses in which they had resided.

Bennie Booker Dalton, the father of our submitter, John Dalton, was in the first graduating class of Duke University Medical School and his son David, followed in his footsteps. Other members of this family finished law school, practiced dentistry, became college professors and teachers. Our submitter, John Dalton, with the rank of Colonel, had a distinguished career in the military and will be the subject of a forthcoming article. John Dalton is anxious to learn more about his ancestors, David James Dalton and America James Hundley Dalton. He may be contacted at:

There appears to be many Daltons who worked in the mines of Ireland and who either continued this type of work when they emigrated, or became prospectors in their new land with the hopes of making their fortune. This article lists Daltons from the Bere Peninsula in County Cork, Ireland and also those Daltons who joined the gold rush in the Yukon Territory.

Copper Mining Area of Ireland

Riobard O' Dwyer, Irish genealogist, has done extensive work on the parish records of the Bere Peninsula of Cork, Ireland. This was a copper mining area and from it emigrants went to copper mining sites in Michigan, Utah, and Montana in the U. S. and to other such locations in South Africa. We have extracted Daltons from these records for further research by potential relatives.

Adrigole Parish
Dalton Spouse
Ellen Daughton Cornelius O'Sullivan (Keagh)
Ellen Daughton James O'Sullivan

Allihies Parish

Patrick Dalton (Scripture Reader) Catherine Broderick
The Glebe, Cluin area
Edward Dalton Mary Houlihan
John Dalton Ellen O'Shea
Mary Dalton John O'Sullivan (Mike Owen)

If one of these names matches your relative, it is worth writing to the parish for dates and for information about children. There are many, many entries in which the last name of the spouse is not given and the above names are the only complete Dalton listings in the five parishes of the Bere. For future reference see:

Daltons in the Yukon Gold Rush

The greatest gold rush in American history began with the first gold find on 17 August 1896 on a small tributary of the Yukon River, Rabbit Creek, in the Yukon Territory. Of the 24,000 gold rush participants, nine were Daltons. The gold rush was over in 1899; a few remained in Alaska, but the majority headed for other parts, not necessarily for home.

A. Dalton, gold claim in Hunker Creek
Mrs. A. Dalton, Dawson Creek, Yukon Territory
Albert Dalton, Dawson Creek, Yukon Territory, miner
Alvil Dalton, Dawson Creek, Yukon Territory, miner
Frank Dalton, Dawson Creek, Yukon Territory, miner
J. J. Dalton, Teller City, miner
James P. Dalton, Nome, miner
John Dalton, Rampart City (Minook Creek), miner
John J. Dalton, Nome, Miner.
Source: Genealogical Research Library
The above Daltons could have been from Canada or from the States. Today there
are only 60 Daltons listed in the Alaska White Pages Directory and
approximately half are in Anchorage. But there are still a few in outlying
places such as Eagle River and small clusters in major cities.

A Dalton/ Hesselgrave Connection

Last month, in the March 1999 issue of "Daltons in History", we printed a query in "Daltons to the Forefront". Lisa Linden was attempting to find where and when her Irish gggrandmother Dalton was born and where she was married. She was a maid from Ireland in the household of a Hesselgrave family in Northern England, fell in love with a son William, and they married.

In the interim, realizing that Hesselgrave was an uncommon name, we queried the GOONS (Guild of One Name Studies) as to whether there might be a Hesselgrave ONS ( One Name Study). We were directed to a Hesselgrave in England who passed it on to the secretary of the Hesselgrave Family Association. She enthusisatically responded and sent family charts, copies of quarterly Hesselgrave Letters, and short histories of the Hesselgrave family going back to 1270.

Indeed she knew the branch of Lisa's family quite well. Joseph Hesselgrave, father of William had a confectionery shop in Queen's Place, Leeds, England. William Ewart Reginald Hesselgrave was one of nine children of Joseph and Emma Vollans Hesselgrave and married Mary Elizabeth Dalton, the Irish maid, in Dublin on 11th April 1908. The reason for marrying in Dublin was a difference in religious beliefs. Mary Elizabeth was a Roman Catholic and William converted. Joseph, the father, was a Methodist. Mary Elizabeth was born in Dublin on 28 May 1888. She was the daughter of Thomas and Kathleen D'Alton. It was from Dublin that the couple came to Indianapolis, IN and it was here that Mary Elizabeth dropped the apostrophe from her name. In 1957, William and Mary Elizabeth returned to England for a reunion and the celebration of the 100th birthday of William's mother, Emma. William died in 1958; Mary Elizabeth died in 1968; and both are buried in Indianapolis.

The DGS is pleased that we could make this connection for Lisa. Her next step is to identify the parish in Dublin where Mary Elizabeth D'Alton's birth and marriage took place. All queries to "Daltons in History" are given consideration and we wish that we could make a connection for each and every one.

Another Connection

Shirley Lynn of MO signed the Guest Book of the DGS web site and her surnames of D eLozier, Dyer, Todd, Raney and Parks looked familiar. They are the surnames of a frequent visitor to the Guest Page, Junwell Brantley of AZ. They were unknown to each other and they are now in touch. Hopefully their dual efforts will speed their research and discoveries.

A Connection to be Made

It is rather unusual that we are seeking descendents of a family rather than ancestors. In the title article, Daltons of Oldham, one branch of the family came from Tithbarn, England and settled in Jacksonville. We are assuming that it was Jacksonville, FL. Thus far there is no trace of the descendents.

James Dalton, c. 1777 married Ann HALLIWELL in 1803. Three of their children are known to have come to the US. They are:
James Dalton, b. 1810 in England, married Betty SCHOLES in 1836 and died in Jacksonville in 1891.
Thomas Search Dalton, c. 1814, unknown.
Mary Ann Dalton, c. 1814 married Albert KERSHAW in Jacksonville in 1856 and d. 1882 in US.
William Dalton, c. 1817, married Mary MELLOR in 1840 (c. 1818). William d. 1875 in US and Mary d. 1857 in US.

William and Mary Mellor Dalton had four children:
John Mellor Dalton, c. 1840, unknown.
James Dalton, b. 1842, unknown.
Mary Ann Dalton, c. 1844, married Stephen THORNBORROW in US and d. 1919.
Miriam Mellor Dalton, b. 1846, d. 1847.

Any one having knowledge of a Dalton connection to SCHOLES, KERSHAW, THORNBORROW, please contact the editor, or write to Dr. Lucy J. Slater whose address is on the Entitlements page. Lucy may well be your English relative.

There is a very large settlement of D'Altons and Daltons in South Africa. Those using the apostrophe in their names are believed to be descended from the Irish or French branches, and the others are from England. The following lost their lives in World War I and World War II. Caution: This may not be a complete list.

Name: Edmund Dalton, Air Mechanic, 1st Squadron, South African Air Force, died. 11 Feb
1942, age 22
Parents: Edmund and M. G. Dalton of Johannesburg, Transvsaal, South Africa.
Burial: El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt.

Name: F. A. Dalton, Sapper, So. African Engineer Corp, died 7 April 1946, age 41.
Parent: Son of John P. Dalton and Nelly Dalton; husband of Johanna S. Dalton of Willowmore.
Burial: Willowmore Cemetery, Eastern Cape, So. Africa.

Name: John Pearis Dalton, Private, 1st Regiment, So. African Infantry, died 13 Oct 1916,
age 20.
Parents: John Pearis Dalton and Martha Catrina Dalton of Stockesntroom Street, George Cape Province, So. Africa.
Burieal: France.

Name: R. C. Dalton, Second Lieutenant, 34th Squadron, South African Air Force, died 4
April 1945, age 20.
Parents: Herbert C. J. and Mary A. Dalton, of Green Point, Cape Province, So. Africa.
Burial: Italy

Name: Stanley McKenzie Dalton, Private, South African Medical Corps, 4th Field Ambulance, died 12 Aug 1916, age 19.
Parents: William and Mary Helen Dalton, 54 Roberts Av., Kensington, Johannesburg, South
Africa. Born at Durban.
Burial: Kenya.

Name: James Joseph Dalton, Company Quartermaster Sgt., 1st (Perak) Battalion, Federated Malay States Volunteer Force, died 15 Nov 1943, age 35.
Wife: K. M. Dalton, of Ipoh, Perak, Myanamar.

From Dianne Jackman of Newfoundland and Bud Smart of the US the following data was received. This will be printed in several parts because of its length.

Belvedere Cemetery (Roman Catholic) St. John's.
E 106, Dalton, John, d. Jan 7, 1890, 73 yrs, of County Wexford, Ireland
wife, Margaret, d. Jun 5, 1912, 81 yrs..

F 144 O"Driscoll, Patrick Cleary, d. Jul 20, 1918, 60 yrs.
wife, Margaret Dalton, d. Dec 29, 1931, 69 yrs.
son, Augustine, d. Jun 6, 1892, 10 mos.
son, Patrick, d. in infancy, 1901.
daughter, Mary Winnifred, Apr 9, 1891 - Jul 31, 1964.

I 206 Kavanagh, John, d. Apr. 15, 1898, 65 years.
Dalton, Hannah, d. Jul 8, 1916, 54 yrs.
Kavanagh, Annie, d. Jul. 29, 1920, 46 yrs.
Jane, d. Jan. 16, 1914(?), 60 years.
Sullivan, Agnes, d. Feb. 1, 1953.
Kavanagh, Rose M., d. May 6, 1956.
Alice, d. May 8, 1967.

C 894 i) Tillman, Henry G., Prof of Music, d. Halifax, NS, Mar 24, 1824, d. St. John's, Jul 20,
erected by his wife, Mary.
Children: Henry, Nov 20, 1857 - Jun 30, 1862
Katie, Nov 14, 1861 - Jul 1866
Mary Ann, Apr.27, 1856 (St. John) - Nov 18 1886
(Brooklyn, NY).
Dalton, father, William, b. Co. Waterford, Ire. 1776 - d. nov 1867
Mary, mother, b. Aug. 15, 1796 (St. John's) -Apr 19, 1884 (Brooklyn NY).
ii) Elson, Alice Dalton, widow of late John Elson of Carbonear, d. May 22, 1884, Brooklyn,

U 995 Dalton, Thomas, native of Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland,d. Au 25, 1883, 68 yrs.
wife, Mary, d. Apr 10, 1899, native of Tipperary, Ireland.
son, Michael, d. Apr 21, 1880, 23 yrs.
son, Patrick, d. Mar 28, 1912, 51 yrs.

L 1562 Dalton, Michael, native of Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, d. May 6, 1897, 64
wife, Mary, d. Nov 8, 1883, 48 yrs.
son, Francis, d. Dec 9, 1884, 19 yrs

K 1649 Dalton, Johannah, widow of Patrick, d. Apr 8, 1913, 70 yrs.
son, John, d. Sep 18, 1870, 4 yrs.