by Millicent V. Craig

Just a few years ago, mentions of Roque Dalton on the internet were fairly scarce with the exception of references to his poetry in university archives. Today there are literally thousands of internet references to this controversial man and his works. Time has modified the early stance of rejection and he has become a figure of international prominence, an El Salvadoran hero. Dalton created a personna that was rife with myths and some may have crept into unoffical biographical material.

A Glimpse of Dalton's Life
Dalton was born on May 14, 1935 in San Salvador, El Salvador. Reportedly his mother was a nurse who supported the family. He was brilliant; as valedictorian of his class he delivered an unexpected scathing speech on the disparities between the rich and the poor. He attended the University of Santiago, Chile for one year and enrolled in the University of San Salvador in 1956 where he helped found the University Literary Circle.

Dalton traveled to Russia in 1957, attended the Moscow Youth Festival and upon his return to El Salvador, joined the Communist Party. He was subsequently arrested for enlisting workers, students and peasants to rise up against the wealthy landowners. Legend is that he was to be executed (although there is not a record of a civil trial at this time), but was spared with the overthrow of the dicatorship. Mexico became his home in exile and during 1961 it was there that he composed most of his early poetry.

Roque, a militant revolutionary, travelled to Cuba where he mingled with other Latin American writers and where he published his works from 1962 onward. In 1965 he ventured back to El Salvador where he was again arrested for his political work and although sentenced to death, fate intervened. An earthquake demolished part of the prison from which he extricated himself and fled to freedom.

He returned to Cuba and the Party sent him to Prague as correspondent for "The International Review: Problems of Peace and Socialism". Reflecting on his long stay in Czechoslovakia, Dalton wrote "Tavern and Other Places" and this book won the Casa de las Americas poetry prize in 1969. On his return to Cuba he worked for Radio Habana and La Prensa.

Dalton believed that only armed revolution would free the masses in El Salvador and this philosophy was at odds with the "legalistic" approach of the Communist Party. He returned to El Salvador and enlisted in a small guerilla group, the ERP, (Ejercito Revolucionario del Pueblo). Because of the publicity that had surrounded him in his lifetime, the organization required him to undergo extensive plastic surgery so that he would not be recognized. Armed with false identity papers, he disappeared "into the world of clandestinity" for eighteen months and it was during this period he penned his most famous "Clandestine Poems", a work that reflected the political situation in El Salvador.

Within the ERP, Dalton had political differences with the leaders and was accused of trying to divide it. He was condemned to death and executed on 10 May 1975, four days before his fortieth birthday. For many years the location of his grave was unknown. The Human Rights Division issued a report in 1993 indicating that the burial site was near Quezaltepeque. Because the remains were buried only 50 centimeters deep, the site was dug up by predators and thus no remains of El Salvador's famous writer exist today. A son, journalist Juan Jose Dalton, currently concentrates his efforts on furthering the cause of human rights in his native land.

Roque Dalton's Ancestry
There are several myths that surround the life of Dalton and one of them may be resolved. Throughout his lifetime, Dalton proclaimed that his father was a "gringo", an American member of the Dalton Gang family who left Kansas after robberies and visited El Salvador. We knew that this was highly unlikely as the last two brothers of this family were in their sixties and living in California when Roque was born in 1935.

Despite the fact that the Jesuit University in El Salvador had recently accorded Dalton's works a place of prominence in its literary curriculum, no official biography was on file. Referral was made to Prof. Rafael Lara-Martinez of the New Mexico Institute who is conducting research for a biography. We provided the Professor with possible ancestral background data to use in an interview with relatives of Dalton. The interview took place in El Salvador before Christmas 2000. Preliminary findings indicate that Roque Dalton is a direct descendent of "Henry Dalton, the California Ranchero", who was christened in St. Ann's Parish in the Limehouse section of London on 8 Oct 1804. See "Daltons in History" article on the subject, Vol.3, No. 6, June 2000 and an accompanying article in Vol. 3, No. 8, August 2000. What we have yet to learn is whether Roque is descended from the Peruvian love of Henry or from Henry and his spouse, Maria Guadalupe Zamorano.

As Professor Lara-Martinez continues to uncover the true Roque Dalton, we will report additional ancestral findings. In his short lifetime, this prolific writer produced 11 volumes of poetry. A sample of his writings can be found on the internet simply by typing in his name.

The following list of convicts who were transported to Australia was compiled by Noreen O'Connor of Dublin from records in The National Archives of Ireland.

John Byrne, age 16, alias Patrick Dalton. Trial 12/01/1846 in Dublin County, felony count, sentence transportation 7 years
Alicia Dalton, age 22. Trial 30/12/1851 in County Westmeath, sheep stealing, transportation 7 years.
Ally Dalton, age 17. Trial 9/ 7/1842 in County Leitrim, cattle stealing, transportation 10 years.
Ann Dalton, age 21. Trial 1837 in County Limerick, larcency, transportation 7 years, Ship Diamond, 15/11/1837
Catherine Dalton, age 18. Trial 18/6/1839 in County Roscommon, larcency, transportation 7 years.
Catherine Dalton, age 23. Trial 11/3/1842 in County Carlow, larcency, transportation 7 years.
Eleanor Dalton, age 29. Trial 12/4/1852 in County Kilkenny, arson, transportation 15 years.
Francis Dalton, age 25. Trial 5/7/1836 in County Roscommon, robbery of a gun, death sentence commuted to transportation 14 years. Detained on board hulk "Surprize" 30/7/1836
Garrett Dalton, age 24. Trial 8/3/1840 in County Tipperary, forged promissory note, transportation life.
Honora Dalton, age 42. Trial 2/7/1853 in County Kerry, cattle stealing, transportation 7 years.
James Dalton, age 26. Trial 9/1/1841 in County Kerry, cattle stealing, transportation 10 years commuted to 7 years.
James Dalton, age 33. Trial 19/10/1841 in County Tipperary, grievous assault, transportation 7 years.
James Dalton, age 71. Trial 1/1/1847 in County Kilkenny, imprisonment Spike Island, Cork. Crime - felony, transportation 7 years. Ship Pestonjee Bomanjee.
James Dalton. Trial 2/7/1849 in County Limerick, cow stealing, transportation 15 years. Ship:Rodney, 11/1852.
Jas. Dalton, age 33. Trial 19/10/1841 in County Cork, grievous assault, transportation 7 years.
John Dalton. Trial 1842 in County Limerick, assaulting habitation, seven years transportation. Convicted with Cornelius Dalton. Also in file James Dalton, armed, fined.
John Dalton, age 19. Trial 1/1/1847 in County Kilkenny, felony, transportation 7 years.
John Dalton, age 26. Trial 12/4/1838 in County Mayo, larcency, trnasportation 7 years. Ship: Clyde 8/5/1838. Convict resides in Castlebar, County Mayo.
Joseph Dalton, age 49. Trial 15/3/1841 in County Kildare, robbery, transportation 10 years.
Mary Anne Dalton. Trial 8/1/1851 in Dublin City, larcency, transportation 7 years. Ship: J. W. Dare, 12/1851
Michael Dalton, age 32. Trial 22/10/1851 in County Kerry, larcency, transportation 7 years. Convict ordered to be discharged, 12/11/1851.
Michael Dalton. Trial 10/4/1848 in Waterford City, sheep stealing, transportation 7 years.
Nicholas Dalton, age 23. Trial 8/1/1848 in County Kilkenny, larcency, transportation 7 years. Document date: 4/8/1848. Petitioner; Nicholas Dalton, father.
Patrick Dalton, age 16 (Alias John Burne). Trial 12/01/1846 in County Dublin, felony, transportation 7 years.
Patrick Dalton, age. 16. Trial 30/10/1850 in County Kilkenny, cattle stealing, transportation 10 years.
Patrick Dalton, age 21, alias Mulligan. Trial 26/10/1852 in Dublin City, larcency and former conviction, transportation. Ship: Amazon 4/1854. Convict ordered to be discharged, 8/3/1860.
Richard Dalton. Trial 9/4/1847 in County Waterford, larcencies, transportation 7 years.
Rose Dalton. Trial 6/2/1852 in Dublin City, larcency, transportation 7 years.
Thomas Dalton, age 17. Trial 24/5/1847 in County Dublin, felony (of velvet purse and money). transportation 7 years. Ship: Blenheim 7/1851. Imprisonment: Spike Island, Cork.
Thomas Dalton, age 27. Trial 25/2/1840 in County Longford, coining, transportation 14 years.
Thomas Dalton, age 24. Document date: 25/7/1832. Trial in County Westmeath, imprisonment: hulk, Essex, larcency, transportation for 7 years.
James Dalton. Trial 9/1/1841 in Tralee, County Kerry. Imprisonment: Tralee, cow stealing, transportation for 10 years. Petitioner - self, 7 years.
William Dalton, age 20. Trial 4/1/1836 in County Wexford, assault with intent to rob, transportation 7 years. Convict detained on board hulk, Essex. 18/5/1836.
William Dalton, no date, County Waterford, imprisoned in County Waterford, murder, commuted 2 April 1834
Patrick Mulligan, alias Patrick Dalton, age 21. Trial 26/10/1852 in County Dublin, larcency and former conviction, transportation 10 years. Ship: Amazon 4/1854.
Edward Dalton. Trial 10/11/1827 in Athy, County Kildare, possessing a stolen horse, transportation for life. Petitioners: convict and Maurice Connor, other defendant. Both were natives of Ballymore, Eustice, County Dublin. Imprisonment; Naas, County Kildare.
Thomas Halfpenny. Trial 5/4/1840. Convicts daughter, Rose Halfpenny granted a free passage to NSW. His niece, Rose Dalton, also seeks free passage. They reside in Kingscourt, Co. Cavan.
Christopher Dalton. Trial 24/10/1807. Crime: stealing some wine, transportation. Pardon recommended on enlisting in militia - states he had large family.
Garrett Dalton, age 24. Trial 8/3/1839 in County Tipperary, uttering a forged promissory note, transportation for life. Trial in Clonmel 14/13/1839. Transportation: life commuted to one year.

from Millicent V. Craig

The discovery of silver in 1878, made Leadville a boom town almost overnight. The population swelled to some 30,000 and for many it was a case of rags to riches to rags as the veins petered out. Between 1882 and 1890 there were several Dalton miners listed in the city Directories of Leadville.

One, Thomas Dalton, was a porter at the Tabor Grand Hotel owned by the famous HAW Tabor who vowed his fortune would return in the Matchless Mine. In 1935, his widow, "Baby Doe", froze to death in a cabin near the entrance to the mine waiting for the mine to come back.

E. P. Dalton, laborer for the railway, 1886, 1887
Ed. Dalton, laborer at American Smelter, 1890
John Dalton, bar keeper, 1882
J. W. Dalton, Harrison Ave., 1884
John J. Dalton, miner, 1886-1890
Robert Dalton, miner, 1885-1890
Thomas Dalton, porter, Tabor Grand Hotel, 1886
Thomas F. Dalton, laborer, 1882
Miss Hannah Dalton, listed in 1888 Directory.

The Colorado State Archives has a wealth of genealogical information. A list of currently available records may be viewed at: The E-mail address is:

by Millicent V. Craig

It is becoming more apparent that individuals and family historians are turning to DNA analysis as a means of leaping generations and finding biological connections. Most of the articles on the subject have appeared in scientific or genealogical journals, but it has now become the subject of the mass media. U. S. News and World Report is the latest to devote the cover story of the January 29, 2001 magazine to "Tracing Your Genetic Roots". The story has appeal to those who have become frustrated in their efforts to break down their brick wall. Examples of how this genealogical tool is being used follow.

In one case, an African American woman in New York had traced her roots but could not make the connection to Africa. She was always intrigued with the fact that there were expressions in the vocabulary of her relatives that were indigenous to the people of Ghana. She decided on a DNA analysis and a matching against the the DNA profiles that are now available. Indeed, her DNA was a close match to Ghanaian DNA and her search is now centered in a certain area of Ghana.

In another case, an American with an unusual surname of European origin, had been trying for many years to connect with his family line in Europe. He recently found several namesakes in Europe and was so determined to find his roots that he paid for the DNA analysis of each of them. Only two of the group, Germans, showed a high probability that they were related to the American. This man believes that he has found his relatives who are as excited as he is with the revelation. He now has a whole new family and an avenue for family research.

Implications for Daltons

Over the years there are two questions that are constantly asked by Daltons. The first relates to the infamous Dalton Gang. In some cases, elders have passed the word down that their family was related. In other instances, the subject was taboo leading descendents to believe that they are cousins. These queries do not originate only in America, but come from all parts of the globe. Using the Y chromosome of direct male descendents of a Gang family member and matching them against the Y chromosomes of would be male Dalton cousins, will prove or disprove the claims.

The second most frequently asked question is more complex and involves spanning the oceans to learn whether a Dalton has Irish or English roots. Male descendents in their adopted countries are needed to match against those who stayed in their native land. This project is more complex because it not only would establish whether there is a close biologicla relationship, but on an anthropological level, might reveal whether the participants are from the same founder father. Are we ready to take the leap? This could also resolve the question of whether our roots or those of the Dalton Gang are in England or Ireland.

In a somewhat similar study, the Games Family of Brecon, Wales will be testing against the Gaines family descendents who emigrated to Virginia, USA in 1650 and who claim to be related based on circumstantial evidence. After 350 years, there may be a resolution to the claim.


The laws relating to DNA usage and ownership have not been written. DNA law lags behind the rapidly advancing technology and there are already cases in the courts to determine ownership of an individual's DNA. Commercial enterprises can and do claim rights, particularly if they have put research efforts into "value added" and thus justify sole claim to the "product" and resulting profits. Science is actually on the cutting edge of discovering what secrets your DNA may hold and whether there is commercial viability in it. It thus becomes imperative to determine at the outset of any project who has ownership and what rights you have.

Molecular Genealogy Study

A project of immense proportions is underway that will ultimately help determine our biological roots. Brigham Young University's Molecular Genealogy Research Group has undertaken a massive study to collect 100,000 DNA samples from 400 populations around the world. As of January 2001, almost 11,000 samples had been collected in the USA and 7,000 from countries outside the USA.

The object of the study is to link individuals in "family trees" based on the unique identification of genetic markers that can reveal relationships not found in records. To participate in the study, one has to submit a four-generation chart along with a blood sample. A schedule of blood drawings has been set up at Family History Centers and at Genealogical Society Conferences throughout the U. S. For a schedule of drawings in New Zealand, Australia and Canada, contact your local LDS. There are no applications nor fees required. Just appear at the appointed time with your chart. Will the searching of records one day be obsolete? Will we be satisified with the instant answer, with instant scaling of the brick wall? Time is drawing nigh.

For an extensive explanation of the molecular genealogy study, its aims, the location of blood drawings in the year 2001, go to:

compiled by DGS Librarian, Michael Cayley

Holy Trinity, King's Court (otherwise Christ Church) 1716-1812

3/11/1706 Jane Dalton, daughter of Thomas Dalton
24/10/1708 Thomas Dalton son of Thomas Dalton
4/3/1710 Boulton Dolton son of William Dolton
6/1/1712 John Dalton son of Stephen Dalton
3/2/1712 Mary Dalton daughter of Thomas Dalton
6/5/1712 Ann Dalton daughter of William Dalton
23/11/1713 Ursley Dalton daughter of William Dalton, butcher
22/12/1714 John Dalton, son of Thomas Dalton, butcher and his wife, Mary
27/3/1716 William Dalton, son of William Dalton
7/4/1717 John Dalton, son of William Dalton
3/4/1720 Thomas Dalton, son of Thomas Dalton
9/4/1724 Alice Dalton, daughter of Thomas Dalton and his wife, Mary
12/8/1725 Stephen Dalton, son of Thomas and Mary Dalton
25/4/1730 Mark Dalton, son of Thomas Dalton and his wife, Mary
24/5/1732 William Dalton, son of Thomas Dalton junior, butcher, by his wife Eleanor
18/8/1734 John Dalton, son of Thomas Dalton
13/6/1737 Mary Dalton, daughter of Thomas Dalton
30/7/1739 Thomas Dalton son of Thomas Dalton
15/4/1741 Thomas Dalton, son of Thomas Dalton
10/3/1773 Richard Dalton son of Thomas Dalton, butcher
22/8/1774 Henry Dalton, son of Thomas Dalton, butcher, and wife, Mary
7/11/1776 Thomas Dalton, son of Thomas Dalton
24/9/1779 George Dalton, son of Thomas Dalton, butcher and Rachel, his second wife. Born - baptised 3/10/1779
2/1/1782 Ellen Dalton, daughter of Thomas Dalton, butcher, and his second wife, Rachel
15/10/1783 William Dalton, son of Thomas Dalton, butcher and his second wife, Rachel
29/1/1786 Henry, illegitimate son of Jane Dalton, widow

5/9/1709 William Dalton and Jane Abbat both of this parish
21/1/1745 George Wreaks of Sheriff Hutton, diocese of York, married Alice Dalton of this parish
30/12/1749 George Turner and Isabel Dalton, both of this parish
17/10/1756 Richard and Martha Dalton witnesses the marriage of John Atkinson and Anne Ayrton
9/9/1771 Thomas Dalton witnessed the marriage of John Acomb, butcher, and Jane Atkinson
9/6/1772 Thomas Dalton, butcher, bachelor, married Mary Wheatley of Nether Poppleton, spinster
7/10/1773 Richard and Martha Dalton witnessed the marriage of Mark Ellis and Ann Swann
23/12/1792 Stephen Dalton witnessed the marriage of Reginald Heber, silk dyer, and Mary Fryer
25/8/1810 John Dalton, bricklayer, married Elizabeth Lupton of All Saints Pavement. Witnesses included Thomas Dalton and Hannah Dalton
15/7/1811 George Dalton witnessed the marriage of John Dibb and Elis. Calvart
30/12/1811 George Dalton witnessed the marriage of William Clout and J. Whitehead
2/11/1812 George Dalton witnessed the marriage of Charles Scurr and Hannah Allison

15/6/1714 William Dalton, son of Thomas Dalton, butcher
17/3/1714 Ursley Dalton, daughter of William Dalton, butcher
12/8/1714 Elizabeth Dalton, daughter of Stephen Dalton, butcher, and his wife, Jane
27/3/1716 Ann Dalton, daughter of William Dalton
29/5/1732 Mary Dalton, daughter of Thomas Dalton, Sr., butcher
9/4/1736 Jane Dalton
12/10/1738 John Dalton
15/11/1739 Thomas Dalton, son of Thomas Dalton
21/5/1765 Ann, illegitimate daughter of Ann Dalton
11.9.1766 Ellen, wife of Thomas Dalton, butcher
19/7/1774 Thomas Dalton, butcher
23/4/1778 Mary Dalton, wife of Thomas Dalton, butcher. Buried - died in childbirth, age 37
29/3/1781 Ellen Dalton, daughter of Thomas Dalton, butcher, and Rachel, his second wife
9/8/1784 Rachel, second wife of Thomas Dalton buried - died in childbirth
23/11/1792 Thomas Dalton, butcher
4/5/1804 George Dalton, barber died- buried 7/5/1804
17/11/1806 John Dalton, son of Mary Dalton died - buried 19/11/1806, 3 years of age

The above records were extracted by Michael Cayley, DGS Libarian, from the files of the Society of Genealogists (SOG). E-mail: