What is the origin of the last name Dalton?

The surname Dalton is of English origin and derives from the Old English personal name "Dag(e)litun," which means "farmstead of Dag(e)le." The name can be further broken down into its components: "Dag(e)" refers to a personal name derived from the Old Norse "dagr," meaning "day," while "litun" denotes a settlement or farmstead. Thus, the surname Dalton signifies a connection to a farmstead associated with a person named Dag(e). Over time, variations such as Dultoun, Dailton, and Daltoun have emerged, with Dalton remaining the predominant spelling.

Countries of origin for the last name Dalton

Dalton is a last name with rich historical and genealogical roots. Derived from Old English, it holds significance in etymology and reveals intriguing insights about ancestral origins and occupations.

The name Dalton is of English origin, originating from the combination of the personal name “Dæl” and the Old English word “tūn,” meaning “enclosure” or “settlement.” As a result, Dalton translates to “the settlement in the valley.” This suggests that the early bearers of the Dalton name likely resided in a valley or near a geographical feature known as a dale.

The surname Dalton is traceable to the 11th century and can be found in various historical records, particularly in Yorkshire and Lancashire in England. It is believed to have originated as a locational or toponymic surname, indicating that it was originally used to identify a person based on their place of origin or residence.

Further analysis of the Dalton surname unveils its association with the occupation of ironworking. The term “dolton” was used to describe a small furnace used for smelting iron ore, suggesting that some bearers of the Dalton name were involved in the iron industry. This connection to ironworking can also be observed in the variations of the surname, such as “Daulton” and “Dolen,” which specifically refer to a metalworker.

The Dalton surname made its way to the New World during the age of exploration and colonization. English settlers bearing the Dalton name arrived in the American colonies, and some of their descendants played significant roles in the early development of the United States. Notably, a prominent figure named Timothy Dalton, born in 1830, served as a US Army brigadier general in the Civil War.

Despite these known aspects of the Dalton name, the full extent of its historical and genealogical significance remains elusive. The surname presents numerous avenues for exploration and research, such as tracing specific lineages, discovering additional occupations associated with the name, and uncovering tales of notable individuals who have held the Dalton surname throughout history.

Interesting facts about the last name Dalton

  • The surname Dalton is of Anglo-Saxon origin, derived from the Old English personal name “Dæl-tūn,” meaning “settlement in the valley” or “valley town.”
  • In the United States, the surname Dalton ranks among the top 1000 most common surnames.
  • Dalton is a surname that can be found in various countries, including England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
  • The Dalton family is known for their historical connections, most notably the notorious outlaw gang called the Dalton Gang, who operated in the American Old West during the late 19th century.
  • A prominent scientific figure associated with the surname Dalton is John Dalton (1766-1844), an English chemist, meteorologist, and physicist, who proposed the atomic theory of matter.
  • The Dalton coat of arms, which is associated with the surname, features a silver shield with a black saltire (a diagonal cross), accompanied by four blue scallops.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Dalton include Timothy Dalton, an English actor who portrayed James Bond in two films, and Karen Dalton, an American folk and blues singer.
  • The Dalton surname has inspired the names of various geographical locations, such as Dalton-in-Furness in England and Dalton, Georgia in the United States.
  • Dalton is a versatile surname that can be spelled in different ways, including D’Alton, Daulton, Dallton, and Dalston.
  • Genealogical research suggests that the Dalton surname has ancient origins, with the earliest recorded instances dating back to medieval England in the 12th century.

Name Rank


There are around 52184 people with the last name Dalton in the US

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