Eldom History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Ireland already had an established system of hereditary surnames when the Strongbownians arrived. Often the two traditions blended together quite well due to some of their basic similarities, but the incoming Anglo-Norman system brought in some forms that were uncommon amongst the Irish. One of these Anglo-Norman anomalies was the prevalence of local surnames, such as Eldom. Local names were taken from the names of a place or a geographical feature where the person lived, held land, or was born. Originally, the place names were prefixed by de, which means from in French. This type of prefix was eventually either made a part of the surname if the place name began with a vowel or was eliminated entirely. The local surnames of these Strongbownian invaders referred to places in Normandy, or more typically England, but eventually for those Anglo- Normans that remained in Ireland, the nicknames referred to places or geographical features of the island: they became true local names. The Eldom family appears to have originally lived in one of the various places called Alton in England. The name usually means old farmstead or farmstead at the source of a river. The surname Eldom belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees. The modern form of the surname is D'Alton derived from the original Gaelic form of the surname de Dalatún.
Early Origins of the Eldom family
The surname Eldom was first found in Alton, England where one source claims a Walter fled to "from France having incurred the wrath of the French king by secretly marrying his daughter." Another source has a clearer version of origin, namely: "that Sir Waltero de Aliton, a Frenchman, aspiring to gain the affections of his king's daughter, so incurred the displeasure of her father, that, to avoid the fury of an incensed Monarch, Sir Walterio, with his lady, privately, retired into Ireland." This same Walterio fought so valiantly that he was made "governor of the borders of Meath" where he "acquired great estates and possessions."  Essentially, the origins are similar; Walter (Walterio) fled with the king's daughter to England (Ireland.) We will probably never know which rendition is true, but we do know that the surname was in Ireland as early as the 13th century, so much so that the name had a Gaelic version: Dalatún.
Important Dates for the Eldom family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Eldom research. Another 88 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1369, 1561, 1610, 1679, 1659, 1679, 1792 and 1867 are included under the topic Early Eldom History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Eldom Spelling Variations
Church officials and medieval scribes often spelled early surnames as they sounded. This practice often resulted in many spelling variations of even a single name. Early versions of the name Eldom included: Dalton, Alton, Daltone, D'Alton, Daulton, Daltoun, Altown, Altoun, Altowne, Altone, Daltowne, Daltoune, Dalten, Daltin, Dallton and many more.
Early Notables of the Eldom family (pre 1700)
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Eldom Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Eldom family
Ireland went through one of the most devastating periods in its history with the arrival of the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. Many also lost their lives from typhus, fever and dysentery. And poverty was the general rule as tenant farmers were often evicted because they could not pay the high rents. Emigration to North America gave hundreds of families a chance at a life where work, freedom, and land ownership were all possible. For those who made the long journey, it meant hope and survival. The Irish emigration to British North America and the United States opened up the gates of industry, commerce, education and the arts. Early immigration and passenger lists have shown many Irish people bearing the name Eldom: Philemon Dalton was a linen weaver who arrived on the ship "Increase" in the year 1635; four years after the "Mayflower." William Dalton is recorded as arriving on the ".
- ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
- ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)