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 Dowltoom. 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 Dowltoom 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 Dowltoom 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 Dowltoom family
The surname Dowltoom 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."CITATION[CLOSE]
MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
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." CITATION[CLOSE]
O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
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.
Early History of the Dowltoom family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dowltoom research.Another 175 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1369, 1561, 1610, 1679, 1659, 1679, 1792 and 1867 are included under the topic Early Dowltoom History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dowltoom Spelling Variations
During the lifetime of an individual person, his name was often spelt by church officials and medieval scribes the way it sounded. An examination of the many different origins of each name has revealed many spelling variations
for the name: Dalton, Alton, Daltone, D'Alton, Daulton, Daltoun, Altown, Altoun, Altowne, Altone, Daltowne, Daltoune, Dalten, Daltin, Dallton and many more.
Early Notables of the Dowltoom family (pre 1700)
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dowltoom Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dowltoom family to the New World and Oceana
In the mid-19th century, Ireland
experienced one of the worst periods in its entire history. During this decade in order to ease the pressure of the soil, which was actually depleted by the effects of the previous years' grain crops, landowners forced tenant
farmers and peasants onto tiny plots of land that barely provided the basic sustenance a family required. Conditions were worsened, though, by the population of the country, which was growing fast to roughly eight million. So when the Great Potato Famine
of the mid-1840s hit, starvation and diseases decimated the population. Thousands of Irish families
left the country for British North America and the United States. The new immigrants were often accommodated either in the opening western frontiers or as cheap unskilled labor in the established centers. In early passenger and immigration lists there are many immigrants bearing the name Dowltoom: 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 ".
The Dowltoom Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Tristus et fidelis
Motto Translation: Sad and faithful