Place:Dalton in Furness, Lancashire, England

NameDalton in Furness
Alt namesDalton-in-Furnesssource: hyphenated
Daltunesource: Domesday Book (1985) p 155
Hawcoatsource: township in parish
Rampsidesource: chapelry in parish
Walneysource: township in parish
Walney Islandsource: same as above
Yarlsidesource: township in parish
Biggarsource: hamlet in parish
TypeAncient parish, Urban district
Coordinates54.15°N 3.183°W
Located inLancashire, England     ( - 1974)
Also located inCumbria, England     (1974 - )
See alsoLonsdale Hundred, Lancashire, Englandhundred in which it was located
Borough of Barrow in Furness, Cumbria, Englanddistrict municipality after 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
NOTE: Dalton in Furness should not be confused with Dalton (near Wigan) which is much further south in the the Borough of West Lancashire.

the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Dalton in Furness is a small town of 8,125 people, northeast of Barrow in Furness, since 1974 in Cumbria, England. It is the second largest settlement in the Borough of Barrow in Furness, Cumbria after Barrow itself. Prior to 1974 it was a part of Lancashire where it was an urban district from 1894.

The town itself is situated near the centre of the peninsula of Low Furness, on the eastern crest of a glaciated valley which runs obliquely across the peninsula. Just over a mile to the south lie the ruins of Furness Abbey. The area is generally reached by the A590 road, the link road from the M6 motorway to the Furness region, which now by-passes the town.

Historically, Dalton was the capital of Furness. The ancient parish of Dalton stretched to cover the whole of the area which is now covered by the Borough of Barrow in Furness. This area is now in Cumbria, England, but until 1974 it was part of Lancashire. Within Cumbria, Dalton is now part of the civil parish of Dalton Town with Newton.


Dalton is mentioned in the Domesday Book, written as "Daltune", as one of the townships forming the Manor of Hougun held by Tostig Godwinson (1026-1066), Earl of Northumbria. The town is associated with a number of famous artists, including George Romney (1734-1802).

In 1614 Margaret Fell (also known as Margaret Fox), founder of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), was born in Dalton with the birth name Askew. Known popularly as the "mother of Quakerism," she is considered one of the "Valiant Sixty" early Quaker preachers and missionaries. She died on 23 April 1702 at age 87 or 88.

Image:Dalton ancient parish 50pc.png

The following description from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72 is provided by the website A Vision of Britain Through Time (University of Portsmouth Department of Geography).

"DALTON-IN-FURNESS, a small town, a parish, and a [registration] sub-district in Ulverston [registration] district, Lancashire. The town stands on the Furness railway, 1½ mile N of Furness abbey, and 5 SW of Ulverston; is an ancient place, long the capital of Lower-Furness; consists of one street, spacious, antique, picturesque, and improved; and has a head post office, designated Dalton-in-Furness, Lancashire, a railway station, a chief inn, an ancient tower, a parish church, a Wesleyan chapel, and a free school.
"The tower crowns a rocky eminence on the west; and belonged to a castle, built in the time of Edward III., by the abbots of Furness, to guard the northern approach to the abbey. The church stands near the tower, and was rebuilt in 1825. Markets are held on Saturdays; and fairs on 6 June and 23 Oct. A hunt, called the "Dalton Rout" in the Tatler, was established here in 1703; but has gone into disuse. Romney, the painter, was a native. Population: 2,812. Houses: 538.
"The parish includes also the townships of Hawcoat and Yarlside, the chapelries of Ireleth and Rampside, the hamlet of Biggar, and the islands of Peel, Barrow, Roa, and Walney. Acres: 16,364. Real property: £64,492; of which £4,025 are in mines, and £33,627 in railways. Population: 9,152. Houses: 1,565. The property is much subdivided. Iron ore and limestone are plentiful: and mining and iron working are extensively carried on. Remains of a fortified-beacon occur on the eminence of High Haume. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Carlisle. Value: £159. Patron: the Duchy of Lancaster. The chapelries of Ireleth, Rampside, Barrow, and Walney are separate benefices."

The map above is based on one in the Victoria County History of Lancashire, published 1914 (see below). The townships and chapelries marked on the map are mostly similar in name to those mentioned by Wilson in his Gazetteer, but the County History does not mark some of the divisions inferred in Wilson's description and does not provide additional articles on any of the townships. As in many other areas some redividing may have taken place in 1894 following the Local Government Act of that year. Hawcote, Yarlside, Rampside and Walney Island have all been redirected here, but they each have an article in Wikipedia (only two sentences in the case of Yarlside). Barrow is Barrow in Furness, now the largest municipality in the area. The chapelry of Ireleth and the nearby village of Askam have a separate article (Ireleth with Askam) because both places can be confused with others with similar names.

Research Tips

  • See the Wikipedia articles on parishes and civil parishes for descriptions of this lowest rung of local administration. The original parishes (known as ancient parishes) were ecclesiastical, under the jurisdiction of the local priest. A parish covered a specific geographical area and was sometimes equivalent to that of a manor. Sometimes, in the case of very large rural parishes, there were chapelries where a "chapel of ease" allowed parishioners to worship closer to their homes. In the 19th century the term civil parish was adopted to define parishes with a secular form of local government. In WeRelate both civil and ecclesiastical parishes are included in the type of place called a "parish". Smaller places within parishes, such as chapelries and hamlets, have been redirected into the parish in which they are located. The names of these smaller places are italicized within the text.
  • Rural districts were groups of geographically close civil parishes in existence between 1894 and 1974. They were formed as a middle layer of administration between the county and the civil parish. Inspecting the archives of a rural district will not be of much help to the genealogist or family historian, unless there is need to study land records in depth.
  • Civil registration or vital statistics and census records will be found within registration districts. To ascertain the registration district to which a parish belongs, see Registration Districts in Lancashire, part of the UK_BMD website.
  • Lancashire Online Parish Clerks provide free online information from the various parishes, along with other data of value to family and local historians conducting research in the County of Lancashire.
  • FamilySearch Lancashire Research Wiki provides a good overview of the county and also articles on most of the individual parishes (very small or short-lived ones may have been missed).
  • Ancestry (international subscription necessary) has a number of county-wide collections of Church of England baptisms, marriages and burials, some from the 1500s, and some providing microfilm copies of the manuscript entries. There are specific collections for Liverpool (including Catholic baptisms and marriages) and for Manchester. Their databases now include electoral registers 1832-1935. Another pay site is FindMyPast.
  • A map of Lancashire circa 1888 supplied by A Vision of Britain through Time includes the boundaries between the parishes and shows the hamlets within them.
  • A map of Lancashire circa 1954 supplied by A Vision of Britain through Time is a similar map for a later timeframe.
  • GENUKI provides a website covering many sources of genealogical information for Lancashire. The organization is gradually updating the website and the volunteer organizers may not have yet picked up all the changes that have come with improving technology.
  • The Victoria County History for Lancashire, provided by British History Online, covers the whole of the county in six volumes (the seventh available volume [numbered Vol 2] covers religious institutions). The county is separated into its original hundreds and the volumes were first published between 1907 and 1914. Most parishes within each hundred are covered in detail. Maps within the text can contain historical information not available elsewhere.
  • A description of the parish of Dalton from British History Online (Victoria County Histories), published 1914
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Dalton-in-Furness. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.