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Dalton Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Dalton blazon are the lion rampant, cross crosslet and chief. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, argent and or .

Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” 1. The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance 2.

Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 3. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 4.

Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 5. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 6. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 7.

There can be no animal more clearly associated with Heraldry than the lion, majestic King of the Beasts. Originally it appeared only in one pose, erect, on one paw, with the others raised 8 but such was the popularity of this figure, and the need to distinguish arms from each other, that it soon came to be shown in an enormous range of forms 9. The lion rampant is an example of these modified form, and any family would be proud to have such a noble creature displayed on their arms. Rampant is the default attitude of the lion, raised on its hind legs, facing to the dexter and with front paws extended in a fearsome and powerful pose.

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 10. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross. The cross crosslet is one of these, being symetrical both vertically and horizontally and having an additional cross bar on each arm. 11 Wade suggests that these additional crossing signify “the fourfold mystery of the Cross”. 12

The chief is an area across the top of the field 13. It appears in many different forms and can itself be charged with other charges and ordinaries, 14, being treated almost as if it were a completely separate area. In its simplest form it can be clearly identified. Early examples include the award by Henry III of England to the knight Robert de MORTEYN BRETON of Ermine, a chief gules.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Dalton Coat of Arms and Family Crest

Dalton Origin:


Origins of Name:

The surname of Dalton comes from Northern England, and is believed to derive from the Ole English Pre 7th Century word “doel” which its translation is to mean a valley, or “dale” or “tun” which both translate to mean a farm or settlement. This name is most likely found in the hilly districts of England.


More common variations are:

Dolton, Daulton, Doulton, D’alton, Dahlton, Dallton, Daltono, Dealton, Dualton, Daltoin, Daltone, Daltono



The known first recorded spelling of the surname of Dalton is in the year 1273. This name, one Henry de Dalton, who was noted and recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Northumberland during the reign of King Edward I, who was also sometimes referred to as “The Hammer of the Scots” and ruled from the year 1272 to the year 1307. Other mentions of this surname of Dalton occur in various church documents and survey documents taken around the country of England throughout history. William de Dalton was also mentioned in the Hundred Rolls of Northumberland in the same year, 1273, under the rule of King Edward I, which Richard de Dalton was mentioned and recorded in the city of London in the year 1239. In the Poll Tax Rolls of 1379, Johannes de Dalton of Yorkshire was mentioned, and in the siege of Calais France in 1345, Sire Robert de Dalton, who was believed to be a Yorkshire knight, bore the Dalton coat of arms in battle. Those who bear the surname of Dalton are found in the counties of Lancashire, Yorkshire, Durham, Northumberland, Kent, and the city of London.


In the country of Scotland, those who bear the surname of Dalton are found across the countryside. Those with this surname are highly concentrated in the areas of Lanarkshire, Midlothian, Aryshire, and Perthshire.

United States of America:

During the early 1600’s, it became common for settlers from Europe, specifically England, to move from their home country in search of a new life. These people were often seeking freedom from religious persecution, as well as a better life, with better living conditions. These people sought out this new life in the United States of America, which at that time was called the New World or the Colonies. The first person to make it to the United States to start their new life with this surname was one Philemon Dalton, who was a linen weaver and arrived aboard the ship which was named the “Increase” in the year 1635. Also that same year, Samuel Dalton and his son, also named Samuel Dalton, who was aged just five years of age, landed in Hampton, New Jersey in the year 1635. Shortly after them, William Dalton arrived on the ship named the “Goodfellow” in the year 1654, and he was sent under the command of the English Government, after taking part in the Cromwellian Invasions of Ireland. Those settlers who arrived in the United States of America settled in the states of New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Texas, California, West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia, Georgia, Missouri and the state of Tennessee. It is possible that more people with the surname of Dalton attempted to make the journey to the New World, but were stricken with illness and starvation aboard one of the transportation ships, thus dying en route.

Dalton Today:

United States 58,588

England 12,583

Australia 7,065

South Africa 5,041

Ireland 4,133

Brazil 4,102

Canada 4,056

Uganda 3,361

New Zealand 1,162

Kenya 942

Notable People:

Major General Joseph Nicholas Dalton (1892-1961) who was an American Director of Personel in the Army Service Forces from the year 1945 to the year 1946

Brigadier General James Leo II Dalton (1910-1945) who was an American Commanding General in the 25th Division in the year 1945

Irene Dalton (1901-1934) who was an American actress

George Dalton (born in 1947) who was an American playwright

Lional Dalton (born in 1975) who was an American NFL football player

Emmett Dalton (1861-1937) who was a U.S. outlaw, and a member of the Dalton Gang, who later became an author and actor

Henry Dalton (born in 1847) who was an American physician

Alexandre Dalton, who was a French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789-1815

Mr. Lionel Sydney Dalton (1902-1941) who was an Australian Commander (E) from Mosman, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard the HMAS Sydney II on November 19, in the year 1941, and died in the sinking

Timothy Dalton (born in 1946) who is a Welsh actor who played James Bond

Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Dalton, co. Lancaster). Quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. crusily a lion ramp. guard. ar. crowned or; 2nd and 3rd, barry of six ar. and az. in chief three lozenges gu.
2) (Bispham, co. Lancaster). Az. crusily or, a lion ramp. guard. ar. a chief barry nebulee of four of the last and sa. Crest—A dragon's head vert betw. two wings or.
3) (Thurnham, originally of Bispham, co. Lancaster, the heiress, Elizabeth Dalton, elder dau. of Robert Dalton, Esq., of Thurnham, m. William Hoghton, Esq., of Park Hall, and had a son, John Hoghton, who assumed the surname and arms of Dalton). Supporters borne by Sir John Dalton, Knt. banneret, 1389. Az. semee of crosses crosslet a lion ramp. guard. ar. Crest—A dragon's head vert betw. two wings or. Supporters—Two lions, as in the arms.
4) (exemplified to Sir James Richard Fitzgerald, 9th bart., of Castle Ishen, co. Cork, Thurnham Hall, co. Lancaster, and Bigods Hall, co. Essex, on his assuming the name of Dalton in addition to and before that of Fitzgerald, by royal licence dated 4 April, 1807). Motto—Shanet a boo. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, Fitzgerald: erm. a saltire gu.; 2nd and 3rd, Dalton: az. a lion ramp. guard. within an orle of cross crosslets ar. Crests—1st, Fitzgerald: A boar pass. gu. bristled and armed or; 2nd, Dalton: A dragon's head couped vert betw. two wings or.
5) (Durham). Ar. three lozenges gu. each charged with a saltire of the first.
6) (Grant-Dalton, Shanks House, co. Somerset, exemplified to Dalton Foster Grant, Esq., upon his taking the name of Dalton in addition to and after that of Grant by royal licence 12 May, 1826). Motto—Stabit conscius aequi. Quarterly, 1st and 4th: quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. a lion ramp. betw. nine cross crosslets ar. a canton erm., for Dalton; 2nd and 3rd, gu. a lion pass. guard. ar. imperially crowned ppr. betw. three antique crowns or, for Grant; 2nd and 3rd, ar. on a chev. engr. sa. betw. three buglehorns of the second as many escallops of the first, for Foster. Crests—1st, Dalton: On a mount ppr. a dragon’s head couped vert betw. two wings or, each charged with a cross crosslet sa.; 2nd, Grant : A boar’s head couped ar.
7) (Lancashire). Az. a lion ramp. ar. crowned or.
8) (Kingston-on-Hull, Hawkeswell, Bedale, and Sleningford, co. York; Dugdale’s Visitation, 1666). Arms, same as of Bispham, co. Lancaster. Crest—A dragon’s head vert, betw. two wings displ. or, gorged with a collar nebulee ar.
9) (Myton, co. York). Az. semee of crosses crosslet fitchee or, a lion ramp. ar.
10) (Dalton Haye, co. York and London. James Dalton, one of the Judges in the Sheriff’s Court in London, and double reader in Lincoln's Inn, whose wife was Mary, 27th child of George Rolle, Esq., of Stevenstone, co. Devon. Visit. London, 1568). Az. semee of crosses crosslet a lion ramp. reguard. ar., charged on the breast with a mullet gu. Crest—A dragon’s head vert. betw. two wings or, pellettee.
11) (co. York). Az. a lion ramp. guard. ar. within a bordure engr. or.
12) (co. York). Ar. a cross az. betw. four popinjays vert.
13) (co. York). Gu. a saltire couped ar.
14) (Norroy, King of Arms, 1st Mary I, d. 1561). Motto—God is my Defender. Az. semee-de-lis or, (sometimes, ar.) a lion ramp. reguard. ar. Crest—A dragon’s head vert purfled and winged or.
15) (Sheffield. From the monument of Lady John Murray, formerly Dalton, in Sheffield parish church). Gu. semee of cross crosslets a lion ramp. ar.
16) Sa. three lozenges ar. on each a saltire gu. Crest—A ram’s head, couped ar. attired or.
17) Ar. a cross az. betw. three ringdoves vert, beaked and legged gu.
18) Ar. three bars az. in chief as many lozenges gu.
19) Gu. two bars or, in chief three roses ar.
20) Lozengy ar. and sa.
21) (Croft). Motto—Patientii victrix. Az. crusily and a lion ramp. ar. (formerly the family bore also a chief nebulee ar. and sa. but this has long been disused). Crest—A wivern’s head couped vert, gorged with a collar nebulee or, betw. two wings displ. also vert, inside of the wings gold.

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  • 1 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 2 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150
  • 3 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 4 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 5 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 6 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 7 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77
  • 8 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 64
  • 9 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P136-141
  • 10 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47
  • 11 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross Crosslet
  • 12 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P103
  • 13 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 40
  • 14 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chief
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