The Dalton International DNA Project is one of the largest and most respected projects of its type internationally and has many sets of DNA markers in its database. We still need to expand it further, particularly with individuals who have documented ancestral lines that take them back to known British or Irish Dalton origins. The strength of the database as a family history research tool lies in its size, and its continued growth is of paramount importance to us all.

The DIDP project was officially launched in May 2003, and continues to develop and expand. Ours was one of the early projects to be established, and as we celebrate the tenth anniversary of Dalton DNA testing we now have 181 participants and remain at the forefront of this new genealogical science. The tenth anniversary of the project is a fitting time to take stock of what we have achieved in the last decade, and to think ahead about how we want to take the project forward.

DNA tests remain a crucial tool within our genealogical research activities, simply because the test results are the only effective means of telling us precisely to which Daltons we are each most closely related. Instead of relying on a potentially inaccurate geographical connection, or a family story, the DNA results pinpoint exactly which Daltons we should be working with in order to research and document the Dalton family tree that we share together.

DIDP is run by Michael Neale Dalton (michaelndalton@aol.com) and Karen Dalton Preston (karen@golden-hills.com) working with other Family Group coordinators, on behalf of the Dalton Genealogical Society. Michael and Karen are also the administrators for our DNA testing programme, which is hosted at Family Tree DNA. We are assisted by Chris Pomery who has been chartered to analyse our results and advise us how to develop the project.

The latest DNA Project Progress Report was published in November 2013 and contains two major sections. The first details those project members who have origins in the UK or Ireland as defined by their genealogy or through genetic association; and the second shows those members who do not yet have an identified connection to the UK or Ireland. The significance of this distinction is explained in the write ups for each Family Group in the report. All DGS members registered to access our new members only website, Daltons in History 2.0 will find the full report posted there. A Foreword to the report is reproduced here.

Last update: January 2014.



Project History

DIDP was established by the DGS in May 2003. At the end of 2005, the Society appointed Chris Pomery, an authority on genetic genealogy, as consultant to the project, to advise on interpretation of results and lines for future research. In October 2006 a preliminary presentation of the project findings was made at the DGS American Gathering in Hampton, New Hampshire, USA. This first report included 71 testees and appeared in November 2006. In July 2007, Chris spoke at the DGS Gathering in Worcester, UK. There were 99 participants included in Issue 2 of the report published in January 2008 and Issue 3 was published in October 2009 and had 126 sets of markers recorded and analysed. Many participants extended their number of markers and this added considerably to the value of the database as a whole to our Dalton family history researches. At our July 2010 Gathering, Chris Pomery made a video presentation entitled “Getting the best from traditional and genetic genealogy – the future for the Dalton surname project”, it stressed the importance of undertaking traditional genealogical research alongside the DNA results in order to extend and maximise our knowledge of the family history associated with each identified genetic family.

During 2011 we published six reports providing updates for each individual genetic family, as follows:

- Genetic Family A - the Virginia Daltons (December 2010)

- Genetic Family B - the Eireann Daltons (September 2011)

- Genetic Family C - the Carmarthenshire Daltons (September 2011)

- Genetic Family D - the Golden Vale Daltons (September 2011)

- Genetic Families E, F, G, H, J and K and R1b singletons (December 2011)

- Genetic Families Q, W, X, Y and Z and non-R1b singletons (December 2011)

There had been a number of innovations in this series of six reports and one of the most important of these was the inclusion of details of the oldest documented Dalton ancestor where known. Chris Pomery had emphasised to us the importance of sharing this information as part of our quest to reconstruct and establish all our Dalton family trees, and to identify the links between them. Where this data was incomplete, we asked project participants to supply details of their oldest documented Dalton ancestor if known, so that it could be recorded in future reports.

The first four reports were available in time for the Salt Lake City Gathering, with each of these groups well represented by delegates, and much useful discussion took place, both formally and informally. On the formal side, Chris Pomery gave a video presentation updating us all on the project, and then participated in a discussion and question time via a live link up from his home in Yorkshire, UK. Also Melanie Crain, Rodney Dalton and Cathy Negrycz gave presentations about groups A, C and D respectively.

This all helped us to take forward both the details of the project by identifying specific further research for these groups, and also the project as a whole by demonstrating its breadth and depth, and the ways in which it will help other delegates in due course. Links to all the presentations and the supporting slides will be found here.

We thank Chris for the superb work that he has done in preparing these reports for us. They are truly excellent pieces of work and set a formidable standard for all those engaged in one name Y-DNA studies. We are indeed fortunate to have Chris as our consultant and eagerly anticipate further reports focusing more on the geographical origins of the earliest known ancestors of each DIDP participant.

Meet Chris Pomery in the video of an interview given by him at "Who Do You Think You Are? Live!” in London in February 2009.

Learn more about DIDP in the video of the presentation made to the DGS Gathering in Australia in March 2009.