Dalton, Dumfriesshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Dumfriesshire Gotoarrow.png Dalton

Parish  #818

This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Dalton.  To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.



DALTON, a parish, in the county of Dumfries; 6 miles (W. by S.) from Ecclesfechan. The name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon term Dal-ton, or Dal-dun, signifying "the fort in the dale," and appears to have been applied on account of a fort in the immediate neighbourhood of the village of Dalton, at which village baronial courts were held in ancient times. The parish is bounded on the north-east by the river Annan. The church, situated in the village, was built in 1704, and will accommodate 300 persons.[1]

The New Statistical Account of Scotland
(pub. 1834-45) offers uniquely rich and detailed parish reports for the whole of Scotland, covering a vast range of topics including history, agriculture, education, trades, religion and social customs. The reports, written by the parish ministers, are available online at edina.($)  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Dalton.  Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records

A census is a count and description of the population, taken by the government, arranged by locality and by household. Read more about Scotland Census Records.

Click here for a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the Dalton Parish.
Below is information for any known surname indexes:


Years Surname Index     
1841 941.48/D4 X22
1851 941.48/D4 X2m 1851
1881 6086550 ( 3 fiche )

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on scotlandspeople.($)  To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1901, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access indexes through the library.


Church Records

The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about  Scotland Church Records.

Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers

Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1723-1854 1067958
Marriages: 1766-1854 1067958
Deaths: 1766-1817 1067958

Condition of Original Registers—

Index: For an index to these records, see the Scottish Church Records Index on computer at the Family History Library and family history centers.  Some of these records may be indexed and searchable on familysearch.org
Births: There are no entries October 1743–June 1763 except two for 1758–1760.
Marriages: There are no entries except eight for April 1782–December 1794 and only one entry for 1801. Volume two contains entries of clandestine marriages and of proclamation fees 1769–1804.
Deaths: There are no entries April 1782–February 1784 and December 1788–January 1794 except entries for 1791–1792. There is only one entry for 1801 and none for 1814. The record ends December 1817. Mortcloth Dues for 1779–1804 are entered in volume two.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records

The Kirk session was the court of the parish. The session was made up of the minister and the land owners and business men of the parish, chosen to serve on the session. The Kirk session dealt with moral issues, minor criminal cases, matters of the poor and education, matters of discipline, and the general concerns of the parish. Kirk session records may also mention births, marriages, and deaths.

Here is a list of the surviving Kirk session records for this parish:

Minutes         1723–1766, 1800–1849, 1862–1894
Cash Book     1821–1876
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH2/88.

Nonconformist Church Records

A nonconformist church is any church that is not the Established church. Read more about nonconformity in Scotland in the article on the Scotland Church Records Union Lists.

No pre–1855 churches.

Civil Registration Records

Government or civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths (also called statutory records) began on January 1, 1855 in Scotland. Each parish has a registrar's office and large cities have several. The records are created by the registrars and copies are sent to the General Register Office in Edinburgh. Annual indexes are then created for the records for the whole country.

See the article on Scotland Civil Registration for more information and to access the records.

Probate Records

Dalton was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Dumfries until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Dumfries. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at scotlandspeople.($)  You must register on the website but use of the index to probate records, called 'Wills & Testaments,' is free. You may then purchase a copy of the document or, if the document is before 1823, it will be on microfilm at the Family History Library. To find the microfilm numbers, search in the library catalog for the 'Place' of Dumfries and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Dumfries.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Dumfrie. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place' of Dumfries and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 259-280. Adapted. Date accessed: 14 March 2014.

Return to the Dumfriesshire parish list.