Recorded as Dalston, Darlaston, Darleston, Dorlesstone, Dellestone, and others, this is an English locational surname. It originates either from the town of Darlaston in the county of Staffordshire, or the village of Darlaston near Wednesbury. also in Staffordshire, or in some instances from the village of Dalston in Cumbria. All places appear in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, the former two as Derlaverstone and Derlaston, and the latter as Daleston. The meaning in all cases is probably the 'tun' or farm with the prefix 'Deorlaf', a personal name of the pre 7th century which translates as 'Dear love'. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people as easy identification, after they left their original homes to move somewhere else. This may be the next village or more likely London, then as now, the mecca for homeless people who thought that they could better themselves. Given that spelling was at best erratic, and local dialects very thick, the further they moved from their original home, the more likely it was that their name became a variant or 'sounds like' form. In this case early examples of the surname recording in the surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London, include Martha Dellestone at St Michael's Bassishaw, on August 15th 1568, Thomas Darleston, a witness at St Peters Cornhill, on January 31st 1675, and Jane Dalston who married Thomas Leigh at St James, Dukes Place, Westminster, on March 2nd 1693.
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