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About the study

The Daglish One-Name Study looks at all occurrences of the name Daglish, worldwide. The creation of the One-Name Study grew out of my attempts to trace my own family history, which reaches back to the village of Whickham in County Durham in the 17th Century.

At that time almost all of the known Daglishes were resident in County Durham or Northumberland -€“ so this appeared to be an ideal candidate for a One-Name Study. Further work has shown that almost all of today's Daglish families can trace their trees back to County Durham or to Northumberland.

I would be delighted to hear from anyone from the Daglish family or with an interest in the name. The site has been successful in helping people trace their ancestors and putting people in touch. Privacy is always respected and no family trees are published on this site - but access to births, marriages and death data and other public records can be seen in the Daglish Archive. For more details please see the Data section below.

If you have any birth, marriage or death certificates and would be willing to supply copies, please let me know - this would save money and be a huge help to the project! Also any photographs, family documents or other items of interest would be gratefully received.

There is also a Daglish Family blog with some other background information and stories which may be of interest.

The photo at the top of the page is my father Eric Fitch Daglish.

Name origin

The Dictionary Of Surnames published by the Oxford University Press (1988) shows Daglish to be derived from either Dalgleish or Dalgliesh, a Scottish name being a habitation name from a place near Selkirk. However other theories are that the names is derived from Douglas, or is a corruption of the French D'Eglise - of the Church.

Although documentary research has failed to show a link between Daglish and these names, an interesting recent development has been matches between people names Douglas and Dalgliesh with several Daglishes in the DNA Study - see below.

As a result, I am now broadening my interest in the name to include a wider study of the name Dalgleish, Dalgliesh and Dalglish by beginning a separate study. For more details on these names please see the Dalgleish One-Name Study.

Historical occurrences of the name


Name frequency

In the 1851 UK Census there is a total of 408 Daglishes listed, of which 198 were in Durham and 150 in Northumberland.

By the 1901 Census this figure had increased to a total of 764, with 364 in Durham and 257 in Northumberland. Others were living in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumberland and, increasingly, in London. After the First World War, the drift to other areas of the country increased, reflecting greater mobility.

The UK Births, Marriages and Deaths registers also show an increasing population. From the start of the registers in 1837 until 2006 there were 3,649 births and 2,235 deaths recorded - along with 2,481 marriages (to 2005). These details are available for searching: see Data below.

In September 2002, figures from the Office of National Statistics show 1,281 occurences of the name.

The Daglish name is also found in the USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.


I have extracted the Daglish entries from the UK Birth, Marriages and Deaths (BMD) registers 1837-2006. This data can be seen in the Daglish Archive.
*Note: If you cannot find what you are looking for, please bear in mind that there are gaps and missing data in the UK BMD system and not every birth, marriage or death was recorded for various reasons. If you think something is missing, please let me know.*

Also available in the Archive are extracts from the Probate Index of Wills for England and Wales from 1858 to 1998.

I also have extracts from the UK Census returns 1841 to 1911, extracts from some parish registers and other records. These are not in the Archive - but please feel free to contact me for details.


Alongside the One-Name Study, we have started a Daglish DNA Project, which is producing some interesting results - including a set of positive matches for several apparently unrelated Daglish families, and also matches with Douglas and Dalgliesh. These results are being analysed - and we hope that further people will consider joining the study to give a larger sample which is likely to help with our understanding.

DNA is now an established tool in genealogy which can support the traditional methods of research and also help where paper records are not available.

The DNA test used in the study works on the Y-chromosome which is passed down through the male line (in much the same way as surnames). The test uses those parts of the Y-chromosone which are normally passed unchanged from father to son for many generations.

We therefore need living male members of the Daglish family. There is another DNA test which follows the maternal line - but this is not relevant for our particular study.

- To show which of the many Daglish families can can be linked back to a common ancestor. For example many Daglish families in County Durham can be traced back to Whickham parish - but even from the extensive parish registers we do not know if they all shared a common ancestor. Other Daglish families can be traced back to Northumberland. Are these separate from the County Durham Daglishes - or are these linked by a common ancestor? This will help the usual question 'are we related', and will also give a greater insight into the history of the Daglish name.

- To test whether there is a link between Daglish and other similar names: in particular Dalglish and Dalgliesh (see Origin above), but also others such as Daglesh, Dagleish, Douglas, etc. This is not clear from currently available data.

More details can be seen at Daglish DNA Project.

Note: One common concern with DNA projects is that the test is medically informative and can identify someone as an individual. In fact, the test is made on a part of the DNA structure which has no medical value and is completely different from the tests used as a ‘forensic’ profile by the police. Put simply, we are interested in what people share in common with their ancestors, not what makes them unique.