Rainy Day Sisters by Kate Hewitt

Based on a review by my bookish friend at Angry Grey Cat Reads I picked up this novel by Kate Hewitt. Her review may be found HERE.

Since I seemed to be on a police procedural kick lately I wanted to read a completely different genre. This book would be classified as women’s fiction and the setting was absolutely perfect. My great grandparents and his line hailed from Cumbria, living in Burnrigg and Wetheral before coming to the United States to start a new life. Reading about the Cumbria setting took me away as an armchair traveler.

The Rainy Day Sisters are Lucy and Juliet. They are actually half-siblings who haven’t grown up together or had much contact with one another over the years. Their mother, Fiona, clearly favors the younger child Lucy and has shunned Juliet all her life. We find out why near the end of the book but I can say, I was not at all sympathetic with Fiona.

After Fiona managed to derail Lucy’s career in Boston, Juliet offers Lucy sanctuary in her small village, telling her to come live at her B&B and take a temporary job at the local school. It doesn’t take long for Lucy to love the village and the people, especially her dishy boss Alex Kincaid. Where Lucy is fun loving and quick to smile, Juliet is standoffish and keeps her feelings to herself. Clearly they want to become closer and have a sisterly relationship. It’s a family drama with a bit of romance thrown in. Not the sort of book I usually gravitate toward but I know I would read more by Kate Hewitt.

As a matter of fact, when I opened this book I saw it’s a series called Hartley-by-the-Sea so I will add these to my stacks for future reading.

Check out this little box of Yorkshire tea I found at World Market.  I had not seen such a small box before and had to grab it.  Perfect to go with a story set in northern England.


My Cumbrian history may be found at the Delaware County Historical Society HERE.

Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday


British Isles Friday Link

For this week’s linkup I would like to share my quest in documenting family history information for my Dalton family. One line of my English lineage may be found in Cumbria England, near Carlisle. In 1841 the county was called Cumberland, then it merged and is now called Cumbria. My GGG grandparents were weavers, working in Burnrigg and Wetheral at the cotton mill.


I had managed to trace back to the 1841 census in Cumberland County and found Joseph and Jane (Weightman) DALTON. This was a great find as my grandmother told me my GG grandfather, Joseph Dalton JR, was born on a ship coming to the USA. Lo and behold, there is baby Joseph enumerated on that census as an 8 month old baby. After that I was able to find his baptismal record in a Wetheral church in October 1840.

Some people do what I call casual research where they take information off the internet at face value. For me, I need some proof…I need cemetery records, a census, a birth record, military records….things like that.

In my recorded history I have noted every single source I’ve found to prove a lineage. Where the relationship or a date may be sketchy, I also note that. As I was gathering so much information I decided to make individual biographies for the family members. It brings them to life a bit more.

Once I had an entire family documented I submitted it to the Delaware County Historical Society in Pennsylvania. That’s where I grew up, in Pennsylvania, and the rich resources for family history were a great assistance. Going to a graveyard and photographing a headstone or visiting the previous neighborhoods to see where they worked and lived.

If you want to read all the biographies check it out HERE at the Delaware Country Historical Society in Pennsylvania.

Here is a recap for my GGG grandparents, Joseph Dalton and Jane Weightman.

They were born approximately 1805 and both appear in official records in the Dalston Parish in 1831. Research of marriage and baptism records, archived at the Carlisle Records Office in Cumbria England, revealed the following marriage:

Joseph Dalton of Wetheral parish married Jane Weightman of Dalston on 6 March 1831.

Their firstborn child,  Ann Dalton arrived on 6 April 1831 and was baptized on 6 May 1831.  Baptismal records for Ann indicate the Daltons were living in Dalston parish. It is situated on the eastside of the Caldew River where there were two corn mills, a large flax mill, an iron forge, a sawmill, and three cotton mills.

The family moved to Burnrigg, in Wetheral parish, and lived at the “Cotton Works” sometime between the Winter of 1831 and September 1833. Joseph found employment as a cotton spinner. There were two cotton manufactories in Wetheral parish in this time period. The largest was at Warwick Bridge but there was a smaller one near Broadwath in the township of Great Corby.

Wetheral parish records confirm the baptism of their son Isaac on 15 September 1833 and state the family lived in Burnrigg. The closest cotton mill was Peter Dixon & Sons. This business no longer exists however, the old cotton mill at Warwick Bridge is still standing and now houses a number of small businesses.

Utilizing the county archivist and baptismal records, you can follow the family’s growth for the time they resided in northern England. The following are baptismal recordings housed at the Cumbria Archives in Carlisle:

1831 6 May Anne d. of Joseph and Jane Dalton at Dalston.

1833 15 September Isaac s. of Joseph Dalton and Jane Weightman at Wetheral.

1837 25 January Elizabeth d. of Joseph Dalton and Jane Weightman at Wetheral.

1838 6 May William s. of Joseph Dalton and Jane Weightman at Wetheral

1840 18 October Joseph s. of Joseph Dalton and Jane Wheatman at Wetheral

Joseph Jr’s baptismal records disclose Joseph Sr. was employed as a cotton spinner and the family lived near Warwick Bridge, in Burnrigg.

The following census record is the latest document (in regard to date) found for the Daltons in England.

Parish of Wetheral, Township of Corby Great.Registration District: Carlisle. Sub-district: Wetheral. Address: Meadow Cottages

Joseph DALTON, age 35, Cotton Spinner
Jane DALTON, age 35
Ann DALTON, age 10
Isaac DALTON, age 7
Elizabeth DALTON, age 5
William DALTON, age 3
Joseph DALTON, age 8 months

All were born in Cumberland. When the census was taken on 6 June 1841, the family still lived in the county of Cumberland.

They left Cumberland County England sometime between June of 1841 and October 1842. Most likely Joseph and Jane booked passage from Liverpool England, a major port with frequent crossings to the United States. They sailed with Ann, Isaac, Elizabeth, William and Joseph.

The Dalton family attended services at the Upland Baptist Church, which was established in May of 1852. Of the original members, only 12 were of the Baptist faith but it is reported 8 people converted.

Military Records 


1861 brought many changes for the Dalton family and well as their friends and neighbors in Upland. Three of Joseph’s sons were involved in the war efforts. The younger son Joseph, at 21 years of age, joined the Army of the United States and served in Company I, 3rd Calvary of Pennsylvania. With the conflicts of the Civil War approaching closer to home, his older sons, Isaac and William, then 30 and 25 respectively, were united in the Upland Volunteers two years later.

Joseph Senior was in his late 50’s during the war and still working at the cotton mill. He was also the Postmaster of Upland, continuing to serve the community in this capacity until his health wavered. After Joseph’s retirement in 1862, from the position of weaver at the mill, he remained in the employment of the Crozier family as a night watchman.

By 1870 Joseph and Jane were both 64 years old. They lived in Upland, and had the pleasure of seeing most of their children married and settled, living nearby. Joseph continued to work as a watchman at the mill, leaving at 6:00 p.m. and returning at 6:00 in the morning accompanied by his dog. The value of their personal estate was estimated at $175 at this time.

On the 13th of December in 1878 at the age of 73, Jane Dalton died peacefully at her Upland home. Jane and Joseph had been married for 47 years. A newspaper article described her death as follows: “She passed away as a sheaf of grain fully ripe. Few women have spent a more peaceful and useful Christian life. She sweetly fell asleep, as far as the writer knows, without an enemy, honored and loved…..” The article goes on to reveal Joseph’s retirement from his position as night watchman, due to the “the infirmities of advancing years……and a great sorrow has overtaken him” at the loss of his lifelong companion.

Joseph, lived thirteen months longer than Jane. He died 18 January 1880 in Upland and is buried beside his wife in the old section of the Upland Baptist Church.


The gravestones are very worn but you can clearly make out a thistle on Jane’s gravestone. Scottish connection?

I wouldn’t know where to start to search for more about them, they are my brick wall on the Dalton side. I often wonder if I have Dalton cousins in the north of England.

Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday