Show ContentsDarbee History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Darbee comes from when the family resided in the county of Derbyshire. The place-name was originally derived from the Old English word Doer-by or Derby which was listed in the Domesday Book and literally meant a "farmstead or village where deer are kept." [1]

Early Origins of the Darbee family

The surname Darbee was first found in Derbyshire where the "surname is derived from a geographical locality. 'of Derby,' the capital of the county of that name." [2] Thus the name originated in the county of Derbyshire (pronounced Dar-bi-sher), and indicated a person who came from Derby (pronounced Darby.)

The first recorded instance of the family was Roger de Derby who held estates in the year 1160. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1278 list Edelota Darby in Oxfordshire and later the Assize Rolls of Essex listed Simon Derby in 1377. [3]

As far as the Derbyshire variant, Geoffrey de Derbesire was the first record found in the Assize Rolls of Staffordshire in 1203. Later, in 1307, the Assize Rolls listed Henry and Richard de Derbyshire as holding lands there at that time. [3]

Over in Lancashire, the Lay Subsidy Rolls of 1332 listed Robert de Derby as living there and later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Robertas de Derby; Johannes Derby; and Nicholaos de Derby. [2]

"Darby and Joan" is a proverbial phrase for a loving married couple in England that was inspired by John Darby (died 1730) and his wife Joan. They were first mentioned in a poem published in The Gentleman's Magazine by Henry Woodfall in 1735. Woodfall was in fact, an apprentice to John Darby, a printer in Bartholomew Close, London. This first poem inspired others by St. John Honeywood and Frederic Edward Weatherly and the characters are referenced in works by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lord Byron.

Early History of the Darbee family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Darbee research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1203, 1278, 1300, 1307, 1677, 1678, 1717, 1720, 1749, 1789, 1790, 1796, 1800, 1819, 1823, 1834, 1871, 1882 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Darbee History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Darbee Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Darbee has been recorded under many different variations, including Darby, Derby, Darbyshire, Derbyshire, Darbie, Darbey, Derbie, Derbey, Darbishire and many more.

Early Notables of the Darbee family

Notables of the family at this time include Abraham Darby I (1678-1717), an English Quaker ironmaster & pioneer of coke-fired smelting, the first and most well known of three generations of people who held the same name. He...
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Darbee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Darbee family to Ireland

Some of the Darbee family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 182 words (13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Darbee migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Darbee or a variant listed above:

Darbee Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliza Darbee, who arrived in Virginia in 1724 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Darbee (post 1700) +

  • John R. Darbee, American politician, Mayor of Clawson, Michigan, 1954-56 [5]
  • James Darbee, American politician, Postmaster at Seaford, Delaware, 1846-50, 1861-66 [5]
  • Harry C. Darbee, American politician, Delegate to Delaware convention to ratify 21st amendment, 1933 [5]

The Darbee Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Utcunque placuerit Deo
Motto Translation: Howsoever it shall have pleased God.

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 27) . Retrieved from on Facebook