Darby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Darby name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived 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 Darby family

The surname Darby 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 Darby family

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

Darby Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Darby has undergone many spelling variations, including Darby, Derby, Darbyshire, Derbyshire, Darbie, Darbey, Derbie, Derbey, Darbishire and many more.

Early Notables of the Darby family (pre 1700)

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 Darby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Darby Ranking

In the United States, the name Darby is the 1,730th most popular surname with an estimated 17,409 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Darby family to Ireland

Some of the Darby 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 Darby migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Darby were among those contributors:

Darby Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Tho Darby, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [5]
  • Ann Darby who settled in Virginia in 1650
  • Ann Darby, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [5]
  • Edward Darby, who landed in Virginia in 1657 [5]
  • Sibilla Darby, who arrived in Virginia in 1663 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Darby Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Richard Darby, who arrived in Virginia in 1718 [5]
  • Jonathan Darby, who landed in Louisiana in 1718-1724 [5]
  • Captain Darby, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1766
  • Chal Darby, who settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1766
Darby Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Darby, who arrived in America in 1807 [5]
  • Hugh Darby, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1823 [5]
  • George Frederick Darby, who arrived in New York, NY in 1837 [5]
  • William Henry Darby, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1838 [5]
  • James Darby, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Darby migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Darby Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Charles Darby U.E. who settled in St. Stephen, New Brunswick c. 1784 member of the Port Matoon Association as well as a crew member aboard "Miranda" [6]
  • Mr.  Benjamin Darby U.E., "Derby" ( b. 1744) born in Devonshire, England from Newbury, New York, USA who settled in Grimross [Gagetown], Queens County, New Brunswick c. 1785 then on to Isle St. Jean he was a Scout for Rogers' Ranger he married twice having 14 children he died in 1844 in St. Eleanor's, Prince Edward Island [6]
  • Mr. John Darby U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c.1786 [6]
Darby Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Daniel Darby, aged 3 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Bee" departing 17th April 1847 from Cork, Ireland; the ship arrived on 12th June 1847 but he died on board [7]
  • Mr. John Darby, aged 40 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Abbotsford" departing 23rd April 1847 from Dublin, Ireland; the ship arrived on 21st June 1847 but he died on board [7]

Australia Darby migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Darby Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Joshua Darby, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [8]
  • Mr Darby, British convict from Berbice, Guyana, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [9]
  • James Darby, a tanner, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Mr. John Darby, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Captain Cook" on 2nd May 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Mr. John Darby, British convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Henry Tanner" on 27th June 1834, settling in New South Wales, Australia [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Darby migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Darby Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • J Darby, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1818
  • Miss Rebecca M. Darby, (b. 1842), aged 21, English domestic servant from Oxfordshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Tiptree" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 20th January 1864 [12]

West Indies Darby migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [13]
Darby Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Elizabeth Darby, who settled in Barbados in 1670

Contemporary Notables of the name Darby (post 1700) +

  • Sidney Newman Darby (1928-2016), American inventor credited with inventing the first windsurfing craft or sailboard, but was unable to obtain a patent because he could not afford lawyer fees
  • Kenneth Lorin Darby (1909-1992), American three-time Academy Award and Grammy Award winning composer, vocal arranger, lyricist, and conductor
  • Ensign Marshall E. Darby (1918-1941), American seaman killed in action, while serving aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma, during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, eponym of the USS Darby (DE-218), a Buckley-class destroyer escort
  • Kenneth Darby (b. 1982), American NFL football running back
  • Kim Darby (b. 1947), born Deborah Zerby, American actress perhaps best known for co-starring with John Wayne and Glen Campbell in the 1969 western True Grit; at the age of 21, she played the 14 year old co-satr
  • Brigadier General William Orlando Darby (1911-1945), American soldier who led the famous Darby's Rangers which evolved into the US Army Rangers, recipient of the Croix de Guerre and the Distinguished Service Cross during WWII [14]
  • Ezra Darby (1768-1808), American Democratic Party politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly, 1802-04; U.S. Representative from New Jersey, 1805-08 (1st District 1805-07, at-large 1807-08) [15]
  • Elias Darby, American politician, Mayor of Elizabethtown, New Jersey, 1853-55; Mayor of Elizabeth, New Jersey, 1855-60 [15]
  • Drew Darby, American Republican politician, Member of Texas State House of Representatives 72nd District; Elected 2006, 2008; Elected unopposed 2010, 2012 [15]
  • Bertram M. Darby, American Republican politician, Chair of Cape May County Republican Party, 1945 [15]
  • ... (Another 36 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. Stanley Maurice Darby (1916-1941), Australian Able Seaman from Subiaco, Western Australia, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [16]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Leonard Darby (b. 1922), English Ordinary Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Rotherham, Yorkshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [17]

The Darby 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.

Suggested Readings for the name Darby +

  • Comfortably Fixed by Judith Morgan Darby.
  • A Patterson Family: Also Darby and Stamps by Noel Douglas Patterson.

  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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  7. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 72)
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1823
  9. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 151 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1823
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/captain-cook
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/henry-tanner
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  13. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  14. ^ William Darby. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) William Darby. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Orlando_Darby
  15. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 27) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  16. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  17. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm

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