Darke History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 brought the Darke family name to the British Isles. They lived in Kent. The family was originally from De Arques, from the Castle of Arques, near Dieppe. "William de Arcis, his son, in 1086 held estates from Odo of Bayeux and Lafranc in Kent, and in Suffolk from Bernard de StAudoen, and Robert Malet." 
Early Origins of the Darke family
The surname Darke was first found in Kent where William d'Arques was Lord of Folkestone in that shire, having been granted lands by William the Conqueror for his assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. William d'Arques was descended from the Vicomtes of Arques who held a castle four or five miles from Dieppe in Normandy.
"This name, which is not uncommon in the West of England, is probably identical with the De Arcis, of Domesday Book. William d'Arques, or de Arcis, was lord of Folkestone, co. Kent, temp. William I., having Bettled in England after the Norman Conquest. His ancestors were vicomtes of Arques, now a bourg and castle, four or five miles from Dieppe in Normandy." 
The parish of Melonsby in the North Riding of Yorkshire hold clues to an ancient origin there. "The Benedictine nunnery, was founded in the latter part of the reign of Stephen, or the earlier part of that of Henry II., by Roger D'Ark, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary."  Little is known of this branch of the family other that this entry and to date we can find no birth or death record for this individual.
Further to the north, "Hubert de Arches occurs in Sotland 1165-1214."  This entry is collaborated but with different dates, "Herbert de Arches witnessed a charter of the lands of Lesslyn (Leslie) to Malcolm filius Bartholf (c. 1171-1199.) Gilbertus de Arches witnessed confirmation of sale of the land of Scrogges to the church of Glasgow (c. 1208-1213.) Perhaps from Arques near Dieppe." 
Important Dates for the Darke family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Darke research. Another 164 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1141, 1221 and 1229 are included under the topic Early Darke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Darke Spelling Variations
A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Dark, Darke, Darque and others.
Early Notables of the Darke family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Darke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Darke migration to the United States
Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Darke or a variant listed above:
Darke Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Richard Darke, aged 40, who landed in New York in 1812 
Darke migration to Canada
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Darke Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Richard Darke, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
Darke migration to Australia
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Darke Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Ann Darke, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Himalaya" in 1849 
Darke 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:
Darke Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- J. Darke, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1872
Contemporary Notables of the name Darke (post 1700)
- General William Darke (1736-1801), American soldier, captain at the beginning of the American Revolutionary War but rose to be general, eponym of Darke County, Ohio
- William Darke (1736-1801), American politician, Delegate to Virginia State Constitutional Convention, 1788 
- Ian Darke (b. 1954), English association football and boxing commentator for ESPN
- Nicholas Temperley Watson "Nick" Darke (1948-2005), Cornish playwright and writer, poet, and broadcaster
- John Charles Darke (1806-1844), English-born, Australian surveyor and explorer in Van Diemen's Land and South Australia, eponym of Darke Peak, South Australia
- Francis Nicholson Darke (1863-1940), Canadian politician and philanthropist, Mayor of Regina
- Karen Darke (b. 1971), British gold medalist Paralympic cyclist, paratriathlete and author
- Arundel Darke, the first woman to lead the Queen's Hall Orchestra
- Harold Edwin Darke (1888-1976), English composer and organist, Professor at the Royal College of Music
- ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
- ^ 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)
- ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The HIMALAYA 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Himalaya.htm
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 27) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html