Darken History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Darken is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Darken family 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 Darken family
The surname Darken 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 Darken family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Darken research. Another 164 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1141, 1221 and 1229 are included under the topic Early Darken History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Darken Spelling Variations
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Darken include Dark, Darke, Darque and others.
Early Notables of the Darken family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Darken Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Darken migration to the United States
In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Darkens to arrive on North American shores:
Darken Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- John Darken, who landed in Virginia in 1659 
- ^ 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)