Darnley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Darnley finds its origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxons of England. It was given to one who worked as a grower of darnel, a plant believed to induce intoxication. The name's origins are Old French; darnel is the French name for this plant. It was brought into England by the Normans after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Occupational names frequently were derived from the principal object associated with the activity of the original bearer, such as tools or products. These types of occupational surnames are called metonymic surnames. Occasionally the name was local; there is a Darnall in Yorkshire, and a small group of people took their name from that location. This makes Darnley an example of an English polygenetic surname, which is a surname that was developed in a number of different locations and adopted by various families independently.

Early Origins of the Darnley family

The surname Darnley was first found in Lincolnshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Important Dates for the Darnley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Darnley research. Another 122 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1095, 1177, 1193, 1379, 1638, 1604, 1645, 1711, 1605, 1675, 1683 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Darnley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Darnley 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. Darnley has been recorded under many different variations, including Darnell, Darnall, Darnoll, Darnel, Darnal, Darnol, Darnhill, Dartnall, Dartnell and many more.

Early Notables of the Darnley family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Sir Thomas Darnell, 1st Baronet (died c. 1638), an English landowner, at the centre of a celebrated state legal case in the reign of Charles I of England, often known as the "Five Knights' Case" but to...
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Darnley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Darnley 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 Darnley or a variant listed above:

Darnley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Tho Darnley, who landed in Virginia in 1658 [1]

Citations

  1. ^ 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)
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