Darnley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
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. 
Early Origins of the Darnley family
The surname Darnley was first found in the West Riding of Yorkshire at Darnell, a hamlet, in the parish and union of Sheffield, S. division of the wapentake of Strafforth and Tickhill. Darnhall is a township in Cheshire, 6 miles from Middlewich and this township may also be the origin of the name. 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Agnes Darnel, Suffolk; Henry Darnel, Cambridgeshire; and
William Darnel, Huntingdonshire. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included Thomas Darnal and Roger Dernele as holding lands there at that time. 
However, we must look to the aforementioned Suffolk to find the first record of the family; for it is there that Goduine Dernel was listed c. 1095. Later, Godwin Darnel was also listed there in 1177. Tomas Darnele was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk in 1193. 
Early History of 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, 1689, 1706, 1672, 1735 and 1710 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 the lawyers of the period as "Darnell's Case."
Philip Darnall (born 1604), was an English barrister; and his son, Colonel Henry Darnall (1645-1711), emigrated to North America to become a wealthy Maryland Roman Catholic planter, 3rd Baron Baltimore...
Another 82 words (6 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 
Related Stories +
The Darnley 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: Deus nobiscum
Motto Translation: God be with us.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ 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)