Show ContentsDarwin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Darwin surname lived beside the river Darwen or Derwent in Lancashire. "Over and Lower Darwen are towns in the ancient parish of Blackburn, Lancashire, so called because located on the small stream the Darwen, a variation of the common river name Derwent. " [1]

Early Origins of the Darwin family

The surname Darwin was first found in Lancashire. The baptismal name Derewen was found in the Domesday Book. [2] One of the first listings of the family was found in Oxfordshire in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. Years later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Robertus Darwent and Henricus Darwent, walker. [1]

"The family home of the Darwins in the 17th century was at Cleaton in Lincolnshire, and at Elston in Nottinghamshire. From this stock sprang, last century, the noted Derbyshire Darwins, to which branch Charles Darwin, the great naturalist, belonged. " [3]

Robert Darwin of Elston (1682-1754) was an English physician who discovered the first remains of a Jurassic reptile in 1718 in a stone from a quarry at Fulbeck. He was the ancestor of the famed naturalist Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882.)

Early History of the Darwin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Darwin research. Another 159 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1731, 1802, 1809, 1882, 1644, 1620, 1731 and 1802 are included under the topic Early Darwin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Darwin Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Darwin are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Darwin include: Darwin, Darwen, Derwent, Darwent and others.

Early Notables of the Darwin family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include William Darwin (d. 1644) who possessed a small estate at Cleatham, and was yeoman of the armoury at Greenwich to James I and Charles I. His son William (b. 1620) served in the Royalist Army, and afterwards became a barrister and recorder of Lincoln and married the daughter of Erasmus Earle, serjeant-at-law. His...
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Darwin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Darwin Ranking

In the United States, the name Darwin is the 10,786th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]

United States Darwin migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Darwin or a variant listed above:

Darwin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Peter Darwin who settled in Barnstable Massachusetts in 1822
  • Lewis Darwin, who landed in New York in 1844 [5]

Australia Darwin migration to Australia +

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

Darwin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Darwin, English convict who was convicted in Leeds, Yorkshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Emerald Isle" on 28th June 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Mr. William Henry Darwin, aged 25, a schoolmaster, who arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Navarino" [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Darwin (post 1700) +

  • Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882), renowned English naturalist and thinker associated with the theory of evolution by natural selection
  • George Hedworth Darwin (1932-2019), English professional footballer who played as an inside forward in 314 matches from 1950 to 1964
  • Robert Waring Darwin (1724-1816), of Elston Hall, an English botanist, eldest son of Robert Darwin of Elston
  • Erasmus Darwin MA (1881-1915), English businessman and soldier who was killed in the First World War, grandson of the naturalist Charles Darwin
  • Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802), English physician, natural philosopher, physiologist, slave-trade abolitionist, inventor and poet, grandfather of Charles Darwin
  • Emma L. Darwin (b. 1964), English historical fiction author
  • Emma Darwin (1808-1896), née Wedgwood, English wife and first cousin of Charles Darwin
  • Capt. Edward Levett Darwin (1821-1901), English author who under the pen-name High Elms, wrote Gameskeeper's Manual
  • Charles Waring Darwin (1855-1928), second cousin once removed of Charles Darwin
  • Charles Waring Darwin (1856-1858), youngest son of Charles Darwin
  • ... (Another 9 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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. Convict Records Voyages to Australia. Retrieved 25th March 2022 from
  7. South Australian Register. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Navarino 1857. Retrieved on Facebook