Debnay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Debnay is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Debnay family lived in Leicestershire. The family was originally from Abene, where they held a castle, near Louvaine, Normandy, and it is from the local form of that name, D'Abene which means from Abene, that their name derives. Another important English house of the same name comes from Aubigny, Brittany. Their name is of identical local derivation. 
Early Origins of the Debnay family
The surname Debnay was first found in Leicestershire at Belvoir, a village and civil parish in the Melton district. Belvoir literally means "beautiful view" derived from the Old French words bel + vedeir. 
Another source is more specific: "Amongst the most distinguished companions in arms of the Conqueror was Robert de Todeni, a nobleman of Normandy, upon whom the victorious monarch conferred, with numerous other grants, an estate in the county of Lincoln upon the borders of Leicestershire. Here De Todeni erected a stately castle, and from the fair view it commanded, gave it the designation of Belvoir Castle, and here he established his chief abode. He died in 1088, and was succeeded by his eldest son William, who assumed the surname of Albini or Aubeney, and acquired great renown at the celebrated Battle of Tenercheby, in Normandy, where, commanding the horse, he charged the enemy with so much spirit that he determined at once the fate of the day. " 
It was here that William d'Aubigny (Brito) (d. after 1148), was an itinerant justice under King Henry I of England and was granted the lands where he built Belvoir Castle, which is now a restored stately home. He fought at the Battle of Tinchebray (1106) and was in favor of King Henry I. His grandson, William d'Aubigny or D'Aubeney or d'Albini, Lord of Belvoir (died 1236) was High Sheriff of Warwickshire and Leicester and High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire in 1199. 
Wymondham or Windham in Norfolk was an early family seat. "This town derives its name from the Saxon Win Munde Ham, signifying 'a pleasant village on a mount;' and is indebted for its importance to the foundation of a priory of Black monks, at first a cell to the abbey of St. Alban's, by William d'Albini or Daubeny, in 1130." 
To the south in the parish of Lanteglos, Cornwall, "the manor of Polruan belonged to the Daubeny family, to whose interest it was indebted for its market, from the year 1291 to 1420; after which it passed to the Molins, and was then inherited by Lord Hungerford." 
Early History of the Debnay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Debnay research. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1109, 1176, 1150, 1193, 1167, 1221, 1203, 1224, 1264, 1305, 1305, 1342, 1386, 1371, 1403, 1494, 1548, 1451, 1507, 1670 and 1707 are included under the topic Early Debnay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Debnay 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 Debnay include Daubeney, Daveney, Dabney, Daubeny, Debney, Dalbini, Dibney, Dybney, Dobney, Daughby, Dawbeney, Dawby and many more.
Early Notables of the Debnay family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Giles Daubeny or Daubeney, 1st Baron Daubeney KG (1451-1507), an English soldier, diplomat, courtier and politician. He was "descended from the ancient Norman family of de Albini, whose ancestor Robert de Todeni came to England with the Conqueror and built Belvoir Castle...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Debnay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Debnay family
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 Debnays to arrive on North American shores: Thomas Dabney who settled in Barbados in 1654; John Dabney arrived in New York in 1820; Darby Davenney settled in Philadelphia in 1858; Alexander D'Aubiney settled in New England in 1775.
Related Stories +
- ^ 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)
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print