Debney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Debney is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Debney 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. [1]

Early Origins of the Debney family

The surname Debney 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. [2]

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." [3]

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." [4]

Early History of the Debney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Debney 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 Debney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Debney Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Debney have been found, including Daubeney, Daveney, Dabney, Daubeny, Debney, Dalbini, Dibney, Dybney, Dobney, Daughby, Dawbeney, Dawby and many more.

Early Notables of the Debney 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 Debney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Debney migration to Australia +

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

Debney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Robert Debney a farmer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1838 [5]
  • Margaret Debney, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1838 [5]
  • Hepzibah Debney, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1838 [5]
  • George Robert Debney a cabinet maker, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1838 [5]
  • Rebecca Debney, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1838 [5]

New Zealand Debney migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Debney Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Eliza Debney, (b. 1820), aged 45, British nurse travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indian Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 23rd July 1865 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Debney (post 1700) +

  • John C. Debney (b. 1956), American Academy Award nominated film composer


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LLOYDS from London 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838Lloyds.htm
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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