Show ContentsDerbey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Derbey comes from the family having resided in the county of Derbyshire. The place-name was originally derived from the Old English word Doer-by or Derby which was listed in the Domesday Book and literally meant a "farmstead or village where deer are kept." [1]

Early Origins of the Derbey family

The surname Derbey was first found in Derbyshire where the "surname is derived from a geographical locality. 'of Derby,' the capital of the county of that name." [2] Thus the name originated in the county of Derbyshire (pronounced Dar-bi-sher), and indicated a person who came from Derby (pronounced Darby.)

The first recorded instance of the family was Roger de Derby who held estates in the year 1160. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1278 list Edelota Darby in Oxfordshire and later the Assize Rolls of Essex listed Simon Derby in 1377. [3]

As far as the Derbyshire variant, Geoffrey de Derbesire was the first record found in the Assize Rolls of Staffordshire in 1203. Later, in 1307, the Assize Rolls listed Henry and Richard de Derbyshire as holding lands there at that time. [3]

Over in Lancashire, the Lay Subsidy Rolls of 1332 listed Robert de Derby as living there and later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Robertas de Derby; Johannes Derby; and Nicholaos de Derby. [2]

"Darby and Joan" is a proverbial phrase for a loving married couple in England that was inspired by John Darby (died 1730) and his wife Joan. They were first mentioned in a poem published in The Gentleman's Magazine by Henry Woodfall in 1735. Woodfall was in fact, an apprentice to John Darby, a printer in Bartholomew Close, London. This first poem inspired others by St. John Honeywood and Frederic Edward Weatherly and the characters are referenced in works by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lord Byron.

Early History of the Derbey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Derbey research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1203, 1278, 1300, 1307, 1677, 1678, 1717, 1720, 1749, 1789, 1790, 1796, 1800, 1819, 1823, 1834, 1871, 1882 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Derbey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Derbey Spelling Variations

Derbey has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Darby, Derby, Darbyshire, Derbyshire, Darbie, Darbey, Derbie, Derbey, Darbishire and many more.

Early Notables of the Derbey family

Notables of the family at this time include Abraham Darby I (1678-1717), an English Quaker ironmaster & pioneer of coke-fired smelting, the first and most well known of three generations of people who held the same name. He...
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Derbey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Derbey family to Ireland

Some of the Derbey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 182 words (13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Derbey family

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Derbeys to arrive on North American shores: Ann Darby who settled in Virginia in 1650; Elizabeth Darby settled in Barbados in 1670; Captain Darby settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1766; Chal Darby settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1766.

The Derbey 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: Utcunque placuerit Deo
Motto Translation: Howsoever it shall have pleased God.

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X) on Facebook