Derbyshire History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Derbyshire comes from when the family resided in Lancashire. While one might expect the name to originate in Derbyshire, the first records were indeed found in Lancashire. In England the name is pronounced "Darbyshire" regardless of the spelling.

Early Origins of the Derbyshire family

The surname Derbyshire was first found in Lancashire where the Lay Subsidy Rolls of 1332 list: Adam de Derbyshire and Robert de Derbyshire as holding lands there at that time. Years later, Idonia Darbyschyre was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. [1]

"As might be expected, we find a good number of instances in such a large neighbouring centre as Manchester. The American variant Derbyzier is a curious one." [1]

Early History of the Derbyshire family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Derbyshire research. Another 234 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1332, 1203, 1307, 1554, 1518, 1604, 1544, 1553 and 1556 are included under the topic Early Derbyshire History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Derbyshire 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. Derbyshire has been recorded under many different variations, including Darbyshire, Darbishire, Derbeshire, Derbishire and many more.

Early Notables of the Derbyshire family (pre 1700)

Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Derbyshire Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Derbyshire 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 Derbyshire or a variant listed above:

Derbyshire Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Elizabeth Derbyshire, who settled in Maryland in 1774
Derbyshire Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Derbyshire, who landed in New York in 1811 [2]
  • Elliot, Francis, Henry, James, John, Thomas, and William Derbyshire, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860

Canada Derbyshire migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Derbyshire Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Derbyshire, aged 21 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Sir Robert Peel" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in 14th September 1847 [3]
  • Mr. George Derbyshire, aged 32 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Sir Robert Peel" departing 26th July 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 19th September 1847 but he died on board [4]

Australia Derbyshire migration to Australia +

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

Derbyshire Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Derbyshire, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Statesman" in 1850 [5]

New Zealand Derbyshire 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:

Derbyshire Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • P. Derbyshire, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Countess of Kintore" in 1873

Contemporary Notables of the name Derbyshire (post 1700) +

  • John Derbyshire (b. 1945), British-born, American writer, journalist and commentator, awarded the Euler Book Prize in 2004
  • Matthew Anthony "Matt" Derbyshire (b. 1986), English professional footballer
  • Andrew George Derbyshire, English barrister from a long line of Derbyshire lawyers in England
  • Victoria Derbyshire (b. 1968), British journalist and broadcaster
  • Paul Derbyshire (b. 1986), Italian rugby union player
  • Eileen Derbyshire MBE (b. 1929), British character actress, best known for her role as Emily Bishop in Coronation Street
  • Delia Derbyshire (1937-2001), British musician and composer, best known for theme music to the British science fiction television series Doctor Who
  • John Henry Derbyshire (1878-1938), British two time Olympic gold medalist for swimming at 1900 and 1908 games

Derbyshire family +

Empress of Ireland
HMS Royal Oak
  • Ronald Derbyshire (1910-1939), British Leading Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [7]


The Derbyshire 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: Ubi amor ibi fides
Motto Translation: Where there is love there is faith.


  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. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 24)
  4. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 72)
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STATESMAN 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Statesman.gif
  6. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  7. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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