Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Derby Name
Origins of Derby:
The origin of this unique surname evolved originally from Derby and is a locational name from various places in England known to be “Derbyshire” or “Lancashire” or rather “Darby”in Lincolnshire. However, most of these names of various places had evolved originally from the ancient Old Norse “dujar” meaning a deer and “byr” or also a “farm” or “Settlement”. It was developed irrespective of different formations of spellings. The location known as Derby in Derbyshire are known as “Doeraby” as early as 917 A.D. “Anglo-Saxon Chronicle”. The name of Domesday book was changed to “Derbei” in a city known as Lancashire. Former inhabitants of any place that were displaced, uprooted, and eventually moved to a new city or region for necessity of occupation were gifted with locational surnames, they were generally identified by the title of their respective birthplace. The very first recording of surname was in the 13th Century. The developmental names included Edelota Darby in “The Hundred Rolls, Oxfordshire” (1278), that formed to be the modern titles as Darby.
Most common variation are: Derbay,Derbey,Deruby,Dearby,Dereby,Duerby,Derbby,Deraby,Doerby.
The origins of the surname Derby were in Yorkshire where people there held a family seat from early times. The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Roger de Derby, dated 1160-1182, in the “Register of Antiquities, Lincolnshire”. It was during the time of King Henry II who was known to be the “Builder of Churches”, and took place in “Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire”. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England. Surnames all over the country began to develop, with unique and shocking spelling varieties of the original one. On November 12 1570, one Alice Derby married Thomas Chandler in Hampshire.
Many people of the Derby family also moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
People with the Derby surname also settled in United States beginning in the 17 century. Many times Europeans fled due to famine and a new life. Many would end up throughout the United States and Canada. John Derby and Edward Derby settled in the year 1630 in New England and Massachusetts. Robert Derby arrived in Virginia in 1656 as well as Thomas Derby in Maryland in the year 1669. In the year 1821, Kitty Derby whose age was 29 would eventually settle in America. The following century saw many more Derby surnames arrive.
S Derby, S S Derby, B Derby and H Derby are the people who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851.
People of the Derby family who settled in Canada include Mr Benjamin Derby U.E ‘DARBY’ who settled in Canada c. 1784.
Frances Derby arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship “Louise Baillie” in 1849.
There are many people who landed in Auckland,New-Zealand. John N Derby landed in Auckland, New-Zealand in 1843. In the years 1863 and 1872, Jonathan Derby and Edward Derby arrived in Auckland, New-Zealand aboard the ships “Queen of Beauty” and “Naomi”. John Derby who was a farm laborer and Elizabeth arrived in Wellington, New-Zealand aboard the ship “Cartvale” in 1874. They were 30 years old.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Kingston: United States 7,700; England 1,355; Canada 515; South Africa 274; Ghana 3,035; Mexico 209; France 208; Jamaica 321; Australia 215; Suriname 320;
Brown Derby (1914-2000) was a Scottish actor.
Dean Derby (1935) He was a famous National Football League player.
Ethel Roosevelt Derby (1891-1977) was the youngest daughter of Theodore Roosevelt. She played an important role in preserving his legacy.
Elias Hasket Derby (1739-1799), was an American merchant.
George (1823-1861), was an American humorist
George Derby(baseball) was an America Major League Baseball pitcher.
James Cepahas Drby (1818-1892) was an American book publisher.
Orville Adalbert Derby (1851-1915) was an American geologist who worked in Brazil.
Sylvester Derby (1892), a head coach of football of an American college.
Derby Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Derby blazon are the garb, chevron, eagle and cinquefoil. The three main tinctures (colors) are vert, argent and gules .
The deep green colour that is so often observed in heraldry is more properly known as vert. According to Wade, the use of this colour signifies “Hope and Joy”, but may also represent, rather delightfully, “Loyalty in Love” . It has other names also, the French call it sinople, perhaps after a town in Asia Minor from where the best green die materials could be found . More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald . More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) . In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper .
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines . Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).
Europe in the middle ages was still a largely agrarian society, and the wealth of the nobility resided in their estates and land. Since most people still lived and worked on the land they would find farm implements instantly recognisable, (an important feature for a coat of arms), even if they seem obscure to us today. The garb for example is an ancient word for wheatsheaf, something now more frequently seen in Inn signs than in the field!
The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield , or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” , possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.
Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period . They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject , but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!