Sunday, October 19, 2014

52 Ancestors: #42 - Darby QUINN

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued a challenge:  write one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor.  It can be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem – anything that focuses on one ancestor.

Darby QUINN – is that not the cutest name to find in one’s ancestral tree?  Being very Irish on my father’s side of the family, I was surprised to discover this bit of Irish goodness on my mother’s side.  But just “how Irish” is questionable.  A quick look through other people’s research on reveals that most believe the parents of my 7X great-grandfather came from England even though some say Darby himself was born in Ireland. 

One researcher even reported a family legend about Darby’s GRANDSON:  that the grandson had been kidnapped in Ireland and brought to America as a child and that based on his fine clothing he must have come from wealth.  However, this story is unlikely to be true since Darby Quinn had been in America since a teenager in 1712.

Darby died in Culpeper County, Virginia.  He held deeds in Orange County, but it is likely his home in Culpeper had at one time been part of Orange since so many counties were carved out of Orange.

Brumfield/Bromfield Parish where his will was recorded straddled the line between present-day Culpeper and Madison counties.  In a number of deeds, Darby’s land is described as being on the Rapidan River.

Little is known of his life other than a few records left behind including a will, some deeds, and his name as witness on a number of neighbors’ deeds.

Deed Bk. 3-4 1738-1741
Mar. 22, 1738 David and Mary Phillips of St. Mark's Parish in Orange Co. to Darby
Quin of Drysdale Parish of King and Queen Co., 20 pounds current money, 200 acres
in the fork of the Rapidann River...on a branch of Beautiful Run corner to Nicholas
Christopher...on Michael's Branch ... in the fork of a branch of Beautiful Run..
Witnesses: Robert Cave, John Mackdaniel, and Joseph Amons

Deed Book 10 pp. 517-518 July 23, 1747
Deed of Gift to Elizabeth Quinn Bruce

Know all men by these presents that I, Darby Quinn of Orange County, do by these presents for several good Causes and consideration and for the love and goodwill me thereunto moving Give Grant bargain make over and confirm unto my well Beloved Daughter Elizabeth Bruce all and singular the parts and parcels of my Estate as follows: (viz) Negro Robin and Negro Jane and all the time of service hereby indenture of a ... woman named Catherine McCoy, nine head of cattle, one mare, one horse, four head of sheep, sixteen hogs one featherbed and furniture two iron pots one small chest one table and pewter dish one pewter basin two pewter plates two chairs one washing tub two pails one Great Bible two  … axes one candlestick ten pewter spoons one raw hide one side of tanned leather one large bottle two Earthen Muggs seven mislings of bason, sixteen hundred pounds of Tobacco twelve barrens of Indian corn two geese one handsome great augre one spinning wheel ten pounds of cotton unspon one iron pestle one iron ... one grubing hoe, two weeding hoes two hilling hoes one frying pan one fine wheat sive one coarse sive one plough hoe one iron chair one pint bottle one iron form one brick band three case knives and forks one cotton and Haymes one rendering [?] tub, four bushels of rye, four wooden noggins, one pepper box, which said above Negroes, good and chattels, I give to my daughter Elizabeth Quinn with all the increase for the future of the said negroes same with all the future increase of the above said cattle and all the future increase of the said mare to have and to hold the said Given and Granted Negroes, Good and Chattels to her by said Daughter Elizabeth Bruce her heirs and assigns.

To have and to hold the same forever from me the aforesaid Darby Quinn my certain attorney or assigns forever.

In witness whereof I have hereunto sit my hand and seal this 31st day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty-seven.

Darby Quinn

Signed Sealed and Delivered
in the presence of us
Robert Sharman
Lucy Sharman

Will Book A, 1749-1770  pp. 137-138
Darby Quinn, Brumfield Parish, Culpeper Co, VA (1754)

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN, I Darby Quinn of Brumfield Parish in Culpeper County, planter, being very sick and weak in body but in perfect health of mind and memory, thanks be to almighty God for the same, but calling to mind the certainty of death and that all men must die and as touching all such worldly estate that it hath pleased God to bless me with, do make this my last will and testament revoking, disallowing and disannulling all other Wills and Testaments heretofore made and given by me allowing this only this to be my last will and testament. Imprimiss: I give and bequeath my soul to God that gave it me and my body to the earth to be buried in a christian like manner.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my son Richard Quinn all that tract of land containing by Patent four hundred acres lying in Frederick County which said land I took up and the Patent is in my own name and I give the same to my son Richard and his heirs lawfully begotten.
Item: I will and desire that the writing formerly made by me shall be and remain as it is.
Item: I will and desire that what other of my personal estate that is not mentioned and given in the above said writing shall be equally divided between my two children, viz: Richard Quinn and Elizabeth Bruce and in case either of them should die before such division be made that then the heir of either of them that shall die shall have the part of the dec'd part of my estate.
Item: I constitute, ordain and appoint my son Richard Quinn my sole Executor of this my Last Will and Testament. IN TESTIMONY whereof I have this twenty first day of December one thousand seven hundred fifty four set my hand and seal.
Darb X Quinn  his mark
Signed, seal'd, published and pronounced in the presence of Robert Sharman William Alexander Ann Sharman
At a Court held for the County of Culpeper Thursday, the 16th day of September 1756.


DARBY QUINN (1696 Ireland or England – 16 Sep 1756 Culpeper Co, Va) & Mary ASHWORTH ( 1698 Virginia – 21 Dec 1754 Culpeper Co, VA )  1718 Culpeper Co, VA

1. Elizabeth QUINN ( 1719 Culpeper Co, VA – 1793 Bland, VA) & George G. BRUCE ( 1713 Augusta Co, VA – 1787 Bland, VA)   1738 Culpeper Co, VA
  • George BRUCE ( 1739 Augusta Co, VA – 1808 Lexington, Fayette, KY)
  • Martha BRUCE ( 1741 Augusta Co, VA – 1786 )
  • Elizabeth BRUCE ( 1743 Augusta Co, VA – 1803 )
  • Charles Austin BRUCE ( 30 Oct 1745 Culpeper Co, VA – 31 Jul 1833 Greer, Greenville, SC)  &  Margaret Hannah RAMSEY (1741 Culpeper Co, VA – 1822 Spartanburg, SC )
  • Benjamin BRUCE ( 1750 Culpeper Co, VA – 31 Dec 1809 Clark Co, JY ) & Mildred Millie WATTS ( 1753 Albemarle Co, VA – 1842 Clark  Co, KY )  26 Mar 1773 Albemarle Co, VA
  • William BRUCE (1752 Orange, VA – 1814 Giles Co, VA ) & Anne Nancy BALLARD ( 1755 Albemarle Co, VA – 1811 Giles Co, VA )  1775 Albemarle Co, VA
  • Richard BRUCE ( 1754 Albemarle Co, VA – 1813 Loudoun, VA ) & Catherine Caty WHITE (1744 Virginia – 1784 Virginia )  1773 Albemarle Co, VA

2. Richard QUINN ( 1724 Culpeper Co, VA – 18 Oct 1790 Culpeper Co, VA ) & Elizabeth MANN (1724 – 1793)  1738 Culpeper Co, VA

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. I agree, such an unusual name.

  2. Too bad there are not children or grandchildren named after Darby.

    1. Yes, how did they manage to skip that trend?

  3. I love that name! I always say that I wish that I had been doing genealogy back when I was naming our children. (with some of our names however, our kids are relieved that I was not.)

    1. You and I must be twins. My mother had suggested I use a family name for my girls too but I couldn't think of any names that didn't sound like old ladies.

  4. Love the name and the story. Can you imagine if we had to list all of our possessions? Down to how many garden tools we had?!

    1. If I had to list all my possessions, I'd start downsizing right now!

  5. I just discovered your blog. Love your research. I am a descendant of Benjamin who married Mildred Watts. Do you have a document or Bible record which shows that my Benjamin is truly a son of George and Elizabeth Quinn Bruce? I believe they are his parents, but it has been a bone of contention amongst our researchers since two of Benjamin's sons declare that their father was born in Scotland. Thanks for any help you can give us.