Irish ancestry wasn’t ever a thought in my mind as I began my family research. Growing up I learned that our families were German, Scot, Czech , French and English, so discovering Darby Quinn, one of my 7th great grandfathers and an Irish immigrant was a delightful surprise. I immediately conjured up an image straight from a Little Golden Book I had as a child, Darby O’Gill and the Little People.
To the best of my knowledge, Darby Quinn arrived in Virigina about 1712, settling in Culpeper County, Virginia. In his will of 1754, he identified himself as a planter of Brumfield Parish in Culpeper County. It is signed with X “his mark”. No mention is made of his wife although two children, Richard Quinn and Elizabeth Bruce are named. My direct ancestor is Richard. The will has been archived at the Library of Virginia, transcribed and can be read here.
Other documents located at the Davis and Shaw Families of North Carolina website help tell Darby’s story. We learn that his wife is Mary Ashworth, identified as his wife 10/21/1741 per DB 6, pg 272, Orange Co. VA. Residents of St. Thomas Parish, Orange Co. VA. Deed witnesses were John Quinn, George Taylor and Thomas Jones. I don’t know who John Quinn is at this point, perhaps a brother or uncle?
In 1747, the Quinn family was living in Orange County Virginia. I have many families in this area. A recorded deed shows Darby giving a large gift to his daughter, Elizabeth.
Deed of Gift to Elizabeth per DB 10, pgs 517-18; Orange Co. VA; dtd 7/23/1747.
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 bason 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.
Signed Sealed and Delivered
in the presence of us
The Quinn family appears to have been a prosperous, important family of early Virginia. Darby’s son Richard (my 6th great grandfather) is to be found in many court documents and military record show him participating in the Revolutionary War. My Quinn family lineage begins with Darby, to his son Richard (6th great grandfather), to his son Richard (5th great grandfather), to Garland Quinn (4th great grandfather) to
Lucinda Quinn (3rd great grandmother) who married William Wallace Darnold, also from an old Virginia family.
Their son James William Darnold (my 2nd great grandfather), had a son George Burton Darnold (my great grandfather) who had a son Russell Raymond Darnold (my grandfather), who had a son, my father Wendell George Darnold.
My dad didn’t know this story. I think he would have liked hearing it. I can see the twinkle in his blue eyes as I am telling it now. Just like Darby O’Gill dancing with the little people.