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Loyalist Directory: Benjamin Darby/Derby

(For a short explanation of each row, click on the row title ex. "surname")

Surname : Darby/Derby
Given name : Benjamin
Rank : Scout
Where Resettled : Grimross, Gage township, 500 acres (Lot 17)
then to Isle St. Jean
Status as Loyalist : Proven
Proof of Loyalty : Land Petitions & typed transcript PANB Microfilm F1026 & RS108
Notes (Expunged, Suspended, Reinstated) :  
Regiment : Rogers' Rangers
Enlistment Date : At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War
Date & Place of Birth : cJune 1744 Devonshire, England
Settled before war : Rhode Island and then Newburg NY
Date & Place of Death : 3 March 1844 St Eleanor's Prince co, PEI
Place of Burial : St. John's churchyard, St. Eleanor's, PEI
Wife Name : Married Harriet (?) ~1772 at Newburg, Orange County, New York, Thirteen Colonies. His first wife died at sea en route to Nova Scotia 1783, and was buried at sea.

Second wife, Sarah Bremble
Children : Benjamin and his first wife Harriet (?)
- Elizabeth married John Welling
- Mary married William Hanington
- Two sons died young in Newburgh
- A baby (Minnie?) died at sea with her mother.

Benjamin and his second wife, Sarah Bremble, had four sons, George, Benjamin, Isaac and Netus, and five daughters, Lois, Deborah, Hannah, Esther and Susan, as named in his will dated 1844.
Biography :

BENJAMIN DARBY, a native of Devonshire, England emigrated to Rhode Island possibly during the Seven Year's War. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War he joined the Loyalist forces and served throughout the War as a scout in Rogers' Rangers, carrying dispatches from General Howe to Sir Guy Carleton, from New York to Montreal.

Benjamin Darby was registered in Newburg, New York, where he and his wife were members of St. George's Episcopal Church. The family at this time consisted of Benjamin, his wife and two daughters. Two sons had died in their youth.

Family tradition has it that on learning that Washington's soldiers were marching on Newburg the family hastened to escape, taking the mother and new-born baby from a sick bed. Such was their haste, they left the dinner cooking on the stove. Mrs Darby and the baby died on the voyage to Saint John, New Brunswick and were buried at sea. The father and his two daughters first settled at Grand Lake in Queen's County, New Brunswick.

Benjamin Darby was one of fifty-five Loyalists of the town of Grimross who, in 1785 presented a petition to Thomas Carleton, Esquire, Captain General and Governor in Chief of the Province of New Brunswick. They stated that since their arrival on the River St. John in 1783 they had no place to call their home. The town of Grimross near the center of Gage Township, one mile from the main river, had been surveyed and laid out with its bounds and privileges. Accordingly there were seventy-two lots given to as many as assembled at the Draught but not all had received title to their grants and were loath to clear and make further improvements fearing their labour would be in vain.

Apparently Benjamin was not satisfied with conditions at Grimross, so, along with two other Loyalists, John Foy and his future son-in-law, John Welling, he proceeded to the Island of Saint John, accompanied by his two daughters and his second wife, Sarah Bremble, a Loyalist widow. The Bremble girls, possibly four in number, came with their mother but soon married and established homes of their own.

At the peace, Darby had been placed on the half pay list of Rogers' Rangers. The Governor gave him a Commission in the Island Fencible Corps but in 1786 permitted him to sell out and return to half pay. From Governor Fanning he received a grant of 500 acres of land in Lot 17. The date of Instrument was July 30, 1794, and the date of Registry was February 25, 1795. On one side of it was situated the Daniel Green property, and on the other side that of George Linkletter.

We do not know too many tales about the Loyalist Darby but one rather amusing story that has been passed down tells us that he had huge feet.

Once, while acting as a scout for the Loyalists during the American Revolution, he was nearly apprehended by the Rebels. They, wishing to take him alive, shot the oars out of his hands as he tried to escape by canoe. Mr Darby, with great presence of mind, removed his boots and used these as paddles to escape from the enemy.

One of his foibles was the habit of arriving late for meetings, as it was noted that Mr. Darby was "late again" for the House of Assembly in Charlottetwon. He became a member on March 23, 1794 and remained a member until 1798.

He was also noted for his many beautiful daughters, who were highly sought after by suitors from near and far.

William Hanington, a bachelor from Shediac Cape in 1792 hired two Indians to paddle him over to the Island to look for a wife. There are different versions of this story but one is that driving along the road in an ox-cart he saw a beautiful maiden feeding chickens on a farm three miles west of Summerside. He strode over to the young maiden and proposed to her. One tale is that she accepted him at once, but the other tale is that it was too sudden for her; but before returning he proposed to her sister, Mary, who accepted him at once. They were married by a justice of the peace and on the return journey were nearly drowned by the swamping of the canoe. They had a family of five sons and seven daughters and are both buried in the churchyard of St. Martin's-in-the-Wood, Shediac, New Brunswick.

Benjamin Darby took an active part in the affairs of the Island community and at his death on March 3, 1844, at the age of 100, he had been a resident of St. Eleanor's for sixty years.

In his will Benjamin divided his land among his four sons: Isaac, Benjamin, Netus and George.

He is buried in the beautiful churchyard of St. John's Anglican Church in St. Eleanor's and his is the oldest tombstone there. Close by Ben Darby's gravestone stands another old stone with no name or date, just the inscription "To my own dear Harriet and our little Minnie". This may have been in memory of his first wife and baby daughter who died before Benjamin Darby came to the Island of Saint John.

The name of Benjamin Darby's first wife is not known, nor are the names of the two young sons who died before the family left Newburg. The daughters were Elizabeth and Mary. Benjamin and his second wife, Sarah Bremble, had four sons, George, Benjamin, Isaac and Netus, and five daughters, Lois, Deborah, Hannah, Esther and Susan, as named in his will dated 1844.

[excerpt taken from An Island Refuge Loyalists, Disbanded Troops, Family Histories, by the Abegweit Branch, UELAC]

Proven Descendants : Fredericton 1994.02.19; Little Forks Branch 2011.09.19 (E. A. Crouch); Abegweit 2017.01.27 (Elizabeth Anne Crouch);
Military Info :  
Loyalist Genealogy : Benjamin Darby & ?Harriet
=>Mary Derby & William Hanington
==>Ruth Hanington & John Bateman
===>Juliana Ruth Bateman & George Lionel Welling
====>Gwyneth Alberta Welling & Walter Leslie Belyea
=====>Ruby Clara Belyea & Francis Randall Crouch
Family History :

BENJAMIN DARBY, a native of Devonshire, England, immigrated to Rhode Island possibly during the Seven Year's War. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War he joined the Loyalist forces and served throughout the War as a scout in Rogers' Rangers, carrying dispatches from General Howe to Sir Guy Carleton, from New York to Montreal.

Benjamin Darby was registered in Newburg, New York, where he and his wife were members of St. George's Episcopal Church. The family at this time consisted of Benjamin, his wife and two daughters. Two sons had died in their youth.

Family tradition has it that on learning that Washington's soldiers were marching on Newburg the family hastened to escape, taking the mother and new-born baby from a sick bed. Such was their haste; they left the dinner cooking on the stove. Mrs. Darby and the baby died on the voyage to Saint John, New Brunswick and were buried at sea. The father and his two daughters first settled at Grand Lake in Queen's County, New Brunswick.

Benjamin Darby was one of fifty-five Loyalists of the town of Grimross who, in 1785 presented a petition to Thomas Carleton, Esquire, Captain General and Governor in Chief of the Province of New Brunswick. They stated that since their arrival on the River St. John in 1783 they had no place to call their home. The town of Grimross near the center of Gage Township, one mile from the main river, had been surveyed and laid out with its bounds and privileges. Accordingly there were seventy-two lots given to as many as assembled at the Draught but not all had received title to their grants and were loath to clear and make further improvements fearing their labour would be in vain.

Apparently Benjamin was not satisfied with conditions at Grimross, so, along with two other Loyalists, John Foy and his future son-in-law, John Welling, he proceeded to the Island of Saint John, accompanied by his two daughters and his second wife, Sarah Bremble, a Loyalist widow. The Bremble girls, possibly four in number, came with their mother but soon married and established homes of their own.

At the peace, Darby had been placed on the half pay list of Rogers' Rangers. The Governor gave him a Commission in the Island Fencible Corps but in 1786 permitted him to sell out and return to half pay. From Governor Fanning he received a grant of 500 acres of land in Lot 17. The date of Instrument was July 30, 1794, and the date of Registry was February 25, 1795. On one side of it was situated the Daniel Green property, and on the other side that of George Linkletter.

We do not know too many tales about the Loyalist Darby but one rather amusing story that has been passed down tells us that he had huge feet.

Once, while acting as a scout for the Loyalists during the American Revolution, he was nearly apprehended by the Rebels. They, wishing to take him alive, shot the oars out of his hands as he tried to escape by canoe. Mr. Darby, with great presence of mind, removed his boots and used these as paddles to escape from the enemy.

He was also noted for his many beautiful daughters, who were highly sought after by suitors from near and far.

William Hanington, a bachelor from Shediac Cape, in 1792 hired two Indians to paddle him over to the Island to look for a wife. There are different versions of this story but one is that driving along the road in an ox-cart he saw a beautiful maiden feeding chickens on a farm three miles west of Summerside. He strode over to the young maiden and proposed to her. One tale is that she accepted him at once, but the other tale is that it was too sudden for her; but before returning he proposed to her sister, Mary, who accepted him at once. They were married by a justice of the peace and on the return journey were nearly drowned by the swamping of the canoe.

Benjamin Darby took an active part in the affairs of the Island community and at his death on March 3, 1844, at the age of 100; he had been a resident of St. Eleanor's for sixty years.

In his will Benjamin divided his land among his four sons: Isaac, Benjamin, Netus and George.

He is buried in the beautiful churchyard of St. John's Anglican Church in St. Eleanor's and his is the oldest tombstone there. Close by Ben Darby's gravestone stands another old stone with no name or date, just the inscription "To my own dear Harriet and our little Minnie". This may have been in memory of his first wife and baby daughter who died before Benjamin Darby came to the Island of Saint John.

Benjamin 1 DARBY; born circa Jun 1744; married Harriet?? circa 1772 at Newburg, Orange, NY; married Sarah Bremble circa 1784 at Grimross, Gage Township, NB; died 3 Mar 1844 at St. Eleanor's "Old Mr. Benm. Darby died this morning Sunday 5 o'clock aged 99 years 9 months;" buried 5 Mar 1844 at St. John's Anglican Church, St. Eleanor's, PE.

Family Genealogy :  
Sources : Permission is given to Capt. Thomas Golden with the Sloop Return, navigated by the two hands named In the margin, [Silas AUwood, Benjamin Darby] to pass with a Flag of Truce up Hudson's River as far, (if permitted) as New Windsor.
( New Windsor is a 7 min. drive south from Newburgh.)

Information submitted by Elizabeth Crouch.
Reserved :