Dearnley/Dearnaley/Dearnaly + +

These pages are an attempt at listing all the known Dearnley+ family lines & 'currently orphaned' individuals.
We are slowly piecing the jigsaw together & any help is most welcome.
Occasionally we have made some assumptions - these are shown are shown in the accompanying notes.

Mark E Dearnley, Janet A Davies & Ian Goddard


Netherhouse, Upperthong
photo courtesy of Ian Goddard

Netherhouse, Upperthong

The first "Ds" that we have recorded in Nether House were William Dearnaley & family
who were recorded there in the 1841 census.

New Mysteries & Challenges page

Challenges Page

Some transcriptions and relationships are very tough to decipher.
We are hoping that we can get a concensus on some of the more obscure ones.
Can you help?    Do you have any to add?


Most common assumption.

The surname Dearnley(+) evolved from Darnley

It seems likely that the opposite is true.

"Darnley" in Renfrewshire, Scotland was originally "Derneley".
see: Caledonia, or an Account, Historical and Topographic, of North Britain, Volume 3, By George Chalmers (Published 1824)

"Sir John Stewart of Derneley, the eldest son of Sir Alan died before January 1369"
"Alexander Stewart succeeded to the estates of Derneley before 1371".(Google Books)

A Wikipedia source notes: "The Stewarts of Darnley were descended from Sir John Stewart of Bonkill, the second son
of Alexander Stewart, 4th High Steward of Scotland. Their name is derived from Derneley, a barony in Eastwood parish,
Renfrewshire one & a half miles east of Barrhead, present day Darnley, within the city of Glasgow." (Wikipedia)

The earliest Dearnleys found in the 14th century.
The Dearnleys seem to have had a series of legal problems. A Henry de Dearnley being declared an outlaw in 1372 and a later (1580) attempt to regain the Dearnley property from the Whiteheads also failed.

After the 1444 case the family seems to disappear from Rochdale and is next heard of in Glossop, Derbyshire. As far as I can make out two main branches of the family were established in the late C15th at the latest and both were in Glossop by the mid to late C16th and the great majority of later Dearnleys and Dearnley descendants such as myself can be traced back to Glossop.

The move from Rochdale was perhaps forced on the family by the loss of the property in 1444. As one of the Glossop families was the one which persisted with the claim against the Whiteheads a close connection with the 1444 defendant seems likely. Another scenario, however, is that it was Henry who was forced out of Rochdale in 1400.
 - Ian Goddard

  -    more details on the Early Dearnleys page.

Ralph Dearnaley's 1848 log of the voyage from England to America
".... I cannot describe to you the wet dirty crowded miserable holds of the ship. I expect scores falling victims to desease and death before we reach New York. We have 500 on board chiefly Irish...." "....The sight of land brought most of them pasengers out of there holds. The sun broke out and about 12 o'clock we get a pilot and a steam tug. We was about 26 miles from New York. It was the most beautiful sight ever I saw, the coast and the buildings is past my describing..... "

Many thanks to the Buckmaster family for the full fascinating log, which can be found on Ralph's page.

Having trouble finding your Dearnaley / Dearnley +?

As there as so many name variations in the database, it can be tough to search.
Try searching for a known spouses name. If you still have no luck - email me with your known details & I'll try to find your branch.





This site is a work in progress from Janet Davies, Marie Ball, Ann Dearnaley, Harriet Garfitt, Ian Goddard, Mark Dearnley and many other contributors.

A special thanks to Eric Dearnley, Martin E. Dearnley & Russ Preston  - without their generosity in sharing data, this index would never have begun.

- MED