Dear Carroll, I am also a desendant of Stephen Darden. My great-grandfather, Gordan Wallace Darden, did research on the Darden family. He could not tell for sure where Stephen Darden came from but I will give you the two pages of information that he gatherd on this subject.
Opinions Concerning Origins
Opinions Concerning OriginsPage ix of "The Darden Family History" compiled by Newton Jasper Darden in 1953 gives the following opinions concerning the English origins: Dearden, Darden.--Local of Dearden or Duerden, near Edenfield, Bury, co. lancaster. The surname clung for a long time to the immediate district, as well be seen from the subjoined references: 1646, Robert Durden of Whitfield; 1640, George Durden of Love Clough, Wilts at Chester; 1631, Edward Durden of Castleton; 1630, Elizabeth Dearden of middletown, 1599, Thomas Dearden was Rector of Bury, Bains, Lancaster. (Dictionary of English and Welsh Surmanes, by Charles Waring Bardsley, M.A., London, 1901.) Dearden.--Evidently local, perhaps from a place so called near Edenfield, in Bury, co. Lancaster. The deardens of Rochdale Manor claim descent from Elias de Duerden, temp., Henry VI, but so early as the sixteenth century the name of Durden, Durdent, Or Duredent is variously applied to a certain Knight who may have been a progenitor of the family. (Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom, by Mark Antony Lower, M.A.; F.S.A.)
Also on page ix the following excerpt is given: "An interesting and very different possible origin of some American Durdens in suggested by Herbert Robertson's account of the English name Durdin (p. 62 of his Stemmata Robertson et Durdin). A Norman family of De Verdon settled at an early date in Essex where Durdins are found- at least as early as the 16th century. John Durdin, born in Essex circa 1590, migrated to Ireland in 1639 with a son Michael (b. in Essex ca 1615) and probably other children, and settled at Glanmire in co. Cork. When the Rebellion broke out, John and his famiily fled, in 1641 or1642, to Norwich where his youngest child Mary was born in 1649 and baptised in st. George's church. Michael returned to cork and married Mary (or Anne) Cotten and their grandson Richard Durdin (b. 1746/7) settled at huntingdon, Pennsylvania. It is evident that Stephen Durden or Dardon, who received his first grant in Virginia in 1649, could have been a son of John Durdin of Cork and Norwich and brother to Michael who was born in Essex circa 1615." The fathe of John Drdin (b. in Essex circa 1590) whose mane was also John died in 1600/06 and is buried in Westminister Abbey. The Compiler (my great grandfather) had a limited search made in Lancashire (Lancaster) County, England, for the birthplace and antecedents of Stephen Darden (Durden, Dearden, Durdent, Duerden, ect.) who migrated to Nansemond County, Virginia, 1640/49, but no trace of him was found or any clue as to his parent-age. Dardens ( and variants) live or are known to have lived in Essex, Wiltshire, Norfolk, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Sussex, and Staffordshire Counties as well as Lancashire County, byt at the present time no search has been made in the counties for the antecedents of the above mentioined Stephen Darden. As for the probability that Stephen Darden could have been a son of John Durdin of Cork and Norwich, the Compiler had a search made in the Benealogical Office, Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland, but again no trace of any record concerning Stephen was found.
Also because of the fact Richard Durdin (b. 1746/7), a grandson of Mmichael Durdin and Anne Cotter Durdin, "settled in Huntingdon, PA" and whose uncil was related by marriage to William Penn, the founder of PA, it was thought he too may have been an adherent of the Society of Friensd. Consequently a search was made through the Religious Society of Friends, Dublin, Ireland, and in Huntington, PA, but no trace of Stephen of ary realtive was found. Correspondence by the Compiler with the College of Arms, London, brought forth the interesting possibility concerning the name, as quoter here. " One har to bear in mind the origin of your surname, a nickmane meaning 'hard tooth'--- yourname could by a corruption of the twon Frenck words dur=hard and dent=tooth, and which together were used as a nickname." I wish that I had more information but mayby this will help you in your search. comments powered by Disqus