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The Dabneys of Virginia

Updated November 9, 2000

About Our Family Research


Our family started over 1000 years in Normandy. We were Norman barons with the surname of d'Aubigne. In 1066 we left France with William, Duke of Normandy (a kinsman) and took part in the Norman Conquest. William became King William I of England. The d'Aubignes were part of the dominant Norman faction in England, marrying into the English aristocracy, later becoming knights. Thirteen generations of the family lived in Sharrington Hall, a manor house near Melton Constable in Norfolk--by this time they had the surname Daubeney (sometimes just Daubney). I have been to Sharrington Hall, as have several other Dabneys. At the church in Sharrington there are brasses of Sir Christopher and his wife and children--these are on the church walls. The family resided at Sharrington from 1376-1600, some lived in Norwich (capital of Norfolk) during the late 16th-mid 17th century. Around 1660, about the time of the great plague, some members of the family left England (Lincolnshire) and came to Virginia, where they were naturally quite prominent in the Tidewater area. By and large most of the family stayed in that area until about 1835. This was when Thomas Dabney (later known as "The Southern Planter" and Philip Augustine Lee Dabney left their native Virginia and moved to Hinds County, Mississippi. Thomas was a noted planter while Philip (known as Augustine) was probate of Hinds County. Augustine was my great-greatgrandfather. His son John Davis Dabney was a doctor, born in Tchula, Mississippi in 1848, moved to Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Dabney's eldest son, John, was a real estate developer, vintner, banker, etc., and was born in Tchula in 1882. In 1914 he married Mary Hibernia Lipscomb of Helena, Arkansas (a native of Henning, Tennessee)--who was a second cousin of Nancy Langhorne of Virginia (who, as we all know, married Waldorf Astor, became the first female member of the House of Commons, and her husband inherited the title Viscount Astor). John and Mary Dabney's only son, Richard, born in Birmingham in 1915, was an insurance executive and was married to Virginia Weir Lewis of Washington, D.C. (a native of Boise, Idaho). Virginia was the daughter of Rev. Robert Lee Lewis, the canon at Washington Cathedral, and his wife Helen May Birkett. I am the middle child of Richard and Virginia Dabney-----Richard Lipscomb Dabney Jr. I was married to Valentine Wendy Sutcliffe of Norwich, England (a native of Sheffield, England), who unfortunately died June 13, 1998.

 
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