The Durbin Family of MD and PA

It has been brought to my attention that there is absolutely no proof for the parentage of Samuel Durbin of Maryland and the info on this page must be used with caution. NOTES in brown are from Bill Durbin, another researcher of the Durbin line. He has donated some of his work for the site. Thank You, Bill!

This article was contributed by Kerry William Bate, 465 Doxey, Ogden, Utah, 84401 and appeared in the The Maryland and Delaware Genealogist VOL.XV No. 3, July 1974, and is possibly the info need to link my Christopher to the Thomas mentioned in the article. NOTE: Mr. Bate has moved to 203 Hubbard Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84111.
Though Thomas1 DURBIN
is no doubt ancestral to the majority of people attempting to even list his children. Published information is almost nonexistant about this family, and the only authoritative record I have seen is Edwin C. Welsh's, The Durbin Family of Maryland, in The Maryland and Delaware Genealogist, 3 (1961) 67-68. Mr. Welch's account can now be added to and in some instances corredted.
1. Thomas1 DURBIN, was first mentioned 13-Oct.1678 when as Thomas Durbin of Severne,
Anne Arundel County, he paid 2500 pounds of tabacco for the tract "Johnston," purchased from Walter Dickenson (Maryland Historical Magazine 39: 274; 30: 273-74). Later he witnessed a deed of Christopher Gift, 14 June 1682 (ibid., 31: 246) and 2 November 1682 witnessed a deed of John Ardine (ibid.).
He was a man of some consequence, for in a list made 15 September 1686 of the "officers for every town in the Probince," he is called "Mr. Thomas Derbon
" of the town of Potapsco (Archives of Maryland. 5: 502).
Thomas1 DURBIN witnessed the will of Jane Long on 19 May 1696 (Jane Baldwin Cotton
, (Maryland Calendar of Wills, 2: 100). He died in the first part of 1699 or the latter part of 1698, for his inventory was taken 8 May 1699 by Roger Newman, and totaled a substantial 13,158 pounds, with 60-02-8 due to the estate (Accounts, Liber 18, folio 182-83). Debts were paid out of the estate to Jno Smith, Capt. Deen Cock, Roger Newman, Jno. Thomas, Majr Maxwell, and Jno. Hall. Of particular interest in the inventory is:
To ye funerall Charges of Thomas Durbin and his wife
2 black walnutt coffins
This shows that Durbin and his wife died at about the same time. We can't help speculating that death was sudden and unexpected, for no will was made. Perhaps it was the result of Indian problems.
Thomas1 DURBIN left several children, and the Durbins who show up in the Potapsco River area from 1699-1721 can reasonably be assumed to be his children, for no other Durbins are known to exist in this area--or even the Continental United States--at this time. Further, the name Thomas is carried through several generation of his believed descendants. The Rent Rolls affirm that he left children, for:
Because the record speaks in the plural, "orphants," we can be sure of more than one minor child left at Thomas1 DURBIN's death.
CHILDREN: Degree of certainty indicated prior to the name.
2.i. certainly, Christopher2 DURBIN, born ca. 1678.
ii. certainly, John2 Durbin, in the tax lists 1702-1705 as on North side of the Potapsco, 1706 on Back River Hundred, see Raymond B. Clark
, Jr., and Sara S. Clark, Baltimore County, Maryland Tax Lists 1699-1706), from which I estimate his birth as ca. 1681, making him 21, at first mention in the tax records, 1702. He married 20 August 1715, St. George Parish, Baltimore (now Harford) County, Maryland, Aravilla2 Scott, daughter of Daniel1 Scott. A list of his children has been printed in the article by Edwin C. Welch, already referred to. We correct the list slightyl under our account of John3 Durbin (?James2, Thomas1).
This John2 Durbin has actually been guessed to be a son of Thomas3 Durbin (Christopher2, Thomas1), but such is of course a cronological impossibility (nevertheless, see Genealogy and History), 15 March 1944, no. 8747, and 15 May 1944, no. 9029). Apparently he and his )presumed) brother Samuel2 Durbin are the only ones who have descendants surnamed Durbin today. It is generally easy to distinguish between the two families, for John2 Durbin's descendants are usually Methodist and Republican--including the famous Methodist Minister, Rev. Mr. John Price Durbin (Hozier5, Daniel4, John3, John2, Thomas1) for whom see, Dictionary of American Biography, 5 (1930) 544-45; and Samuel2 Durbin's descendants are more often Catholic and Democratic--including Father Elisha John5 Durbin (John4, John3, Samuel2, Thomas1), for whom see Catholic Encyclopedia 5 (1909) 209 and New Catholic Encyclopedia, 4 (1967) 1118.
iii. certainly, William2 Durbin, witnessed the will of his (presumed) brother (Christopher2 in 1709. He was in the tax lists in 1703, 1705-1706, as on both North and South side of the Potapsco. From this I estimate his birth as ca. 1682.
iv. possibly, Elizabeth2 Durbin, who married ca. 1710, Samuel3 Chew
, according to a sometimes unreliable refference, George N. MacKenzie, Colonial Families of the United States of America, 6 (1966) 363.
v. probably, James2 Durbin, whose wive Margaret died in November 1720, St. John's Parish, Baltimore (now
Harford) County, Maryland. We speculate he may be father of two otherwise placed Durbins. Children:
1. possibly, John3 Durbin, of St. George's Parish, married Martha ____. His inventory, 25 August 1762 (Original Baltimore County Inventories Box 16, folder 24) lists as nearest of kin, Martha Childs
, and was witnessed by George Childs. Very likely his wife remaried George Childs. He had at least two children christened in St. George's Parish, which have been assigned to his uncle, John2, (a) Sarah4, born 15 April 1728, married 11 September 1747, Samuel Howell; (b) William, born 26 January 1730.
2. possibly, Ann3 Durbin, married 21 February 1731, William Noble
vi. just possibly, Samuel2 Durbin, who seems to be hardest to place. He could be a grandson of Thomas1, but the only likely candidate for his father in that case would be James2, and since Samuel names no son James (yet named sons Thomas, Christopher, and John) it seems unlikely. We first hear of him when he witnessed the will of William Holland
, 16 June 1721 (Jane Baldwin Cotton, ibid.,6: 39) which will is of some importance to our discussion of Christopher2 (whose children Samuel was sometimes closely associated with). If he were 22 at this date, he would be born ca, 1699, and would have been a newborn at the time his (possible) parents decease. However, he could be a son of Thomas1 by a second and younger wife. He was road overseer in Baltimore county in March 1729/30 Maryland Historical Magazine 16: 137) and married in St. Paul's Church, Baltimore, Ann Logston, daughter of William and Honor (____) Logdson. NOTE:1) see below. He is ancestral to the largest family of Durbins descended from Thomas1 Durbin. He migrated to Frederick County, where his will was dated 19 September 1752 and proved 23 October 1752 (Frederick County Probates, 1: 78) and his widow Ann's will was dated 8 July 1770 and proved 5 October 1770 (Frederick County Probates, 1: 380).
NOTE:1) Christopher, of Samuel and Ann is acknowledged to have had six sons and six daughters. (Webb of Kentucky). No one has listed a Stephen as one of the six. His daughters are unknown. Several have claimed a Nancy and an Honor. But no authority.
Another NOTE for Samuel: 
     Kensington, MD  20895-4228 
     January 5, 1994
Subject:  Speculative Origin of Samuel Durbin (m. Ann Logsdon)(The following is a transcription of 
a paragraph in a letter I sent to Jim Virden on 7 November 1977 giving a brief description of our family 
history search in England.)...Most vital statistics reside in the individual parishes around 
England; one must know where to look for what he wants or just go from parish to parish and see what you 
can find. We believe though that the records of St. Thomas Parish on St. Thomas Street in Bristol may 
contain valuable information. In fact, although it is pure rationalization, my wife Lorraine uncovered 
a possible reference to Samuel Durbin. Her scenario makes much more sense than trying to tie Samuel to the 
Nevis Thomas, particularly since we have nothing to tie the Nevis Thomas to  "Thomas Derbon, an officer 
of the Province. Here's what she found. In a book entitled "Inhabitants of Bristol 
in 1696" in St. Thomas Parish on St. Thomas St. is listed a Thomas Durbin and his six children: 
Thomas, John, Sammuell, William, Alice and Mary. Lorraine then found the will of Alice filed 
17 October 1726 in which Alice left effects to 'brother Thomas and wife, to their children, and to 
brother John and sister Mary' the two latter being co-executors. What happened to William and 'Sammuell'? 
Any number of things, but what stuck in our minds is the tradition that "two brothers came 
from Wales"  and started to Durbins in America. Also, we know nothing of the birth of Samuel in this 
country, and trying to tie him into Thomas stretches things quite a bit. A separate immigration of 
Samuel to Maryland is certainly very logical. Perhaps the Nevis Thomas was a relative who sent back word 
of encouragement to the Bristol Durbins who were apparently low on the social and economic ladder about 
that time (several were in the almshouse). Also, have you noted the interesting similarity in place 
names between the Bristol area and the Maryland area where Thomas Derbon lived? A major river 
separating Bristol from Wales, a long river going up into England and Wales is the Severn 
River. I believe Thomas Derbon is identified with Severn, an early province of Maryland, 
alongside the Severn River which empties into Chesapeake Bay between Baltimore and Annapolis.  
Coincidence? I think not. I' m willing to wager that a little research will show that the Severn 
province was populated by Welsh and Bristol (Somerset and Gloucestershire) immigrants. Such a 
situation would give greater credence to a  'Sammuell'Durbin immigrating from the Bristol area 
to the Baltimore, Maryland area. Again it is pure speculation, but I believe much more intriguing 
than trying to tie our line to the Nevis Thomas..."(Added this date: About the time of the younger 
Samuel in Baltimore there was a William who is also unattached, a farmer, slaveowner. He lived to 
the east and north of Baltimore but close enough to be part of the Grand Durbin Clan of the 
Baltimore area. Is he the William along with Sammuell not mentioned in the 1726 will?)
(NOTE: Retyped into Word format on 29 Oct 1996 by William Durbin)
Addendum:  Nov 30, 1996
    {Even though there were multiple migrations of Durbins for whichwe have accounts, it would seem that most if not all came from the same root stock around Bristol. It would also seem that their personal conditions were probably pretty bad which, according to A. E. Smith, "Colonist in Bondage: White Servitude and Convict labor in America (1607-1776)", University of North Carolina Press, 1947, was a good inducement to emigrate to the colonies. That is another of the reasons why I part company with Kerry Bate and others who consider Thomas Durbin/NEVIS as the single origin of the Baltimore area Durbins. From what Lorraine and I read while in Bristol (1977), conditions in that area during the 17th Century were bad: living conditions, taxes, religious persecutioins, war, revolution, etc. The grass looked greener on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, and it certainly was if one were willing to work. The lucky ones could pay their own way over and didn\rquote t have to indenture themselves. Since indentureship was entered into as early as age 13 (or younger), Samuel could very well have come to the colonies at a very early age under just such a condition, worked it off, and then became a toll-road watchman around Owings Mill, MD, a significant distance from central Baltimore in those days. Of course he may have been able to pay his own way. Just speculation.}}

2. Christopher2 Durbin (Thomas1), about whom so many corrections and additions can be made that we must consider his specially. He was taxed as early as 1699, so we estimate his birth as ca. 1678. He was taxed until 1703 as on the south side of the Potagsco, and after that on the south side of Gunpowder and north side of Potapsco (see Clark
and Clark, ibid., and "Taxables in Baltimore County, 1699." Maryland and Delaware Genealogist 1 (1959) 32). He witnessed the will of Thomas Eager of Potapsco River, 17 April 1708 (Cotton, ibid., 3: 110). His widow Mary witnessed the will of Edward Jorden 3 Dec. 1709 (ibid.)
He married Mary (____) Cannon
, as will be shown. A clue to her origin may lie in the will of William Holland of Baltimore County (dated 16-Jun.1721, proved 19 September 1727) for Holland's wife Elizabeth witnessed Christopher's will. Holland's own will left legacies, besides to William Andrew, son of his wife's sister, Sarah, and other bequests, a bequest fo Thomas3 Durbin (Christopher2, Thomas1), for which see Cotton, ibid., 6: 39. A witness to Holland's will was Samuel2 Durbin (Thomas1). The will of Holland's widow--made after she had remarried to a Lloyd--calls her Elizabeth Lloyd, with will proved 7 December 1748, bequests to what we assume are nieces and nephews, that is, Dr. Josias Middlemore and his son Francis Middlemore, to Thomas Durbin 60 acres on Bush River (a substantial bequest), to Mary Andrew, wife of William Andrew, to Billy Dure Andrew, daughter of William Andrew (Annie W. Burns, Maryland Will Book 25: 118). This William Andrew was certainly her sister Sarah's child, and I believe another sister was that Mary (____) (Cannon) Durbin whose eldest Durbin son the Hollands provided for.
Christopher2 Durbin's will was dated 23 October 1709 and proved 28 November 1709 (Cotton, Ibid,, 3: 160) and bequeaths the tract "Johnston" to eldest son Thomas. This tract was originally purchas by Thomas Durbin, as had been shown, His youndest son Christopher got a bequest, his wife Mary, son in law Simon Cannon, daughter in law Cannon, and the will was witnessed by his (presumed) brother William 2 Durbin, and John Downes and Elizaver Holland. All these descendants are improtant to the Durbin discussion, for John Downes subseguently married Christopher's widow, for hiw sill, dated 1 April 1718, proved 2 June 1718 (Cotton ibid., 4: 161) maked her executrix, and gives bequeaths to sons in law. Thomas Durbin and Christopher Durbin "to be at age 18 years," son in law Simon Cannon and daughter in law Elizabeth Cannon, "It they be of age at decease of testator,"," and Downes's daughter Kedimoth. It has been further alledged Christopher2 Durbin had a daughter who married Simon Cannon, but in fact Cannon was a son of Durbin's wife by a previous marriage. These problems all arise from misunderstanding the term, "son in law," which in those times was as likely to mean stepson as its present connotation. Mary ____(Cannon) (Durbin) Downes survived her Downes husband, but what consequently happened to her is unknown. I have found no proved record of any descendants of this couple after 1759.
i. Thomas3 Durbin, married Jan. 1737, Ann Cowdry, and had at least four daughters.
ii. Christopher3 Durbin, about whom I find nothing further.
NOTE: 2) The name of Christopher's wife is unknown. A group in the Northwest claimed they had uncovered evidence (which they did not produce) that her name was Margaret Brown Parkinson. The late Jim Virden who was quite a stickler told me that he trusted their research even though he had not seen the authority.

The Decator Democrat Newspaper Oct. 23, 1964
Durbin Family arrived in Maryland in 1638.
Last week in duscussing the Durbin family we mentioned that they had come from Maryland by way of Ohio to Indiana, but had no more early history on them.
A few hours in the Fort Wayne Public Library's genealogy section this past weekend turned up some very interesting facts.
One early writer claimed that the Durbins were of German descent. This is possible but those early names indicate an English or Irish background.
A Mercer county, Ohio, history states the following:
"The American progenitor of the Durbin family came to this country with the colony brought over by Lord Baltimore
in 1638, and settled on the spot where each of the ancestors was born and reared."
This may be so, but we could find no record of it. We did find early evidences of the family, however. In 1676, in Baltimore county, MD., Thomas Durbin bought 220 acres of land from Walter Dickerson
and wife, and three years later bought 200 more acres from John Dickerson.
From later records, the Durbins appear to have been farmers and were located east of the present City of Baltimore. In the mid 1700's they spread into Harford county to the northeast and to Frederick, and finally Alleghany counties to the west. Then they spread into Greene, Fayette, and Cambira counties, Pennsylvania, before entering Knox county, Ohio. From Knox county, they scattered everywhere.
In 1699, Christopher Durbin turns up on the South Side of Patapsco Hundred. In 1702, John and Christopher Durbin were in the North Side Patapsco 100. In 1703, Christopher Durbin was taxable in South Side Gun Powder and John and William were on North Side Patapsco. In 1704, Christopher was in the same 100, John was South Side Back river, and William, with two slaves, was in the upper part, North Side Patapsco.
In 1705, John Durbin was north side Patapsco, and 1706, he was Back river. A Christopher Durbin estate was listed for Baltimore county in 1769. In 1730, John Durbin was listed among those on a levy allowance list in Baltimore county.
In 1748, on September 27, John Durbin Sr., made out his will, listing as children, John, Thomas, Daniel, William, an unborn child, daughter Averela, Hannah and Mary, and a son-in-law, James Princhard
The Averela name is particularly interesting. It turns up twice in
Harford county, MD., in 1776 , in The Susquehannah hundred, in Adams county in the 1850's. There is a Phabine Durbin listed beside Henry Durbin in Monroe township.
In 1752, we have the first evidence that the family is beginning to spread out in search of more family land. The will of a Samuel Durbin is probated in Frederick county, MD.
These early Durbins appear to have been Catholic, the faith of Lord Baltimore and his early settlers.
Then in 1756, from All Saints Parish, Fredrick county, MD., Thomas, John, Samuel and William petition Gov. Horatio Sharp
In 1777, the Ann Durbin will is probated in Baltimore county, and in 1774, Daniel Durbin dies there.
Apparently the Durbins, shifted aroung during the war. None are listed for Baltimore county or Fredrick county in 1776, but two Averillas, and Delilah and the 34 year-old Daniel Durbin and his family show up in Harford county, MD. In 1778, John, Edward, Nicholas, William and Samuel took the patriot's oath.
Samuel Durbin served as a second lieutenant in one unit, John Durbin enlisted 6-Sep.1778 in the 4th regiment, and transferred by 15-Mar.1779 to Col. Moses Hazen
's regiment. In 1783, he was listed as a prisoner of war from Capt. Carlyless' company of that regiment.
In 1790, the Durbin's had shifted to Harford and Frederick counties. Farming was probably passed in the area around Baltimore by then. Listed in Harford county, were Cassandra, with one male under 16, three females and five slaves; Daniel, with himself, two boys under 16, and four females, and one slave; and Sine, with three females.
At the same time in Frederick county there were eight Durbin families listed, none with slaves. Benjamin, with a son under 16, and eight females; Thomas, with three other males over 16, and three females; Thomas Bond Durbin, with another male over 16, two under sixteen, and four females; William, with one male besides himself over 16, four under, and 16 females; Mary, 2 males above 16, 1 under, and 3 females; Cornelius, 1,2; and John 1,2, and 5.
By 1800 they had all left Harford and Frederick, and were further west--ten werre listed in
Alleghany county. Ben, Edward, Elijah, John, Nicholas, Samuel, and William were in Wills Town; David was at George's Creek, and John and John, Jr., were at upper Old Town.
In 1810, Benjamin, Edward, Stephen, and Thomas were in Richhill township, Greene county, Pa., Nicholas Sr., and Nicholas Jr., and Thomas were in Dunbar townshio,
Fayette coutny, Pa., and Thomas B. Durbin was in Cambria county, Alleghany township.
In 1820, there were several Durbins living in
Know county, Ohio, and they were still there in 1830. As stated, before, they reached Adams county, Indiana, by 1841, and were in numerous areas of Ohio by 1820, and 1830 census reports.
Mercer county, Ohio history relates the following history concerning on of the Durbin branch: Basil Durbin was born in Maryland, near Baltimore June 22, 1812, and was a son of Daniel Durbin, who was born near Baltimore in 1778, Daniel's father Thomas, was a native of the same locality.
Daniel Durbin was reared on a farm, educated in Maryland, and was married in that state. his son Basil was the youngest of 13 children born to him.
Daniel located on the home farm in Maryland, removed thence to Pennsylvania in 1814 where he bought a farm and remained until 1819. Then selling his Pennsylvania farm, he emigrated to Knox county, Ohio, purchased a farm there, during the first part of his residency there not being a neughbor within 40 miles in either direction, north or west.
About 1830, he sold out and moved to
Muskingham county, where he purchased 100 acres of land which was sold for taxes. This land he improved and lived upon for 20 years, and then lost it all, at least, but 16 acres, for which he sold for $100 an acre, a very good price then.
He lived in Muskingum county, the rest of his life. His first wife having died in 1814, he was married the second time, to Nancy Alkenrode
, by whom he had three children, non of whom survived until 1896. He lived to be 88 (78?) years old, dying in 1856. Politically he was an old line whig; in religion he was a member of the Catholic church.

My personal research:
Marriage Record of Isaac Mayes, Esq. of West Alexander, Pa., from 1811-1845

Yeater, Mordecai to Nancy DURBIN, Ohio County, Va. July 1, 1841

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