Recorded in several spellings including Darnbrough, Darnborough, Darnbroff, and possibly Darnbrocke and Darnbrook, this is an English locational surname. The question is "Where is or was, the village concerned?" The original place name spelling was probably "Dierne-burg" or similar, meaning "the hidden fort" or perhaps "Dierne-broc", the hidden stream. Both are equally plausible, particularly in the Yorkshire-Pennine region of hills and valleys. What is certain is that no such place in this or a similar spelling exists today, but the volume of surname church recordings in Yorkshire leave little doubt as to its homelands. Some five thousand surnames from Britain and Ireland derive from medieval villages, which no longer exist, or are not recorded, and this surname seems to be a typical example of the genre. Locational surnames were given to people after they left their original village and moved elsewhere. It was and remains, the easiest form of identification to call a person by the name of the country or place from whence they came. Early examples of recordings taken from authentic registers of the period include Duke Darnbroughe and his wife Fraunces, at Thornhill by Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, on March 9th 1603, and Roger Darnbrough, a witness at St Lukes church, Finsbury, London, on August 10th 1737. In the same register he is recorded as Roger Darnborough on February 4th 1743, and the change from Darnbrough to Darnborough seems to have happened on several occasions with different families. The first known church recording is possibly that of Thomas Darnbrocke, at Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire, on December 18th 1570. This was in the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603.
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