Was Edward Starbuck from Derbyshire? Part 1

Derbyshire image from Pixabay

The answer to that question is a resounding “maybe.” The possibility goes up a notch to a solid “likely” if we stretch Derbyshire to include what we call Starbucky Territory, the watery world that was home to a century of Starbuck families from the mid-1500s to mid-1600s and beyond.

Starbucky Territory is at the confluence of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and Nottinghamshire. Not content to confine themselves to one continent, let alone one county, the Starbucks ranged across parish and county borders throughout the area connected by the Trent, Derwent, and Erewash Rivers. (For a more details, see Starbucky Territory.)

We can’t be sure of Edward’s Derbyshire origin because no definitive record of his birthplace has been found in American records. Such a source may exist in the depths of a family or local archive, but for now it’s certain neither Edward nor his children and grandchildren left a written statement of his English birthplace or parents. None of the multitude of Starbuck family histories and local/regional records names a source for his pre-Dover residence. Yet almost every mention of Edward’s origin authoritatively states he was from Derbyshire.

In my attempt to find that elusive original source, I explored many family histories, local histories, and immigrant lists. Those which specified Derbyshire for Edward’s birth include:

Family Histories

  • Our Family’s Starbuck Ancestry by George Edward McConnell printed 1963 p. 1
  • The Stephens Family with Collateral Branches by Edward Stephens Clark published 1892 p. 196
  • “Address given by Sir Admiral Isaac Coffin on 8 October 1885 to the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society,” printed in The New York Genealogical & Biographical Record Vol. 17 Issue 1 (January 1886), p. 6
  • Noyes-Gilman Ancestry by Charles P. Noyes printed 1907, p. 280
  • One Hundred and Sixty Allied Families by John Osborne Austin printed 1893, p. 222
  • One family history, Starbucks All by James Carlton Starbuck printed 1984 p. 117 chose Derbyshire’s neighbor, Leicestershire, instead for Edward’s origin.

Local and General Histories

  • The History of Nantucket County, Island and Town by Alexander Starbuck printed 1969, p. 656
  • Nantucket, A History by R. A. Douglas-Lithgow printed in 1914, p. 62
  • Encyclopedia of Massachusetts Biographical-Genealogical vol 3 by the printed 1916, p. 142
  • Early Settlers of Nantucket by Linda S. Hinchman printed in 1986, p. 19
  • “Genealogical Items Relating to the Early Settlers of Dover, NH,” by Alonzo Quint in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 8 (1854), p. 68
  • History of Dover, New Hampshire by John Scales printed in 1923, p. 317
  • History of Rockingham and Stratford Counties by D. Hamilton Hurd printed in 1882, p. 773

New England Immigration Sources

  • Genealogical Register of New England by John Farmer printed 1829 p. 273
  • Topographic Dictionary of 2885 English Emigrants to New England by Charles Banks printed  1937 p. 17 and p. 132, listing both a place in Derbyshire and one in Nottinghamshire
  • A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England vol 4 by James Savage printed 1861, p. 171
  • Directory of the Heads of New England Families 1620-1700 by Frank Holm printed 1923, p. 226

Though none of these sources specified an original record, one listed specific towns or villages and another was the earliest published book naming Edward’s origin as Derbyshire. Both will be explored further in Part 2.

Author: ancestorquests

I'm Keri-Lynn, an "amateur professional" genealogist. I have a degree in Family History and have researching my family lines for many years.