James John Darby1,2

#157, (18 May 1851-11 May 1941)
FatherJohn Darby1 (c 1819-26 Jan 1853)
MotherMary Leonard (c 1816-7 Jun 1861)
ChartsAylott Family - descendants
Brett Family - descendants
Darby Family - descendants
Leonard Family - descendants
Wayte Family - descendants
Descendents of Richard Darby

Short Biography

     Jim was born on the 18th of May 1851 in Morphett Vale, South Australia, the son of an engineer. However, his father died unexpectedly when Jim was just one year old, leaving his pregnant wife, Jim, and Jim's older brother.

After four more years in the colony (and the death of his young sister) Jim and his brother George were taken by his mother to Manchester where her family lived. The Darby boys were raised there by the family; his mother apparently died when he was in his teens.

He became, like his brother, a clerk in cotton mill, and in his early twenties witnessed the marriage of his brother to Patty Miller, the daughter of a cotton mill over-looker.

He returned to South Australia and took up a career in banking with the National Bank, and was to stay with them until the age of fifty.

He married Eliza Watson at about the age of twenty nine (she was five years older), and although their first daughter died young, his remaining son and daughter lived well into their adulthood.

His wife died in 1932 at the age of 87; Jim died nine years later at the age of 87.
     (For a brief history and context on the Darby family see this page)

NOTE: The information on this page is my research to date and is subject to change as I become better informed. I very much welcome any corrections or additional info you might have - my email address is at the bottom of this page - Tim Hill.
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James was born on Sunday, 18 May 1851 at Morphett Vale, South Australia.1,3,4 He was the son of John Darby and Mary Leonard.1

His father died 26 January 1853 at the approximate age of 34. James was aged 1 when this happened.5 His common name was Jim. James arrived at London before 22 August 1857.6,7

He was recorded as living with his mother's brother and his mother's sister, his brother George, two boarders and a servant in the 1861 census at 37 Burlington Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester. He was recorded as being 9 years old.8

His mother died 7 June 1861 at the approximate age of 44. James was aged 10 when this happened. James now had neither parent alive. On 7 August 1863 his uncle Thomas Darby applied on behalf of himself and his two young nephews for their lands at Section 628, in Noarlunga, South Australia to be brought under the Real Property Act.9 His occupation was recorded as being a clerk in a cotton mill in the census.1 Jim Darby and George Leonard Darby had further land that was brought under the Real Property Act on 24 December 1874 at Adelaide.10 Jim Darby was a witness at the wedding of his brother George Leonard Darby and Patty Miller at the Independent Chapel on Thursday, 5 August 1875 at Ashton upon Mersey, Sale, Cheshire.11,12,13 James arrived at Port Adelaide, South Australia, circa 25 February 1877.7,14

He was employed by the National Bank under Mr. Gray at Mount Barker, South Australia.7 He may have witnessed a legal document on 7 October 1878 at Kooringa, South Australia.15 He was employed by the National Bank as a branch manager in 1880 at Eudunda, South Australia.7

Jim Darby married Eliza Maria Watson, daughter of Henry Watson and Charlotte Eliza Float, at Christ Church on Tuesday, 31 August 1880 at North Adelaide. They were 29 and 35 respectively.16 Jim lived in September 1880 at Eudunda, South Australia.16 A photograph was taken circa 1885.
Eliza Maria Darby, Leonard Watson Darby and Charlotte Elza Float (marked 'Fanny Floate Watson')
He was employed by the National Bank as a branch manager in October 1885 at Neales, South Australia.17

Jim was transferred to a different branch of the National Bank on 2 October 1889:
"We have to regret the departure of Mr. Darby, who has resided in Eudunda for the past ten years as Manager of the National Bank. Arrangements were made to tender Mr. Darby a valedictory social but unfortunately it was found that the time allowed was too short, so that the promoters of the movement had to be content with getting a few of the leading residents to wait on him, and present him with the rough draft of a testimonial, which will be properly illuminated and forwarded to him at Yorketown, whither he goes to take charge of a branch of the Bank there. Messrs. T. Davey and W. J. Nock, on behalf of the gentlemen present, and the residents generally, testified to the extreme regret with which the removal was viewed. Mr. Darby feelingly responded, and said that be regarded tbe years spent in Eudunda as among the happiest is his life. Mr. Wright, of Yorketown, succeeds to the Managership here."18

He was also stationed with the National Bank at Yorketown, Strathalbyn and Kadina.7 He resigned from the bank and took up fruit-growing in 1900 at Handorf, South Australia.7 Jim lived in September 1901 at Echunga, South Australia.19 James became a committee member of the Handorf branch of the Liberal Union and Eliza was elected to the committee of the women's branch.20,21,22 The Handorf branch of the Liberal Union held a social 17 August 1911 and the Darbys contributed to the programme.23

In February 1912 James John Darby's 'fine orchard' was threatened with a bushfire, and was only rescued by the sudden arrival of firefighters from Mount Barker.24 He was a canner and exporter of pears in February 1912 at Handorf, South Australia.24

Jim Darby and Eliza Maria Watson a fire swept through their property and destroyed about 60 hives of bees in February 1912 at Handorf, South Australia.25 Jim Darby wrote a letter to the paper praising the Gandy strawberry variety, saying it could be obtained from New York, and recommending the 'ABC of Strawberry Culture' as a reference on the subject in June 1915.26 He and Eliza Maria Watson contributed a number of times to Patriotic Funds in aid of the soldier's wellbeing at this time in 1915.27,28,29

James wrote a letter to the District Council of Echunga November 1931 about his rates and a fine.30

His wife Eliza died 19 June 1932 at the age of 87, leaving him a widower at age 81.7 James, as the father of the bride, attended Dorothy Josephine Darby and Alexander Morris Boyer's wedding at St. Paul's Anglican Church on Saturday, 20 October 1934 at Ambleside, South Australia.31,32,33

Jim died on 11 May 1941 at Handorf, South Australia, at age 89.34 He had his funeral on 13 May 1941 at St. Paul's Church of England, in Handorf, South Australia.35 He was buried on 13 May 1941 at Mount Barker cemetery, in Mount Barker, South Australia.35


Eliza Maria Watson (21 May 1845-19 Jun 1932)


  1. [S393] National Census for England, 1881 (online image) Township of Little Bolton, Municipal Borough of Bolton, West Ward, p.43.
  2. [S322] The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), 20 Jun 1932 p.8.
  3. [S453] Family History South Australia (http://www.familyhistorysa.info/) http://www.familyhistorysa.info/colonists.html birth of James Darby 18/5/1851.
  4. [S5] South Australia, Birth Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1851 Vol. 3 P.222.
  5. [S541] The Hertford Mercury and Reformer, 'Deaths' 09 Jul 1853.
  6. [S244] The South Australian Register, 1857 'SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 17 March, p. 2, viewed 27 February, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article49765969.
  7. [S322] The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), 1941 'OBITUARY.', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), 16 May, p. 8, viewed 10 February, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45004780
  8. [S398] National Census for England, 1861 (online image) Registration district: Chorlton, Sub-registration district: Chorlton upon Medlock, Household schedule number: 52, Piece: 2884, Folio: 28, Page Number: 9 (http://search.ancestry.com.au/Browse/view.aspx).
  9. [S321] The South Australian Advertiser, "Government Advertisments" 7 Aug 1863 p.4.
  10. [S338] Ancestry.com.au (http://www.ancestry.com.au/) South Australia Government Gazettes 1867-1884 (1874 p.2516).
  11. [S242] General Register Office, England - Marriage Certificates, Certified copy of an entry in a Register of Births 1875 Vol. 8a. Entry 314.
  12. [S527] The Manchester Times, 14 August 1875 (issue 917).
  13. [S538] The Preston Chronicle, Marriages 14 Aug 1875 p.5.
  14. [S336] The Argus, 1877 'SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), 15 January, p. 4, viewed 7 April, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5913500
  15. [S244] The South Australian Register, 1879 'SUPREME COURT—IN EQUITY.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 8 November, p. 1 Supplement: Supplement to the South Australian Register., viewed 15 January, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article43088601.
  16. [S321] The South Australian Advertiser, 2 Sep 1880 p.4.
  17. [S244] The South Australian Register, 1885 'NEALES, OCTOBER 31.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 10 November, p. 3, viewed 16 January, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article44540658.
  18. [S244] The South Australian Register, 1889 'COUNTRY CORRESPONDENCE.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 7 October, p. 7, viewed 17 January, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47287070.
  19. [S458] The Register (Adelaide), 1901 'DISTRICT COUNCILS.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 7 September, p. 8, viewed 18 January, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article56510335
  20. [S322] The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), 1911 'THE LIBERAL UNION.', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), 4 July, p. 11, viewed 25 January, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5295331
  21. [S322] The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), 1911 'THE LIBERAL UNION.', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), 3 August, p. 14, viewed 25 January, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5299517
  22. [S458] The Register (Adelaide), 1911 'HAHNDORF ACTIVITY.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 3 August, p. 9, viewed 25 January, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article58440991
  23. [S322] The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), 1912 'LIBERAL UNION.', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), 20 April, p. 16, viewed 25 January, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5337574
  24. [S322] The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), 1912 'ADVANCING SOUTH.', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), 3 February, p. 19. , viewed 02 Jan 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36988616
  25. [S458] The Register (Adelaide), 1912 'REPORTS FROM THE COUNTRY.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 5 February, p. 8, viewed 25 January, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59048043
  26. [S498] The Mail (Adelaide), 1915 'GANDY'S STRAWBERRY.', The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 - 1954), 26 June, p. 19, viewed 25 January, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59300059
  27. [S458] The Register (Adelaide), 1915 'THE SOLDIERS' CHRISTMAS AT THE FRONT.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 20 September, p. 6, viewed 25 January, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59622903
  28. [S498] The Mail (Adelaide), 1915 'OUR BRAVE BOYS FUND (WOUNDED SOLDIERS).', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 27 September, p. 6, viewed 25 January, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59623815
  29. [S458] The Register (Adelaide), 1915 'THE SOLDIERS' CHRISTMAS AT THE FRONT.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 2 October, p. 10, viewed 25 January, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59618269
  30. [S1055] The Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser, 1931 'DISTRICT COUNCIL OF ECHUNGA.', The Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA : 1880 - 1954), 4 December, p. 3. , viewed 03 Jan 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146042536
    Wikipedia citation.
  31. [S7] South Australia, Marriage Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages Vol.351 p.3361.
  32. [S206] The Chronicle, 1934 'Boyer—Darby.', Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), 8 November, p. 58, viewed 24 May, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91078185 ("A quiet wedding was solemnised In St. Paul's Anglican Church at Ambleslde on October 20 between Mr. A. M. Boyer, of Nuriootpa, son of the Rev. T. M. and Mrs. Boyer, of Medinde. and Miss Darby, only daughter of Mr. J. Darby and the late Mrs. Darby, of Ambleslde. The Rev. T. M. Boyer officiated, assisted by the Rev. R. V. S. Adams, rector of the parish. The bride entered the church on her father's arm, and as the bridal party walked up the aisle the hymn, 'Lead Us, Heavenly Father,' was sung. The bride was in a soft powder blue silk velvet and georgette frock, with a pretty hat to tone, and carried a sheaf of blue and pink lupins, pink carnations and orange blossom. She was attended by one bridesmaid, Miss Dorothy Boyer, gowned in liberty sun gleam georgette of blue, pink and yellow cones. Mr. H. R. Foale was best man. Mrs. T. M. Boyer was frocked in a black San Toy cloth with satin design".).
  33. [S489] The Advertiser and Register (Adelaide, South Australia), 1934 'Boyer—Darby.', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), 3 November, p. 10, viewed 24 May, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article35016212
  34. [S6] South Australia, Death Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages Vol.636 p.2010.
  35. [S322] The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), 1941 'Advertising.', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), 12 May, p. 8, viewed 10 February, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45004007
  36. [S321] The South Australian Advertiser, 29 Jul 1882 p.4.
  37. [S244] The South Australian Register, 08 May 1884 p.4.
  38. [S244] The South Australian Register, 16 Dec 1887 p.4.