Martha Darby

#605, (18 September 1810-6 August 1876)
FatherGeorge Darby (c 1779-4 Mar 1853)
MotherElizabeth Aylott (c 1777-Jan 1821)
ChartsAylott Family - descendants
Brett Family - descendants
Darby Family - descendants
Descendents of Richard Darby
Last Edited26 Feb 2019
Martha Darby - signature from the wedding certificate of her wedding to John Speller Wright, 1837
     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. Whilst historical facts are not copyright, my writing about these facts are. If you wish to use any text from this site on Ancestry or on any other website, please ask me first - Tim Hill.
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(For a brief history and context on the Darby family see this page)

Martha was born on Tuesday, 18 September 1810 at Hertford.1,2 The city of Hertford dates back to at least 673, and was an important market town surrounded by agricultural land. From the late 16th century, it had access to the London corn markets via the Lea river.

She was the daughter of George Darby and Elizabeth Aylott. She was baptised at Lady Huntingdon's Connexion on Tuesday, 21 May 1811 at Hertford . She was baptised on the same day as her brother William.3,4 Lady Huntingdon's Chapel was one a series of chapels founded in the 18th century by the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion as part of a Calvinistic movement within the Methodist church. She insisted that they should all subscribe to the doctrines of the Church of England and use only the Book of Common Prayer. It was apparently founded in 1800, and started keeping registers from 1806.

Her mother died circa January 1821. She was about 11 when this happened.5 Martha lived in 1837 at St. Pancras, London.6

She married John Speller Wright, a tailor, son of William Wright and Elizabeth (?), at St. Pancras Parish Chapel on Wednesday, 11 January 1837 Martha was daughter of a millwright and builder from Hertford at St. Pancras, London. Witnesses to the wedding were Samuel Darby and John D. Darby.6,7,1 Martha Darby and John Speller Wright made an application for free passage to South Australia on 4 March 1839.8 Martha and John lived on 4 March 1839 at 11 Swan Street, Great Dover Row, London.8

At the age of 28 Martha and her husband John emigrated with Martha's brothers Thomas and John, John's wife Mary, her sister Ann and Ann's husband Joseph Peck. from London on 20 April 1839 on the 'Somersetshire.9'

On her arrival, there were a little over 10,000 people in the colony.10 Martha and her husband John arrived at Port Adelaide, South Australia, on 25 August 1839.9

The family was mentioned in a letter from another South Australian immigrant. Describing something of their circumstances on 21 March 1840:
"On the 27th of August [1839], I had the pleasure of seeing Thomas Darby, his brothers, and sisters, but they did not know me at the first sight, I looked so thin and bad ; but I told them I was well and hearty. They received me very kindly indeed, and I helpt them make their bed the first night in the colony; but to them it seemed a miracle that we should all meet here, after talking about it up at their father's house that night their chimney caught fire [perhaps the brickyard straw fire of 2 years previously]. They desire me to send their kind love to you all, likewise to their fathers and mothers, to their sisters and brothers, and to all inquiring friends and relations."

No doubt this letter was very eagerly received back home.11,12 She presumably lived with her spouse John at Hindley Street, in Adelaide, in 1846.13

Her husband John died 8 February 1846 at the aproximate age of 34, leaving her a widow at age 35.

Her brother John died Wednesday, 26 January 1853 after a brief illness, aged approximately 34.14

Her father died 4 March 1853 at the approximate age of 74. Martha was aged 42 when this happened.

Her brother Samuel died Saturday, 11 October 1856 in a horrific accident on a paddlesteamer when one of the boilers he was tending exploded. Martha lived in 1876 at Minlacowie, South Australia.15

Martha died in her brother Thomas' house on 6 August 1876 at Minlacowie at age 65.1,15


John Speller Wright (1812-8 Feb 1846)


  1. [S244] The South Australian Register, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 1876 'Family Notices.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 30 August, p. 4, viewed 14 January, 2012,
  2. [S549] E-mails from Eve Mintern to Tim Hill, 2012- 22 Aug 2012 (for birthdate).
  3. [S236] Parish Registers for Hertford Back Street Bethel - Lady Huntingdon, Batch/Film C066111 Serial/Sheet 0004.
  4. [S237] Parish Registers for Churchgate College - Lady Huntington's, Batch/Film C066081 Serial/Sheet 0003.
  5. [S549] E-mails from Eve Mintern to Tim Hill, 2012- 22 Aug 2012.
  6. [S494] London. London Metropolitan Archives, London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921 London Metropolitan Archives, Saint Pancras Parish Church, Register of marriages, P90/PAN1, Item 069.
  7. [S541] The Hertford Mercury and Reformer, Hertford, Hertfordshire, England, 17th Jan 1837 p.3.
  8. [S558] "Labourers applications for free passage to South Australia - certificates #3361-#9422," , 1838-. Currently held by State Library of Victoria (Latrobe Library), 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne 4 Mar 1839 #4150.
  9. [S473] The Pioneers Association of South Australia ( Ships arriving 1839 (
  10. [S882] Pioneers Association of South Australia Inc ( Early SA History -
  11. [S541] The Hertford Mercury and Reformer, Hertford, Hertfordshire, England, 'Emigration from Hertford' 21 Mar 1840 p.3.
  12. [S541] The Hertford Mercury and Reformer, Hertford, Hertfordshire, England, 05 Sep 1837 p.2.
  13. [S464] The South Australian, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 1846 'Family Notices.', South Australian (Adelaide, SA : 1844 - 1851), 10 February, p. 2, viewed 14 January, 2012,
  14. [S541] The Hertford Mercury and Reformer, Hertford, Hertfordshire, England, 'Deaths' 09 Jul 1853.
  15. [S6] South Australia, Death Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages Vol.76 p.141.
  16. [S7] South Australia, Marriage Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages Vol 38 p.27.