History

Darby Township was settled in 1683 by English and Swedish immigrants who became friendly with Indians who lived in wigwams along the Muckinapates Creek. Darby Township became then and is now an important link in the line of transportation from Philadelphia to Chester and points south. Its farms and mills provided meat, vegetables, and meal to its immediate neighbor to the North, Philadelphia, and over the past 300 years it has left its mark in the historical records of the United States.

 

Early Settlement

"The area, now known as Darby Township, was settled almost immediately after the coming of William Penn (1682), and in 1683 was recognized as one of the localities where a permanent lodgement had been made but despite that fact, it is believed that the population was sparse for more than a quarter of a century. In 1684 Darby Friends’ Meeting had been established. In the same year the first official record of Darby occurs in the list of collectors “to gather the assessment for the building of the courthouse.” Thomas Worth and Joshua Fearne were appointed to those offices for Darby, and Mons Stacker and William Cobb “for Amosland & Calcoone Hook.” The latter was recognized as a distinct municipal district until1686, when Calcoone Hook was made a part of Darby Township, and Amosland was annexed to Ridley. Calcon or Calkoen's Hook comprised all the territory between Cobb's Creek on the east, and the Mokormpates Kill or Muckinipattas Creek on the west, and derives its name from the Swedish word Kalkon (a turkey) and Walda Kalkoen (wild turkeys). Later the territory known by that name became restricted to that part lying south of the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Railroad, while its eastern boundary was Morhorhootink, as shown in the atlas of the early grants in Delaware County." [1]

 

Division of Upper and Lower Darby

"The territory now constituting the townships of Upper and Lower Darby continued under one municipal government until 1747, when, for the convenience of the inhabitants,at a town-meeting, it was decided to separate the upper part from the lower in all matters save the levies made for the support of the poor. The lines thus agreed upon are not the township lines now existing, but Upper Darby, being less densely peopled,extended farther south. The inconveniences arising from the unofficial division so frequently presented themselves as a disturbing element in local government that forty years thereafter a petition was presented to the court." The following is an excerpt from this petition:

    “Beginning at Cobb's Greek on the Northwest side of a tract of land belonging to the heirs of Joshua Ashand in the line of said land, thence along said line
     and the line of land late Enoch Bonsall's & Joshua Bonsall's to Darby Creek thence down
     the said Creek to the northwest line of John Ash's land, thence along said line and the line of Samuel Ash and
     Nathaniel Smith to the line of Ridley Township, and that the lower part may be called Darby and the other part Upper Darby." [1]
 
 
 
 
Genealogy of Delaware County Municipalities
 
Darby Township Genealogy
Prepared by the Delaware County Historical Society, 1980, revised 1982. The above information is based on official County and Court Records
 
 
 
 
[1] Ashmead, Henry Graham (1884). "History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania (1884)" External Link. Internet Archive. Philadelphia, L. H. Everts & co. Retrieved 24 February 2014.