The Quarmby family takes its name from the manor of Quarmby, near Huddersfield in Yorkshire. At the time of the Norman Conquest the manor was part of the barony of Pontefract, which the king bestowed on Ilbert de Lacy, who in turn gave it to one of his retainers, who took the surname Quarmby. In 1311 the manor passed with the heiress Alice de Lacy to her husband Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, and in 1399 passed with the duchy of Lancaster to the English crown.
In 1307 a jury was impaneled to inquire into terrible deeds happening at the castle and reported that “a certain stranger had been murdered in the dungeons and his body thrown outside, that his body when discovered was a ‘complete mass of corruption’ as if it had been ‘devoured by worms, birds and dogs.'”
In 1341, in the reign of Edward III, the Lord of the Manor, Sir Hugh de Quarmby quarreled with the Sheriff. He and his allies John de Lockwood and Sir Robert de Beaumont were all murdered by the sheriff in a single night, and the castle at Quarmby was utterly destroyed. In the words of a local ballad:
He rais’d the country round about,
His friends and tenants all,
And for his purpose picked out
Stout sturdy men, and tall:
To Quarmby-Hall they came by night,
And there the Lord they slew;
At that time Hugh of Quarmby hight,
Before the country knew.
1. Joseph Quarmby (c1766-?), of Huddersfield, Yorkshire. He married Elizabeth “Betty” Gledhill (c1768-?).
2. John Quarmby (1801-1845), a music teacher in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire and Nauvoo, Illinois. He married Anne Wagstaff (1802-1846). They converted to Mormonism about 1842, came to America in 1845 and settled at Nauvoo. John died soon after of the swamp fever. His widow then died, leaving an orphaned daughter Annie who was adopted by Joseph Bates Noble, the man who performed the first plural marriage.
3. Anna Quarmby (1842-1904), of Salt Lake City, Utah. Annie went with the Noble family to Salt Lake, and in later life received a Golden Jubilee pin as one of the pioneers who came the first year. She grew up in Salt Lake as Annie Noble. She left home when she was 15 because her foster father wanted to marry her. After a brief marriage to William Washington Camp, she married Wilford Woodruff Luce (1838-1906).
Coat of Arms
The Quarmby coat of arms are canting arms: Argent two bars and in chief a Cornish chough Proper. No crest is recorded. A Cornish chough is also called a “corbie.”