Is there a Dabney – d’Aubigné connection?

Was Robert Lewis Dabney a descendant of the Huguenot Théodore-Agrippa d’Aubigné?

I had once heard that the surname “Dabney” of Robert Lewis Dabney (1820 – 1898), a leading American Southern Presbyterian pastor and theologian, came from the Huguenot family d’Aubigné. That is, “Dabney” would be an Anglicized version of “d’Aubigné.”

One of the most well-known of the d’Aubigné’s might be Jean-Henri Merle d’Aubigné (1794 – 1872), a Swiss theologian and author of The History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century. But, since Robert Lewis Dabney and Jean-Henri Merle d’Aubigné were contemporaries, and since the Dabney family had been in America for generations, these two men are not, at least, closely related.

The other well-known d’Aubigné, and an actual Huguenot, is Théodore-Agrippa d’Aubigné (1552 – 1630). There is debate whether Théodore-Agrippa is an ancestor of Robert Lewis Dabney.

What is known is that Robert Lewis Dabney had the following ancestors in America, only the earliest of whom might have been a “d’Aubigné”:

– father Charles William Dabney (1786 – 1833)
– grandfather Samuel Dabney (1755 – 1793)
– great-grandfather William Dabney (1708 – 1772)
– great-great-grandfather George Dabney (1660 – 1731)
– great-great-great grandfather Cornelius Dabney

The debate is over of whether Cornelius came from the English “D’Albini” family or the Huguenot family “d’Aubigné.” If the Huguenot theory is correct then Cornelius would be the son of Constant d’Aubigné (1609 – ?) who was the son of the French Huguenot Théodore-Agrippa d’Aubigné (1552 – 1630).

But at least one researcher who has looked into this concludes:

“My own belief at this time, based on the reading I have done, is that the Virginia Dabneys were descended from an established English family, which had been resident in England probably as far back as the Norman conquest, and that the Huguenot connection is a legend.” –

While Robert Lewis Dabney does not appear to be a descedant of the Huguenots, the author of The History of the Reformation, Jean-Henri Merle d’Aubigné is:

– father Aimé Robert Merle d’Aubigné (1755 – )
– grandmother Elisabeth d’Aubigné (1720 – 1780)
– great-grandfather Georges Louis II d’Aubigné (1680 – 1732)
– great-great grandfather Samuel d’Aubigné (1638 – 1710)
– great-great-great grandfather Nathan d’Aubigné (1601 – 1669)
– great-great-great-great grandfather Théodore-Agrippa d’Aubigné (1552 – 1630)

2 thoughts on “Is there a Dabney – d’Aubigné connection?”

  1. Chris Smoot-I have a Miller Family Bible printed in 1825. It belonged to Frances Maupin “Fanny” Harris who married James Miller. James was my great-great grandfather. She says that her great grandfather, Cornelius d’Aubigne, was a Huguenot.

    1. Very cool. Maybe Cornelius is a descendant of Théodore-Agrippa d’Aubigné (1552 – 1630).

Comments are closed.