Ancestry of Charles Darwin

The ancestry (genealogy) of Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin known as the author of "On The Origin of Species"




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This knol written and copyright 2011 by Will Johnson,, Professional Genealogist

The numbers next to the headings below, indicate the position of that person in the Ahnentafel (Ancestor Table) with Charles himself in position 1.

See also my companion piece: Ancestry of Charles Darwin on

Charles Darwin

1 Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin, author, was born 12 Feb 1809 at "The Mount" in Frankwell a part of Shrewsbury, Shropshire the son of Robert Waring Darwin of Shrewsbury and his wife Susannah Wedgwood.  His mother died, when Darwin was eight years old.  He was then sent to a Unitarian boarding school run by Rev. Case.  Darwin died in 1882, his autobiographical recollections were collected and published by his son Sir Francis Darwin in "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin" which you can read at that link free on Google Books.

2 Robert Darwin, M.D.
Robert Waring Darwin was born 30 May 1766.  On 18 Apr 1796 he married "... Susannah, the daughter of his father's friend, Josiah Wedgwood, of Etruria, then in her thirty-second year".  About 1800 he built a house which he called "The Mount" in Frankwell, a part of Shrewsbury.  Susannah died in 1817.  Robert died 13 Nov 1848

Susannah (Wedgwood) Darwin
Credit: The Personal Life
of Josiah Wedgwood
Click to Enlarge

3 Susannah Wedgwood
Susan "Sukey" Wedgwood was baptised at Burslem 2 Jan 1765, the eldest child of Josiah Wedgewood the famous potter. (See "The Personal Life of Josiah Wedgwood", p264)  Some details of her early life from the letters of her father are related starting on page 347.  In her youth, at age 11, after her father had remarried, she was handed over to be further raised in the household of Josiah's good friend and business partner Thomas Bentley and his wife who were childless.  Read a letter written by her to her father here on page 353.  On 18 Apr 1796, she married Robert Darwin MD, son of Erasmus Darwin, her father's good friend.  Robert and she were the parents of the scientist, explorer and author Charles Darwin.  She is ascribed a gentle and sympathetic nature.  She died 15 Jul 1817, thirty-two years before her husband.  She was a Unitarian.  She died when [Charles] Darwin was eight years old.  He was then sent to a Unitarian boarding school run by Rev. Case.

4 Erasmus Darwin
Erasmus Darwin married first to Mary Howard a "girl of seventeen" who died in 1770 before reaching age 30. (See "The Personal Life of Josiah Wedgwood", p263)  They were the parents of Robert Darwin, MD the father of Charles Darwin.  Erasmus next married Mrs Chandos-Pole who declining to live at Lichfield, they first moved to her seat at Radbourne Hall and then to Derby.

5 Mary Howard
Married Erasmus Darwin when a "girl of seventeen" and died in 1770 before reaching age 30. (See "The Personal Life of Josiah Wedgwood", p263) They were the parents of Robert Darwin, MD the father of Charles Darwin

6 Josiah Wedgwood
Josiah Wedgwood, the famous "potter to her majesty" (Queen Charlotte) was born in Burslem (now Stoke-on-Trent), Staffordshire, baptisted 12 Jul 1730 there, as the youngest of the thirteen children born to Thomas Wedgwood and his wife Mary Stringer.  He died in 1795 which is when the detailed correspondence of his daughter Susan ends.  We get no more direct glimpses of her character after that time, which is unfortunate as she was the mother of Charles Darwin.

8 Robert Darwin
9 Elizabeth Hill
10 Charles Howard of Lichfield
11 Penelope Foley

12 Thomas Wedgwood
Thomas Wedgwood of the Churchyard House and Works.  The family lived in Buslem, Staffordshire where they had been potters for several generations.  He died in 1739 leaving minor children including the later-famous potter Josiah Wedgwood.  Also ancestor of actor Cary Elwes.

13 Mary Stringer
14 Richard Wedgwood
15 Susan Irlam

16 William Darwin of Elston
17 Anne Waring
18 John Hill
19 Elizabeth Alvey
20 Charles Howard
21 Mary Bromley
22 Paul Foley of Prestwood, MP Aldborough 1713-15, eldest son, died 27 Nov 1739
23 Elizabeth Turton, married 1705
24 Thomas Wedgwood, born 1660
25 Margaret Leigh, married 1684
26 Josiah Stringer, Unitarian minister
28 Aaron Wedgewood, he made the white stoneware of the period.  By whatever chance, he and his wife Mary were both buried in one tomb on the same day 24 Apr 1743 as confirmed by the parish register extract.
29 Mary Hollins
32 William Darwin
33 Miss Earle
34 Robert Waring of Wilsford, co Nott
35 Anne Pate
36 William Hill
37 Anne Farmfield
38 Matthew Alvey
39 Susan Rawlinson
40 George Howard
42 Thomas Bromley
43 Ellen Lyndon
44 Philip Foley of Prestwood, esq, born 12 May 1648, youngest of three sons
45 Penelope Paget, married Oct 1670 at Boreatton, Salop
46 William Turton of Alrewas, co Staf, esq
56 Aaron Wedgwood, sixth son of Gilbert Wedgwood
66 Erasmus Earle, serjeant-at-law
67 Frances Fountayne, has royal descent
68 Thomas Waring of Lea Hall (also ancestral to Princess Diana)
88 Thomas Foley of Witley Court, co Worc
89 Anne Browne of Spelmonden
90 William Paget, 5th Lord Paget, has royal descent
91 Frances Rich, has royal descent
92 John Turton, Baron of the Exchequer
93 Anne More

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