Bio – Henry W Darling (1818-1890)

Henry W Darling (The brother of Rufus Holton Darling)

52 Ancestors – Week 2018-12
By Don Taylor

Continuing with my study of the siblings of Rufus Holton Darling is his next younger brother, Henry W Darling. After the death of their father, Henry went west to help settle the Wisconsin Territory.

Howell-Darling 2018 – Ancestor #48-5

List of Ancestors

Henry W. Darling (1818-1890)

Henry W. Darling was born on 18 September 1818 in Rome, Oneida County, New York. He was the fifth child of Abner and Sally Ann (Munsell) Darling.

Henry’s Siblings were

One-year-old Henry appears to be enumerated in the 1820 census as one of the males less than ten years of age in the household of Abner Darling in Paris, Oneida, New York. His siblings are all accounted for however there is one unknown female age 10 to 16 in the household. She may be an older sister, aunt, cousin, or family friend.

In the 1830 census, it appears that Henry was enumerated as one of the children in the household of Abner Darling. The family seems to have moved 155 miles west from Paris to Clarkson, Monroe County, New York. Abner’s household includes Abner, his wife, and eight children, five boys and three girls.

In 1839 disaster struck with the death of Henry’s father, Abner. Abner had a will, signed three days before his death, and Henry was named.

Rufus Holton Darling then took over as the head of the household. The 1840 Census shows Rufus as the head of the household with two other males and three females.  A review of the record suggests the family consisted of 29-year-old Rufus with his 55-year-old mother, Sally Ann and his siblings, Henry (22), Franklin (13), Sally Ann (18), and Hannah (15).

In 1846, Henry headed west. He supposedly left New York with only $5 in his pocket and walked all the way to Racine, Wisconsin Territory, 625 miles away. Later, that same year Henry located west again 90 miles north-west to Fox Lake, Dodge County Wisconsin. Henry was part of the massive influx of people who settled the area.  In the 1840 Census, Dodge County had a population of only 67 people; in the 1850 Census, Dodge County had increased its population to over 19,000.  In 1848, Wisconsin became a state,


It is not clear exactly when, but probably in 1849 or 1850, Henry married Adaline Learned/Leonard; Henry is ten years older than his bride. They are found living together in Trenton, Dodge County, Wisconsin with no children, yet. Trenton is immediately east of Fox Lake, Wisconsin.


The 1860 Census finds the family together in Fox Lake with a household consisting of Henry, his wife Adeline, two children, and what appears to be a hired farm laborer, from Maine, John Weymouth.  The children are:

  • Reuben H Darling, Age 10
  • Nancy D Darling, Age 4

The 1870 Census finds the family with a new addition, 6-year-old Abner M. Darling. All three children are attending school, Henry is farming, and “Adalin” is keeping house.

By the 1880 Census, Reuben and Nancy have moved on and the household then consisted of Henry, Adaline, and son, Abner M.

Henry was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and he is presumed to have been a Baptist.

Death & Burial

On 12 April 1890, Henry W. Darling died leaving his wife, two sons and a daughter. His service as at a Baptist church. He was buried two days later in Plot 299 at Riverside Memorial Park, Fox Lake, Wisconsin.

In May and in June of 1890, “Notices to Creditors” ran in the newspaper indicating that Henry W. Darling had probate.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Find the probate records for Henry W. Darling.
  • Find a record of Henry and Adaline’s marriage.
  • Research town and county history, looking for Henry and his family.
  • Find original death record for Henry W. Darling’s death.


  • 1820 Census, 1820 Census – Abner Darling – Paris, Oneida, New York
  • 1830 Census (A), Abner Darling – Clarkson, Monroe, New York – Page 271. Source Citation
1830; Census Place: Clarkson, Monroe, New York; Series: M19; Roll: 94; Page: 271; Family History Library Film: 001715 4.
  • 1840 Census (FS), Family Search, New York, Monroe, Clarkson, Page 177 – Rufus H Darling.
  • 1850 Census (FS), 1850 Census – Henry W Darling – Trenton, Dodge, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 12 April 2016), Henry W Darling, Trenton, Dodge, Wisconsin, United States; citing family 245, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • 1860 Census (FS), Family Search, 1860 Census – Henry W Darling – Fox Lake, Dodge, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 December 2017), Henry W Darling, 1860.
  • 1870 Census (FS), Family Search, 1870 Census – Henry W Darling – Fox Lake Village, Dodge, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 12 April 2016), Henry W Darling, Wisconsin, United States; citing p. 15, family 126, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 553,209.
  • 1880 Census (FS), Family Search, 1880 Census – Henry Darling – Fox Lake, Dodge, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 15 July 2017), Henry Darling, Fox Lake, Dodge, Wisconsin, United States; citing enumeration district ED 12, sheet 157A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 1423; FHL microfilm 1,255,423.
  • Find a Grave, Henry W Darling (1818-1890) – Death – Memorial 61525205. Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 18 March 2018), memorial page for Henry W. Darling (18 Sep 1818–12 Apr 1890), Find A Grave Memorial no. 61525205, citing Riverside Memorial Park, Fox Lake, Dodge County, Wisconsin, USA ; Maintained by Steve Seim (contributor 47256753).
  • The Representative (Fox Lake, Wisconsin, ), Com, 1890-04-18 – Henry W. Darling Obituary. See file: Obituary – Henry W Darling 1890 (N).PDF.
  • “Wisconsin, Death Records, 1867-1907,” database, FamilySearch ( 10 March 2018), Henry W. Darling, 1890; citing Death, Fox Lake, Dodge, Wisconsin, Wisconsin State Historical Society, Madison; FHL microfilm 1,310,179.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–

2 thoughts on “Bio – Henry W Darling (1818-1890)”

  1. Very interesting. Thank you! I too have a Abner Darling in my family tree. In fact your Abner who was married to SallyMunsell gets mixed up with my ancestor who was born in 1783.

    1. That is one of the reasons that I decided to do this study. When I looked at Abner Darling (married to Sally Munsell) I was getting confused about conflicting Abner Darlings. Every generation seems to have had an Abner and they are easy to confuse.

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