Letter of Elizabeth Jane (Swayze) Darling – Kalamazoo First Methodist Church

Darling
Transcribed by Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Another article discovered on Genealogy Bank
that provides insight into the lives of the Darling family of Kalamazoo during the mid-1800s. The Darling’s and the Swayze’s were involved with the First Methodist Church of Kalamazoo.

Kalamazoo Gazette (Kalamazoo, MI) – August 14, 1916, Page 6

Pioneer’s Letter Tells History of Kalamazoo first Methodist Church

MISS EMMA DARLING FINDS
EPISTLE PENNED BY HER MOTHER YEARS AGO.

Kalamazoo Gazette 14 August 1916, Page 6.

In looking through some treasures in her desk the other day Miss Emma Darling*[1] came across, a paper in the handwriting of her mother, who had jotted down a few incidents in the history of the First Methodist church that are of moment and are certainly not known by many today though familiar facts In pioneer days.

Miss Darling’s parents and grandparents were pioneers and did much to make history for this section of Michigan. And today Miis Darling resides on a portion of the land purchased by her father Rufus H. Darling*[2] when he came to Michigan in (hose days when hardships were aplenty and luxuries a. thing unknown.

Of the Methodist church Mrs. Darling*[3] writes:

“My father’s family came here in the spring of 1840 and united with this church by letter. This Methodist people were then holding- service in a little old schoolhouse on ‘ South Rose street where the Jewish synagogue now stands. Mr., Richards came here as pastor the next, fail after we did and.the church then began plans for building a church.

Gen’l Burdick Gives Lot

“Their means were limited for their number was small and they met with many discouragements. The sister churches thought we never could build and pay for as large a church as we planned to have. But these things only made us more persevering.

General Burdick gave the church the lot where the Dutch Reformed church now stands and, Mr. Wiseman*[4] drew the plan for the church hut he died before the church was completed. But he made a request that they would use hie Bible at the dedication.

“Mr. Richards stayed hero two years in all and Rev. Range followed and the church was completed during this time, for the church was dedicated in the year 1842. If was not entirely free from debt until 1850.

“Mr. Watson preached the sermon at the dedication.’ There was only one class at this time, led by my father, David Swayze*[5], and father and sister, Emily*[6] led the singing.”

The late. George Torrey in his history of Kalamazoo says in regard to the Methodist church: “The first sermon preached in the town, was by Rev. James Robe, who was appointed to the Kalamazoo mission by the Indiana Conference, in “1822; and who is, now, a resident of the place. (This history was published to 1867).

Service in Titus Bronson home

The service was held in the house of Mr. Titus Bronson after whom tho place was named. The first-class was organized in the Year 1832 and was composed of eight members of whom Harrison Coleman was leader.

“The first board of trustees was organized at the house of Mr. C. Walters, on February 8th, 1841, and consisted of, David Swayze, C. Walters, Luke Olmsted. Isaac Tewkesbury, Amos P, Bush, Isaac Wiseman, William E. White, and David J. Davidson.

The 1842 Methodist Church on Academy St. – Photo Courtesy of the Kalamazoo Public Library

“The first church edifice was dedicated in 1842 on the church square, Church and Academy streets, and was occupied until the spring of 1866 when it was sold to the Dutch Reformed church.

“The society are now erecting what is intended to be one of the largest and most costly churches In the state, which will be completed during the year. They have flourishing Sunday school of about 250 scholars under the superintendency of Mr. Geo. H. Lyman, and a membership of nearly three hundred communicants, under the pastoral, care of Rev. Charles Shelling. The Kalamazoo District is In charge of Rev. R. Sapp, presiding elder.”

Facts:

  • The [Swayze] family came to Kalamazoo in the spring of 1840.
  • David Swayze led a class at the church (ca. 1842)
  • David Swayze and Emily [Emily Ann Swayze] lead the singing at the church (ca. 1842).
  • David Swayze was a member of the first board of trustees for the First Methodist Church in Kalamazoo in 1841.
  • Isaac Wiseman was a member of the first board of trustees for the First Methodist Church in Kalamazoo in 1841.

Sources:

  • Image: The Methodists’ 1842 building on Academy. Map of Kalamazoo, Michigan. H MAP 912.77417 M6475 1858 | Source: “First Methodist Church — Kalamazoo Public Library”. 2019. Kalamazoo Public Library. Accessed December 19 2019. https://www.kpl.gov/local-history/kalamazoo-history/religion/first-methodist-church/.

*Endnotes – Relationships

[1] Emma Darling, my wife’s 2nd great aunt.
[2[ Rufus H. Darling, my wife’s 2nd great grandfather.
[3] “Mrs. Darling” refers to Emma’s mother, Elizabeth Jane (Swayze) Darling, my wife’s 2nd great grandmother.
[4] Mr. Wiseman refers to Elizabeth Jane (Swayze’s) first husband, Isaac Wiseman.
[5] David Swayze was my wife’s 3rd great grandfather.
[6] Emily Ann Swayze, my wife’s 3rd great aunt.

 

Surname Saturday – Beardsley

Darling Line
By Don Taylor

Name Origin

According to Forebears, the surname “Beardsley” is a derivation of “Bardsley,” which was derived from being from a place, ‘of Bardsley.’ Bardsley is a parish between Ashton and Oldham, near Manchester. The American Bardsleys, and all the North English Bardsleys, and perhaps all the Beardsleys, hail from the Lancashire parish[i].

Ancestry suggests the name may be based upon an unidentified place, possibly in Nottinghamshire, where the surname is particularly common[ii].

Of course, I need to see things in order to understand the relationships of locations in England. Using Google Maps, I learned that Forebears puts the Beardsleys up near Manchester and Ancestry suggests a location 60 miles southeast of Manchester.  Oddly enouth, my Beardsley are from Ilkeston and Stratford-upon-Avon (50 and 90 miles from Manchester).

Locations of Beardsleys based on Forebears and Ancestry are in Gray and the locations of my wife’s Beardsley ancestors births. 

It seems odd to me that William and his son were born so far apart. It makes me wonder if my data regarding their birthplaces is incorrect.  Additionally, I’m relying mostly upon the research of others for those specific locations (sources I’ve found only say they were born in England). In any event, I haven’t had a chance to research these individuals in depth yet. However, the Interregnum may explain the relocation.

Geographical

Worldwide there are approximately 12,390 people who bear the Beardsley surname.

It is most prevalent in the United State where over three-quarters of the people with the Beardsley surname live. Little Montserrat (a small island in the Lesser Antilles has the highest density of Beardsleys with 1 in 1,220 people having the surname.

Earliest Beardsley Ancestors

My wife’s ninth-great-grandfather, William Beardsley was born about 1604 in Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, England. I, of course, like to imagine that young William Beardsley was named for William Shakespheare, a contemporary of the town of Stratford on Avon. Likewise, little William was about 12-years-old when Shakespeare died, so I speculate that William had seen, or at least knew of Shakespeare. William moved to Ilkeston, Darbyshire, England sometime before 1630 where he married Marie Harvie.

There, he had a son, Joseph Beardsley, who was born in Ilkeston, Darbyshire, England in 1635.

It was sometime before 1665 that William, Marie, and Joseph located to the Colonies and settled in Stratford, Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Flag of the United Kingdom
Immigrant Ancestor

The Interregnum of England took place from 1649 to 1660. (The between the execution of Charles I and the arrival of Charles II and the start of the Restoration[iii]. It was the time of Oliver Cromwell. More research is needed to know if they arrived in the Colonies before during, or after the Interregnum. In any event, it was a time of great upheaval in England and that chaos might have been the cause for leaving England for the new world.

So, both William and Joseph were immigrant ancestors from England.

Joseph married Abigail Phebe Dayton in Connecticut in 1665. They had a daughter, Hannah Beardsley, who is my wife’s seventh-great-grandmother.

My wife’s direct Beardsley ancestors:

  • Grandfather: Robert Harry Darling (1905-1969)
  • Great-grandfather: Rufus Harry Darling (1857-1917)
  • 3nd Great-grandmother: Elizabeth Jane Swayze (1818-1896)
  • 3rd Great-grandfather: David Swayze (1796-1850)
  • 4rd Great-grandfather: David Swayze (1762-1838)
  • 5th Great-grandfather: Amos Swayze (1739-1813)
  • 6th Great-grandfather: Mathias Swayze (1699-1728)
  • 7th Great-Grandmother: Hannah Beardsley (1671-1742)
  • 8th Great-Grandfather: Joseph Beardsley (1634-1712)
  • 9th Great-Grandfather: William Beardsley (1602-1661)

Known relatives.

Although I only have 11 Beardsley in my data, my records have identified 271 direct-line descendants of William Beardsley.

Sources:

Endnotes:

Relinking Family Tree Maker 3 — David Swayze in 1820 Census.

Relinking Family Tree Maker 3

Frustration strikes again with the linkage between Family Tree Maker 3 for Mac and my tree on Ancestry. I’m not sure how it happened but my Family Tree Maker (FTM) file for the Darling-Huber tree said it wasn’t linked to Ancestry, but when I went to Ancestry, it indicated that it was linked with Family Tree Maker and gave me the file name it was linked in. The same one that said it wasn’t linked. My on-line tree has many people I’m sharing with and my FTM has underlying source links and media that I don’t want to lose connections to.

I called Ancestry and spoke to their support. No help. They told me to break the tree, then go to FTM, start a new tree, and then download from Ancestry. Basically, revert to Ancestry’s version of my data. I have done that in the past and found that my sources were generally all messed up and that most of the media I had with my sources seemed to be lost. Then I happened upon a new idea.

I decided to go ahead and break the tree on Ancestry. Then in FTM, create a new tree by importing from Ancestry. After that task was complete, I merged my old FTM file into the new one. After completion there were a few duplicated individuals and a few duplicated sources but, all the connections appear to be correct. That’s okay. I’d rather have duplicates that I can select the best source from than have missing source information.
I’ll work with it for a while and let you know if I find any serious problems.

David Sweazy [Sr.] & the 1820 Census

The 1920 Census is always problematic because only the head of the household is named. Others in the household are only given a range of ages, sex, and status. There is also identification of what sector of the economy the individual was engaged in.

1820 Census Entry for David Sweazy – Image via Ancestry.Com.

I find it important to analyze the census information and associate all that I can determine.

For example:

The David Sweazy household of Richland, Fairfield County Ohio[i].
Census Item
Value
WM* Ages to 10
2
1 Presumed to be William Marsh who was age 6.
1 Presumed to be Daniel S who was 9 or 10.
WM ages 16 to 26
1
Presumed to be Evan who was 17 or 18.
David Jr. is enumerated elsewhere in the Census.
WM ages 26 to 45
3
All three are unknown individuals.
WM 45 & Up
1
Oldest male presumed to be David Sweazy age 58
WF** 10 to 16
3
1 Presumed to be Edith, age 12 or 13.
1 presumed to be Elizabeth, age 15 or 16.
1 Possibly Sarah who would be 19 or 20.
WF 45 & Up
1
Presumed to be wife Alice, age 51
* WM = White Males | **WF = White Females

In addition, an entry indicates that four people were engaged in Agriculture and one was engaged in Manufacture.

First, I believe there is enough detail to assure that I have the correct David Swazey/Swayze.

Then I take the information that is there and derive the following facts

For David, William, Daniel, Evan, Edith Elizabeth, and Alice I would add the following:

Name – I’d add Sweazy as an alternate surname for all.
Birth – In the Notes section, I’d add, “1820 Census is consistent.

For David – Census – Date: 7 Aug 1820 | Place: Richland, Fairfield, Ohio: Living with 10 others in household, He was engaged in either Agriculture or Manufacture.

For Sarah, – Birth – in the Notes section, I’d add “1820 Census is NOT Consistent” Sarah may have been 10 to 16 in 1820 Census or may be numerated elsewhere.

In the notes for the 1820 Census Source Citation I’d add: Neighbors: Love, Bailey, McBride, & Young
For Alice and any of the children, I might or might not add:

Lived 7 Aug 1820 – Richland, Fairfield, Ohio – Presumed to be living with (father) David Swayze.

I think that fairly well covers the things that we know from the Census. I would love to hear in the comments anyone who thinks I missed a fact or I added a “fact” not in evidence.

David Sweazy [Jr.] & the 1820 Census

Using the same process for David Sweazy (Jr.) I find

1820 Census entry for David Sweazy [Jr.] from Ancestry.Com

The same process for

David Sweazy [Jr.] household of Richland, Fairfield, Ohio[ii]:
Census Item
Value
WM* Ages to 10
1
Unknown male – b. 1810-1820
WM ages 16 to 26
1
Presumed to be David [Jr.] Age 24
WM ages 26 to 45
1
Unknown Male born b. 1775-1794
WF** to 10
1
Presumed to be Elizabeth, age 2
WF 26 to 45
1
Presumed to be Catherine, Age 25-26
WF 45 & Up
1
Unknown female – b. bef 1775

* WM = White Males | **WF = White FemalesIn addition, an entry indicates that two people were engaged in Agriculture.

This Census is a bit more concerning because a daughter, Emily Ann Swayze is not accounted for. If she was born on 21 Jan 1820 she should be enumerated here but isn’t. Also, there are two other adults who are unknown. We know that David’s parents were enumerated elsewhere, so, these two adults could possibly be Katherine’s parents, James & Margaret. Everything else seems to fit so I’m going to accept this entry as being that of David Swayze/Sweezey

Facts Found

For David, Elizabeth, and Catherine I would add the following:

Name – I’d add Sweazy as an alternate surname for all.
Birth – In the Notes section, I’d add, “1820 Census is consistent.

For David – Census – Date: 7 Aug 1820 | Place: Richland, Fairfield, Ohio: Living with five others in household, He was engaged in Agriculture.

For Emily – Birth Notes – 1820 Census NOT Consistent – Not enumerated. May have been born after 7 Aug 1820.

For Emily – Under Tasks – Analyze birth information regarding Emily. Could she have been born after 7 Aug 1820?

In the notes for the 1820 Census Source Citation I’d add: Neighbors: Noble(?), Williams, Marguhart, & Martin
In my research notes for Catherine’s parents, James & Margaret Walker, I’d add

the following note:“Conjecture:  May have lived with daughter Catherine during 1820 Census. “

And under my tasks for them, add a task to search for James Walker in the 1820 Census.

Again, I would love to hear in the comments below if anyone thinks I missed a fact or I added a “fact” not in evidence.

Endnotes
—–

[i] “United States Census, 1820,” Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHLS-J2K : accessed 16 June 2015), David Sweazy, Richland, Fairfield, Ohio; citing p. 191, NARA microfilm publication M33, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 87; FHL microfilm 181,393.

[ii] “United States Census, 1820,” Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHLS-VQG : accessed 16 June 2015), David Sweezy, Richland, Fairfield, Ohio; citing p. 188, NARA microfilm publication M33, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 87; FHL microfilm 181,393.
————  DISCLAIMER  ————-

 

Start Looking

 

52 Ancestors: #1 – Elizabeth Jane Swayze Wisemen Darling

Ancestor Sketch

Elizabeth Jane Swayze Wisemen Darling

The Challenge: 

Thanks to Caroline Porter’s blog, 4yourfamilystory.com, (A blog I subscribe to and read daily.) I learned of a blogging challenge issued by Amy Johnson Crow on her blog www.nostorytoosmall.com to post each week – that is 52 ancestors in 50 weeks. It can be a story, a biography, a photograph, or an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on a specific ancestor. I thought that I’ve been kind of trying to do that but I haven’t been as successful in keeping up that schedule.  So, I decided to take the challenge.  I thought I’m probably good for now, I just blogged about my grandmother. I looked back at my blog and realized that I wrote Donna back on the 31st.  Closing out the year with Donna’s vaudeville activities was a great ending to the years.  I still have literally hundreds of documents and artifacts and gazillions of research activities I need to do to write her story, but, I didn’t want to ignore the other stories.  So, with the Donna blog last year and it already the 7th of January, I need to get busy.  Who to blog about was the next question.
To help me with that I’ve decided to continue my past practice and write about someone whose birthday is within the following week. I also believe I have enough known direct ancestors that I can keep to direct ancestors and not need to do uncles and aunts. So, I opened up each of my research trees and printed a calendar for the next three months identifying the birth dates for direct ancestors only.  On weeks that I don’t have an ancestor whose birthday I know I’ll blog about the challenges in researching someone in particular.  This week, week 1, I start with:

Elizabeth Jane Swayze Wiseman Darling

Elizabeth Jane Swayze with born on 13 January 1818 in Rushville, Ohio.  She was the oldest of eight children born to David and Catherine Swayze. Her paternal grandfather, David Swayze (senior) fought for the revolution serving as a private in New Jersey.  Her parents had moved from New Jersey to Virginia and on to Ohio, where she was born.  In 1818, Ohio had been a state for about 15 years and had a growing population of about a half a million in the entire state. Rushville wasn’t yet a true village, but, it’s the first church, Methodist, had been built as a log cabin eight years earlier and it was growing.  Actually, we aren’t really sure if she was born in Rushville or if that is where later documents indicate she was born because it was the closest town.  She may have been born in New Salem, Ohio, about eight miles away.
In any event, in 1820, the Swayze’s lived in what is now New Salem, Ohio. Sometime before 1841 the Swayze’s moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan. In 1841 Elizabeth married Isaac Wiseman. By 1841, the Swayze’s were prominent in Kalamazoo. By 1846, Elizabeth’s father had been the treasurer for the Kalamazoo County Bible Society, on the Board of Directors for the First Methodist Episcopal Church, a member of the Kalamazoo Clay Club (a political party named after Henry Clay), a village trustee, and an “Overseer of the Poor” for the Village of Kalamazoo.
Isaac married into a prominent family and things were looking great for the couple. Their daughter, Mary Catherine Wiseman (Kate) was born to them in late 1841.  Isaac died in 1845.
Elizabeth quickly remarried. On August 27th,  1846, she married Rufus Holton Darling.
Rufus was an up and coming young man from Rome, New York.  In the couple years Rufus had been in Kalamazoo, he built and opened the first store in Kalamazoo, the “Darling and Goss General Store.” Also, in 1945, Rufus had received a contract from the Michigan Central Railway to build the railway from Michigan City through to Grass Lake.
Their first child, Abner C. Darling, was named after Rufus’s father and was born shortly after the marriage. In September 1847, a daughter was born (I’m sure to just confuse genealogists) that they named Elizabeth J Darling. In 1850, Elizabeth’s father, David, died.
Picture adapted from a screen shot of a map available for sale from
In 1852, the couple experienced the joy of having twins.  Eva and Emily were born on the 24th of July. Only a year later, in 1853 tragedy struck; the twins got sick — deathly sick. I believe that it was tuberculosis. Eva died and Emily never fully recovered. Emily was frequently sick and bedridden; she lived with her mother for the rest of Elizabeth’s life.  Although Rufus fathered a son, Rufus Harry Darling on June 20th, 1857, Rufus’s (senior) remaining life was that of a sick man. Rufus senior died two months after Rufus junior’s birth of consumption.
Elizabeth’s mother died in 1868.
In 1869 Elizabeth’s daughter Elizabeth married Melville James Bigelow, a former grocer, windmill manufacturer, and then founder and vice-president of Kalamazoo National Bank.
Sometime before 1880, Elizabeth’s older daughter, Kate, moved home to help take care of Elizabeth and Emily.
In 1881, Elizabeth’s daughter, Elizabeth, died.
(Photo thanks to Find-a-Grave)
Elizabeth, the mother, lived at the northwest corner of Rose and Cedar from before the Civil War until her death, March 25th, 1896.  She, along with Rufus Holton, Emily, Eva, Elizabeth (the daughter) and Rufus Harry are all buried at Mountain Home Cemetery, Kalamazoo, Michigan.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Sources: 
Because I upgraded from FTM Mac 2 to FTM Mac 3, my sources for this article are jumbled and corrupted.  (See my blog article.) It will take quite a while to correct the files, or else I will need to go back to FTM Mac 2 and lose any work I’ve done over the past few weeks on this tree.