|(Modern) Google photo of
423 Charles, Pittsburgh, PA
I received Florence Darling’s Certificate of Death from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. (See my previous blog for details on ordering PA Death Certificates.) The certificate included some interesting information and insights.
Her husband, Robert H. Darling was the informant. He provided Florence’s birthdate of Apr. 23, 1908. (New Information) He also provided their address of 423 Charles (30th ward) in Pittsburgh. It is interesting that Harry did not know his wife’s mother’s maiden name of place of birth.
|South Side Hospital (Demolished in 1982)|
Florence died October 5, 1934, at the age of 26, at South Side Hospital of bilateral pyosalpinx (a collection of pus in an oviduct. [Merriam-Webster]) and pelvic cellulitis of “undetermined cause.” Contributory cause of death was peritonitis. She had been in the doctor’s care for seven days before her passing. I’m sure it must have been seven days of agony. Sadly enough, penicillin, which was discovered in 1928, wasn’t in use until in the 1940. Penicillin probably could have saved her.
|Hannah McAllister Darling
aka Anna McAllister White
Hannah McAllister was born in England on 15 August 1886. She was the fourth of six children- four boys and two girls. At the time of her birth, her father, Peter, was probably in the United States establishing himself and preparing the way for his wife and children to come to the States.
By 1889, Hannah’s mother and siblings joined her father in Catasauqua, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. By 1900, the entire family moved to Pittsburgh. Sometime in 1905, she met Rufus Darling. She was eighteen and he was forty-seven. In March of 1906, they had a daughter, Elizabeth Grace Darling. Family history states that there was a rift between Hannah and her father. Certainly, a granddaughter born out of wedlock from a man more than twice the age of his daughter could cause such a rift.
It appears that Rufus and Hannah kept separate households during that time, he in Chicago and Hannah in Wheeling, West Virginia. In December of 1906, Hannah became pregnant a second time. This time Rufus married her, so on 16 February 1907 Hannah and Rufus were married in Kittanning, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, a small town about 40 miles northeast of Pittsburgh on the Allegheny River. Family history indicates that she changed her name from Hannah to Anna so that she would be “A. Darling” and became known as Anna after that. An interesting side note is that Elizabeth appears to have modified a copy of the Marriage Certificate to indicate that Hannah and Rufus were married in 1905, thus legitimizing her. Family history indicates that this may have been a cause of disagreement between her and cousin Katherine Lane.
In August of 1907, their son, Robert Harry Darling, was born in New Kensington (about 20 miles northeast of Pittsburgh on the Allegheny River), Pennsylvania.
In 1910, Anna was living with her two children, Elizabeth and Robert, as a roomer at the home of Robert & Emma Hennig at 2219 Ward Street (Ward 4).
Video: Memorial Day 2016 and added to this post on 9 Jun 2016
Harry died 22 January 1969 and is buried in Cadillac Memorial Gardens, East. Mt. Clemens, Michigan, which is about 25 miles north by northeast of Detroit.
So, why all this background information? Well none of these sisters learned much about their father’s family. He pretty much ignored them while they were growing up and their mother’s didn’t speak of him either. Although his life has many interesting events, I thought it would be great to investigate his ancestors, something of which the Aunties know virtually nothing about. I’ve been doing that research for the past several months. I’ve come up with a lot of interesting information, photos, and stories that the Aunties and my mother-in-law will know nothing about.
I’ve printed out 25 photos or so and am mounting them in a “Life Book,” similar to what Louis Gates does in the “Finding Your Roots” TV Show, for each of them. I’ve written about 15 pages of prose about each of the ancestors going back to one of their eighth Great-Grandfathers. I’ve tried to make the writing come to life with bits of history tied to the time and place of the individual. To find the information I have I’ve done many Internet searches. I’ve ordered books on Interlibrary loan, I’ve read history books about the area they lived in order to hopefully glean a tiny bit of information. I even found a museum that has an interpretive display of one of the businesses owned by the Auntie’s great-grandfather. I’ve had reference libraries copy references to the family from their books and ordered documents from England. Overall, it has been a daunting task but I have really enjoyed it and have really honed my genealogical skills through the activities. I’ve become something of an armchair historian for a place I’ve never been (Kalamazoo, Michigan) and have learned a lot about the early colonial days that was never taught in school – some very ugly history. I’ve found the passport photo of a great-grandfather and connected with a second cousin, once removed of my wife.
I am excited about their visit. I have little doubt that they will appreciate the work I have done and I’m sure their grand children will really appreciate the work in the future.