Swayze is a variant of the English name Swasey. The meaning of the name is unknown; however, the Dictionary of American Family Names suggests it possibly is “an Anglicized form of Dutch Swijse(n), variant of Wijs ‘wise’.”
Today, the greatest number of people with the Swayze surname live in the United States—Texas in particular. The greatest frequency of the Swayze surname occurs in Canada with one in 51,568 people in Canada having the surname. [i]
Back in 1880, the greatest number of people with the Surname Swayze lived, by far, in New Jersey. Stepping back to 1840, the greatest concentration of Swayze’s were also in New Jersey. At that time, 58% of the Swayze’s in the United States lived in New Jersey. [ii]
My earliest known Swayze ancestor is my wife’s 9th great grandfather, John Swayze. He was born before 1600 in England. His son, John Swayze (1619-1706) is my wife’s Swayze immigrant. John (Jr.) was born in England, however, arrived in the Colonies before 1649 when he married Catherine Kinge, in Salem, Mass. John left Massachusetts and located in Suffolk County, New York. His son, Samuel, Grandson, Mathias, and great-grandson, Amos were all born in New York. Amos’s son, Amos (1767-1839) was the last of the New York Swayze’s in my wife’s line. Amos’s son David was born in New Jersey and is a patriot. He “Volunteered when 14 years old under Capt. Abraham McKinney and Lt. Beavers. He marched to Newark then to New York.”
David, the patriot, moved west, to Ohio. David’s son, David was born in New Jersey, moved to Ohio, then located further west and north to Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he died. All of David Swayze’s (1798-1850) children were born in Ohio. However, he located from Ohio to Michigan in June 1840, right after the census was taken. His daughter Elizabeth Swayze, my wife’s second great-grandmother, is the last of the Swayze line of my wife’s. She married Rufus Holton Darling in 1848.
Patrick Wayne Swayze is my wife’s 9th Cousin. Patrick Swayze was an actor known for Dirty Dancing and Ghost.
Apparently, John Cameron Swayze was related to Patrick Wayne Swayze, so that would make him a cousin to my wife as well. John Cameron Swayze was a news commentator during the 1950s. He may be best known as the spokesman for Timex where he used the tagline, “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.”
My records currently have 355 direct-line descendants of John Swayze identified, which is nearly 13% of my Howell-Darling Research.
I was recently talking with a Civil War researcher and mentioned that Minnesota’s Civil War experience was quite a bit different than most of the rest of the country. Because of the War, many of the supplies promised to Native Americans by treaty were redirected to support the war effort, leaving the Native Americans to starve. Because of that, many Native Americans attacked the settlers in Minnesota in search of food, blankets, and other necessities. An uprising of the Santee Sioux in August 1862 caused the deaths of 490 settlers, including women and children. In retaliation, the United States hung thirty-eight Dakota Indians in Mankato, Minnesota, in the largest mass hanging in American History. After the hanging Continue reading “Bio – Franklin C. Darling”
I’ve been researching the siblings of Rufus Holton Darling and had three left to research. Sally Ann Darling, Hannah Darling, and Franklin C. Darling. I haven’t been finding much on any of them. I suspected that a Franklin Darling in Minnesota might be Franklin, the brother of Rufus Holton Darling, but hadn’t found any definitive evidence that they were the same person. In searching for Franklin on Newspapers.Com, I encountered an amazing article about the death of Franklin and Rufus’ brother, Abner C. Darling.
On Monday, Sept. 20, 1880, at his residence, in the town of Grand Chute, near this city, Abner C. Darling, for more than 40 years a resident of Wisconsin, over 30 of which were spent in this city, departed this life at the age of nearly 68 years.
This death created a profound sensation among the old settlers, all of whom were personally acquainted with the deceased.
Mr. Darling was born near Rome, N.Y., October 29, 1912, went with his father’s family, a very large one, to Michigan, when he was a boy. in 1825 was married in Western New York to Miss Nancy A. Green, at the residence of her uncle, Robert Green, who has resided with Mr. Darling for many years, and still survives him at an advanced age; emigrated in 1840 with his wife and their only daughter, now Mrs. L. S. Colman, of Milwaukee, to the very new village of Racine; removed in 1850 to Appleton, then almost a dense forest, and speedily erected a store on College Avenue, which still stands with its red front as one of the few land marks left of Appleton’s early days, and embarked in business. His wife, a most estimable lady, died in the spring of 1867, and some years subsequently he married Miss Sarah Green, daughter of Robert Green, who with three children survives him. Only two of his brothers are living, Henry Darling of Fox Lake, Wisconsin, and Franklin Darling, of Minnesota.
The great fire of 1873, which swept the old Crescent Hotel and many other business buildings, originated in the building he then occupied, about where Schroeder’s furniture now stands and destroyed $4,000 worth of uninsured goods. This loss, with the subsequent depreciation of real estate that followed the Great Panic of 1873, left him nearly penniless, and from that time to his death, it has been a constant struggle with financial disappointment and disaster until the strongman succumbed. Always active ever seeking to rise above the pressure of events, he has commanded sympathy and respect, and this announcement’ of his demise elicited on every hand the most earnest regrets. Mr. Darling, during nearly all the years of his manhood, was an active yet unobtrusive communicant of the Methodist Episcopal church, and all who know him intimately will bear testimony that he was sincere and sought to do right. On Wednesday, a large number of citizens and friends, including most of his old neighbors, gathered at his dwelling to pay their last tribute of respect to his genuine worth, and on that beautiful autumnal day, they placed his remains in their resting place, Riverside cemetery, his life work all done, his eternity begun.
This article suggests many new facts. Facts new to me are identified as bold. Questionable facts are identified as red and in italics.
1812 – Abner C. Darling was born near Rome, NY 29 Oct 1812.
1825 – Married Nancy A. Green in 1825 in Western New York. – Question fact. Abner would have been 13 years old in 1825 and Nancy 9 years old.
1840 – Moved to Wisconsin c. 1840 with wife and only daughter. Although not false, the fact appears to be incomplete. Abner and Nancy’s son, Ned, was born before 1840 in New York and died about 1840 in Racine Wisconsin, so it appears that Abner moved to Wisconsin c. 1840 with his wife and two children.
1850 – Moved to Grand Chute c. 1850 and built a store on College Ave.
1873 – Fire destroyed his stock and the Great Panic of 1873 left him penniless.
1880 – Abner C. Darling died 20 Sep 1880 in Grand Chute, Mich.
1880 – Buried Riverside Cemetery.
Religion: Methodist Episcopal
First Wife: Nancy Green (niece of Robert Green)
1867 – Nancy Died
Daughter is Mrs. L. S. Colman lives in Milwaukee in 1880.
Uncle Robert Green lived with the family for “Many years” prior to 1880.
Abner married Miss Sarah Green (Daughter of Robert Green) some years after 1867. Sarah and her father Robert are living in 1880
Brother Henry Darling of Fox Lake, Wisconsin is living in 1880
Brother Franklin Darling of Minnesota is living in 1880.
Because Abner’s sisters are not mentioned at all, It appears that they probably had passed before September 1880. Abner’s sisters were Deidamia [Limbacker], Sally Ann, and Hannah.
This obituary provided eight new facts including proof that Franklin located to Minnesota.
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
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 (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4DF-7G8 : 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.). https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4DF-7G8.
1860 Census (FS), Family Search, 1860 Census – Henry W Darling – Fox Lake, Dodge, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MWM5-QGT : 13 December 2017), Henry W Darling, 1860. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MWM5-QGT.
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. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN9H-1DM.
1880 Census (FS), Family Search, 1880 Census – Henry Darling – Fox Lake, Dodge, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN4D-R6B : 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. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN4D-R6.
Find a Grave, Henry W Darling (1818-1890) – Death – Memorial 61525205. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : 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). https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/61525205/henry-w.-darling.
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.
I continue investigating the siblings of Rufus Holton Darling. In this research, I was able to extend my knowledge of Rufus’ mother Sally Ann (Munsell) Darling. I learned that Sally moved in with her son, Abner, and his wife before the 1860 Census. By knowing Sally was in Wisconsin in 1860, I may be able to find her death records.
Indeed, the building of the Erie Canal was a big part of his childhood. Construction began in Rome on July 4th, 1817, with the canal connecting Rome to both the Hudson River and the Great Lakes by 1825.
By 1830, his family located further west, to Clarkson, Monroe County, New York. Clarkson is about 18 miles west of Rochester and about 8 miles from Lake Ontario. The 1830 Census appears to include a household of Abner senior and his wife, Sally.[ii] Also, are five boys and three girls. They appear to be:
Franklin (age 1)
Hannah (age 6)
Sally Ann (age 9)
Henry (age 10)
Rufus (age 14)
Deidamia (age 16)
Abner (age 19)
Unknown (Possibly Andrew)
One child’s identity is unknown, but his age is 15 to 19. It is possible that this child is Andrew, but other records suggest Andrew should be age 25 during the 1830 census.
About 1834, Abner married Nancy Anne Green. They had two children while living in Clarkson, a daughter, Lucinda, (born 1835) and a son, Ned, who was born before 1840. The family moved from Clarkson, New York to Racine, Wisconsin about 1840. It appears that Ned died there before 1840.
Abner started a business in Racine and went bankrupt. After the business problems, Abner and Nancy moved on to Grand Chute, Wisconsin, where he began another business. I have not been successful finding him in the 1840 Census.
During the 1850 census, the family consisted of Abner, his wife Nancy Anne, and their daughter Lucinda.[iii] They lived in Grand Chute, Brown County, Wisconsin. In 1851, Brown County was divided, and part of it became Outagamie County.
The 1855 Wisconsin census indicates they were living in Appleton, but it is unclear if they moved from Grand Chute or if only the “closest post office” change.[iv]
In 1860, they had a very complex household. Besides Abner, Nancy, and Lucinda there are five other individuals in the house.[v] Sally A. Darling, Abner’s 75-year-old mother is living with them. Also, there are four young adults living with them. Harriet Reed, Wilbur Yoenne, Joseph Hammend, and Jos Colman. All ages 20 to 25. Jos Colman is interesting because, later that fall, Lucinda marries Henry Colman. I need to research and find out what the relationship might be between Jos Colman (b. 1840) and Lucinda’s husband, Henry Colman (b. 1834). I suspect they were all students at Lawrence College.
Education appears to have been very important to the Darlings. Lucinda, Abner and Nancy’s only daughter, attended Lawrence College and was the first woman to graduate from the school (in 1857). She went on to be an instructor in Latin at Evansville Seminary in the 1860s and later taught in the Madison and Sheboygan public schools. The Lawrence University 1930 yearbook, The Ariel, was dedicated to her.[vi]
Abner’s wife Nancy died in April 1867. That following October he married Nancy’s niece, Sarah Green.[vii] The 56-year-old Abner was 27 years her senior. They had three children together.
Alice Wells Darling (1869-1920)
Jessie Lucy Darling (1870-1917)
Helen S. Darling (1878-1949)
The 1870 Census finds the family consisting of Abner, Sarah, and their daughter Alice.[viii] Also living with them are three other individuals. Louisa Lowell, a 20-year-old domestic servant, and May Welland, a six-year-old girl whose relationship is unknown, lived with them. Also was 68-year-old R. H. Green. This is apparently Robert Hunter Green, Sarah’s father.
The 1880 Census finds the family back down to Abner, Sarah, and their three daughters.[ix] Living with them still is Abner’s father-in-law, the 78-year-old Robert Green.
Abner Darling died in the fall of 1880. He was buried at Riverside Cemetery, Appleton, Outagamie County, Wisconsin.[x]
Further Actions / Follow-up
Document Abner’s property ownership in Outagamie County.
Document Abner’s bankruptcy in Racine.
[i] This date is consistent with his Grave Marker and the 1850 and 1860 Census records.
[ii] 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
[iii] 1850 Census (FS), 1850 Census – Abner Darling (c. 1812) – Grand Chute, Brown, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4D6-G1L : 12 April 2016), Abner Darling, Grand Chute, Brown, Wisconsin, United States; citing family 640, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4D6-G1L.
[iv] Wisconsin, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1820-1890, Ancestry, WI 1855 State Census Index – A. C. Darling – No Image. Outagamie County, Appleton Village, 1855. Ancestry.com. Wisconsin, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1820-1890 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 1999. Original data: Jackson, Ron V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp. Wisconsin Census, 1820-1890. Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the U.S. Federal Decennial Census, territorial/state censuses, and/or census substitutes.
[v] 1860 Census (FS), Family Search, 1860 Census – A C Darling – Appleton, Outagamie, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MW9J-N11 : 1 October 2017), A C Darling, 1860. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MW9J-N11.
[vii] Wisconsin, County Marriages, 1836-1911, Family Search, Abner C Darling & Sarah A Green – 1867. “Wisconsin, County Marriages, 1836-1911,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QK85-MHDG : 9 March 2016), Abner C Darling and Sarah A Green, 26 Oct 1867; citing Rock, Wisconsin, United States, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison; FHL microfilm 1,275,527.
[viii] 1870 Census (FS), Family Search, 1870 Census – Abner C. Darling – Appleton, Outagamie, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MNSM-K4W : 12 April 2016), Abner C Darling, Wisconsin, United States; citing p. 84, family 631, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 553,229.
[ix] 1880 Census (FS), Family Search, 1880 Census – Abner C Darling – Grand Chute, Outagamie, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MNHH-VFZ : 14 September 2017), Abner C Darling, Grand Chute, Outagamie, Wisconsin, United States; citing enumeration district ED 126, sheet 238C, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 1440; FHL microfilm 1,255,440.
[x] Find a Grave, Abner Darling (1811-1880). Citation: Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 01 February 2018), memorial page for Abner Darling (1811–1880), Find A Grave Memorial no. 184635832, citing Riverside Cemetery, Appleton, Outagamie County, Wisconsin, USA; Maintained by Jeanne Weiland (contributor 49074152).