Rufus Harry Darling (1857-1917)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 26 – Rufus Harry Darling (1857-1917)

Photo of Rufus Harry Darling
Rufus Harry Darling

It is just plain fun to research for some ancestors. I found that my wife’s great-grandfather Rufus was such an individual. Family legend said Rufus Harry Darling was a riverboat gambler and something of a cad so researching him would be interesting.

 Rufus was born on 30 June 1857 to Rufus Holton Darling and Elizabeth Jane Swayze in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the fifth child of Rufus and the sixth child of Elizabeth.[i] His
father was a prominent businessman and one of the early settlers in Kalamazoo. His
mother had a child from a previous marriage, was widowed and remarried.
Before Rufus was born one of his sisters, Eva, had died and another
was disabled. Less than a month after his birth his father died of consumption. His mother never remarried and it appears that he did not have much of a father figure in his life.
He entered the “First Division” (First Grade) of the Kalamazoo public schools in the 1863/64 school year and live in the family home at the northwest corner of Cedar and Rose Streets. It must have been a large
house and must have had several entrances because the address for the residence changes between Cedar and Rose quite frequently. The house no longer exists.
In 1870, Rufus was 13 years old, was attending school and
living with his mother and sister Emily. Rufus continued in school until at
least 1876 when he was not only a student but also worked as a clerk.
His father had the contract for building the Michigan Central railway from Michigan City through to Grass Lake in 1845 and later worked as an abstract clerk for the Michigan Central Railroad (MCRR). We know
that in 1880, Rufus Harry was living in the 42 Rose Street house and was working as a clerk, but we do not know where. In addition, in 1880, Rufus was “away” during the census taking. We do know that in 1887, young Rufus was working as an abstract clerk for the MCRR, as his father did thirty years earlier and
was living at 207 N. Edwards Street (which is probably the parking lot of the current Kalamazoo Beer Exchange).
In June of 1889, Rufus married. We do not know her name nor do we know if they had any children. In any event, for the next few years Rufus bounced between Kalamazoo, Chicago, and Kansas City. Back in the late 1800’s,
there were sometimes floating poker games that were on the trains. This may have been where he started the gambling practice. In 1894, Rufus resigned his position with the MCRR and “went to Texas.” I haven’t found anything that places him in Texas during those years, but he does seem to bounce between Kalamazoo and Kansas City.
In 1898 his wife died and the 1900 census finds him alone in
Kansas City. Sometime between 1900 and 1905, Rufus met the young Hannah McAllister. I say “young Hannah” because she was 27 years younger than Rufus. Family legend says they met down on the docks in Pittsburgh. Young Hannah had a daughter, Elizabeth, by Rufus in March of 1906. She quickly became pregnant again, and in February of 1907 the two married in Kittanning, Pennsylvania, (about 40 miles up the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh).[ii] In August of 1907 their second child Robert Harry was born. It is interesting to note that there was a family legend that Elizabeth had been born on the “wrong side of the sheets” (out of wedlock), an assertion that Elizabeth refuted. It appears that Elizabeth even doctored a copy of the marriage certificate to indicate that Harry and Hannah married in 1905 instead of 1907 as the state’s copy of the certificate indicates.
Marker Rufus H Darling

It doesn’t appear that Rufus was around much. None of the
surviving photos of Anna (who changed her name from Hannah to Anna when she married Rufus so she could sign things “A. Darling”) include Rufus. In addition, the 1910 Census indicates that Rufus is at the Curtis Hotel, 10th & Broadway, Kansas City while his wife and children were roomer in a house in Pittsburgh.

Anna (Hannah) died in 1913 leaving the children to be raised by her mother. Rufus died on June 8, 1917 and was buried at the Mountain Home Cemetery in Kalamazoo. [iii]
In my research, I found nothing to refute the family legend
of Rufus being a gambler and a cad and it certainly appears that he had an
interesting life.
[i] Michigan, Dept of Public Health, Death
Certificate, Rufus H. Darling – Death June 5, 1917. .;
Seeking Michigan.
[ii] Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1885 – 1950,, Rufus Darling & Anna McAllister.
[iii] Find a Grave –

Eliza Jane Fannin (1861-1882)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 25 – Eliza Jane Fannin (1861-1882)

Sometimes it is necessary to go back to the drawing board.
My records on my 2nd great-grandparents are abysmal.  I have a couple documents.  One is a paragraph titled, “Family History” and in the corner is written “oral history.”
Of course, it doesn’t have anything about who said it or when.  It is fairly old, it might go back to the 1970s, probably the 1980’s, although I’m not sure.  The second document
is is a copy of a sheet titled “Family History Carter County – KY. “
It is more of a chart than prose about the family.  I don’t know where it came from either but I think it probably came from about the same time.  Maybe it will become evident when I go back though all of the resources that I have on Joe (John) Mannin, his wife Eliza
Jane Fannin, and the rest of the Mannin clan.

From “Family History”

“Joe (John) Mannin (one-half Cherokee) & Eliza Jane Fannin Parents of Phebe Mannin (Brown) (Richmond) (Upton).  Charlie Mannin brother of Joe fought opposite of Joe in the Civil war, Joe Conferate [sic] & Charlie Union. Joe Mannin’s parents were Enoch Mannin & Minerva Tolliver (full Cherokee). Nancy Ann Mannin (Joe’s sister) married Jesse Monroe Barnett. Jesse’s son Enoch married Elizabeth Warner & are Zachariah Barnett’s parents. Zackariah married Estella (Brown) Barnett. Jesse Monroe
Barnett was a drummer boy in the civil war & run alongside Lincoln’s horse at Gettysburg & played his drum. Mary Jones was Joe Mannin’s sister and raised Phebe Mannin from a baby as her mother died when she was born.
(Enoch Barnett disappeared when Zachariah was 15, we went to northern Minnesota
to work in the logging camps & never came home.)”

[Note: I’ve added punctuation where appropriate.]

There are a number of bits of information in this document that I am sure are not true.  Once you find one certain error the rest become questionable.  We know that Joe (John) William Mannin, the son of Enoch Mannin, fought for the Union. 

The National Archives has a wonderful record that I found through Fold 3 [i] that is John William Mannin’s Volunteer Enlistment. What is really great about the document is that John was only 17 years old when he enlisted and his father, Enoch, gave his consent.  The names, places,  and dates are all spot on. Enoch also enlisted on the same date. 

Discover yourself at 23andMeSimilarly, this record states that his mother Minerva was full Cherokee. As descendants of hers, I would expect my mother to have some portion of Native American blood. All things being equal I would expect my mother to be about 1/16th (6.5%)Native American.  An autosomal DNA Test from 23 & Me indicated that that she is 99.8% European. 

Now, I know that because of the “stickiness” of DNA through the
generations it is fairly possible that the Native American segments were
lost.  However,  none of the cousins (descended from Minerva) I have been in contact with that have had DNA testing with have any Native American either. Because of this, I find that Minerva being full Cherokee as being native unlikely. Additionally, Minerva is never reported in any of the Census reports as being “Indian.”  Finally, I have not been able to find a Charlie Mannin as a brother of Joe in any of the census reports or other
documents.  Possibly “Charlie” was a cousin or other relative and was considered like “a brother.”


Much of the other material is accurate, but because I know several of the “facts” are incorrect, I am loathe to accept any of it.

The other document I have regarding “Family History Carter County – KY” is easy to read. It says:

Family History

Carter County – KY

 (Joe) John W. Mannin (1/2 Cherokee) Aunt Mary Brown, Eliza Jane Fannin Phebe Jane Uptons Parents sold their land to Charlie Mannin brother of John after Civil War. They fought on opposite sides
according to Victoria Brown’s letter to Lila Cole.  (John for South)

Enoch Mannin – John (Joe’s) father  }  Phebe Uptons

Minerva Tolliver – Full Cherokee    }  Grandparents

Nancy Ann Mannin Barnett – Sister to (Joe) John – Phebe’s Father

Married Jesse Monroe Burnett (Drummer boy for North in Civil War)

Elizabeth Warner Barnett (Her mother was a Horn) Father Zachariah Warner


Enoch Mannin
Barnett         – Jessie Monroe’s son

Nancy Ann’s son


Aunt Mary & Tommy
Jones Raised Phebe from a small baby as her mother died at her birth

Aunt Mary Jones
later married George Gates

Aunt Mary Jones
and John (Joe) Mannin  (Phebe’s father)
were Brother & sister.

It is fairly clear that this
document and the other document had different authors, however, both documents
contain some of the same information. What this does do is solidify what we
believe to be family history (oral).  I
have little doubt the family believed Joe (John) fought for the South and that
they believed that Minerva was Cherokee.
I have about an inch of materials,
documents, that I need to go through (including a transcript of the letter from
Victoria Brown), catalog the sources where I can, and incorporate the
information into my tree. We will see if anything about John and Eliza becomes clarified as wade through the information.So, here is what I think I know about Eliza Jane Fannin.

Bio Eliza Jane Fannin

She was born about 1861 in
She married John Mannin probably
about 1875,
She had two children, Mary
Elizabeth was born in 1876, although it could have been 1877.
In 1880 she lived in Pine Grove, Rowan
County, Kentucky with her husband and daughter Mary.[iii] [Note: Rowan and Carter counties adjoin.]
She died December 1881 or December
1882, probably in Carter County Kentucky, giving birth to her second child

Although I know very little about my 2nd great grandmother, Eliza Jane Fannin.List of Greats

Mary Elizabeth Manning
Eliza Jane Fannin


———- DISCLAIMER ———-


I am sorry that I messed writing
about David Swayze (Week 23) and Marion Sanford (Week 24). Due to my moving
from Georgia to Maine and due to a computer hard disk crash (which left me
computerless for 27 days), I was unable to write the past two weeks. I hope to be able to catch back up with them later.
Next week I plan to write about
Rufus Harry Darling, my wife’s great grandfather.



NARA M397. Compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in
[ii] 1880 Census – Place: Pine Grove, Rowan, Kentucky; Roll: 441; Family History Film: 1254441;
Page: 453B; Enumeration District: 114; Image: 0110

Mary Harvey (Marie Harvie) (1605-1661)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 22 – Mary Harvey (Marie Harvie)  (c.1605 – c.1661)

I entered Mary Harvey’s dates as “circa” because I don’t remember what the dates are that I have for her. I actually think I know quite a bit about Mary’s life, however, because of several things I don’t have access to my records. The physical records I have for her are ten states away in a moving trailer in Maine.  The electronic records I have for her are on my computer which are also in Maine. Adding to my frustration is that my computer crashed so I will need to see if it is repairable or if I should replace it.  It is about 5 years old so it will probably be the latter.  My copy of Family Tree Maker for Mac 3 somehow corrupted my family tree so that it won’t sync/upload to Ancestry.  I meant to try to fix that but didn’t take the time to do so.  I am not too worried about losing the data and information I have as I have a “Time Machine” backup of the files.  I also have “Crash Plan” which is a great cloud backup system.  It certainly reminds me of the importance of multiple levels of backup. 

And last, but not least, as I write this I’m in the middle of a move and am really busy cleaning and painting woodwork, patching walls, and otherwise making the house in Georgia ready for sale.  By the time this posts I should be in Maine having closed on a new house on the 30th.  The household goods should be delivered (on June 1st) and I should be unpacking and otherwise getting my office and other things together. Hopefully, by the weekend I’ll have an office cobbled together, a computer up and back in business.

Although my memory is not what it once was, I’ll try to remember some of Mary’s life. She is on the Darling/Swayze/Beardsly/Harvey line. Some records indicate her name as Mary Harvey, some as Marie Harvie. As I continue my research on her I’ll make a decision regarding which name I believe is more accurate.

I am looking forward to the move to Maine. It will be close to my wife’s family and very close to the beach and great seafood.

Mary Harvey (Marie Harvie)  (c.1605 – c.1680) 
Mary Harvey was born in England around 1605.  She married William Beardsley in England around 1630. They had three children in England. About 1635 the family came to America. They arrived in Mass. Her husband was adjudged a freeman in Boston. They had at least one more child while in Boston. about 1639 the family relocated to Connecticut and was one of the founding families there. 

I know that Mary had many more children, possibly as many as a dozen children total, but I haven’t had the opportunity to confirm the information. 

It is my plan to update this entry sometime in the next couple months to update what I think I know about Mary including sources and new information about her. 

John Bosel Mannin (1776-c.1869)

52 Ancestors #21 – John Bosel Mannin (1776-c.1869)
I’m not sure which is more frustrating for me this week, moving or software. It was my intent to write about my 5th great grandfather, John Bosel Mannin, Sr. When I opened Family Tree Maker for Mac 3, where I manage my general information I found that I had no sources connected with John. I am sure I lost the connections in my software when I upgraded to FTM4M3 some time ago. (See my blog about my experience here.)

Photo of boxes courtesy Robert S. Donovan / CC BY 2.0

The second part of my frustration is that I am moving, from Georgia to Maine. It is a big move and my wife and I have a lot of stuff. Well my files on the Mannin(g) family are packed and somewhere on the inside of a 10x12x7 foot cube of boxes and furniture in the garage, so, I basically have virtually nothing to hang my hat on in terms of sources.

One of the other problems I have with my Mannin research is
that is is extremely old.  I utilized the
research of others fairly often in those days, a practice I don’t do much of any longer. In any event, sorting out and unraveling the
Mannin line will be a daunting task.
I then decided to take a look at he who I believe was his
son and my 4th great grandfather, Meredith Mannin.  In looking at Meredith, I was unable to find
any of the sources that proviced clear evidence that John Bosel was Meredith’s
father.  I did several searches on
Meredith for what I call “low hanging fruit” – and FamilySearch.  From the Ancestry “shakey
leaves” and other searches I was able to confirm much of what I had regarding
Meredith, but no connection to John Bosel Mannin.  I need to further research Meredith so that I
can connect him to John Bosel properly. 
Then I can do further research on John Bosel Mannin and his ancestors.  As I mentioned, I’m in the middle of a move
and don’t have the time to do any serious research right now, hopefully, I will
be able to do so in the fall.    

Bio – John Bosel Mannin

A Page from the Mannin Bible
(Several sources including

John Bosel Mannin was born 27 May 1776 in Bedford Virginia.
He married Catherine Barnett 
while in Virginia.
They had at least five children. Martha, Samuel, Meredith,
Tarleton, and John Bosel (Jr.).
They located to Kentucky probably about 1799. (Martha was
born in Virginia and Samuel in Kentucky.)
John appears to have died before 1870.

List of Greats

Mary Elizabeth Manning
John William Manning
Enoch Mannin
Meredith Mannin
Bosel Mannin
Samuel Mannin
Meredith Mannin

Further Research.

Do complete research redo on John Bosel Mannin documenting
sources clearly.  


Photo of boxes courtesy Robert S. Donovan / CC BY 2.0
Mannin Bible: Several sources including

Alice Mulligan Swayze (1769-1850)

52 Ancestors #20 – Alice Mulligan Swayze (1769-1850)

Sons of the American Revolution Logo
Sons of the American Revolution

There are times when I am afraid that I might be perpetuating
mistakes of others.  Although I do not
have any certain issues with what I think I know about Alice Mulligan Swayze, I
have no original sources for anything.  I
do have, what I believe to be fairly reliable, references from the Daughters of
the American Revolution (DAR) and from the Sons of the American Revolution
(SAR).  I also have references to Alice
in a couple books, and finally I have references to her from a government from
years after her death.  Nothing that I have
is direct evidence.  I understand I can
purchase some copies of the material used in some of the DAR submissions; I
will probably need to do that in the future. I don’t know if the SAR has the
same or similar program.  Their website
is a bit more complicated and difficult to figure out.

Like most colonial period females, there is nothing about her
directly that I have found. References to her are based upon her husband’s
activities and actions.  David Swayze
married her; there is never a mention about her marrying him.  In any event, here is what I think I know.

Bio – Alice Mulligan

Cecil County, Maryland
Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons 

Alice was born 22 May 1769 in Cecil, Maryland[i].  I do not have her parent’s information.

She married David Swayze 20 Jan 1792 also in Cecil, Maryland[ii],
although it is possible that she married David earlier in 1788[iii].

Sometime before 1812, she located with her husband to New Salem,
Fairfield County, Ohio.

By 1829, her husband was a class leader & church officer;
circuit preachers made their home there & for years the M.E. preaching,
prayer meetings & class meetings were held at her house[ii].

Alice died 03 Jan 1850 in Zanesville, Muskingum County, Ohio[iv].

List of Greats

Rufus Harry Darling
Elizabeth Jane Swayze
David Swayze

Further Research.

      Get documents
originally used for DAR & SAR Applications.


[i] Sons
of the American Revolution – Volume: 150; SAR Membership Number: 22943
[ii]Genealogy of the Swasey Family,”
Page 185 –
Judge David Swazey.
[iii] “Official
roster of the soldiers of the American Revolution buried in the state of Ohio“ Columbus,
Ohio – Page 360 – Swayze, David (Fairfield Co.)
[iv] DAR
Genealogical Research Databases
– Descendants List – DAR – Nat’l #:
244347 – Ancestor #: A111692.