The Search for Abner Darling (1780-1839)

The Search for Rufus H Darling’s father:
Abner Darling

Finding individuals before the 1850 Census is always problematic. I find the process to be an iterative process, that is to say, it is necessary to go through the same records several times until you find the right connections. Here is my process for finding Abner and Sally Darling. As is always the case, start with what you know (or think you know).

Known:

According to the Kalamazoo Gazette, Rufus Holton Darling was the son of Abner & Sally Darling. He had come to Kalamazoo from Rome, Oneida Co., NY in 1840.[i] This article is about searching for Rufus in Oneida County and the search for his parents, Abner and Sally Darling.

1840 Census

A search of the 1840 Census revealed 9 people with the surname Darling in Oneida County, New York. No one named Rufus or Abner (that would be too easy) is listed. The only Darling listed as being in Rome is  
1840 – Israel Darling – Rome, Oneida, New York
M Under 5     1
M 30-39         1
F Under 5      1
F 5-9               1
F 20-29          1
1 person employed in navigation of canals, lakes, rivers.[ii]
From this, I deduce that Israel Darling was born between 1800 and 1810 and probably worked on the nearby Erie Canal. Clearly no other Darling men were living in his household. From this Census record, I think it is fairly safe to conclude that Israel Darling was living with his wife and three children in 1840 in Rome.
Rufus doesn’t appear in the Census for Rome, Oneida county, New York in the 1840 Census. So, there are three likely answers.
1.     Rufus moved before the census date of 1 June 1840.
2.     Rufus was somewhere else in Oneida County, near to Rome.
3.     The newspaper article was wrong.

1830 Census

A search of the 1830 Census yields seven Darling’s listed. Again, no Abner. I wouldn’t expect the then 14-year-old Rufus to be enumerated, but rather be in another household.

1820 Census

The only other chance is to find the family in Oneida County the 1820 Census. A search on Ancestry.Com yielded 8 entries for Darlings in Oneida County, New York. None were in Rome; however, there were two entries for Abner Darlings. 

Abner Darling Entry #1 

1820 – Abner Darling – Vernon, Oneida, New York[iii]
M 10-15         1
M 16-18         2
M 16-26         5
M 26-44         3
M 45 & over  1
F 16-25            1
F 26-44            1
F 45 & Older   1
Persons engaged in Manufacturing: 8
Vernon is a small town about 12 miles south of Rome, NY. However, this census entry shows a complex household with six adults and seven children (under 25) primarily working in manufacturing.  In 1820, Rufus would have been five years old and is not enumerated in this listing.  So, we need to look at the other Abner Darling’s entries. The good news is this entry
infers there was an Abner Darling who was born before 1875 living in Oneida Co., so I should make a “do not confuse with” entry in my worksheets.

Abner Darling Entry #2

1820 – Abner Darling – Paris, Oneida, New York[iv]
M Under 10   3
M 10-15         1
M 26-44         1
F Under 10    1
F 10-15          2
F 26-44          1
Persons engaged in Agriculture: 1
This likely shows a simple farm family with two adults and seven children under 16.
The good news is that Rufus could be one of these three males under 10. The bad news is that it is not Rome.  Paris is a small town about 17 miles southeast of Rome. However, Paris is only about ten miles south of Utica, so I would expect that people from Paris would associate themselves with Utica and not Rome. Abner Darling of Paris doesn’t show in the 1830 census gives rise to my speculation that Abner Darling of Paris either died or moved sometime between 1820 and 1830. I think I’ll use that as a hypothesis and continue on.
Returning to the 1830 Census, sadly none of the entries for Darlings in Oneida County are in Paris. So, it appears that Abner either died without his heirs continuing on the property or that Abner moved.
The Abner of Paris in the 1820 Census closest census (three on each side) neighbors were: Henry F West, James Eastman, David Pixby (?), John Ramsdale, Solomon Stockwell, and Joseph Ballou. I decided to see if they show in the 1930 Census.

Back to the 1830 Census 
Henry F West Appears to have moved to Richland, Oswego County by 1830. 
James Eastman – No John, but there an Amasa Eastman in Kirkland and two Benjamin Eastmans in Paris.
David Pixby (Bixby?) – None 
John Ramsdale – No John, but there is a Henry Ramsdale in Kirkland. 
Solomon Stockwell – shows in the 1830 Census living in Kirkland. No there are Darlings enumerated on the same page (11). 
Joseph Ballow – Also shows in the 1830 Census living in Kirkland and also on Page 11.

The good news is that Kirkland was established as a town in 1827 from the town of Paris. People in Kirkland in 1830 would have been in Paris in 1820 without having moved. Because of this, I have little doubt that I found the neighbors of 1820 Abner of Paris and looking at those neighbors, neither Abner nor any other Darlings are in Kirkland in 1830.
At this point, I’m still pretty good with the hypothesis that Rufus Holton Darling’s father, Abner Darling, was the Abner Darling of Paris (Later Kirkland). If that is the case, I have the following family information
Abner Darling Born 1776-1794 – Married before 1807. (Engaged in Agriculture.
Sally [Darling] Born 1776-1794 – Married before 1807 – Died after 1820.
1.    Unknown Male Darling – B. 1804-1810
2.    Unknown Female Darling – B. 1804-1810
3.    Unknown Female Darling – B. 1804-1810
4.    Unknown Male Darling – B. 1809-1920
5.    Rufus Holton Darling – B. 1815-1816
6.    Unknown Male Darling – B. 1809-1820
7.    Unknown Female Darling – B. 1809-1920
For a marriage date, I am assuming that the 1820 Abner Darling of Paris census entry was a standard family unit, that is to say, husband, wife, and 7 children. I presume that they were married before the oldest child was conceived. They have three children over 10 in August 1820 so the oldest of the three children must have been born by 1808 and conceived by 1807 (presuming no multiple births).

The Will of Abner Darling

At this point, I was kind of stuck. Then I looked at the wills and probate records on Ancestry.Com. It is a fantastic resource. I quickly found the Will of Abner Darling who died in 1839 who gave everything to his wife Sally. Could this be the same Abner and Sally Darling who were the parents of Rufus Holton Darling?

Back to the 1840 Census

I thought I’d take a look at the 1840 Census. Sally would, most likely, still be in Clarkson only a year later. A search yielded a huge find. Rufus H Darling was the head of a household in Clarkson.

Rufus H Darling Entry

1840 Census – Rufus H Darling – Clarkson, Monroe, New York[v]
Census Entry
#
Name
Birth
Comments
M 10-14
1
Unk. Male
1825-1830
Minor child in will.
M 20-29
2
Rufus H
Unk. Male
1815-1816
1809-1820
Fits 1820 Census.
Fits 1820 Census.
F 15-19
2
Unk. Female
Unk. Female
1820-1825
1820-1825
Minor Child in will.
         “
F 50-59
1
Sally Ann
1780-1790
Fits 1820 Census.
I have little doubt that this Rufus H Darling entry is the correct Rufus H Darling and that his father, Abner Darling of Clarkson, died in 1839 and that, in 1840, Sally Ann Darling was living with her son Rufus H in Clarkson, Monroe Co., New York.

Back to the 1830 Census

Then I went back to the 1830 Census and found an Abner Durling living in Clarkson, Monroe County, New York.
1830 Census – Abner Darling – Clarkson, Monroe, New York[vi]
Census Entry
#
Name
Birth
Comments
M Under 5
1
Unk. Male
1825-1830
Youngest boy in 1840 Census
M 5-9
1
Unk. Male
1820-1825
Missing in 1840 Census
M 10-14
1
Unk. Male
1816-1820
M 15-19
2
Rufus
Unk. Male
1810-1815
1810-1815
One of them is probably Rufus.
Other Unk Male in 1840 Census.
M 40-49
1
Abner
1780-1790
Fits Abner
F 5-9
2
Female
Female
1820-1825
1820-1825
Fits 1840 Census
Fits 1840 Census
F 15-19
1
Female
1810-1815
Fits female < 10 in 1820 Census
F 40-49
1
Sally Ann
1780-1790
Fits both 1820 & 1840 Censuses
Everything appears to fit my expectations for the Abner Darling family as I would expect it to be in 1830.
The will of Abner Darling provided the break that allowed me to think outside of the Rome, Oneida County box. I now believe that Rufus Holton Darling was born near Rome, New York. When he was a child from 5 to 15 years old, the family moved to Clarkson, New York (about 20 miles west of Rochester).  In 1839, his father passed and the 25-year-old Rufus became the head of the household. In late 1840, Rufus located to Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Solving family history by using the pre-1850 censuses can be difficult and complex. There are seldom easy answers, but through perseverance, a viable conclusion can be reached. Now to sort out Abner in the 1810 Census.  There are five Darling families in Oneida County during the 1810 Census.  One of them is “A. Darling.” The eldest in that enumerated family is over 45 years old. Too old to be our Abner. But there is a 16 to 25-year-old male in that enumeration who could be our Abner.  Another fine investigation to undertake….

Abner Darling (1780-1839) 

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 3

Marker of Abner Darling
Source: Find-a-Grave
Born 1780 – The 1830 Census indicates he is between 40 and 49 years of age, suggesting a birth between 1780 and 1790. His marker on Find-a-Grave appears to indicate his birth in 1780.
1820 – Paris, Oneida, New York, USA, Appears to be living with wife and 7 children working in Agriculture.[vii]
1830 – Clarkson, Monroe, New York, Appears to be living with wife and 9 children.[viii]
c.1838 – Monroe County, New York, sued Nathan Mott & Ansel Frost.[ix]
1839 – January 8th, Monroe County, New York, signed last will and testament giving all to his wife Sally Ann.[x]
1839 – January 11th, Abner died. He was buried in Hamlin, Monroe County, New York at the Lakeside Cemetery. [xi]
1839 – May 1, Abner’s will was probated. His wife, Sally Ann was the Executrix.

Further research

Determine the siblings of Rufus H Darling.
Find Abner Darling in the 1790, 1800, and 1810 Censuses.
Determine Sally Ann Darlings maiden name.
Determine what happened to Sally Ann Darling.

Souces:

[i] ”KPL 3X5″ Vital Record Files, Kalamazoo Public Library;, Kalamazoogenealogy.org.
[ii] 1840; Census Place: Rome, Oneida, New York; Roll: 313; Page: 65; Image: 705; Family History Library Film: 0017199
[iii] 1820 U S Census; Census Place: Vernon, Oneida, New York; Page: 257; NARA Roll: M33_73; Image: 260
[iv] Ibid.
[v] “1840 Census,” Clarkson, Monroe, New York,  Roll: 297; Page: 177; Image: 359, Rufus H Darling, Ancestry.com, 12 Jan 2016.
[vi] “1830 Census,” Clarkson, Monroe, New York, Series: M19; Roll: 94; Page: 271, Abner Durling (Darling), Ancestry, 12 Jan 2016.
[vii] “1820 Census,” Paris, Oneida, New York-, Page: 267; NARA Roll: M33_73; Image: 270, Abner Darling, Ancestry.Com, 12 Jan 2016.
[viii] See Endnote VI Above. 
[ix] “New York Wills and Probate Records, 1659-1999,” Monroe County, New York, Abner Darling, Wills, Vol 2, 1835-1841, See Pages 329-331, Ancestry.Com.
[x] Ibid.
[xi] Find-a-Grave, Abner Darling, “Memorial #131155053,” http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=131155053, 9 Jan 2016.
———- DISCLAIMER ———-

Abstract & Will of Abner Darling (1780-1839)

Abstract & Will of Abner Darling (1780-1839)

Amanuensis Monday

Great-great grandfather Rufus Holton Darling’s father’s name was Abner and his mother’s name was Sally. Although I am not totally convinced, I am fairly certain that this “Record of Will” refers to Rufus’s father Abner. It also helps explain why Rufus would have left New York for Michigan in 1840. At Abner’s death, Rufus would have been 24 years old. 

————-

Abstract of Will (Abstracted by Don Taylor)

Information that I found.
8 January 1839 – Abner Darling of Clarkson, Monroe County, New York was alive to sign his last will and testament.
He made his wife, Sally Ann Darling the Executrix of his will.
He gave everything to his wife, Sally Ann Darling.
He wants his debts paid.
He has pending litigation against Nathan Mott & Ansel Frost.
His wife should take care of his minor children including educating them. 

Jan-April 1839 – Abner Darling died.

1 May 1839 – Abner’s will was probated.

————-

Transcript of Will

Transcribed by Don Taylor

Source: Ancestry.Com – New York Wills and Probate Records, 1659-1999 – Monroe – Wills, Vol 002, 1835-1841, Pages 329-331 (362-364 of 513)

Record of Will

Know all whom it may concern that that I Abner Darling of Clarkson in the County of Monroe Do make ordain and constitute this my last will & testament –

First I make & Constitute my beloved wife Sally Ann Darling sole executrix of this my will. Second. I give & bequeath to my said wife all my goods and chattels land & tenements & all my estate both nal [real] & personal of which I may die seized or possesed or whether in fasision or in action to have & to hold the same to her own use – forever, Third, It is my will that all my just debts be paid & in as much as the ability of my said executrix to pay the same will depend on the determination of a suit now defending in the Court of Chancery against Nathan Mott & Ansel Frost it is my will & desire that said suit be prosecuted with all diligence to a determination & that my said executrix shall perform whatever shall be nessary & proper to perform whatever deorse may be made therein trusting in consequents of the Justice of the cause that she will thereby nalise the means of paying my debts, And it is my request & desire that my said executrix will in her discretion & according to her means maintain and educate such of my children as are minors they aiding and assisting therein & that at or before her decease she will if need be make such bequest or other arrangement that what may remain of my property after her decrease may be equally divided among all my children. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this eighth day of January 1839.

Abner Darling (S)

Signed sealed published and delivered by the said Abner Darling to be his last will & testament in the presence of us & who in his presence have subscribed our names as witnesses all residing in Clarkson. 

Sellach Boughton
William Blake
Joseph Lovejoy
———- DISCLAIMER ———-
 newspapers.com newspapers.com 

Rufus Holton Darling (1816-1857)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 42 – Rufus Holton Darling (1816-1857)

No Story Too Small

It is always a problem when you can’t find a person in a US Census while they were alive. It is particularly frustrating when you think you have the information that should find the individual in the various censuses. That is the case of Rufus Holton Darling. He died in 1857 and shows in the 1850 Census as you would expect. He is said to have come from Rome, Oneida County, New York and that his father’s name was Abner. That ought to be enough to find him, but alas, no such luck. I browsed the 1840 Census for Rome and only saw one Darling, Israel Darling, who had no males living with him aged 24 or so. Searches in the 1840, 1830, and 1820 censuses likewise did not result in any likely candidates. There are several other Darlings in the county during that time; so, I know I need to do a lot more research. I need to try to find each of these Darlings in Oneida County and trace them on to the 1850 Census, where all the members of the household are name. I hope that that will provide some insight.

Rufus Holton Darling (1816-1857)

Rufus Holton Darling was born in New York State about 1816.[1] This was the year that the U.S. Supreme Court affirms its right to review state court decisions, James Monroe was elected 5th president defeating Federalist Rufus King, and Indiana became the 19th state. Michigan wouldn’t become a state for another 21 years. Rufus is not a British name and it would be easy to speculate that Rufus was named after the presidential candidate, but we don’t really know where the name “Rufus” came from.

Nothing is known of Rufus’ youth, but in 1840, he left Rome, Oneida County, New York for the wilds of the new state of Michigan and settled in Kalamazoo[2]. 1840 was the year Army troops “transported” the local Indians to reservations west of the Mississippi. Kalamazoo was a fledgling village; the first permanent cabin was built there in 1829 and by 1840 the population had grown to over 1200 individuals in the village. Sometime in the 1840s, Rufus went into partnership with Milo J. Goss and established the Goss & Darling General Store.[3] In 1844, Rufus’ first son, Abner, was born. We know nothing about his first wife, her name, if they were married, or when she died, but in 1846 Rufus married Elizabeth Jane Swayze Wiseman[4], a widow, also with one child, a daughter. Also in 1846, the Michigan Central Railroad connected Kalamazoo to Detroit.

Marriage Notice August 1846
Kalamazoo Gazette (Kalamazoo, MI, ), 
Thanks to Genealogy Bank,

In 1848, Rufus and Elizabeth were living at the northwest corner of Cedar and Rose. They had the first, who they named Elizabeth, of their four children. In the fall of 1849, Rufus dissolved his partnership with Milo Goss and sold the Goss & Darling General Store[5]. In addition, in 1849, the railroad was expanding service to Chicago. Interesting enough, in the spring of 1850, Milo Goss went to California to make his fortune selling supplies to the gold miners. From 1849 to 1850, nearly 10% of Kalamazoo’s able-bodied men went to gold fields of California.

In 1852, Rufus ran for City Supervisor as a Whig[6]. He lost, however, it is clear that he was a leader in the city. Rufus and Elizabeth had twins, Eva and Emily; Eva died in 1853[7]. Emily was disabled; she never married and lived to be 65.

In 1854, Rufus was a Trustee for the city of Kalamazoo[8].

Marker: Father – Rufus Holton Darling 1816–1857
Courtesy: Find a Grave Memorial #30754149

In 1856, the neighbor across Cedar and Rose, whose name was H.G. Wells (not the author) invited a little-known Illinois lawyer named Abraham Lincoln to speak at a Republican rally at Bronson Park. We don’t know if he was able to attend his neighbor’s rally because Rufus was quite sick, an invalid, at that time. I’d like to think he was able to go up to the park and see Mr. Lincoln.

In June of 1857, Rufus and Elizabeth had a son they named Rufus Harry Darling[9]. The following month Rufus Holton Darling died of consumption (probably tuberculosis – although “consumption” was used to describe any degenerative lung disease). He was buried with Masonic honors at Mountain Home Cemetery, in Kalamazoo[10].

List of Greats

Rufus Harry Darling (1857-1907)
Rufus Holton Darling (1816-1857)
Abner Darling ( ? – ? )

[1] Mountain Home Plot
File (Kalamazoo County, ), Kalamazoogenealogy.org, Mountain Home
Burials by Lot Numbers, Block: 6. http://kalamazoogenealogy.org/Cemeteries/Mountain%20Home%20Plots/6.htm#16.
[2] Kalamazoo
Gazette  (Kalamazoo, MI, ), GenealogyBank, 1857-08-07 Pg- 2 – Died.
[3] Kalamazoo
Gazette  (Kalamazoo, MI, ), GenealogyBank, 1849-03-07 – Dissolution
[4] Kalamazoo
Gazette  (Kalamazoo, MI, ), GenealogyBank, 1846-08-XX, Pg X – Married, [Rufus Darling – Elizabeth Wiseman].
[5] Kalamazoo
Gazette  (Kalamazoo, MI, ), GenealogyBank, 1849-03-07 – Dissolution.
[6] Kalamazoo
Gazette  (Kalamazoo, MI, ), GenealogyBank, 1852-04-09, Pg 2 – THE ELECTION.
[7] Mountain Home Plot
File (Kalamazoo County, ), Kalamazoogenealogy.org, Mountain Home
Burials by Lot Numbers, Block: 6. http://kalamazoogenealogy.org/Cemeteries/Mountain%20Home%20Plots/6.htm#16.
[8] History of
Kalamazoo Michigan (Phildelphia, Everts & Abbott, 1880), Google Books, Page
226. http://books.google.com/books?id=qMXoj2IUNUUC.
[9] Michigan, Dept of
Public Health, Death Certificate, Seeking Michigan, Rufus H. Darling – Death 5
Jan 1917. Credit: Library of Michigan. http://seekingmichigan.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p129401coll7/id/123256.
[10] Mountain Home Plot
File (Kalamazoo County, ), Kalamazoogenealogy.org, Mountain Home
Burials by Lot Numbers, Block: 6. http://kalamazoogenealogy.org/Cemeteries/Mountain%20Home%20Plots/6.htm#16.


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