Bright Shiny Objects – A Distraction can be Okay
By Don Taylor
The Blizzard of 2017 was a great day to knuckle down and do some genealogy – as long as the power held out. My plan was to find information about Hannah Carpenter, my wife’s 4th great-grandmother. I wasn’t finding anything of interest regarding her. So, I stepped back and began looking at her husband’s (Abner Darling’s) records in more detail. Some time ago, I found a source for information on the Beekman Patent in Duchess County, New York. It appeared that Abner came out of the Beekman Patent and I needed to research it further to understand how he may have found his wife, Hannah. So, I looked at that material and became distracted. That document also mentioned a source, a 1913 book, The Darling Family in America, which I found a copy of online. Between the two sources, I extracted the possible names of a dozen Darling ancestors and several dozen siblings of those ancestors. I learned:
Abner’s parents (My wife’s 5th great-grandparents):
192. Ebenezer Darling (1718-1790)
193. Mary Hakes
- Benjamin Darling (1687-1772)
- Mehitable White (1689-?)
- Solomon Hakes
- Anna Billings
Half of Abner’s Great-Grandparents
- Dennis Darling (c. 1640-1717)
- Hannah Francis
- Thomas White
- Mehitable (?Thornton?)
And even two of Abner’s 2nd Great Grandparents (My wife’s 8th great-grandparents)
1538. John Francis
1539. Rosa (??)
Wow! I’ll be the first to admit, abandoning my research on Hannah Carpenter and diving into these Darling materials was going for the bright shiny objects. I didn’t stay with my research plan. And yes, I “wasted a day” documenting what I found in “The Settlers of the Beekman Patent – Darling Document” and The Darling Family in America. Incorporating that information into a “notional” tree wasn’t part of my research plan for the day. Nothing confirmed, but a great outline to begin working.
We received about 17 inches of snow, had winds over 35 miles per hour for more than three hours, and had visibilities less than a quarter of a mile – an official blizzard. We didn’t lose power, though over 21 thousand people did here in southern Maine. However, I was able to work most of the day on the Darling Family. I don’t learn anything new about Hannah Carpenter, but that’s okay. Acquiring the likely names, birth dates, and places of a dozen other ancestors is a good day. I’ll remember the Blizzard of 2017; it was the day I followed my wife’s Darling line went back to The Great Migration.
List of Grandparents
- Grand Parent: Robert Harry Darling (1907-1969)
- 1st Great: Rufus Harry Darling (1857-1917)
- 2nd Great: Rufus Holton Darling (1816-1857)
- 3rd Great: Abner Darling (b. 1780-1839)
- 4th Great: Abner Darling (1747-c. 1800)
- 5th Great: Ebenezer Darling (1718-1790)
- 6th Great: Benjamin Darling (1687-1772)
- 7th Great: Dennis Darling (c. 1640-1717)
Further Actions / Follow-up
- Return to Hannah Carpenter and research more about her life.
One more thing, it appears that one of Dennis Darling’s other children, 6th great uncle John Darling, came to Scarborough in the 1600s – a tidbit of information that could keep me involved for days of research at the Scarborough Museum where I volunteer.