Darling – Surname Saturday

Darling
Surname Saturday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.According to Forebears, dyrling was an “Old English term used to denote the young noble of a house, perhaps exclusively the eldest son, on whom all expectations rested.” Later it became a family name[i].  Ancestry reports that the name is English and Scottish and derives from deorling meaning “beloved one” or as a derivative form of deor (dear)[ii]. In either case, it became a surname before 1500.

Geographic

The Darling surname is most common in the United States and England with nearly half of all people with the Darling surname living in the United States. In terms of frequency, it is most common in Canada with 1 in 13,078 people in Canada having the surname.[iii]

The 1920 census indicates that the greatest number of families with the Darling surname were New York, Michigan, and Massachusetts. During the 1880 Census, the greatest number of Darling families were in New York and Massachusetts. Finally, the 1840 Census indicated most of the Darling families lived in New York[iv].

Ancestor Migration

That pattern follows my wife’s ancestors nicely. Her Darling ancestors came to the Colonies in the mid-1600s and settled in Mendon, Massachusetts. They relocated to Eastern New York (Dutchess County) about 1740. They continued west and settled in Oneida County, in western New York about 1800. They lived in Monroe County, NY, in far western New York, for a short time as well. They moved further west again to settle in Kalamazoo, Michigan about 1845.

Other Darling family members located in Missouri and some continued out west to California. Whenever I hear about the migrations west, I think about my wife’s Darling family being clear representatives of the time.

It is not clear when Mary-Alice’s earliest known Darling ancestor came to the Colonies.

But, her 7th great-grandfather, Dennis Darling married Hannah Francis in Braintree, MA in 1662.[v] By 1678 they had moved 40 miles west to Mendon, MA.[vi] His son Benjamin was born and died in Mendon, but his son, Ebenezer, migrated to the Beekman Patent land in New York before 1740. His son, Abner, moved west to Oneida County about 1800. Abner’s son, also named Abner, moved further west to Monroe county, NY about 1830. His son, Rufus Holton, moved on to Kalamazoo, Michigan, about 1844. Rufus’ son, also named Rufus, was born and died in Kalamazoo.

Rufus Harry was a railroad man. Besides Kalamazoo, he lived in Chicago, Kansas City, and Pittsburgh; his son Robert was born when Rufus was in the Pittsburgh area. Robert died in Michigan.

Map of Ancestral Darling Migrations
Ancestral Darling migration. 1660-1900 from the east to the west.

Direct Darling Ancestors

# 006 – G Robert Harry Darling (1905-1969)
# 012 – GG Rufus Harry Darling (1857-1917)
# 024 – 2nd GG Rufus Holton Darling (1815-1857)
# 048 – 3rd GG Abner Darling (Jr.) (1780-1839)
# 096 – 4th GG Abner Darling (Sr.) (1747-1800)
# 192 – 5th GG Ebenezer Darling (1718-1790)
# 384 – 6th GG Benjamin Darling (1687-1772)
# 768 – 7th GG Dennis Darling (1640-1717)

Known relatives.

My records have 233 direct-line descendants of Dennis Darling identified in my family tree, which is about 8% of my total Howell/Darling ancestors.


ENDNOTES

[i] Internet: Forebears website – Darling Surname. See: http://forebears.io/surnames/darling

[ii] Internet: Ancestry website – Darling Family History. See: https://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=Darling

[iii] See note i above.

[iv] See note ii above.

[v] Clemens, William M., Darling Family in America, The (1913), Archive.Org, Page 5 & 6 – Dennis Darling of Braintree, Mass.

[vi] Doherty, Frank J., Darling Family, The – Settlers of the Beekman Patent, The, Files, 0 – Introduction – Dennis Darling (c. 1640-1717).

Twelve Darling Greats Discovered

Bright Shiny Objects – A Distraction can be Okay

Howell-Darling-2016 Research
Darling Line

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.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

Abner’s grandparents:

  1. Benjamin Darling (1687-1772)
  2. Mehitable White (1689-?)
  3. Solomon Hakes
  4. Anna Billings

Half of Abner’s Great-Grandparents

  1. Dennis Darling (c. 1640-1717)
  2. Hannah Francis
  3. Thomas White
  4. 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.

Howell-Darling 2017

List of Grandparents

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.


Sources:

Doherty, Frank J., “Settlers of the Beekman Patent, The” – File: Darling.doc. See https://settlers-of-the-beekman-patent.myshopify.com/.

Clemens, William M., Darling Family in America, The (1913), Archive.Org.