Ancestor Biography – Catharine A. D. Walter

Howell-Darling-2017-Research

Waters – Swayze – Darling Line
By Don Taylor

Purported photo of Catherine A. D. (Walker) Swayze. [Not Confirmed]
It seems like virtually every ancestor born before 1880 has a question regarding their birth. Catharine Waters is no exception to that. Most records I have found are consistent with her date of birth being 15 June, 1794, however there are conflicting locations –  Virginia and Maryland.  The only two census records during Catharine’s lifetime indicate her birth occurred in Virginia. However, written genealogies indicate her birth occurred in Maryland, thus my quandary.

Birth Locations for Catharine A. D. Walter

Document/Source Date of Document Birthdate Suggested
1850 Census[i] 1850 1794-1795 – Virginia
1860 Census[ii] 1860 1794-1795 – Virginia
Marker (per Find a Grave) 1868 24 or 25 June 1789
Obituary – Kalamazoo Telegraph 18 Apr 1866 1868 May or June 1794
Genealogy of the Swasey Family[iii] 1910 15 Jun 1794 – Maryland
DAR Descendant’s List – Helen J. Roy -Nat’l #455124, Ancestor #A120153[iv] Unknown 15 Jun 1794 – Maryland
Sweezey.Com[v] 2011 15 June 1794 – Maryland

On page 187 of the Genealogy of the Swasey Family, Benjamin Franklin Swasey writes, “Catharine A. D. Walter, b. in Maryland, June 15, 1794. Of course, he provides no source for this assertion.

Bob Sweezey, via sweezey.com, states Catharine’s birthplace is Maryland even though he notes that the 1860 Census indicates Virginia. However, I don’t see where his provided a source for his assertion either.

Finally, the DAR descendants list of member Helen J. Roy (Nat’l #: 455124 – Ancestor #: A120153) fails to indicate the source of her assertion that, “Catharine Walter born on 15 – Jun – 1794 at MD.”

The death records really confuse things.  Catharine’s obituary in the Kalamazoo Telegraph and the registry entry with the Michigan Department of Community Health suggests a birth year of 1794 (age 73 years, 10 months) but some think her marker indicates 78 years, 9 months, 22 days.  The photo evidence on Find a Grave isn’t clear and compelling. I can see it indicating 73 years or 78 years.  The image just isn’t clear enough for me.  I think some enhanced photographic techniques may be needed to clear up the conflict.

52 Ancestors – Howell-Darling Ancestor #51

Catharine Ann Dent Walter (1794-1868)

Catharine (known as Katherine[vi] in some records) Waters was born on 15 June 1794 in Virginia (See above) to James and Margaret Ann (Swan) Walker. She is the only child of theirs that I know of.

She married David Swayze on 17 January 1817.

In 1818, Catharine had Elizabeth Jane Swayze, the first of her 8 children.

In 1820, the young Swayzee family was living in Richland, Fairfield County, Ohio.

During the following decade, Catharine had five more children, Emily Ann, Margeretta, Angeline, William D. and S. B. Swayze. Margeretta Swayze died in 1823 at the age of two.

The 1830 Census found the family in Walnut, Fairfield County, Ohio. During the 1830s, Catharine had two more children, Theodore P and Caroline M Swayze in 1837 and 1838 respectively.

About 1840, the Swayzee’s moved to Kalamazoo and they were there for the 1850 and 1860 censuses.  When Catharine died in 1868, her obituary mentions that they had been living in the area for 28 years, which fits their arrival date in Kalamazoo as about 1840.

On 25 September, 1850, Catharine’s husband David Swayze died. On 24 July 1857, Catharine’s daughter, Elizabeth Jane (Swayze) Darling’s husband Rufus Holton Darling died. By the 1860 Census Catharine was living with her daughter Elizabeth and Elizabeth’s remaining children.

Marker – Catherine A. D. Swayze

Death

Catharine died 16 Apr 1868 in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, Michigan.[vii]

Burial

Some researchers indicate that she was buried at Marion, Ohio, however, she has a marker at Mountain Home Cemetery in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, Michigan. Her marker indicates that she died aged 78 years, 9 months and 22 Days. However, her obituary indicates that she was 73 years, 10 months at the time of her death which coincides with her birth date.

Further Actions – Follow-up

  • Await response from Bob Sweezey who I emailed through his website to see if he can shed any light regarding his sources for this information.
  • Finally, I can order a set of 10 DAR documents which support Helen Roy’s DAR Application through the DAR for $20.
  • Visit Mountain Home cemetery in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Use enhanced photographic techniques on Catharine A. D. Swayzee’s marker at Mountain View Cemetery, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

List of Grandparents

  • GrandParent:   Robert Harry Darling
  • 1stGreat:           Rufus Harry Darling
  • 2ndGreat:          Elizabeth Jane Swayzee
  • 3rdGreat:         Catharine Ann Dent Walter
  • 4thGreat:          James Walter

————-DISCLAIMER————-

ENDNOTES


 

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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