Ancestor Bio – Chester Parsons (1799-1887)

52 Ancestors – Week 2018-16
Brown/Sanford/Parsons

By Don Taylor

I never imagined I’d have an ancestor that there is just too much information available. Amazingly, I have more information about Chester Parsons and his life than I can keep up with. Ancestry, suggests there are 85 Ancestry Hints and 13 other public Ancestry Member Trees relating to Chester Parsons. Admittedly, five of those Ancestry Hints are from me because of one of those old trees, but still 80 Hints is more than I recall seeing elsewhere. I went through all of them, several weren’t clearly my Chester Parsons (1799-1887) and appeared to have been other Chesters. But still, there were a couple items I hadn’t seen before including a photo of Chester. I have several sources of information that I didn’t add to my tree because they didn’t add any new detail, instead confirmed information that I already had. But still, I ended up using 21 sources for information about Chester’s life.

Brown-Roberts Research 2017 – Ancestor #102

List of Grandparents

Chester Parsons (1799-1887)

Chester Parsons was born on 1 December 1799, the fifth child of John Parsons, Jr. and Mary Wolcott, in Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

Chester’s siblings included:

  • Samuel –  Born 5 Apr 1787
  • Polly – Born 17 Jan 1792
  • Orrin – Born 6 Mar 1794
  • John – Born 5 May 1796

Childhood

Sometime shortly after his birth and before 1802, the family moved from Massachusetts to Windham, Greene County, New York. In April 1813, Chester’s father, John, died. It appears that older brothers Samuel and Orrin established their own households by the 1820 Census. I have not been successful determining where Chester, his sister Polly, his brother John or his mother, Mary, were during the 1820 Census. I suspect they were living with another family member whose surname was not Parsons.

Marriage

Chester married Deborah Buel Maben on 26 November 1824 in Greene County, New York.

They had eight children

  • Lucinda           Born 1825 in New York
  • James               Born 1826 in Michigan
  • Mary Electa   Born 1828 in Michigan
  • Alfred David  Born 1830 in Michigan
  • Harriet Eliza Born 1832 in Michigan
  • E. W.                 Born 1833 in Michigan
  • Sarah Jane     Born 1833 in Michigan
  • Melissa           Born 1843 in Michigan

Adulthood

In May 1826, Chester and his brother, Orrin headed west to Michigan Territory. The two of them purchased 160 acres of land in Saline Township on 1 November 1826. They built the first mill in the area as well as the first frame house.

The 1830 Census found Chester as the head of the household consisting of two males and three females. On 1 August 1831, Chester purchased 78.24 acres of land, and in 1837 he bought another 80 acres.

The 1840 Census found Chester’s household consisting of four males and six females. There is one male, age 50 to 60 and one female age 20 to 30 that are unknown and do not appear to be Chester’s children.

The 1850 Census finds the Chester Parsons household consisting of Chester, his wife, five of his daughters, one son, and four unrelated farm hands, although Zebe Fuller would marry his daughter Harriet.  Chester’s real property was valued at $7,800.

The 1860 Census finds a prosperous Chester Parsons living with his wife and two daughters. Also living in the household are two young females, ages 19 and 22 who are domestics as well as three farm laborers. Chester’s real property was valued at $12,500.

The 1870 Census finds Chester and his wife, Deborah, living alone. His real estate is valued at $21,000 and his personal property at $5,000.

Deborah died in 1874 at the age of 69. They had been married for nearly 50 years.

C. Parsons Home

Chester remarried on 11 November 1875 to the Widow Wakefield. Chester’s second wife, Jennette Arnold Wakefield, was 24 years younger than Chester.

The 1880 Census finds Chester and Jennett living together in Saline, Chester was 80 and Jennett was 56 and keeping house.

Chester died on 7 June 1887. He was buried at Benton Cemetery, in Plot 30 next to his first wife.

Chester’s property went through probate. Many of his children and grandchildren were mentioned in the various probate documents. There were auctions of his property as well. At one auction, on November 28th, 1890, 52 acres wheat on the ground sold for $6.95 per acre. Also, and a large number of farm implements. Sixty acres of timberland was sold to Sturm and Reeves. Also sold at the auction were 12 cows, 16 head young cattle, and seven horses,

Because Chester was an early pioneer in Saline Township he is often mentioned in various historical books, such as The History of Washtenaw County, and newspaper articles long after his death. According to them Orrin and Chester built the first sawmill in town in 1827, two miles south of the village. There is another story where Chester and Orrin were concerned that someone else might purchase the land they wanted, so they walked by an old Indian trail through the night to Monroe to acquire the property. Chester became the postmaster for Benton in 1835 and cut a road from Saline to Tecumseh road. He kept a hotel before the railroad was completed to Ann Arbor.

Page 437 of The History of Washtenaw County provides a portrait of Chester Parsons. (See above.)

Marker – Chester Parsons – Courtesy Find a Grave

Likewise, page 105 of York, Saline, Ypsilanti, Lyndon, Sharon (Mich.) Township residences, ca. 1874, provides an image of Chester Parsons’ house in Saline. (See above.)

I’ve found a photo of Chester, a birth record, a death record, two marriage records, presumably him in the 1800 Census and through all the Census records in his adult life, 1830 through 1880. I’ve found photos of his home, Bureau of Land Management records of his land purchases, his probate records, and maps showing his property during various years. Finally, stories about his life and activities abound.  His was a life well lived and I am proud to be descended from him.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • The History of Washtenaw County, page 1406, indicates that Chester’s wife Deborah wrote a history of their move from New York to Michigan what recounted the “hardships and privations of their early pioneer life.” Apparently, she did not complete it, but I would love to find a copy of whatever might have survived from that writing.

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Sources

I have so many sources for Chester Parsons, I’ve decided to abbreviate the sources so that the sources aren’t longer than the article. Additional detail is available; however, the information provided should be sufficient to find the record.

  • 1800 Census – John Parsons Jr. – Sandisfield, Berkshire, Massachusetts (3rd from bottom).
  • 1830 Census – Chester Parsons – Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan Territory/
  • 1840 Census – Chester Parsons – Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan
  • 1850 Census – Chester Parsons – Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan
  • 1860 Census – Chester Parsons – Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan
  • 1870 Census – Chester Parson – Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan
  • 1880 Census – Chester Parsons – Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan
  • Daughters of the American Revolution, “Ancestor Search,” DAR, Buell, Grover – Patriot: A016639 – Member: Ruth Evelyn Hill Carr
  • Daughters of the American Revolution, “Ancestor Search,” DAR, Maben, John – Patriot: A072838 – Member: Ruth Evelyn Hill Carr
  • Chas. C. Chapman & Co. (2012). History of Washtenaw County, Michigan: Together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens: history of Michigan: embracing accounts of the pre-historic races, aborigines, French, English and American conquests, and a general review of its civil, political and military history – Pages 1370, 1371, 1373, & 1405.
  • Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620 – Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011 – Parsons.
  • Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1950 Ancestry.com – Chester Parsons – Died: 7 Jun 1887.
  • Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952, Ancestry.Com. – Chester Parsons – Jennett Wakefield.
  • The Saline Observer (Saline, MI)– Various repositories:
    • 1882-08-17, Page 3, Column 2, Para 16
    • 1890-11-20, Page 7 – Auctions – Chester Parsons
    • 1890-12-04, Page 5, Column 2, Paragraph 6 – Chester Parsons
    • 1890-12-18, Page 7, Column 3, Paragraph 19 – Chester Parsons
    • 1897-06-24, Page 5, Column 2, bottom –  Obit – Janette A Arnold [Parsons]

————–  Disclaimer  ————–

Chester Parsons and the 1820 Census

Census Sunday
Brown/Sanford/Parsons Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Following ancestors through all the census records is often difficult, particularly in census records before 1850, when only the head of household was named. Tracing my 4th great-grandfather, Chester Parsons was straight-forward from the 1880 census back to the 1850 census, even on to the 1830 Census, while Chester was in Saline, Michigan. Before that, he was a young man in someone else’s household not in Michigan. The path to understanding is to take what you know, hypothesize what should be, then see if research fits.

What I think I know.

  • Chester was born on 1 December 1799 in Sandisfield, Berkshire, Massachusetts.
  • Chester married his first wife in Greene County, New York in 1824.
  • In May 1826, Chester and his young family moved from New York to Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan Territory.
  • He and his family appear in 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 censuses. The family seems to have been very stable living in Saline, Michigan, for over 60 years.
  • Chester’s father, John Parsons, died in 1813 in Greene County, New York.
  • In 1820 Chester would have been 20 years old.

My Speculation.

Because Chester probably lived with his father when his father died in 1813 and Chester probably resided in Greene County when he married in 1824, I presume the 20-year-old Chester also was living in Greene County during the 1820 Census. If so, who was he living with?

Search & Results

A quick search on Family Search of all families with the Parsons surname living in Greene County, New York in 1820 yielded four candidates, Samuel, Orrin, Albert, and Stephen. I’m looking for any of those people that might have Chester living with him.

Samuel Parsons – This Windham household consists of 1 Male (Age 26-45) and no other males. Chester’s oldest brother was named Samuel and would have been 33-years-old. This Samual is possibly, even likely, Chester’s brother.

Orrin and Samuel were enumerated next to each other in the 1820 Census.

Orrin Parsons – This Windham household consists of two males (one 16 to 26 and one under 10. There is also a female 16 to 26 in the household. Chester’s 2nd oldest brother was named Orrin and was 25 at the time. It is likely this was him with his wife, and first, previously unknown, son.

Albert Parsons – This Windham household consisted of five individuals, apparently Albert age 16-26, male 10-16, and male under 10 and two females, one, an apparent wife 16 to 26 and another age 10 to 16. There is no known Albert Parsons in my research before this. I will probably need to do more research to determine this Albert’s place in the family or determine he isn’t related. In any event, Chester is not in that household either.

Conclusion

Chester’s father John died in 1814. It appears that Samuel and Orrin each married and established households of their own. Chester, his brother John, and their mother were probably either missed in the 1820 Census or were living in the household of someone without the surname Parsons in Greene County, New York.

Further Research

  • It is possible that Chester and family lived with sister Mary/Polly in 1820. Research Mary/Polly Parsons’ life.
  • It is possible that Chester and family lived with a female sibling of John Parsons, Jr. Research the lives of the other Parsons of Sandisfield, Massachusetts that located to Windham, Greene County, New York between 1800 and 1820.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 26 – 23rd St.

Proctor’s 23rd Street
Treasure Chest Thursday

By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I looked at several clippings from the same page of the Donna Darling Collection. Two of them relate to the 23rd Street Theater, One to the 125th Street theater and three mini-clippings that seem unrelated.

Transcription

Cropped & resized for the web.

DONNA DARLING and CO. (2)
Songs and Dances
22 Mins.; Full Stage (Special Hanging)
23rd St.

Donna Darling is a blond miss of fair voice supported by two male dancers in a neatly devised offering enhanced by colorful hangings.

The opening in “one” before a gold and black drop includes “Tell Me Pretty Maiden” and Silver Lining,” followed by a Pat Rooney impersonation by one of the boys. The parting of the curtains discloses attractive full stage hangings following the gold and black color scheme, the featured member appearing in a crinoline gown, for bits of old-fashioned numbers, including piano playing.

The turn drags at the point, especially with the first old-time songs. The boys return in Colonial costumes for a minuet by the trio, followed by a soft shoe and jazz stepping by the male team. Miss Darling then offers a light operatic number followed by a solo stepping hit by one of the boys and a triple tin soldier and doll specialty. A wedding number with one of the chaps as the minister tops off the turn.

The act is a flash for the three-a-day. At times chances for the bigger houses are displayed. The male dancers display ability with Miss Darling, securing fair returns vocally. The turn is running over time at present. With some pruning should improve materially.

Hart.

The next clipping is an encapsulation of the entire show. There were seven vaudeville acts

23RD ST,

The first hall bill….

Donna Darling and Co. (New Acts) were the proper kind of a flash for the closing position, holding the audience and securing applause returns.

Hart.

There was nothing in either article that suggested where the 23RD St. theater is nor when the show played. At the bottom of the scrapbook page was a small ad for F.F.Proctor’s. It shows that the 23rd St. theater is near 6th Ave. It also shows that Donna Darling & Co. was at the 125th St. Theater between Park and Lexington.

I was a bit confused, because of the differences between the 23rd St. and 125th St. theaters, but from the ads I knew they were New York. Also, Donna Darling & Co. was a 1922 production.

I began searching Newspapers.Com and quickly found the identical ad, in “The Evening World” (New York, New York) · Fri, May 26, 1922 · Page 26, which showed her playing at the 125th St Theater. This ad is really significant. Family oral history says that once upon a time, Donna was proposed to by Bert Lahr, later famous for his role as the Cowardly Lion in “The Wizard of Oz.” This ad, suggests that Donna and Bert Lahr at least knew each other as they played at the same theater at the same time.

Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.comThen, using Elephind, I found, on the Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection (UIUC), The New York Clipper which on May 24, 1922, page 21, reported that Dona [sic] Darling Co. played at 23rd St, the first half of the week of May 22nd . The Clipper also reported that Donna played at B. F. Keith Vaudeville in Jersey City the first half of the following week (May 29th thru 31st).

The New York Clipper, on May 31, 1922, page 11, reported that Donna Darling and Company played at 125th Street theater the last half of the week (June 1, 2, & 3) at Proctor’s 125th Street. That issue had a nice write-up saying:

Donna Darling and Company had a neat offering. Miss Darling is dainty in looks, manners and voice and in her routine of songs showed herself thoroughly conversant. In the “My Hero” number she evidently lacked confidence but regained her composure in short order for the rest of the act. In old fashioned crinoline costume, she sang portions of old song favorites and finished with a brief session at the piano. The company, consisting of two clever young men dancers and singers were dressed appropriate to the period. Miss Darling looked best in pink, and in the wedding ceremony showed clever footwork in eccentric dancing, also in the mechanical toy dance, in which Miss Darling was a lively doll.

The June 7th Clipper adds a lot to the story. It includes a picture of Donna, Murray Walker, and Jack Finney and a caption that they closed Proctor’s 58th Street and are taking a 5-week vacation. The newspaper copy image isn’t very good, but it is something. It suggests that Donna Darling & Company played Proctor’s 58th Street from June 4th to June 6th.

Finally, there were three little clippings in Donna’s scrapbook. They too came from the June 7th, Clipper. One said:

Donna Darling left for Detroit, her home town, this week, where she will undergo an operation for the removal of tonsils.

The second clip says

Murray Walker is leaving for Canada this week for a month’s rest.

And the third,

Jack Finney is going to Philadelphia this week to visit his folks for a month before reopening with Donna Darling.

When I was young, I was often plagued with tonsillitis. Removal or keeping tonsils seems to have undergone sweeps each way. Some years they were kept if at all possible, other years they yanked them out. I recall talking with Donna and my mother about my tonsils and I remember Donna saying hers had been removed and it was no big thing. But we were poor and had no health insurance, so I kept mine. But back in 1922, Donna was 29 years old, and doing well. So, even though she was older than typical, she had her tonsils removed — maybe they were affecting her singing.

Conclusion

Discovering four more venues for Donna’s career is a good week for research. Being reminded of her tonsillectomy and learning that she actually did take vacations during her vaudeville years was good to find out. And finally, confirming that she actually would have known Bert Lahr, and the story of his proposal to Donna might be true, is priceless.

  • May 22-24, 1922 – F.F. Proctor’s 23rd Street Theater (at 6th Avenue) New York, NY – Donna Darling & Co.
  • May 29-31, 1922 – B.F. Keith’s Vaudeville, Jersey City, NJ – Donna & Co.
  • June 1-3, 1922 – F. F. Proctor’s 125th Street (Park & Lex) New York, NY – Donna Darling & Company.
  • June 4-6, 1922 – F.F. Proctor’s 58th Street Theater, New York – Donna Darling & Company.
  • June 7 until about July 10, 1922 – Vacation. Donna has tonsils removed.

Oh, and while searching I found one more venue for Donna’s show. From March 30th to April 5th, 1922 – she played in Pittsburgh-Johnstown.

Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.com

Follow-up

I’ll bet, when I have a chance to research more, I’ll find that Donna played at the 5th Avenue Theater. Probably May 25th thru the 27th. Just guessing, but it would fit the pattern.

————- DISCLAIMER ————-

Bio – Henry W Darling (1818-1890)

Henry W Darling (The brother of Rufus Holton Darling)

52 Ancestors – Week 2018-12
By Don Taylor

Continuing with my study of the siblings of Rufus Holton Darling is his next younger brother, Henry W Darling. After the death of their father, Henry went west to help settle the Wisconsin Territory.

Howell-Darling 2018 – Ancestor #48-5

List of Ancestors

Henry W. Darling (1818-1890)

Henry W. Darling was born on 18 September 1818 in Rome, Oneida County, New York. He was the fifth child of Abner and Sally Ann (Munsell) Darling.

Henry’s Siblings were

One-year-old Henry appears to be enumerated in the 1820 census as one of the males less than ten years of age in the household of Abner Darling in Paris, Oneida, New York. His siblings are all accounted for however there is one unknown female age 10 to 16 in the household. She may be an older sister, aunt, cousin, or family friend.

In the 1830 census, it appears that Henry was enumerated as one of the children in the household of Abner Darling. The family seems to have moved 155 miles west from Paris to Clarkson, Monroe County, New York. Abner’s household includes Abner, his wife, and eight children, five boys and three girls.

In 1839 disaster struck with the death of Henry’s father, Abner. Abner had a will, signed three days before his death, and Henry was named.

Rufus Holton Darling then took over as the head of the household. The 1840 Census shows Rufus as the head of the household with two other males and three females.  A review of the record suggests the family consisted of 29-year-old Rufus with his 55-year-old mother, Sally Ann and his siblings, Henry (22), Franklin (13), Sally Ann (18), and Hannah (15).

In 1846, Henry headed west. He supposedly left New York with only $5 in his pocket and walked all the way to Racine, Wisconsin Territory, 625 miles away. Later, that same year Henry located west again 90 miles north-west to Fox Lake, Dodge County Wisconsin. Henry was part of the massive influx of people who settled the area.  In the 1840 Census, Dodge County had a population of only 67 people; in the 1850 Census, Dodge County had increased its population to over 19,000.  In 1848, Wisconsin became a state,

Marriage

It is not clear exactly when, but probably in 1849 or 1850, Henry married Adaline Learned/Leonard; Henry is ten years older than his bride. They are found living together in Trenton, Dodge County, Wisconsin with no children, yet. Trenton is immediately east of Fox Lake, Wisconsin.

Adulthood

The 1860 Census finds the family together in Fox Lake with a household consisting of Henry, his wife Adeline, two children, and what appears to be a hired farm laborer, from Maine, John Weymouth.  The children are:

  • Reuben H Darling, Age 10
  • Nancy D Darling, Age 4

The 1870 Census finds the family with a new addition, 6-year-old Abner M. Darling. All three children are attending school, Henry is farming, and “Adalin” is keeping house.

By the 1880 Census, Reuben and Nancy have moved on and the household then consisted of Henry, Adaline, and son, Abner M.

Henry was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and he is presumed to have been a Baptist.

Death & Burial

On 12 April 1890, Henry W. Darling died leaving his wife, two sons and a daughter. His service as at a Baptist church. He was buried two days later in Plot 299 at Riverside Memorial Park, Fox Lake, Wisconsin.

In May and in June of 1890, “Notices to Creditors” ran in the newspaper indicating that Henry W. Darling had probate.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Find the probate records for Henry W. Darling.
  • Find a record of Henry and Adaline’s marriage.
  • Research town and county history, looking for Henry and his family.
  • Find original death record for Henry W. Darling’s death.

Sources

  • 1820 Census, 1820 Census – Abner Darling – Paris, Oneida, New York
  • 1830 Census (A), Abner Darling – Clarkson, Monroe, New York – Page 271. Source Citation
1830; Census Place: Clarkson, Monroe, New York; Series: M19; Roll: 94; Page: 271; Family History Library Film: 001715 4. https://search.ancestry.com/collections/8058/records/1556647/.
  • 1840 Census (FS), Family Search, New York, Monroe, Clarkson, Page 177 – Rufus H Darling.
  • 1850 Census (FS), 1850 Census – Henry W Darling – Trenton, Dodge, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4DF-7G8 : 12 April 2016), Henry W Darling, Trenton, Dodge, Wisconsin, United States; citing family 245, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4DF-7G8.
  • 1860 Census (FS), Family Search, 1860 Census – Henry W Darling – Fox Lake, Dodge, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MWM5-QGT : 13 December 2017), Henry W Darling, 1860. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MWM5-QGT.
  • 1870 Census (FS), Family Search, 1870 Census – Henry W Darling – Fox Lake Village, Dodge, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 12 April 2016), Henry W Darling, Wisconsin, United States; citing p. 15, family 126, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 553,209. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN9H-1DM.
  • 1880 Census (FS), Family Search, 1880 Census – Henry Darling – Fox Lake, Dodge, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN4D-R6B : 15 July 2017), Henry Darling, Fox Lake, Dodge, Wisconsin, United States; citing enumeration district ED 12, sheet 157A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 1423; FHL microfilm 1,255,423. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN4D-R6.
  • Find a Grave, Henry W Darling (1818-1890) – Death – Memorial 61525205. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 18 March 2018), memorial page for Henry W. Darling (18 Sep 1818–12 Apr 1890), Find A Grave Memorial no. 61525205, citing Riverside Memorial Park, Fox Lake, Dodge County, Wisconsin, USA ; Maintained by Steve Seim (contributor 47256753). https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/61525205/henry-w.-darling.
  • The Representative (Fox Lake, Wisconsin, ), Com, 1890-04-18 – Henry W. Darling Obituary. See file: Obituary – Henry W Darling 1890 (N).PDF.
  • “Wisconsin, Death Records, 1867-1907,” database, FamilySearch ( 10 March 2018), Henry W. Darling, 1890; citing Death, Fox Lake, Dodge, Wisconsin, Wisconsin State Historical Society, Madison; FHL microfilm 1,310,179.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–

Ancestor Bio – Abner C. Darling (1811-1880)

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.I continue investigating the siblings of Rufus Holton Darling. In this research, I was able to extend my knowledge of Rufus’ mother Sally Ann (Munsell) Darling. I learned that Sally moved in with her son, Abner, and his wife before the 1860 Census. By knowing Sally was in Wisconsin in 1860, I may be able to find her death records.

Research Family 2017 – Ancestor #96

List of Grandparents

Grandfather: Robert Harry Darling (1907-1969)
1st Great-grandfather: Rufus Harry Darling (1857-1917)
2nd Great-grandfather: Rufus Holton Darling (1816-1857)
2nd Great-granduncle: Abner C. Darling (1811-1880)

Abner C. Darling (1811-1880)

Abner C. Darling was probably born on 11 October 1811 in Rome, Oneida County, New York. [i]

He was the 2nd child of 8 children born to Abner and Sally Ann (Munsell) Darling. Abner grew up with seven siblings:

Childhood

Indeed, the building of the Erie Canal was a big part of his childhood. Construction began in Rome on July 4th, 1817, with the canal connecting Rome to both the Hudson River and the Great Lakes by 1825.

By 1830, his family located further west, to Clarkson, Monroe County, New York. Clarkson is about 18 miles west of Rochester and about 8 miles from Lake Ontario. The 1830 Census appears to include a household of Abner senior and his wife, Sally.[ii] Also, are five boys and three girls. They appear to be:

  •       Franklin (age 1)
  •       Hannah (age 6)
  •       Sally Ann (age 9)
  •       Henry   (age 10)
  •       Rufus    (age 14)
  •       Deidamia (age 16)
  •       Abner   (age 19)
  •       Unknown (Possibly Andrew)

One child’s identity is unknown, but his age is 15 to 19.  It is possible that this child is Andrew, but other records suggest Andrew should be age 25 during the 1830 census.

Marriage

About 1834, Abner married Nancy Anne Green. They had two children while living in Clarkson, a daughter, Lucinda, (born 1835) and a son, Ned, who was born before 1840. The family moved from Clarkson, New York to Racine, Wisconsin about 1840. It appears that Ned died there before 1840.

Adulthood

Photo of Abner Darling (1811-1880) courtesy Jon Broderick.
Abner Darling (1811-1880)

Abner started a business in Racine and went bankrupt. After the business problems, Abner and Nancy moved on to Grand Chute, Wisconsin, where he began another business. I have not been successful finding him in the 1840 Census.

During the 1850 census, the family consisted of Abner, his wife Nancy Anne, and their daughter Lucinda.[iii] They lived in Grand Chute, Brown County, Wisconsin. In 1851, Brown County was divided, and part of it became Outagamie County.

The 1855 Wisconsin census indicates they were living in Appleton, but it is unclear if they moved from Grand Chute or if only the “closest post office” change.[iv]

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In 1860, they had a very complex household. Besides Abner, Nancy, and Lucinda there are five other individuals in the house.[v]  Sally A. Darling, Abner’s 75-year-old mother is living with them. Also, there are four young adults living with them.  Harriet Reed, Wilbur Yoenne, Joseph Hammend, and Jos Colman. All ages 20 to 25. Jos Colman is interesting because, later that fall, Lucinda marries Henry Colman. I need to research and find out what the relationship might be between Jos Colman (b. 1840) and Lucinda’s husband, Henry Colman (b. 1834). I suspect they were all students at Lawrence College.

Education appears to have been very important to the Darlings. Lucinda, Abner and Nancy’s only daughter, attended Lawrence College and was the first woman to graduate from the school (in 1857). She went on to be an instructor in Latin at Evansville Seminary in the 1860s and later taught in the Madison and Sheboygan public schools. The Lawrence University 1930 yearbook, The Ariel, was dedicated to her.[vi]

Marriage 2

Abner’s wife Nancy died in April 1867. That following October he married Nancy’s niece, Sarah Green.[vii]  The 56-year-old Abner was 27 years her senior. They had three children together.

  • Alice Wells Darling (1869-1920)
  • Jessie Lucy Darling (1870-1917)
  • Helen S. Darling (1878-1949)

The 1870 Census finds the family consisting of Abner, Sarah, and their daughter Alice.[viii] Also living with them are three other individuals.  Louisa Lowell, a 20-year-old domestic servant, and May Welland, a six-year-old girl whose relationship is unknown, lived with them.  Also was 68-year-old R. H. Green. This is apparently Robert Hunter Green, Sarah’s father.

The 1880 Census finds the family back down to Abner, Sarah, and their three daughters.[ix] Living with them still is Abner’s father-in-law, the 78-year-old Robert Green.

Death

Marker - Abner & Nancy Anna Green. Photo Source: Photo by Jeanne Weiland, Find a Grave ID 4907152 via Find-a-Grave.
Marker – Abner & Nancy Anna Green

Abner Darling died in the fall of 1880. He was buried at Riverside Cemetery, Appleton, Outagamie County, Wisconsin.[x]

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Document Abner’s property ownership in Outagamie County.
  • Document Abner’s bankruptcy in Racine.

 

 


ENDNOTES

[i] This date is consistent with his Grave Marker and the 1850 and 1860 Census records.

[ii] 1830 Census (A), Abner Darling – Clarkson, Monroe, New York – Page 271. Source Citation
 1830; Census Place: Clarkson, Monroe, New York; Series: M19; Roll: 94; Page: 271; Family History Library Film: 001715 4

[iii] 1850 Census (FS), 1850 Census – Abner Darling (c. 1812) – Grand Chute, Brown, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4D6-G1L : 12 April 2016), Abner Darling, Grand Chute, Brown, Wisconsin, United States; citing family 640, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4D6-G1L.

[iv] Wisconsin, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1820-1890, Ancestry, WI 1855 State Census Index – A. C. Darling – No Image. Outagamie County, Appleton Village, 1855. Ancestry.com. Wisconsin, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1820-1890 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 1999.  Original data: Jackson, Ron V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp. Wisconsin Census, 1820-1890. Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the U.S. Federal Decennial Census, territorial/state censuses, and/or census substitutes.

[v] 1860 Census (FS), Family Search, 1860 Census – A C Darling – Appleton, Outagamie, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MW9J-N11 : 1 October 2017), A C Darling, 1860. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MW9J-N11.

[vi] 1930-12-22, Pages 1 & 13 – Injuries Fatal – Oldest Graduate of Lawrence Dies. Newspapers.com – accessed Feb 1, 2018. https://www.newspapers.com/image/290777127., Post Crescent, Appleton, Wisconsin.

[vii] Wisconsin, County Marriages, 1836-1911, Family Search, Abner C Darling & Sarah A Green – 1867. “Wisconsin, County Marriages, 1836-1911,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QK85-MHDG : 9 March 2016), Abner C Darling and Sarah A Green, 26 Oct 1867; citing Rock, Wisconsin, United States, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison; FHL microfilm 1,275,527.

[viii] 1870 Census (FS), Family Search, 1870 Census – Abner C. Darling – Appleton, Outagamie, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MNSM-K4W : 12 April 2016), Abner C Darling, Wisconsin, United States; citing p. 84, family 631, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 553,229.

[ix] 1880 Census (FS), Family Search, 1880 Census – Abner C Darling – Grand Chute, Outagamie, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MNHH-VFZ : 14 September 2017), Abner C Darling, Grand Chute, Outagamie, Wisconsin, United States; citing enumeration district ED 126, sheet 238C, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 1440; FHL microfilm 1,255,440.

[x] Find a Grave, Abner Darling (1811-1880). Citation: Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 01 February 2018), memorial page for Abner Darling (1811–1880), Find A Grave Memorial no. 184635832, citing Riverside Cemetery, Appleton, Outagamie County, Wisconsin, USA; Maintained by Jeanne Weiland (contributor 49074152).