Hannah (Anna) McAllister Darling White (1886-1913)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 33 – Hannah McAllister

Hannah is one of those ancestors that just had a sad and short life. Although entirely speculation, I believe her choices in life helped open a rift between her parents who eventually separated.  No society page articles about Hannah.

Bio – Hannah
(Anna) McAllister Darling White


Hannah McAllister was born in Cockermouth, Cumberland, England on 15 August 1886. She was the fourth of six children — four boys and two girls. At the time of her birth, her father, Peter, was probably in the United States establishing himself and preparing the way for his wife and children to come to the States.

Photo of the SS British King
SS British King
Courtesy: John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Her mother, along with three siblings, immigrated to the United States, aboard the “British King” out of Liverpool arriving in Philadelphia on 23 June 1886.[1]

The family joined their father in Catasauqua, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. On May 19th, 1887, Hannah’s oldest brother, Frank, drowned in the Lehigh canal.[2] We may never know if the anguish of that death prompted the family to relocate to Pittsburgh, but sometime during the following three years they moved.

2800 Berg Street (Oct 2012)
Courtesy: Google Maps

In 1990, Hannah’s father took out a building permit to build a two-story house at the corner of Vine and Cologne. It appears that Vine was renamed Berg because the family appears at 2800 Berg street in 1895 which is at the corner of Berg and Cologne and there is no Vine Street today.

Probably sometime in 1905, she met Rufus Darling. She was eighteen and Rufus was forty-seven. In March of 1906, they had a daughter, Elizabeth Grace Darling. Family history states that there was a rift between Hannah and her father. Certainly, a granddaughter born out of wedlock from a man more than twice the age of his daughter could cause such a rift.

It appears that Rufus and Hannah kept separate households during that time, he in Chicago and Hannah in Wheeling, West Virginia. In December of 1906, Hannah became pregnant a second time. This time Rufus married her, so on 16 February 1907 Hannah and Rufus were married in Kittanning, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, a small town about 40 miles northeast of Pittsburgh on the Allegheny River.[3] Family history indicates that she changed her name from Hannah to Anna so that she would be “A. Darling” and became known as Anna after that. An interesting side note is that her daughter, Elizabeth, appears to have modified a copy of the Marriage Certificate to indicate that Hannah and Rufus were married in 1905, thus legitimizing her. Family history indicates that this may have been a cause of disagreement between her and cousin Katherine Lane. Katherine used to say the Elizabeth was born “on the wrong side of the sheets” indicating that Elizabeth was illegitimate. Producing a “doctored” marriage certificate[4] could have mitigated the issues.

Anna Darling (Hannah McAllister)
with children Elizabeth & Robert
About 1909

In August of 1907, their son, Robert Harry Darling, was born in New Kensington (about 20 miles northeast of Pittsburgh on the Allegheny River), Pennsylvania.

In 1910, Anna was living with her two children, Elizabeth and Robert, as a roomer at the home of Robert & Emma Hennig at 3319 Ward Street (Ward 4).[5]

Anna and Rufus were divorced by 1911. Interestingly enough, the 1912 Polk directory indicates Anna is the widow of Rufus (who didn’t die until 1917). Family Tradition indicates that she then married Thomas White, which is confirmed by her death certificate,[6] however, I have been unable to find other evidence of her marriage.

Anna died on 15 July 1913 at the age of 27 of pelvic peritonitis due to a ruptured ovarian cyst.[7] Her death certificate indicates she was buried in Chartiers Cemetery in Pittsburgh. A Find-a-Grave request has been unsuccessful in yielding a photo of the marker.

List of Greats

Hannah McAllister – 1884-1913
Peter McAllister – 1852-1878
Joseph McAllister – 1820-

Tasks

Find evidence of Hannah and Thomas White’s Marriage.
Find Hannah’s burial place and photograph marker.

Search For Cemetery Records In Our Archives!

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[1] Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1883-1945, FamilySearch.org, British King from
Liverpool arrived June 1886 – https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/23Q3-DLD.
[2] 1887-05-20, Page
1. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83032300/1887-05-20/ed-1/seq-1/., Lancaster
Daily Intelligencer
, Lancaster, Pennsylvania (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/).
[3] Pennsylvania
County Marriages, 1885 – 1950, FamilySearch.org, Rufus Darling
& Anna McAllister.
[4] Pennsylvania
County Marriages – Armstrong County, Original ?___? numbered 9595 .
[5] 1910 Census, Ancestry.com, Pittsburgh Ward
4, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1300; Page: 16A; Enumeration District:
0330; Image: ; FHL microfilm: 1375313. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1910USCenIndex&h=23727552&indiv=try.
[7] Ibid.

Anna White – Death Certificate

1950 photo of a street scene at 335 Lincoln Ave

I received Anna White’s (Hannah McAllister’s) Certificate of Death from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. (See my previous blog for details on ordering PA Death Certificates.) The certificate included some interesting information and insights.

Her mother, Margaret (Lamb) McAllister was the informant. She provided Anna’s birthdate of August 15th, 1885 which confirmed the year. Different documents indicated 1885 and 1886. Mother’s seem to remember those kinds of things so I’ll keep to the 1885 date.

Interesting is that Margaret indicated that the place of death was at Margaret’s address of 335 Lincoln Ave. (Ward 12) in Pittsburgh. Anna’s ususal address was 509 Beechwood in Carnegie, PA. Google Maps indicates that 335 Lincoln is now either a vacant lot or a vacant barber shop. Back in 1950, the barber shop building was Fischer Groceries/Confections. I suspect that back in the day the grocery included a residence next to it. In 1917, Barnetta Dumm was the confectioner there at that shop. This may have been one of the many confection shops that Margaret worked at. The photo hints that across the street was Lincoln Elementary School, but the school wasn’t built until 1931. Google maps is inconclusive regarding 509 Beechwood. It appears to be a newer than a 1913 home to me.

Anna died July 11th, 1913, at the age of 27, of pelvic peritonitis due to a ruptured ovarian cyst.

According to the death certificate, she was buried at Chartiers Cemetery on July 14th 1913. I have created a Find-A-Grave memorial for her and have requested a photo of the marker.

Florence Darling – Death Certificate

(Modern) Google photo of
423 Charles, Pittsburgh, PA

I received Florence Darling’s Certificate of Death from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. (See my previous blog for details on ordering PA Death Certificates.)  The certificate included some interesting information and insights.

Her husband, Robert H. Darling was the informant. He provided Florence’s birthdate of Apr. 23, 1908.  (New Information) He also provided their address of 423 Charles (30th ward) in Pittsburgh.  It is interesting that Harry did not know his wife’s mother’s maiden name of place of birth.  

Original UPMC South Side Hospital
South Side Hospital (Demolished in 1982)

Florence died October 5, 1934, at the age of 26, at South Side Hospital of bilateral pyosalpinx (a collection of pus in an oviduct. [Merriam-Webster]) and pelvic cellulitis of “undetermined cause.” Contributory cause of death was peritonitis. She had been in the doctor’s care for seven days before her passing. I’m sure it must have been seven days of agony. Sadly enough, penicillin, which was discovered in 1928, wasn’t in use until in the 1940. Penicillin probably could have saved her.

According to the certificate, she was buried at Zion Memorial Cemetery on October 7th, 1934. I have created a Find-A-Grave memorial for her and have requested a photo.