McAllister – Surname Saturday

McAllister Name Origin

McAllister is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name, Mac Alasdair, meaning “son of Alasdair.” Alasdair is the Gaelic form of Alexander. There are dozens of forms for this surname. My wife’s family line has records both under McAllister and McAlister (one “l”).

Geographical

Worldwide there are approximately 52,878 people who bear the McAllister surname. The vast majority, over 38,000, in the United States, with England and Canada being distant second and third (about 6,000 and 5,000 respectively). In terms of frequency, Northern Ireland has the greatest proportion of the McAllister surname, where one in 526 people have the surname. Scotland is the second most frequent area for people surnamed McAllister.

 

My Wife’s Direct McAllister Ancestors

Historical

1920

My wife’s great-grandmother, Hannah (McAllister) Darling died in 1913.

                     Peter McAllister’s Passport Photo

Her father, Peter McAllister, was estranged from his wife and was rooming at 2237 Salisbury Street in Pittsburgh, PA. In 1920, Pennsylvania had 146 McAllister families (about 6% of the McAllister families in the US). Peter, his wife Margaret, his son John, his son Edward, and his son Joseph constituted 5 of those 146 McAllister families.

Peter was my wife’s immigrant McAllister Ancestor. Peter had three sons, Frank, Edward, and John, all of whom immigrated to the United States in 1886-1887. A fourth son, Joseph was born in New York in 1889. Frank died young and I have only found daughters descended from John. Edward and Joseph both had sons that would have carried on the McAllister surname (and their Y-DNA).

1881

In 1881, Peter, and his wife Margaret, lived at 5 High Church Street in Workington, England, in 1881. He worked as an Engineman and the couple had two children at census time. According to Forebears, in 1881, there were 900 incidences of the McAllister surname in England and another 2,649 in Scotland.

Oral History

Family oral history indicated that the McAllister family was Scots. Although I have not found any ancestors (yet) that lived in Scotland, the family did live in Workington, Cockermouth, and Carlisle, all in the north of England. Workington is only about 20 miles from Scotland across the Solway Firth (part of the Irish Sea) and about a 42 miles drive to Gretna Green, Scotland. Cockermouth and Carlisle are even closer to Scotland.

Family oral history also talked of a “Black Peter McAllister” who was a blockade runner during the US Civil War. Apparently called “Black Peter” because of being bad.  Anyway, second great-grandfather Peter McAllister was too young to have been “Black Peter” (aged 10 to 15 during the Civil War).  However, his grandfather was also named “Peter.” Peter, the elder, would have been born in the late 1700s and is a candidate for having been involved in the US Civil War. I need to do more research regarding Peter McAlister, the elder. It would be great to find information regarding the McAllister’s being involved in the US Civil War.

My wife’s known McAllister relatives.

My records have identified 105 direct-line descendants of Peter McAllister (the elder).

Sources:

 

Darling DNA – ThruLines – Part 1

ThruLines Thursday
Darling
DNA

My Wife’s Darling-Swayze-McAllister-Lamb Line

Introduction

DNA image by Caroline Davis2010 via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

My wife’s mother has had her DNA tested, so rather than using my wife’s matches, I’m going to use her mother’s matches to focus on my wife’s maternal line. It will provide closer and better matches on that like. Consequently, I’m starting with my wife’s great-great-grandparents, my mother-in-law’s great-grandparents.

One of the problems with ThruLines is that it only considers individuals that match genetically AND have a tree at Ancestry where the individual had identified which person is them. So, my wife’s half-aunt who did test with Ancestry doesn’t show up at all because she doesn’t have a tree. Because of that, there were no matches with my wife’s four maternal great-grandparents (other than my wife’s mother).

DNA Relationships

Likewise, there were no ThruLines matches with my wife’s Darling or Swayze 2nd great-grandparents. However, there were three matches on the McAllister/Lamb lines.

There is “CM,” who is a 2nd cousin of my wife’s mother and is well known to us. The 101 cM of DNA shared between them is well within the expected range for 2nd cousins.  No surprise there.

The other two are descendants of my mother-in-law’s great-uncle Joseph McAllister.  “CK” and my mother-in-law share 176 cM of DNA across 11 segments and “IG” and my mother-in-law share 99 cM of DNA across 4 segments. Both within the range expected for second cousins to share. Both “CK” and “IG” were unknown cousins before the DNA test match results, however, both their parents were known.

Conclusion

If you are a descendant of Rufus Holton Darling (1815-1857), Elizabeth Jane Swayze (1818-1896), Peter McAllister (1852-1941), or Margaret Mary Lamb (1850-1929),  please consider testing with Ancestry DNA; it is an excellent genealogical resource and can help you broaden your tree too. I’d love to learn how you and my wife are related.

Disclaimer

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All of my ThruLines posts are listed under the ThruLines Thursday category

Vincent-Vinson – Surname Saturday

By Don Taylor

Name Origin Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.

It seems that the surname “Vinson” has two separate origins. First is that it comes from the “son of Vin or Vincent.” The second is that it is a corruption or variant of “Vincent.” It does not appear that my wife’s ancestors were from a patronymic society, so Vinson is more likely  a corruption of “Vincent.”

When in doubt, I’ll now use Vincent as the preferred surname, unless there is some uncontroversial reason for using Vinson. That plan suggests I need to relook carefully at my wife’s great-grandmother, Susan R Vinson, whose parents were John and Lenora Vincent.

Geographical

Worldwide there are approximately 283,936 people who bear the Vincent surname.

It is most prevalent in France, with the United States having the second-highest incidence, with over 67,000 Vincent’s in the US.

My Wife’s Earliest Vincent Ancestors

All of my wife’s Vincent ancestors lived in North Carolina. Her earliest known Vincent ancestor was Philip Vincent. It is not clear where he was born, but during the 1800 Census, he was over 45, suggesting he was born before 1755. He lived in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, in 1790. In 1840, Philip’s son, Burkett Vincent, was living in Halifax County with a household consisting of 5 people. His was one of only 22 Vincent families living in North Carolina during 1840. Burkett’s son, John Vincent was born about 1816 in Halifax County and died sometime before 1870. His daughter, Susan R. Vincent (aka Susan Vinson) was born on 22 August 1848. She married Peter Fletcher Howell shortly after the Civil War, on 10 December 1866.

Direct Vincent (Vinson) Ancestors

      1. Great-grandmother: Susan R Vinson (aka Vincent) (1848-1910) Family Search
      2. 2nd Great-grandfather: John Vincent (1816-1870) Family Search
      3. 3nd Great-grandfather: Burkett Vincent (1779-1850) Family Search
      4. 4rd Great-grandfather: Philip Vincent (bef. 1755-c.1807) Family Search

Known relatives.

My records have 155 direct-line descendants of Philip Vincent identified, which is almost 5% of my Howell-Darling Research.

Sources:

Letter of Elizabeth Jane (Swayze) Darling – Kalamazoo First Methodist Church

Darling
Transcribed by Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Another article discovered on Genealogy Bank
that provides insight into the lives of the Darling family of Kalamazoo during the mid-1800s. The Darling’s and the Swayze’s were involved with the First Methodist Church of Kalamazoo.

Kalamazoo Gazette (Kalamazoo, MI) – August 14, 1916, Page 6

Pioneer’s Letter Tells History of Kalamazoo first Methodist Church

MISS EMMA DARLING FINDS
EPISTLE PENNED BY HER MOTHER YEARS AGO.

Kalamazoo Gazette 14 August 1916, Page 6.

In looking through some treasures in her desk the other day Miss Emma Darling*[1] came across, a paper in the handwriting of her mother, who had jotted down a few incidents in the history of the First Methodist church that are of moment and are certainly not known by many today though familiar facts In pioneer days.

Miss Darling’s parents and grandparents were pioneers and did much to make history for this section of Michigan. And today Miis Darling resides on a portion of the land purchased by her father Rufus H. Darling*[2] when he came to Michigan in (hose days when hardships were aplenty and luxuries a. thing unknown.

Of the Methodist church Mrs. Darling*[3] writes:

“My father’s family came here in the spring of 1840 and united with this church by letter. This Methodist people were then holding- service in a little old schoolhouse on ‘ South Rose street where the Jewish synagogue now stands. Mr., Richards came here as pastor the next, fail after we did and.the church then began plans for building a church.

Gen’l Burdick Gives Lot

“Their means were limited for their number was small and they met with many discouragements. The sister churches thought we never could build and pay for as large a church as we planned to have. But these things only made us more persevering.

General Burdick gave the church the lot where the Dutch Reformed church now stands and, Mr. Wiseman*[4] drew the plan for the church hut he died before the church was completed. But he made a request that they would use hie Bible at the dedication.

“Mr. Richards stayed hero two years in all and Rev. Range followed and the church was completed during this time, for the church was dedicated in the year 1842. If was not entirely free from debt until 1850.

“Mr. Watson preached the sermon at the dedication.’ There was only one class at this time, led by my father, David Swayze*[5], and father and sister, Emily*[6] led the singing.”

The late. George Torrey in his history of Kalamazoo says in regard to the Methodist church: “The first sermon preached in the town, was by Rev. James Robe, who was appointed to the Kalamazoo mission by the Indiana Conference, in “1822; and who is, now, a resident of the place. (This history was published to 1867).

Service in Titus Bronson home

The service was held in the house of Mr. Titus Bronson after whom tho place was named. The first-class was organized in the Year 1832 and was composed of eight members of whom Harrison Coleman was leader.

“The first board of trustees was organized at the house of Mr. C. Walters, on February 8th, 1841, and consisted of, David Swayze, C. Walters, Luke Olmsted. Isaac Tewkesbury, Amos P, Bush, Isaac Wiseman, William E. White, and David J. Davidson.

The 1842 Methodist Church on Academy St. – Photo Courtesy of the Kalamazoo Public Library

“The first church edifice was dedicated in 1842 on the church square, Church and Academy streets, and was occupied until the spring of 1866 when it was sold to the Dutch Reformed church.

“The society are now erecting what is intended to be one of the largest and most costly churches In the state, which will be completed during the year. They have flourishing Sunday school of about 250 scholars under the superintendency of Mr. Geo. H. Lyman, and a membership of nearly three hundred communicants, under the pastoral, care of Rev. Charles Shelling. The Kalamazoo District is In charge of Rev. R. Sapp, presiding elder.”

Facts:

  • The [Swayze] family came to Kalamazoo in the spring of 1840.
  • David Swayze led a class at the church (ca. 1842)
  • David Swayze and Emily [Emily Ann Swayze] lead the singing at the church (ca. 1842).
  • David Swayze was a member of the first board of trustees for the First Methodist Church in Kalamazoo in 1841.
  • Isaac Wiseman was a member of the first board of trustees for the First Methodist Church in Kalamazoo in 1841.

Sources:

  • Image: The Methodists’ 1842 building on Academy. Map of Kalamazoo, Michigan. H MAP 912.77417 M6475 1858 | Source: “First Methodist Church — Kalamazoo Public Library”. 2019. Kalamazoo Public Library. Accessed December 19 2019. https://www.kpl.gov/local-history/kalamazoo-history/religion/first-methodist-church/.

*Endnotes – Relationships

[1] Emma Darling, my wife’s 2nd great aunt.
[2[ Rufus H. Darling, my wife’s 2nd great grandfather.
[3] “Mrs. Darling” refers to Emma’s mother, Elizabeth Jane (Swayze) Darling, my wife’s 2nd great grandmother.
[4] Mr. Wiseman refers to Elizabeth Jane (Swayze’s) first husband, Isaac Wiseman.
[5] David Swayze was my wife’s 3rd great grandfather.
[6] Emily Ann Swayze, my wife’s 3rd great aunt.

 

Step 2a – Newspapers – My Favorites

Using “Step 2a” to Research Rufus Harry Darling.

After I had done my initial research on a person, (Birth, Marriage, Death, Censuses, and “happen upons,” during the individual’s life, I begin my Phase 2 research. In the case of my wife’s great-grandfather, Rufus Harry Darling, I found many key points in his life. His life was complicated. He appears to have lived in Kalamazoo until he was about 30. Then as a “railroad man,” he lived in many locations, Chicago, Kansas City, and Texas. He may or may not have lived in Buena Vista, Colorado or Kittanning, Pennsylvania, where he married his first and second wives.

Where Rufus Harry Darling lived during known events in his life.

  • 1857 (Born), 1860, 1863, 1864, 1870, 1877, 1895 1911, 1917 (Death) – Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • 1876    Kalamazoo, Michigan – 12 Cedar
  • 1880    Kalamazoo, Michigan – 42 Rose
  • 1887    Kalamazoo, Michigan – 209 Edwards
  • 1889, 1907      Chicago, Illinois
  • 1890    Buena Vista, Colorado
  • 1891, 1896, 1900, 1910 – Kansas City, Missouri
  • 1894    Texas
  • 1907    Kittanning, Pennsylvania

I consider it possible that a person could have located to a new location the day after the previous event and the day before the next event in their life. With day in mind, I develop a search plan.

I also look for the first name, first name with middle initial, first name with middle name, and first and last initial in the newspapers. Also, when I know a person’s address, I search for the address also. Finally, I also search the name in a last name first format. So, in the case of Rufus I have the following searches to do.

  • Rufus Harry Darling
  • Rufus H Darling
  • Rufus Darling
  • Darling, Rufus
  • Darling, Rufus H (unnecessary if no “Darling, Rufus” results are found.
  • Darling, Rufus Harry (unnecessary if no “Darling, Rufus H” results are found.
  • 12 Cedar
  • 42 Rose
  • 209 Edwards

All during the appropriate years and locations.

The Dates and Locations are:

  • Buena Vista, Colorado 1889-1891
  • Chicago 1887-1910
  • Kalamazoo – 1857 to 1907 – It is possible that Rufus was in Kalamazoo anytime from his birth to his death.
    • Kalamazoo at 12 Cedar 1857 to 1880
    • Kalamazoo at 42 Rose 1876-1887
    • Kalamazoo at 209 Edwards 1880-1889
  • Kansas City – 1890-1911
  • Kittanning, PA – 1906-1908
  • Texas – 1891-1895

For this search I have three source search categories.

A.  My favorite sites.
B.  Location sites.
C.  Sites of Sites.

My Favorite Paid Sites

 My Favorite Free Sites

In my browser, I have all of the above entries in a single folder of Genealogy/Newspaper bookmarks. I hover “Newspaper” right click then open all and all 12 of the sites are opened. I then work through each of the web sites for my search criteria.

Discovery – Marriage Clarification

For some time, I’ve had two marriage dates for Rufus and his first wife, Ida.

  1. June 1889 – When Rufus married Anna (Hannah) McAllister he indicated that he had been married previously, in June 1889 and that his first wife died in September 1898.
  2. September 1890 – Rufus H. Darling married Ida Ready in Buena Vista, Colorado.

The Michigan State Census of 1894 shows the Elizabeth Darling household included two of her daughters, Mary and Emma, her son, Rufus H, and her daughter-in-law Ida. That census is what told me that Rufus’ wife’s name was Ida. So, when I found a Rufus H. Darling marrying an Ida Ready, I ascribed that to my Rufus. I hypnotized that the June 1889 marriage was a mistake of some sort, either by the clerk or, possibly, Rufus said the name he began living with Ida and not the date of their actual marriage.

I always had a bad feeling about that marriage location and date. Nothing in my research, other than Rufus H. Darling marrying Ida Ready, suggests that Rufus was ever in Colorado.

That was before I found an interesting article during this search. On page 5 of the September 27, 1889 Kalamazoo Gazette[iii], it said:

Kalamazoo Gazette – 27 September 1889, page 5, via Genealogy Bank.

“The Chicago Herald of a recent date states that the police of that city are looking for Mrs. Rufus Darling, a runaway wife. It is claimed that she left her husband at St. Louis to come to this city, but nothing has been heard from her since her departure. Darling is having great times with his wife and other women since he left here.”

That Mrs. Rufus Darling appeared to be a “runaway wife” and learning that Rufus had “great times” with other women since he left Kalamazoo seems to fit with his personality.

The article confirms that Rufus was married in 1889, So I now believe that it was a different Rufus H Darling who married a different Ida in 1890.

UPDATE: Marriage: June 1889 Rufus Darling to Ida LNU.

Marriage: September 1890 was removed and added as a note of unlikely possibility to the June 1889 marriage notes.

Discovery 2 – A “Happen Upon”

During my search for Rufus on Hathi Trust, I happened upon a Report of Accidents for Michigan during the year 1887. Under “Injured” I found an entry which read:

“March 5. Rufus Darling, brakeman, Northville, fell from engine, shoulder blade broken.”

Commissioner of Railroads Report – 1888, Page 380 via Hathi Trust.

We know that Rufus was a “railroad man.” Also, search for Darlings in Northville, Michigan failed to yield any Darlings living in the township.,” As such, I’m pretty sure the “Northville” reference is to where the accident occurred. Even though the railroad was the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad Co., I suspect that this was our Rufus. Today, Northville is a suburb of Metropolitan Detroit.

Also, such an injury might have been the prelude to Rufus becoming a clerk for the Midwest Central Railroad shortly after that. I added a new “tentative” event:

NEW Event: 5 Mar 1887 – Rufus Darling, a brakeman, fell from an engine and broke his shoulder blade.

Conclusion

It is always a good genealogy session when I can clarify a fact, learn a new fact, and can add a specific search for further research.

Future Actions

Specifically search the Chicago Herald in September 1889 for mentions of Rufus and his runaway wife.

Continue my newspaper searches using “state newspaper sites.” (Step 2B)

Using the “Sites of Sites” to determine if I’ve missed any appropriate newspapers that should be searched. (Step 2C)


Endnotes

[i] I generally have a subscription to two Newspaper subscription services at a time and rotate between several newspaper services.  Currently, I have Genealogy Bank and Newspapers.Com subscriptions.

[ii] Chronicling America is searched when you do an Elephind search. I often skip using Chronicling America and only search Elephind, particularly if there are few hits for newspaper articles.

[iii] This article was repeated on page 3 of the October 4, 1889 Kalamazoo Gazette. See Genealogy Bank.