Short Aside for 6th Great-Grand Uncle, John Darling

Darling Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.One of my most interesting genealogical finds regarding my wife’s Darling family was her first known immigrant Darling Ancestor was Dennis Darling. Dennis was born about 1640 and came to Massachusetts Colony during the 1600s.  It appears that Dennis had at least 10 children. His youngest child, Benjamin, was born in 1664 in Braintree. Benjamin is my wife’s 6th great-grandfather. His second oldest was John, who I learned came to Maine.  Imagine my surprise when I learned that John bought property here in Scarborough in 1726. He bought 60 acres near the Spurwink River, which is about 5 miles from where my wife and I live. Also, one of my wife’s nieces lives much closer to the Spurwink River, only about a mile away. She may pass by old 7th great-grandfather Darling’s place regularly. I’d like to determine exactly where it was. The Description of following the line “to a great oak & from thence northwest up into the Woods” isn’t a lot of help nearly 400 years later.

The Scarborough Historical Society has several maps of the area from the 1700s, that I definitely need to look at closely. Could John show up on one of those maps? Could either the person he bought the property from be identified where he lived. Maybe the neighbor mention in the Deed. It will be interesting to find out. Names I’ll look for include:

  • John Darling
  • John Bowden (or Boden)
  • Premisses & Samuel Oakman

I am looking at York County Deeds, Volume XII, Folio 89, “Boden To Darling” deed transfer.

York Deeds – Book XII
Part 1 – 1726-1727
Folio 89

York Deeds, Volume Xii, Folio 88To all Christian People to whom these Presents shall come Greeting Know ye That I John Bowden of Marble Head in the County of Essex in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New Engand Shoreman for & in Consideration of the Sum of Sixty Pounds currant Money of the Province aforesaid to me in Hand paid before the Ensealing hereof by John Darling of Falmouth in the County of York & Province aforesaid Husbandman the Receit whereof I do hereby acknowledge & my self fully satisfied contented & paid have given granted bargained sold aliened released conveyed & confirmed & by these Presents do freely clearly & absolutely give grant bargain sell aliene release convey & confirm unto him the said John Darling his Heirs & Assigns forever sixty Acres of Upland & Salt Marsh be the same more or less In the Township of Scarborough in the said County of York bounded as followeth viz Easterly with Spurwink River Southerly with a Creek & run of Water running betwixt the Premisses & Samuel Oakmans Land running up to a Great Oak & from thence North West up into the Woods until the said sixty Acres be accomplished he paying in Proportion of the six Days Work reserved by Robert Jordan in his Deed

To have and to hold the before granted Premisses with the Appurtenances unto the said John Darling his Heirs Exec Admin18 & Assigns for ever To his & their own proper Use Benefit & Behoof forever more And I the said John Boden for my self my Heirs Execrs & Adminrs do covenant promise & grant unto & with the said John Darling his Heirs & Assigns for ever That before & until the Ensealing hereof I am the true sole proper & lawful Owner & Possessor of the before granted Premisses with the Appurtenances—And have in my self good Right full Power & lawful Authority to give grant bargain sell aliene release convey & confirm the same as aforesaid And that free & clear & freely & clearly executed acquitted & discharged of & from all former & other Gifts Grants Bargains Sales Leases Mortgages Wills Entails Joyntures Dowries Thirds Executions & Incumbrances whatsoever—And further more I the said John Boden for my self my Heirs Execrs & Adminrs do hereby covenant promise & engage the before granted Premisses with the Appurtenances unto him the said John Darling his Heirs & Assigns for ever to warrant secure & defend against the lawful Claims or Demands of any Person or Persons whatsoever In Witness whereof the said John Boden with Johannah my Wife have hereunto set our Hands & Seals the sixth Day of January in the thirteenth Year of his Majesty’s Reign Anno Domini 1726.

Signed Sealed & Delivered
in Presence of us
Joseph Cogswell
Nathan Bowen
The Mark of John Boden (seal)
The mark of Johanna + Boden (seal)
Essex se | Mhead Jan’ry 18th
1726 John Boaden psonally
appeared and acknowledged the In-
strument on the other side to be his
free Act & Deed

Coram J Oulton J. Peace
January the 25th 1726 | 7 A true copy of the Original Exam’d                 by Jos : Moody Reg’r

Facts I learned

John Darling bought 60 acres in Scarborough, ME in 1726 from John Bowden (or Boden). The property abutted Premisses & Samuel Oakman land.


  • York County (Me.)., Richardson, H. W., Sargent, W. M., Chapman, L. B., Bowler, E., Maine Historical Society., & Maine Genealogical Society (1884- ). (1989). York deeds. [1642-1737] Book 12 [1726-1727]. Portland: J.T. Hull.

Darling – Surname Saturday

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.


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.


[i] Internet: Forebears website – Darling Surname. See:

[ii] Internet: Ancestry website – Darling Family History. See:

[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.


Doherty, Frank J., “Settlers of the Beekman Patent, The” – File: Darling.doc. See

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