Tuesday, February 20, 2018

27. My Dad's WW2 Draft Card

I guess World War Two is now getting far enough in the past for records to get online. I noticed that my Dad listed his mother as his main contact instead of his wife, my mother. Wonder what that was all about?

Monday, May 22, 2017

25. Planning Darrah Research in WV in September

My Triadelphia High School 60-year reunion will be this year, so I plan to combine a visit back in Wheeling for that and a little Darrah research. Below is yours truly and my sister Nancy ca 1944 in Ohio County. We should also get together on this visit.

Monday, May 16, 2016

24. Still Researching...and Researching...and Researching...

OK, so I have a few other irons in the fire, so sue me. The Darrah family is alive and ticking; still spreading out from WV and PA; still having chillin and youngins, so I guess we are doing OK since we came in from Ireland in the 1700's. Anyone have any new stuff to report?

Friday, December 4, 2015

23. Also Working On Camp Security

[Another eastern Pennsylvania task is trying to enhance Henry Darrah's service as a POW guard in York County during the Revolution. We could not find this site when we were in the area, but our time was tight. Maybe later...]

                Pennsylvania is home to the only remaining undeveloped site of a Revolutionary War prison camp.  Known as “Camp Security,” this prison was located in Springettsbury Township, York County, about one mile south of the Stony Brook intersection on Route 462.  The Pennsylvania State Archives holds militia records such as the one shown here, which document the history of Camp Security (Record Group 4, Records of the Office of the Comptroller General; Revolutionary War Associators, Line, Militia, and Navy Accounts and Miscellaneous Records Relating to Military Service, 1775-1809 {series #4.51}; Subseries 3A: Militia Accounts, 1777-1794; York County, Operations).

                Fearing that the advance of Lord Cornwallis’s army would free British and German prisoners held in Virginia, Continental Congress authorized the Board of War to move them out of that state in the spring of 1781.  Initially destined for Massachusetts, most of the prisoners were detained in Pennsylvania because the Commonwealth’s agricultural bounty could more easily provide for them.  The Pennsylvania authorities sent some British soldiers captured at the battle of Saratoga and their families to York County for imprisonment.  On July 28, 1781, William Scott, in charge of the county’s militia, reported that he had “found a place . . . about four Miles and an half to the Eastward of York Town” where the prisoners could be housed.

                Scott called out the militia to construct a stockade for the prisoners and to serve as guards.  Some 800-1,000 British captives arrived by August 2, 1781.  As evidenced by this document, Major William Bailey of the York County militia became Camp Security’s first commandant.  In addition to the stockade, the prisoners also built huts in which to live.  Following the American victory at Yorktown, Virginia in October 1781, an additional 800 British captives crowded the site.  Owing to a camp fever and the conditions of the prison encampment, as many as 350 prisoners may have died at the site. 

                Camp Security remained in existence until the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783.  With the ratification of a preliminary peace treaty on April 19 of that year, the British quickly acted to arrange for the return of their captured soldiers.  On May 9 or 10, 1783, the prisoners and their families departed from the site and began their march to freedom with the British army in New York.     
PA Archives Newsletter, Vol. 9 Winter 2011

Thursday, October 15, 2015

22. Looking for Info in Chester County, PA

   One of my imminent chores is to explore in great detail any Darrah resources in Chester County, Pennsylvania. My furthest back actual Darrah resource is a probate reference in Chester County in the 1740's. My expectation is that the family was part of the Ulster Scot migration to that area from somewhere in northern Ireland, most likely County Antrim. And the journey continues...

Thursday, September 3, 2015

21. Another Mystery Darrah Photo

    The above snapshot recently came to me from the northwest Indiana area, maybe the Lake or Porter Counties area. The handwritten note on the back says, "Bess Darragh Lenehan's grand daughter, her son's oldest daughter."
    The clues look to me like a city tenement area and the clothes suggest the 1920's or early 1930's.
Anyone have any ideas?