daughter Rosina Darrah, possibly pronounced Ro Sina’ and nicknamed Sina in the
family, married William S. Hughes in Muskingum County on October 13, 1836.
Muskingum County has a William
Hughes on the 1830 Census with a wife the right age range as Rosina, but there
are three children too old to be Rosina’s. This William may be the father of
Rosina’s husband. This William also appears on the 1840 Census with additional
A second William is on the 1840
Census in Dresden with a wife the right age, so this is more likely our Rosina.
There is a second unidentified male in the same 20-30 year age category, maybe
a brother of William. Rosina is in the right census group at age 37, but it
looks like William is a group too low. Enumerator error?
On the 1850 Census William and
“Dinah” are in Franklin County with ages 49 and 47 listed correctly. In neither
case are any children listed, so the couple may have been childless.
A national search of both the 1860
and 1870 Censuses failed to turn up either member of the couple, so they may
have both died fairly early.
daughter Mary Darrah, born in 1804 in Muskingum County, married Joseph Chapman
on February 10, 1825, at the age of 21. Joseph’s entry on the 1830 Census of
Springfield Township shows himself at 20-30, a female, age 20-30, evidently
Mary at 26; one male under five, later identified as Wells M., born March 3,
1827; one female, aged 15-20, unidentified (sister, maid?); and two females,
also under five. These last two girls are probably Hannah, born September 28,
1825, and Mary, born May 24, 1830, just before the census.
The 1840 Census of Lima Township of
Licking County, just to the west of Muskingum, has Joseph at 30-40; a female at
20-30, probably Mary at 36 and mis-marked by the enumerator; one female 10-15,
probably Hannah at 14; one female 5-10, probably Mary at 10; and a third female
under five, probably Rebecca, born in 1835.
Chapman researcher Leon Chapman
reports that Mary Darrah Chapman died in Muskingum County on September 23,
1840. If so, Mary would have had two other children, Levi, born in 1837, and
James born in 1839. This is based on the 1850 Census of Fairfield County, just
south west of Licking County, where Joseph is listed with these children and a
different wife. Leon Chapman lists a William Chapman born on September 22,
1840, which would have meant Mary died as a result of childbirth. William is
not listed in 1850, so he may have died soon after Mary’s death.
Joseph, after Mary’s death a
widower with at least six children, needed a wife in a hurry. Within three
years he married again, to Elizabeth [Unknown], and proceeded to have four more
daughters, Sarah, Frances (Fanny), Emeline, and Louisa.
Prolific father Joseph Chapman also liked to travel, for he
was living in Woodford County, Illinois, by the 1860 Census, at the age of 51.
Of Mary Darrah’s children, Hannah
married J. Williams about 1845, possibly in Fairfield County; Wells M. married
Elizabeth Moyer and moved to Mahaska County, Iowa; Mary married J. Craiglow. At
this time, we do not know the fate of the rest of the children.
Darrah, the only son, was born in Muskingum County ca1808 and lived with his
parents until his marriage to Adeline Dozier on November 1, 1835. He was 27.
Francis and Adeline had two sons by the 1840 Census: Joseph, born in 1838, and
an unidentified son who seems to have died before 1850.
On the 1850 Census two more sons
have been added to the family, John, born in 1844, and Henry, born in 1847.
Francis evidently named his sons after his father and uncles. I would not be
surprised to learn the dead son was named Robert!
Joseph, age 83, and Elizabeth, age
78, were living on the same farm as Francis in 1850 and were probably retired
and enjoying their grandchildren.
After 1850 this family seems to have dropped off the earth.
A national search of the 1860, 1870, and 1880 Census indexes turned up nothing
on any of them, and a search of the IGI revealed nothing either. Francis and
his family in later life is now officially a mystery.
Darrah, third daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth, was born in Muskingum County on
July 22, 1808. She lived with her family until September 25, 1836, when she
married Charles Green. Hannah was 28 years old, and
evidently her husband was four years younger than she.
Charles and Hannah had a son Joseph
Henry (there are those names again!) in 1837; a second son, John E. in 1841;
and a third son, Charles A. in 1845. They seem to have had no daughters.
The Green family continued to live
and farm in Muskingum throughout their lives, as they appeared on the census
there through the 1880’s. Hannah died on January 20, 1888, and she is buried in
McKendree Chapel Cemetery there, along with her husband, whose burial date is
On the 1860 Census the Greens have
a Thomas Dorah, age 9, living with them. Who this is I do not know. [A younger
son of Francis?]
On the 1870 Census their son
Charles A. Green, his wife Frances Sharpe Green, their son Howard, and Frances’
sister Ella Sharpe, were living with them, and the 24-year-old Charles was
working on his parent’s farm. On the 1880 Census, grandsons Howard, Elmore,
Ernest, and Oliver were listed with them, but the boys’ parents are missing.
daughter Rebecca Darrah was born in Muskingum County in 1812 and lived with her
family until November 12, 1837, when she married Frederick A. Seborn. Frederick
was a lawyer and farmer and was well to do financially. The couple seems to
have had servants most of the time.
Rebecca and Frederick had no children and lived in Muskingum
County for the rest of their lives. At present I do not know when they died or
where they are buried.
oldest of Henry Darrah’s children, was born in 1767, probably in York County,
Pennsylvania, where his father evidently grew up and married. We only have
evidence to place Henry in York County by 1775, but no other evidence places
him anywhere else.
Joseph lived with his family in York County until 1786, when
the family pulled up stakes and migrated westward. After a brief sojourn in
Fayette County, probably from 1786 to 1788, the Henry Darrah family moved to
that area of Washington County that is now Greene County, where they settled
down and Joseph and his siblings grew to adulthood.
Joseph did not appear as a Head of Family on the 1790
Census, even though he was 21 years old. He was probably roaming, as young men
are prone to do, and was counted within a friend’s or relative’s household.
In 1791 Joseph and his younger brother Robert joined the
Washington County militia as Privates, serving in Sergeant Abner Braddocks’s
detachment between April 16 and May 24, 1791.
Joseph evidently liked the military life because he shortly
thereafter joined Captain Samuel Brady’s Ranger unit about 1792 and
participated in a scouting expedition into the Ohio territory along the
Muskingum River. This information comes from the History of Licking County,
Ohio, published in 1881.
Several members of Brady’s expedition seemed to like the
area, since at least four later settled in Muskingum County, including Joseph
book Where The Frolics And The War Dances Are Held, authors James Morton
and Jeff Carskadden agree that Joseph was a member of Captain Samuel Brady’s
Joseph’s military career continued as he enlisted in 1794 in
Captain Bragg’s Company of Rangers, per the Township Histories of Muskingum
County, Ohio” and participated in the military actions leading up to
General Anthony Wayne’s Indian campaign and battle at Fallen Timbers. These
military actions were most likely instrumental in his later migration to Ohio.
these military actions, Joseph returned to Greene County and settled down. The
1800 Census of Greene County shows Joseph with one female in his same age
group, born 1765-1784, probably his wife, and two males in the 1790-1800 birth
identity of this wife remains unknown, although the Park family of Monongalia
County, now West Virginia, maintains that Joseph’s wife was Phoebe Park.
If so, Phoebe possibly died as a result of disease or
childbirth, as no further record of her has been found.
Joseph migrated to Muskingum County, OH, by December of
1804, as he was shown as the owner of property at Range 14, Township 15, Sections
03 and 04 at that location. This land was in Newton Township. He was most
likely here by 1803, if daughter Rosina’s birth information is correct.
named in his father’s 1806 Greene County will, but he was not listed as
participating in the probate settlement list, probably indicating that he had
left the area. The 1810 Census of Ohio no longer exists, but a search of that
year for Pennsylvania and Virginia revealed no Joseph.
On the 1820
Census, Joseph is shown with lots of unidentified people: One male 45+ and one
female 26-45 (This is probably Joseph and Elizabeth); 2 males 16-26
(Unidentified); 1 male 10-16 (Probably Francis); 1 male 0-10 (Unidentified); 2
females 16-18 (Probably Mary and Rosina); 1 female 10-16 (Probably Hanna); and
1 female 0-10 (Probably Rebecca). These children’s names are from Joseph’s
The two older boys, born 1794-1804, are
probably the same ones shown on the 1800 Greene County entry and the sons of
Phoebe Park. They are gone from the household by 1830 and are not mentioned in
Joseph’s 1848 will. The youngest boy in the house remains unidentified, but may
have been a grandson.
Census shows Joseph with a son, probably Francis B., and three daughters,
probably Rosina, Hannah, and Rebecca. Daughter Mary had already married by
then. The 1840 Census shows Joseph and Elizabeth alone except for a male 10-15,
possibly a grandson, as all their children were married by this time.
On the 1850
Census of Muskingum County, OH, Joseph is shown with wife Elizabeth, born 1772
in VA, living next door to their son Francis B. and his family.
out his will in 1848, when he would have been 81 years old. He names his wife
Elizabeth and his children as son Francis and daughters Rosina, Hannah,
Rebecca, and Mary (deceased). He also names the husbands of his daughters,
which I thought was very nice of him!
Elizabeth died very close together; Joseph on March 1, 1852, and Elizabeth on
March 25, 1852. They are buried in the McKendree Chapel Cemetery, Springfield
Township, Muskingum County. Also buried in McKendree are their daughter Hannah
Green and her husband Charles Green.
The Revolutionary War was officially over by signed treaty
on December 31, 1783, but only the British stopped hostilities; the Indians did
not. This fact did not stop the westward migration of the white settlers.
Americans felt that they had won the war and the continent was theirs for the
A huge wave of settlers moved into the Ohio Valley and the
Ohio country following war’s end; among them was Henry Darrah and his family
from York County. For Henry’s children, the cheapest available land to be had
for new farms was in western Pennsylvania. At the time, too, that area was the
furthest you could go and still be around enough other settlers to provide a
reasonable level of defense for your family.
The American states, formerly a Confederation, began
ratifying the new Constitution in 1787 (Pennsylvania became the second state on
December 12), and the new Congress passed the Ordinance of 1787, establishing
the Northwest Territory. Much of the frontier began moving into central and
western Ohio and Indiana, but sporadic conflict between the white settlers and
roving bands of Indians continued for several years in western Pennsylvania,
northwestern Virginia [now West Virginia], and eastern Ohio.
Henry moved westward not long after Robert’s will was
probated, probably in stages, as he was located in Manallen Township of Fayette
County in 1786, and not into Washington County, now Greene County, until 1789.
The Forbes Road was the most probable pathway, as it ran from eastern
Pennsylvania to the Fort Pitt area, passing along the Monongahela River in
Greene County. For a man with a family, that was the best way to go west.
Census shows Henry established in Washington County with two sons under sixteen
and two females, ages not listed. Based on later records, Joseph Darrah at this
juncture would have been 21 years old, Robert 20, Henry 15, and John 14.As all four of his sons had a lifespan of
over 75 years, we may presume that this genetic trait applied also to the
father. This presumption would have made a birth date for Henry, Senior, of
around 1734-35, making Henry aged 56 or 57 in 1790.
The two sons on the census were most likely Henry and John.
The two older sons may have been working for other farmers or roaming the
frontier as young men were prone to do.
females may have been the wife/mother and one daughter. An Elizabeth Darrah
with a birth date between 1770-1780 appears on Greene County records through
the 1850’s. Further investigation may prove this Elizabeth to be an unmarried
daughter of Henry’s. Henry mentioned a grandson in his will, implying another
daughter who was deceased at that time. One of these females may have been the
mother of the grandson.
A later written account from Monongalia County, (W)VA,
reported that the son Robert accidentally killed his mother while cleaning his
rifle, but we do not know if this incident occurred before or after the 1790
census. I would surmise that it happened after 1790, as two other daughters
later appeared in Henry’s will.
that this family was the one I sought, I checked Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio,
and numerous other states within hundreds of miles, and no Henry, Robert, or
Joseph came to light. The only other John Darrah in Washington County was the
family that later migrated to Allegheny County and raised a future mayor of
Pittsburgh. This Joseph-Robert-John-Henry name combination turned out to be
strong clue for the tracing of this family group. Following Occam’s Razor, this
is the simplest answer.
This is the famous family will that everyone is working from. As usual, the females are the most problematic--we haven't really found any of them after the 1806 date. Suggestions and clues are welcomed from anyone.
On April 30, 1783, when Robert Darrah of East Nottingham
Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, died and left a will, he created an
extended family group for us.
identified his cousins Henry and Bartholomew Darrah and their children. He also
implied an earlier generation of two brothers, possibly three, the fathers of
these three cousins. Either there were three brothers, each with a son, or else
the father of Henry and Bartholomew was the same person. Additional research
might clarify this point later.
himself evidently had no surviving children, since he left his estate to cousins,
friends, and his sister Jane. At this point we have three families: Robert
Darrah and his sister Jane; Bartholomew Darrah and his children William and
Jane; and, finally, Henry Darrah and his sons John, Henry, Robert, and Joseph.
[There is also the Loney family, Richard and Margaret, and Margaret’s sister,
Elizabeth Cunningham, whose identity and connection to Robert is unknown.]
Bartholomew Darrah died in Chester County in August of 1766, according to the
Probate records, so he may be the cousin mentioned in Robert’s will, or he may
be one of the earlier three brothers, given the 17-year time span involved. A
John Darrah died in Chester County in August of 1773. In the 1740’s, 1750’s,
and 1760’s, there was also a James Darrah on the Chester County tax rolls, so
we may have the three brothers implied in Robert’s 1783 will.
As a point
of conjecture, we may speculate that a family containing three sons,
Bartholomew, John, and James, landed in Philadelphia from Antrim ca 1740 and
proceeded to settle and to propagate. Our Henry Darrah could have been the son
of any of these three. Hopefully, future research in Pennsylvania and elsewhere
will resolve this speculation.
Darrah indicates an allied family of the Scottish Clan Donald. The Darrah name
originated from the Gaelic “Dair” meaning Oak, and the earliest members of the
family lived on the Scottish islands of Islay and Jura in the southeast county
lowlanders many members of the Darrah family undoubtedly migrated to Ulster
during the Plantations of the 17th century, locating mainly in
Glenarm Parish of County Antrim and becoming part of the immense Presbyterian
resettlement of that area.
English turned against the Ulster Scots in the 18th century, a
number of the Darrahs probably migrated to the American Colonies, concentrating
mainly in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. Nearly every Darrah immigrant that I
have found who arrived in the Colonies prior to or immediately after the
Revolution came from County Antrim.
Several great waves of Ulster migrations occurred prior to
the American Revolution, and I speculate that our particular Darrah branch
landed in Philadelphia in the mid-18th century.