Joseph, the 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 Darrah.
In their 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 Rangers.
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.
Following 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 range.
The 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.
He was 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 later will.
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.
The 1830 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.
Joseph made 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!
Joseph and 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.