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?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

20. Received A Nice Message From A New Relative

One of the great things about the the electronic present is the ability to connect with folks who are relations you never know about. Here is a new connection that touched base on Aug 1 at 4:11 PM. Give Ransell a shout out if you want.

Hello, Ron
       My name is Ransell Miller, Jr. Just looking around in family history
I'm living in Juneau, Alaska, and will be moving back to N.E Ohio in a couple
of years.
            Just wanted to say that Remembrance Swan Darrah is my great-grandfather.
He was married to Virginia "Jennie" Workman, and they had a daughter named Georgia Darrah. She was my mother’s mother or my grandmother.
            O'yea! I had a birthday in June and am a young 71 yrs. Do a lot of hiking here.


Monday, June 1, 2015

19. John Darrah of Greene County, PA, , 2015 Update

[I decided that 2006 was a long time ago in genealogy years, so I concentrated on the John Darrah Family for a few weeks. Here is the latest version compared to the previous post.]

John Darrah of Greene County [2015 Update]

            John Darrah was probably born in York County, Pennsylvania, in 1774, the second youngest son of Henry Darrah, a farmer in Berwick Township. John is mentioned in the 1783 will of his father’s cousin, Robert Darrah of Chester County.
John lived with his parents and three brothers in York County until 1786, when Henry decided to move west. Migrating first to Fayette County in 1786, Henry moved again and in 1789 finally ended up in the section of Washington County that became Greene County in 1796.
On the first United States Census of 1790, Henry Darrah is in Washington County with two males under 16 and two females with ages not listed. The two males are probably Henry, Jr., born in 1775, and John. Older sons Robert and Joseph were likely on their own and listed with some other census group. In 1791 both were in the Washington County Militia, so they may have been detached on military duties.
On the 1800 Census of Greene County, Henry has two males listed, ages 16-26, and three females, 16-26. I estimate that Henry’s wife has died by now and the females are the daughters Elizabeth, Margaret, and Rebecca listed in Henry’s will.
There was a second John Darrah on the 1790 Washington County Census, but, when Greene County was formed, the second John stayed in Washington County and died there in 1814. His family later moved to Allegheny County. From 1800 on only one John was in Greene County for several years, except for when he lived briefly in Monongalia County, Virginia, now West Virginia.
John was not mentioned in his father’s 1806 will, probably for one of two reasons:
1. He had a falling out with his father and was disinherited (Henry made a point of describing his children as “my beloved son Robert” etc.)
2. John had already received his portion from his father in order to set up housekeeping, and Henry did not need to bestow anything further on him. Both reasons were common in wills of the era.
My personal opinion inclines to the family dispute area. I think it’s significant that John moved to Monongalia County near his brother Robert just prior to the period when Henry was writing his will in 1805-1806, and he did not move back to Greene County until after his father was dead and the estate had been probated. I noticed that Henry did not say that John had been “provided for” or some such language. This indicates a few hard feelings to me.
On the other hand John did have enough money in 1815 to purchase a sizeable property in Greene County when he moved back. Where did that money come from? From Henry? Unless some unknown letter or written account surfaces, we will probably never know the answer to this situation.
 In 1810 John was living in Monongalia County, Virginia, where his older brother Robert was already established. There were two John’s in that census, one listed as John Dorrow and one as John Dorah. Both were in the same 26-45 age category, and they are difficult to sort out. The age distribution is very similar and they may just be the same group enumerated twice, once on page 413 and once on 413A. Both groups have adults in the same age groups, and both have two males under 10 and three females under 16. Some of these children may be some other family, or cousins, or just visitors. We may never know without names, but I am inclined toward the John Dorah, as this family generally adds the “h” to the surname.
The 1820 Census of Greene County shows a John in Cumberland Township with a much larger family, and I do not see how all of these children could have been his, so we may again be looking at a blended household of some kind. Some family members could have been Robert’s or Henry’s, since the family seemed to be closely aligned. One of the boys is probably son John D. and the older female is probably John’s unnamed wife. The second oldest female may be John D’s wife Elizabeth.
An 1821 enumeration of Greene County inhabitants shows only one John Darrah in the county. He is a farmer. The 1830 Census shows the same family in Jefferson Township, with the children older and some missing. The 1840 Census index does not show any John or John Jr. as a Head of Household in either Greene or Monongalia Counties. They may have been counted in another household.
On the 1850 Census John Darrah, age 75, born Pennsylvania, is living in the household of John D. Darrah, his wife Elizabeth, and sons William J., born 1844, and James G, born 1847. No other Darrah families are on that census in Greene County, and you wonder where they all went! John D. was born on July 1, 1810, and he was undoubtedly the son of the elder John. He is listed as a Carpenter by trade.
By the time of the 1860 census the elder John is missing and probably dead. The younger John is now a farmer. He may have inherited his father’s land. Son William is now 14, son James is missing, and the family is now joined by son Florace, age 8, and daughters Orpha, age 6, and Orella, age 1.
The Child of John Darrah

John Davis Darrah was born July 1, 1810, in Greene County.  He married Elizabeth R. born September 30, 1820. Elizabeth died March 1, 1884, and is buried in Laurel Point Cemetery. John D. died on February 9, 1896, and is buried in the Laurel Point Cemetery there.
On the 1850 census John the younger had $800 worth of real estate, and his wife had $900 worth; on the 1860 he had $4,000 worth of land. It looks like an inheritance. I will have to delve further into Greene county land or probate records.
There is a significant series of land transactions in Greene County by John Darrah, John D. Darrah, and Elizabeth R. Darrah, beginning in 1815 and extending until 1882. I counted 14 different occasions. These Darrahs were land entrepreneurs! Caldwell’s 1876 Atlas of Greene County shows the 102-acre farm of J. D. Darrah just southwest of Carmichaels town along Muddy Creek

The Children of John Davis and Elizabeth Darrah

1. William Johnson Darrah was born on June 3, 1846, in Greene County. William J. died April 19, 1886, at only 40 years of age. Next to J.D.’s farm is the home of W. J. Darrah. The 1865 McConnell’s Map just shows J. Darrah.
William J. had two children: The oldest was Bertha D. Darrah, born on June 1, 1874, in Greene County. She married John S. Faddis, an Allegheny River steamboat captain, on September 22, 1897, in Greene County.  Their marriage was short-lived, as John died in 1917. Bertha then operated Darrah’s Restaurant in Carmichaels for fourteen years with her brother Glenn.
Bertha, a graduate of Greene Academy, was an energetic and adventuresome person, and kept going into new activities throughout her life. During WW2, at the age of 69, she took a job in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, at a defense plant making powder and cartridges. She was a political activist and charity drive regular. She helped with the local Bi-Centennial Committee, learned the ceramics at 90 and the organ at 93.,
Bertha died at the age of 99 on March 7, 1973, in Sarasota, Florida, where she was visiting her daughter and is buried in the Laurel Point Cemetery in Greene County. Bertha had a son Ivan Sedgwick Faddis, born April 12, 1899, who died on July 3, 1918, and a daughter Dorothy, born December 5, 1905. Dorothy married Henry Conway on February 12, 1930, in Wheeling, West Virginia. Dorothy died on March 18, 2001, in Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey, where she was living with her daughter.
J. D.’s second child was Glenn Johnson Darrah, born on July 11, 1879, in Greene County. Glenn married Trissa F. Beatty on September 18, 1913, in Cleveland, Ohio., and they were the parents of Eleanor Elizabeth, born March 4, 1914; twins Julia and Jean, born in 1917; and Marjorie, born February 27, 1920. Trissa died on April 12 1924, of pneumonia, at the age of 38 and is buried in Laurel Point. Eleanor married Stephen McCann on July 30, 1945, and they had a son Stephen D. and a daughter Trissa; Julia married Earle Clifton Horner and had daughter Judith Ann, born 1940, and Karen Rae, born 1942.  She married Raymond McMinn. Julia died in Carmichaels on June 21, 1959, and is buried in Laurel Point; Jean was unmarried; and Marjorie married John McCann and died in Greene County on March 30, 1968. Glenn, who never remarried, died on September 10, 1953, and is buried in Laurel Point.
2. James C. Darrah was born December 12, 1847, and died October 3, 1850, less than three years old.
3. Flarris A. Darrah was born on December 10, 1851, in Carmichaels, and became a successful merchant. [I don’t know where the name came from, but it looks like either John Davis or Elizabeth Johnson had a flair for the unusual.] Flarris married Martha Chandler on November 20, 1878, in Hazel Green, a town in Grant County, Wisconsin. I imagine he was up there on business, one of those famous traveling salesmen!
Flarris and Martha settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and had four children: Donald Chandler, born on September 5, 1882, in Greene County, died on September 11, 1911, in Pittsburgh, of appendicitis. He is buried in Laurel Point; Annie Elizabeth, known as Bessie, was born in Pittsburgh on July 1886. She died on September 30, 1910, of diabetes, and is buried in Laurel Point; Alice, born on August 19, 1888, was the longest lived of Farris’ children. She attended the Carmichaels School in Cumberland Township in the early 1900’s. She married Anderson R. Sheppard and lived in Pittsburgh. Alice died on April 30, 1960, in Allegheny County and is buried in Ally Memorial Park Cemetery there; Fred Darrah, born February 5, 1892, only lived four years, died on October 11, 1896, and is buried in Laurel Point.
4. Orpha J. Darrah was born March 29, 1854. Orpha worked as a music teacher and does not seem to have married. She died October 26, 1880, and is buried in Laurel Point.
5. Oella E. Darrah was born June 20, 1858 in Greene County. Oella married John Moore on March 5, 1882, in Waynesburg, and then married John Keys Thompson on December 17, 1885, near Carmichaels. I don’t know what happened to John. Oella died November 14, 1886, after having been married to John Thompson less than a year. She is buried in Laurel Point Cemetery.

Some Additional Darrah Possibilities In Greene County

A.        An 1815 land deed by John Darrah mentions the name of Hugh Barclay, the husband of Ann Darrah, the sister of Henry Darrah of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. This could indicate a link between the York-Chester group of Darrahs and the Bucks County group, but so far I do not know what it might be.
B.        An Elizabeth Darrah married Elihu Foster in Greene County on July 1, 1855. This Elizabeth is the daughter of Robert Darrah’s son Henry and Anna Tennant of Monongalia County, Virginia. The Fosters moved to Appanoosa County, Iowa, soon after their marriage.

                        A Possible John Darrah Family Based On The 1830 Census

One Male Born 1770-1780                 This is almost certainly the father John Darrah

One Male born 1790-1800                  This is possibly the William Darrah, single, listed on the                                                              1840 Census in Jefferson Township. [It may be the William                                                              of Fishkill, New York, or the William of Philadelphia, who                                                              both bought land from a James Darrah in 1841. We do not                                                               know who James was or why he had land available in                                                               Greene County. Maybe from the Eliza Bradford family.]

One Male born 1810-1814                  This is John Davis, born July 1, 1810

One Male Born 1814-1819                 This boy would have been age 11 to 16 in 1830, so shortly                                                               to come of age and move on.

One Female born 1800-1810              I believe this is Jane Darrah, born 1818 in Greene County,                                                             who married Martin Rice. She had six children and named                                                              one son “John Davis,” perhaps after her brother. I think                                                              Jane deserves greater scrutiny. [A John Davis was a 
                                                            well-known Methodist minister on the early 1800’s western                                                             frontier, so the name may be just a coincidence.]

One Female born 1814-1819              This girl would have been age 11 to 16 in 1830, so shortly                                                             to be married.

One Female born 1825-1829              This may be Rebecca Darrah, born ca 1823 Pennsylvania,                                                             who married David J. Waggoner in Greene County in 1845.                                                              She moved to Lewiston, Fulton County, Illinois, shortly                                                              thereafter.

Last Updated: May 28, 2015