Let me give you a scenario.
Two men, both named Jabez, both with the surname Darling, both born in the 18th century. There’s got to be a familial connection, right?
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. Unfortunately, I haven’t found it yet.
The first Jabez died during the American Revolution. He was caught up in a nasty back-and-forth between the colonists and the Brits and their Native allies.
Before the Revolution, there was conflict between the colonists in the Wyoming Valley, a region in northeastern Pennsylvania. Connecticut had claimed the northern part of Pennsylvania as its own. Of course, Pennsylvanians thought otherwise. Hence, a series of skirmishes known as the Yankee-Pennamite Wars ensued, which were interrupted by the Revolution.
Jabez Darling was on the losing side, though he may not have lived long enough to feel the repercussions. Most of the Connecticut settlers, the Yankees, lost their land.
In 1778, the British, their redcoats and their Indian allies, swept through the Wyoming Valley, burning and killing and scalping along the way. When word of the first killings reached the civilians, most of them fled in what was described as the Great Runaway. Those who remained stayed to fight and protect what was theirs. Jabez was one who stayed behind. He was killed on July 3rd, 1778, just two years after the Declaration of Independence was drafted in Philadelphia, during an attack on Forty Fort, not far from Wilkes-Barre and Scranton.
Another branch of the family, on the Hill side, was there, too, at the time. Martin Tidd, future father-in-law of James Hill, witnessed the same events. He probably knew the Darling family and Jabez Darling in particular. Both the Darlings and the Tidds had come from Connecticut, making them Yankees. Yankees didn’t come from New York. They were from New England.
Martin Tidd, like many of the Darlings, ended up in Ohio, thanks, at least in part, to Congress intervening and settling the land disputes in favor of the Pennsylvanians. Connecticut claimed land in the Ohio country, too, what was called the Northwest Territory.
A portion was set aside for Connecticut known as the Western Reserve. Part of the Western Reserve was for those who had lost property by fire, intentionally set by the British and their allies to terrorize the citizens, during the Revolution. Thus, the term Fire Lands was used to describe this area.
Many of the Connecticut settlers of the Wyoming Valley took advantage of the opportunity and left for what would become the state of Ohio. Martin Tidd did so. He was among the first settlers of Youngstown in 1797, a small band which included his daughter Sarah Tidd and her husband, his son-in-law, James Hill.
Another Jabez Darling, my ancestor who was apparently named after the Jabez who was killed in 1778, went to Ohio, too, after having lived in New York for decades. There he died, in 1836. Who his parents were is unclear, though I am convinced there is a connection to the previous Jabez who died in 1778 during the Revolution.
Another connection is David Darling, a longtime resident of Seneca County, New York, who shows up at Jabez’s youngest son’s farm in Washington County, Iowa in May of 1871. Jabez’s son, Ezra Darwin Darling, had married one of his boss’s daughters in New York and then left for Iowa after the well-to-do father didn’t take it well. I’m guessing that David Darling is an uncle of Ezra and brother of Jabez the Younger.
Now, I just have to prove it. I have some digging and poking around to do. Hopefully, I can piece it together, finding a clue here or there.