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David Durlin of Posey Co., Indiana
Posted by: Ed Broadus (ID *****4634) Date: January 21, 2008 at 16:53:09
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Ancestry of David Durlin of Posey Co., Indiana

For many years various of his descendants have tried to trace the ancestry of David Durlin, born April 24, 1800 in Pennsylvania and died October 13, 1859 in Posey County, Indiana (birth and death dates from tombstone and place of birth from 1850 Posey County census). He married Hannah Saltzman, daughter of John and Salome Saltzman, March 15, 1821 in Posey County (Posey County Marriage Records).

His early associations in Posey County point indicate that he came to Indiana from Butler County, Indiana. (1) The Saltzmans came from there in 1816. (2) Alexander Wilson and his family also came from Butler County about the same time. A man named Durlin, possibly David’s father, was buried on the Alexander Wilson Farm (Darlene McConnell, “Genealogy List of Posey County), and Alexander’s brother, Thomas, was not only David’s brother-in-law but was also his business partner in a number of land transactions. (3) When Alexander’s brother-in-law, John Dunbar (husband of Sarah Alexander) died in 1829, David Durlin administered his estate.

For a long while, adequate evidence for any Durlins in Butler County in the early 1800s was lacking. There is a name in the 1810 census for Connoquenessing Township that transcribers have tended to read as “J. Duelin.” (This is the same township where Alexander Wilson and John Saltzman lived in 1810.) However, evidence from Butler County Records have recently come to light with the following listings for Muddy Creek Township, immediately adjacent to Connoquenessing: 1806, John Derlin, 209 acres; 1807, John Dirling, 209 acres; 1808, John Derlin, 100 acres; 1809, John Derlin, 100 acres; 1810, John Derlan, no land. Thus, it is clear that there were Durlins (or similar spellings) in Butler County in the early 1800s. Loss of land may explain a move to Connoquenessing Township in 1810. The name transcribed “Duelin” can be compared with the handwriting for “Burns” on the same page, where the “ur” is identical in appearance to what is transcribed as “ue” in “Duelin,” which suggests that the name can and should be read “Durlin.”

In the 1810 census J. Durlin is listed with two males under 10, one between 10 and 15, one 26-44, and two females under 10 and one 26-44. Besides David Durlin, the children probably included Andrew Durlin, born in 1809 and living in Posey Co., Indiana in 1850 and listed four houses from David in the census last year, and John Darling, listed in the Posey County Marriage Records in 1830 and also listed as 30-39 years old in the Posey County Census that year. (He and David were both listed in Lynn Township.)

Finding where John Durlin and his family lived before 1806 is more problematic, but the most obvious possibility is Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, where in the 1800 census John Darlin is listed in East Buffaloe Township with one male under ten and no other children. The parents are each listed as 26-44 years of age. The one child in 1800 would of course be the male between 10 and 15 in the 1810 census. This evidence would suggest that David Durlin was born in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania and that his father, John, was born between 1766 and 1774.

For David’s probable lineage before John Durlin, consult Barbara Barth, “The Dorland Enigma Solved,” pp. 179-183, but with this one difference: The father of David was not Lawrence (given as a possibility on p. 180), but his probable brother, John.


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