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Home: Surnames: Larabee Family Genealogy Forum

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Darling in PA
Posted by: Kathleen Abbey (ID *****7374) Date: March 24, 2003 at 19:33:21
In Reply to: Re: Larabees in Michigan by Julie Larabee of 257

I wouldn't be surprized if your Darling came from this family. My Smiths are related to Darlings for one thing, but I couldn't say if the Smiths or Darlings in this article are related to me. We do have the name "Payson" used as a given name, in a Russell family descended from Smith, so it may be:
Pennsylvania Biographical Sketches, 1868 (at
partial text:

Encyclopaedia of Contemporary Biography of Pennsylvania, Volume II
Edward Payson Darling:
an eminent member of the Luzerne County bar, was born in Robeson township, Berks County, Pennsylvania, November 10, 1831, and died at his residence in River Street, Wilkes-Barre--of which city he had been an honored resident for upwards of a generation--on Saturday, October 19, 1889. In his interesting work entitled "Families of the Wyoming Valley," Mr. George B. Kulp, the learned and painstaking "Historiographer of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society," refers at some length to the genealogy of Mr. Darling, and to the pages of that work this sketch is largely indebted for the particulars on this point here given. The family of Darling is of English origin and its American founder was one of the early settlers of New England. Thomas Darling, who was either this early settler or his immediate descendant, and who was the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, married Martha Howe, a niece of General Sir William Howe, one of the commanders of the British forces in America during the Revolution. A son of this marriage, Eliakim Darling, born in New Hampshire, in 1767, removed in early life to Buckport, Maine, where he espoused Ruth Buck, the daughter of the principal resident of the place. This lady, who was born in 1775, lived until 1855. Eliakim Darling "became an extensive ship-builder and owner, in which he drove a thriving trade with several foreign countries. During the War of 1812, he was captured by the British while attempting to run the blockade of the New England coast, but as it was after peace had been declared, although not known at the time in this country, his ship and its contents were soon after released. He died at the age of sixty-six, in good circumstances." His son, William Darling, who was the father of the subject of this sketch, was born at Buckport, but in his youth removed to Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar. He rose to prominence in his profession and held "a leading position in the courts for many years" and before his fortieth year, when he retired from active work, owing to failing health, served for a short time as President-Judge of the Berks District. He was a man of more than ordinary parts, and, indeed, acquired international distinction through a series of addresses he delivered in 1851, at Exeter Hall, London--the Earl of Shaftsbury presiding--on the relations of England and America, he being present in that city at the time as a United States Commissioner to the World's Fair at Crystal Palace. He was one of the founders of the American Sunday-School Union, and was Vice-President of it from its organization until his death, which took place in his seventy-eighth year. The wife of the Hon. William Darling was Margaret Vaughan Smith, daughter of John Smith, a leading ironmaster of Berks County, Pennsylvania, and owner of the "Joanna furnace" in that county, which was inherited by Mrs. Darling and afterwards operated by her husband. This furnace was a most valuable property and quite a large one, as, according to the report of the Auditor-General of the State in 1832, it was then employing a force of one hundred and sixty-eight men. Mrs. Darling's grandfather, Robert Smith, of Chester, Pennsylvania, a prominent and a patriotic supporter of the Colonies during the Revolution, was born at sea, as his parents, John and Susanna Smith, were on their way to America, in 1720, from the north of Ireland. Although bearing the name Smith, the family were of the clan Macdonald, and were a "part of the earliest Scottish emigration across the North Channel into Ireland in the time of James I. of England." In an article published in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, the author, Joseph S. Harris, Esq., gives the following account of the change of name in the family referred to above:

"Near the end of the seventeenth century, Robert Smith's grandfather lived in the northeastern part of Ireland. Just before the battle of the Boyne, as the soldier-king, William III., was personally reconnoitering the locality which was soon to become famous, his horse cast a shoe. There was, of course, no farrier in attendance to replace it, but Macdonald, in whose neighborhood the accident occurred * * * shod the horse, and so enabled the King to proceed. His neighbors, who, like himself, were in sympathy with the cause of which William was the champion, dubbed Macdonald the 'Smith.' Such a change of name would not now be considered a compliment, as Smiths are so numerous that the name confers no special distinction, but in that district there was a surfeit of Macdonalds; all the possible changes had been rung on the name, and still there were hardly enough names to individualize the members of the clan. Smith was a novelty, and the branch of trade it represented has always been an honored one, especially in primitive society, and this particular Scotchman, proud to have his name linked with that of a great man and a decisive battle, as that of Boynewater was soon known to be, accepted the cognomen, and handed it down to his posterity as the family name."

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