Russell Darling1,2

(5 November 1780 - 28 January 1851)

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Relationship4th great-grandfather of The 3 Tracys
Family Group:Ohlheiser
Trees14 Generations of Our Ancestors
Our Ohlheiser Family Pedigree
FatherJedediah Darling Jr.3 (28 Mar 1756 - say Sep 1803)
MotherSarah Steele3 (29 Apr 1759 - )

Birth - Marriage - Death

ChildRussell Darling was born on 5 November 1780, in Connecticut. Calculated from date and age shown on tombstone, Griffins Mills Cemetery, Griffins Mills, Erie Co., NY.4,5
GroomHe married Sarah Stafford, daughter of William Stafford and Relph, in 1806 in Erie Co., New York.6,7
DeceasedHe died on 28 January 1851 in East Aurora, Erie Co., New York, at the age of 70. A legal notice to his heirs regarding the probate of his estate was published 19 March 1851, naming his wife, Sarah Darling, and the following children, some of whom are not specifically named in his will: Leander Darling, Reynolds Bigelow and Harriet his wife, Edmund I. Darling, Elizabeth Darling of Aurora, Charles Francis and Laura his wife, William Darling, Lawrence Darling, David Darling, Horten Darling of Colden in the county of Erie, Seth Darling in the county of Orleans in the state of New York, and Sylvester A. Darling of Rockton in the county of Winnebago and state of Illinois, heirs and next of kin of Russel Darlling, late of the town of Aurora in the county of Erie, deceased.4,6
InterredHe was buried in Griffins Mills Cemetery, Griffins Mills, Aurora, Erie Co., New York.4

Children with Sarah Stafford:

Some Life Events of Interest

It is said that on occassion, Russell and Sarah invited fiddlers into their home to play jig tunes so their visitors could dance. The Darlings left the West Aurora Congregational Church as they were told they should not allow dancing. Russell is quoted, 'I see no wrong in dancing'.

Founder or First Settler

In 1811, Russell was among the first settlers of Aurora, Niagara Co., New York. According to the Aurora Historical Society, Russell & Sarah, with all their children except Sylvester (who was born later) arrived at Staffordshire (a "neighborhood" of Aurora) in the Spring of 1811 & established their home at the corner of Sweet & Grover Road. This is not consistent with the location (Oneida Co.) and dates shown for the births of some of the older children however.


Military ServiceFrom 26 July 1814 to 26 September 1814, while living New York,Russell Darling served as a private in the 48th Regiment, 5th Brigade of the New York Militia under the command of Lt. Col. William Warren, during the War of 1812.
     According to William Warren's pension file the regiment "participated in Battle at Conjekata Creek about the 6th day of a general order which I am not able to present(.) August 1814, Maj. Morgan with about 250 Riflemen marched behind a breastwork of hewed timber on the south bank of the stream, they were attacked early in the morning by Rockets and musketry by British Soldiers. my regiment marched to their assistance and took position on their right, it was timber land, the British made several unsuccessful efforts to cross the creek and were driven back with heavy loss, they continued to make their attacks from about sun rise to about 4 oclock p.m., they left, our loss was light, Capt. Hamilton of the rifle corps severely wounded in the shoulder(.) (D)uring the day several of the British soldiers came to us with coats under their arms, they informed us that the British force was about 1700, our(s) from 600 to 700."8,9

Land and Property

Property AcquisitionOn 27 April 1832, Russell Darling received the deed for an 85 acre piece of property, a part of Township Number Nine's Lot number Thirty-seven in Erie Co., New York. Over the course of 20 years, he paid a total of $401.50 to the original proprietors of the Holland Purchase, headquartered in Amsterdam, Holland (Kingdom of the United Netherlands). This was the land in the Aurora Township he had settled on in February 1812.10
Property AcquisitionOn 29 May 1835, Russell Darling bought a piece of property in Aurora, Erie Co., New York. Russell paid $150 to Joseph Wadsworth Sr. and Jr. for about 8 acres (8acres, two quarters & twenty rods of land) abutting the 85 acres he had acquired in 1832.11

Residences and Censuses

He was probably one of the 4 males under age 16 listed in the household of his father, Jedediah Darling Jr., in the 1790 Federal Census of Pownal, Bennington Co., Vermont.12
He was probably one of the 3 males age 16 to 25 listed in the household of his father, Jedediah Darling Jr., in the 1800 Federal Census of Augusta, Oneida Co., New York.13
He appeared on the 1820 Federal Census of Aurora, Niagara Co., New York. Russell's family is the first enumerated: 5 males under 10 yrs; 1 male between 10 an 16 yrs; and himself between 25 and 45 years; 1 female under 10 (our ancestress, Hattie); 1 between 10 and 16 yrs (this child is unaccounted for among Russell's and Sarah's known children); and 1 between 25 and 45 years of age (his wife Sarah.)14
He appeared on the 1840 Federal Census of Town of Aurora, Erie Co., New York.15
He and Sarah Darling appeared on the 1850 Federal Census of Town of Aurora, Erie Co., New York, enumerated 10 September 1850. Their children Edmund, Mary and Elizabeth were listed as living with them. Russell and Sarah valued their real estate at $2500. He was listed as being a 69 year old farmer and having been born in Connecticut, and Sarah as being 59 years old having been born in New York.16


Russell Darling prepared a will dated 22 March 1845, in Town of Aurora, Erie Co., New York. Aside from specific bequests of personal property to four of his children, his entire estate was left to his wife, Sarah (Stafford) Darling, during her natural life, and after her death to any of his children then living (or their children if his own children predeceased her) to be held by them as tenants in common (aside from 1/2 acre to be held back from Albertus' share as he had been given that much land during his father's lifetime).
When it came time to "prove" the will after Russel's death, the surragate court judge needed to confirm all of the signatures on the will. Just two weeks previous to the probate proceedings one of the witnesses had "died of the Cholera," in the State of Mississippi (or on the Mississippi River); the other, some time before the proceedings "went to the West" (Ohio). Found among the probate records for the estate are affidavits from several people who knew the testator and the witnesses well enough to establish the validity of their signatures and the will was accepted.
As a note: The will was drawn up by Mr. Samuel E. Adams (the witness who later had moved to Ohio) as it was dictated to him by Russel. In his affidavit, Rowland Setson Jr. states that he saw Mr. Adams writing up the last part of the will, heard Mr. Adams read the entire will to Russel Darling, heard Russel Darling agree that all was as it should be, then "Mr. Adams signed the Testator's name at the end the will as it now appears by the request of the Testator and in his presence." "The reason why Testator did not write his name himself was because he had the Palsy."17,18

Sources - Citations

  1. [S161] National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Compiler, Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970, online, (Louisville, Kentucky), Various Applicants, on Microfilm, 508 rolls.
  2. [S108] Index to the Compiled Military Service Records for the Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the War of 1812 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, unknown publish date).
  3. [S524] Russell Darling Tombstone Photograph, #524 RD3-TSPhoto, Digital Files of Sean C. Tracy, Tracy Home Office; photographer Sean C. Tracy, confirms date of birth.
  4. [S524] Russell Darling Tombstone Photograph, Digital Files of Sean C. Tracy, Tracy Home Office.
  5. [S200] Letter from Suzanne Darling (Maryland 21794) to Sean C. Tracy, 25 April 1998; Paper Files of Sean C Tracy (Tracy Home Office). Sources provided, Dates agree with information on the tombstone.
  6. [S200] Letter, Suzanne Darling to Sean C. Tracy, 25 April 1998.
  7. [S545] Sarah Stafford Darling Tombstone Photograph, #545 SSS1-TSPhoto, Digital Files of Sean C. Tracy, Tracy Home Office; photographer Sean C. Tracy, gives age and date of death and name of husband.
  8. [S549] Index to the Compiled Military Service Records for the Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the War of 1812, Russell Darling; M602; unknown film (Washington D.C.: National Archives).
  9. [S902] George Falk, Compiler, George Falk Ancestry & Connections - William S. Warren, online at:; (RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project), accessed 26 Nov 2016, William Warren Pension File.
  10. [S904] Deed dated 27 April 1832; Erie County Grantees 1800-1891 vol.13, pg. 281, Digital Files of Sean C. Tracy, Tracy Home Office.
  11. [S905] Deed dated 29 May 1835; Erie County Grantees 1809-1859 vol.27, ppg. 437/8, Digital Files of Sean C. Tracy, Tracy Home Office.
  12. [S551] Jedediah Darling household, 1790 U.S. Census, Bennington Co., Vermont, Pownal, page 2 of 3, 3rd column, 4th household from bottom, Washington: National Archives.
  13. [S553] Jedediah Darling household, 1800 U.S. Census, Oneida Co., New York, Augusta, page 13, line 4 from bottom of page; Washington: National Archives. , need to clarify family members with number and ages.
  14. [S903] Russell Darling household, 1820 U.S. Census, Niagara, New York, Aurora, page no. 208A, line no. 1; Washington: National Archives.
  15. [S640] Russell Darling household, 1840 U.S. Census, Erie Co., New York, Town of Aurora, page 6, line 28 (3 from bottom); Washington: National Archives.
  16. [S525] Russel Darling household, 1850 U.S. Census, Erie Co., New York, population schedule, Town of Aurora, dwelling 1530, family 1545. Washington: National Archives.
  17. [S538] Russel Darling will (22 March 1845), Russel Darling Last Will and Testament, Digital Files of Sean C. Tracy, Tracy Home Office.
  18. [S539] Russel Darling Estate Papers, Estate Papers, June 1851, Erie Co. Estate Papers Case No. 4885, Digital Files of Sean C. Tracy, Tracy Home Office, pg4: Rowland Letson Jr. affidavit.
Last Edited8 Dec 2017

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