Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday's Stories, 52 Ancestor Weeks, Week #52, Charles Henry Darden, The Lost Son

Copyright 2014, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

This is week 52 of my participation Amy Johnson Crow's, once a week challenge to blog about one ancestor a week, tell their story, biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on that one ancestor. More about the challenge can be found at her Blog, No Story Too Small.

This is my last week of participation in this meme.  For this post, I choose, one of the Darden clan.  I have written about them several times here on Reflections.  William A. Darden, was week # 24 of this meme, a gift of research done by a Find A Grave volunteer.  If you use the search facility at the top left of Reflections you will find a number of other Darden clan members I have written about.

Charles Henry Darden was born April 8, 1845, most likely in Isle of Wight County, Virginia to Charles Henry Darden and his first wife Nancy Seeds.  This birth is recorded in a Bible Record, as far as I know the Bible is currently owned by the Suffolk Nansemond Historical Society.  Below is a digitally edited, transcribed and typed representation of some of the entries.  I have removed data that did not relate to Charles Henry Darden born 1845.  I did include some data on deaths of two Charles Henry Dardens.  See more discussion on those little issues, below - -

It is my guess this was Charles' (the father) Bible and that both his wives made entries into it.  I have never seen the original, so, that is speculation at best.  Some of that speculation takes into account the spellings of names of the children from both marriages.  The names of the children born to Nancy Seeds are, in part, spelled phonetically.  The names of the children born to Martha Stephenson are spelled in a manner we would consider today to be "correct".  It is my guess that Nancy had little schooling, Martha was much more educated.

Anyway, back to Charles Henry born 1845, per that Bible record.

Charles is not found on census records in Virginia, not even on the 1850 census when he would have been about 5 years old.   He could have been visiting relatives, possibly some grandparents?  Or it is possible he simply was not listed, just missed in the census enumeration?

Note that in the typed Bible transcription there are death dates for two men named Charles Henry Darden.  One in 1878 and one in 1877.  I did a number of searches of the 1878 death records in Isle of Wight records and could not locate a death record.  The Darden bible record states one of these Darden men died in 1878, but I cannot substantiate that date.

Charles the father died in 1877.  I have his death record (which neglects to name parents, but does state "consort" Martha A. Darden, who is his second wife) and I have this photo of his headstone.  You will note the headstone is inscribed as 1878, seems even his son could not get the dates right.   You can refer to the Virginia Death Index at Family Search, where it shows the 1877 date.  And, nope, the day of death on the death records and on the headstone do not agree either.

Even with all the errors surrounding the death date of Charles the father, at least there IS a death record.  I have searched for Charles the son dying in 1878 in Isle of Wight time and time again.  No record has been found.  Now, it is entirely possible that Charles the son was not living in Isle of Wight at the time of his death.  One other brother, Osceola (Oceolia\Oceola) had left Virginia by this time.  Osceola was married in Hinds County Mississippi in 1872.

In fact, Charles the father, had a brother, Alfred T. Darden that had moved to Hinds County Mississippi by 1850. Yes, I have researched Hinds County.  Now, Alfred seems to have gone off to war and died.  Mary, his wife is a widow by the 1870 census.  That Alfred story is quite something, yes, I have posted it, the final post is here, with links to other posts.

So, in my looking around in Hinds County and researching Alfred, I find some interesting tidbits.

H. C. Darden, age 15, born Virginia, is found on the 1860 U. S. Census of Edwards Station Post Office, Hinds County, Mississippi, living in the household of A. T. Darden.  This A. T. is Alfred T. Darden, and is Charles Henry Darden's (born 1845) uncle.  (Question, is H.C. really Charles Henry?  Age is appropriate to match that given in the Bible record. Birthplace matches well.)

John H. Darden, age 24, born Virginia is found on the 1870 U. S. Census of Boton Post Office, Hinds County, Mississippi in the household of Mary S. Darden, age 44, born Virginia.  Mary is listed as head of household, with the following:  Charles E. Darden, age 19, born Mississippi; William M., age 15, born Mississippi; George S., age 12, born Mississippi; Henry A., age 10, born Mississippi.   (I have no explanation for John H., it sure seems there is some kind of name change here.  Or, am I grasping at straws?)

In the 1880 U. S. Census, Boltons Depot, Hinds County, Mississippi, John Darden is in the household of Mary S. Darden.  John is now 35 years of age, shows birthplace of Virginia, and is listed as nephew of Mary S. Darden, she is the head of household.  (This is the census that made my little researching heart go pitter patter.  This John, whom seems to be the same John as is enumerated in the 1870 census, is named as nephew in this the 1880 census.  Sadly, it seems John does not survive to the 1900 census.)

In 1899 we find a will recorded in Hinds County, Mississippi for a John Henry Darden, Will Book 2, page 470 (Mississippi Archives film # 9786).  It reads:
     "I, John Henry Darden of Hinds County, Mississippi, of sound mind and memory make this my last will.  I give devise and bequeath all my estate and property , real and personal as follows:  Mary S. Darden, her life, John E. Darden, Alleymay Darden, John B. Darden, Bessie T. Darden, India Buffington One Dollar Isabella Cheers One Dollar.  I appoint as the executor of this my will G. T. Darden of Hinds County, Mississippi, without Bond.
     In witness whereof I have signed published and declared this instrument as my will in said county this February of 21st 1899.
     [I note, some of this is very hard to read, and may have been transcribed in error.]
     J. H. Darden
State of Mississippi, County of Hinds
The said John Henry Darden in the County of Hinds, Mississippi on the day of Feb. 21st, 1899 signed the foregoing instrument and published and declared the same in his presense and in the presense of each other on said date have hereunder written our names as subscribing witnesses thereof.
     W. W. Farr
     W. T. Carsley
     N. Henry

This will was proven on November 16, 1899 in Hinds County, Mississippi.

I have not discovered where this John Henry Darden was buried.  I have not discovered if there is any obituary or death notice published for this John Henry Darden.

Last night in a research binge I found this index at with the images of the compiled record at Fold3:

H C Darden
Mississippi, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers
Name: H C Darden
Event Type: Military Service
Event Year: 1861
Age (Original): 20
Military Unit Note: Eighth Infantry, Co-F
Affiliate Publication Title: Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Mississippi , Affiliate Publication Number: M269 , Affiliate Film Number: 169

I originally copied only page page of the 24, which happens to be the last page.

It seems this H. C Darden enrolled and mustered between June 1 and 8th of 1861 at Raleigh, Mississippi. He was shown as a Private, it was recorded he was 20 years old. In reviewing the compiled cards today while writing this post, I discovered at least one of the compiled service cards stated he traveled 56 miles to enroll.  I downloaded that card as well.  See, 56 miles.  Another card in the set indicated he had subsistence furnished by himself for 3 days.  

(I'll have to fess up, I don't remember ever seeing a reference to miles traveled before in complied service cards. Stopped me short and sent me off on another research tangent.)

The Alfred T. Darden family, lived near Bolton Mississippi.  I mapped it.  From Bolton to Raleigh Mississippi is 66 miles.

Yes, the thought that maybe I want it too much has crossed my mind.

Want list for Charles Henry Darden, the lost son:  1850 census enumeration.  Connect or disprove any connection between Charles Henry and the H.C. Darden found on the 1860 census in Hinds County Mississippi and in this compiled service record.  Something to prove or disprove that John H./ John Henry Darden is the same as H. C. Darden, or Charles Henry Darden.  (Yes, I know, it stretches the logical researching mind.) Obituary and burial place for the John Henry that died about 1899 and left a will.

I have a muddled theory about why Osceola left Virginia and moved to Mississippi, having to do with his step mother.  From all the research I have done on this clan it seems there were some issues between Charles' first family/children with Nancy Seeds and his second family/children with Martha Stephenson.  Why a small child as young as Charles born in 1845 would have been involved in a move to Mississippi boggles my mind, it confuses me, but, something tells me or wants me to believe that Charles born 1845 did indeed go to Mississippi with his uncle Alfred T and his brother Osceola.

Yes, maybe I want it just way too much.  Maybe I just need a few hours of time travel.

The 52 Ancestors Week meme has indeed been interesting.  Thank you to  Amy Johnson Crow.  She is sponsoring, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition, if you happen to be interested.  My participation in the 2015 version is being contemplated, I am "Reflecting" about it, while sitting on the "Fence".

* Additional source data can be obtained by contacting me, see the right hand column for a yahoo email address.

** 52 Ancestors Weeks Button courtesy of Amy Johnson Crow.

*** I use many resources to research, is a free site. is a pay site for which I pay, no discounts, etc.  Fold3, is another site I subscribe to and pay for. None of these sites have asked me to review them, or use them.  See my Disclaimers page for further details.


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