Letters from Aunt Helen, Part 3
The first section of the LETTERS file to hold genealogical correspondence was the "C" section. As I read through the letters found there, I began to wonder about my aunt's filing system. I had expected each letter found there to focus on surnames beginning with "C", or at least from correspondents whose surnames began with the letter "C." But it appears that was not the case.
The surnames found there were BLISS, ENGLISH or ENGLIS, and DARLING. The only "C" connection I found was a series of letters from Carlos Darling.
One researcher from New Lebanon Center, NY wrote on August 28, 1930 that John Darling's name appears in their charter. "The Columbia County history states that John Darling owned mill property on the stream in West Lebanon but doesn't mention store or Hotel. States that first place of meeting of No 9 was held at the home of Casporus Hewson and John Darling was S.W." Morris G. Bowman reports that the minute books from 1788-1800 "were stolen some years ago in a post office burglary," but not knowing what "No. 9" refers to makes it difficult to reconstruct what my aunt was researching.
At that point I thought I could do a search for Casporus Hewson and try to establish what he and John Darling shared in common. At the end of the letter was the note "Unity No. 9 F&AM." A quick reference from Google shows that F. & A. M. stands for "Free and Accepted Masons." The Manual of Freemasonry states that the abbreviation "S.W." stands for Senior Warden (p. 190).
On November 6, 1940, Carlos Parsons Darling of Lawrenceville, Tioga County, PA, stated in a letter to my aunt that he has been "interested in compiling records of the various branches of the Darling family for the past thirty or more years, and have accumulated some ten thousand pages of manuscripts on the subject. . . . If the work is ever published, it would have to be under different heads, as it wouldn't be possible to put it all into one book."
I found a reference to him in The Darling family in America: Early Settlers Prior to 1800 (1913, p. 5), where "he asks that all members of the family shall send him their family history and record. He also asks for newspaper clippings referring to births, deaths and family gatherings . . . ."
For further information, I plan on contacting The Darling Family Association (USA).