David Durlin’s Ancestry
My Durling ancestry, through my mother, is well-established as far back as her great grandfather, David Durlin (1800-1859) through census and marriage records. However, David’s own ancestry has eluded efforts of his descendants, including at least one professional genealogist.
According to the 1850 federal census for Posey Co., IN, David was born in PA around 1800. His grave stone in Posey Co. establishes his birth date as Apr. 24, 1800 and his death date as Oct. 13, 1859. He appears in the 1830, 1840, and 1850 federal census reports for Posey Co., and his marriage to Hannah Saltzman March 15, 1821 is found in that county’s marriage records. It appears that he came to Posey Co. from PA either as a child or as a very young man. Andrew Durlin also appears in the Posey Co. census reports, and in 1850 he is listed as a chainmaker, born in PA, and living five houses from David in Lynn Township. Other Posey Co. records give Andrew’s birth date as July 24, 1809. It is a reasonable assumption that he and David were brothers.
The logical place to look for David prior to his move to IN is Butler Co., PA. His wife, Hannah, had come from there, most likely in the spring of 1816. The Saltzmans came on a flat boat down the Ohio River with two other families, the Matthews and the Wilsons, according to an article in the Indiana Magazine of History, 1942, 323-42. It is noteworthy that David was closely associated with the Wilsons and with another Butler Co. family, the Dunbars, after they came to Posey Co. In 1829 David administered John Dunbar’s estate.
Butler Co. tax records for 1806-1810 show John Derlin in Muddy Creek Township in 1806,1807 (Dirling), 1808 (Derlin), 1809 (Derlin), and 1810 (Derlan). By 1810 he had no land. Nobody with this name is found prior to 1806 or after 1810 in Butler Co. The 1810 federal census for that county lists a J. Durlin (some read this “Duelin”) with two males under 10 (Andrew [?] b. 1809), one male 10-15 (David [?], b. 1800], one male 26-44 (John), two females under 10, and one female 26-44 (John’s wife). While information from the tax records and census falls short of proving John was the father of David, it does make this identification highly probable.
There is some evidence that David Durlin’s parents moved to Posey Co. (1) According to Genealogy List of Posey County, published by Darlene McConnell in 1996, there was a Durlin (first name unknown) who was a Revolutionary soldier and who was reportedly buried on the old Alexander Wilson farm in Posey Co. It is significant that Alexander was from Butler Co. (2) If the person just mentioned was John Durlin, it is possible that Dosia Dowling, who appears in the 1820 Posey Co. federal census, was his widow. (It is not difficult to imagine that the census taker misspelled the last name as “Dowling”.) The ages of the children fit with the ages of J. Durlin’s children in 1810:
J. Durlin (1810) Dosia Dowling (1820)
John 26-44 ------
Wife 26-44 Dosia 26-44
Male (David [?], b. 1800) 10-15 Male (David [?], b. 1800) 16-26
Male, 0-9 Male 10-15
Male (Andrew [?], b. 1809), 0-9 Male (Andrew [?], 1809) 10-15
Female 0-9 Female 10-15
Female 0-9 -----*
Female (born after 1810) 0-9
Female (born after 1810) 0-9
*This female was either deceased or married by 1820, when she was as old as 19.
Since David Durlin was born in PA in 1800, if John was his father we need to look for John elsewhere in PA in that year. The 1800 PA Septennial Census, with a March enumeration date, lists a John Durlin, weaver, in Bloom Township, Northumberland Co. The 1800 federal census, with an August enumeration date, lists John Darlin in E. Buffaloe Township in the same county. John is 26-44, his wife 16-25, and they had one son, 0-9. When we compare these ages with those in the 1810 and 1820 census reports previously cited, John had to have been between 26 and 34 in 1800 and Dosia between 16 and 24 that year. This places John’s birth between 1766 and 1774 and his wife’s between 1776 and 1784. If he was born in 1766 or shortly thereafter, he would have been old enough to serve at the end of the Revolution. The two townships, Bloom and E. Buffaloe, were about 25-30 miles apart. The former included the town of Bloomsburg and the latter the town of Lewisburg. David’s birth took place between the two census reports.
For the lineage of John’s ancestors I accept what is given in The Dorland Enigma Solved by Barbara Barth (2007), pp. 179-183, but with caveats regarding the following statement on p. 180: “It is possible that the youngest son of Lawrence was David Durlin, b. 24 Oct. 1800, m. Hannah Saltzman, b. abt. 1804, Butler, Pa.” Names of David’s children follow, and this is attributed to me in a footnote. Apparently by way of accident, David’s birthdate is confused with that of David Dorland, born that same year (Barth, p. 115). More importantly, David Durlin’s father was not Lawrence, who lived in Northumberland Co., but his probable brother, John (Barth, p. 183). Lawrence remained in Northumberland Co. at least until 1820 according to census records, so he could not have moved to Butler Co. and then to IN by the time of David’s move there.
Census and tax records for Northumberland Co. from 1800 to 1810 show several adult Durlin (various spellings) males, including John, David, David, Jr. (different Davids from the one whose ancestry I am tracing), Garret, Lawrence (Lorentz), Robert, and Peter. Barth is likely correct that John, David, Sr., Garret, and Lawrence were brothers, and based on naming patterns they were likely the children of Garrett, b. Nov. 7, 1730 in New Utrecht, Long Island and the grandchildren of Jan, or John, b. about 1702 on Long Island (Barth, p. 179). Robert and Peter were likely cousins (Barth, pp. 105-107). The best explanation as to why two cousins would join these four brothers is that they knew each other earlier and had grown up in the same locality. Robert and Peter are known to have grown up in Morris Co., NJ. It is likely that Garrett, Sr. moved to NJ rather early to be near his Dorland aunts and uncles, since his father died a few months after Garrett’s birth and his grandfather Dorland died as early as a year or so after Garrett’s birth. Among those in NJ were his godmother, Dyna Van Leuren, wife of his uncle, Lambert Dorland (Barth, p. 179).
Obviously, this lineage for David Durlin is not proved, but there is sufficient evidence to make it highly possible and perhaps even probable. I offer it as an encouragement to others to supply the missing evidence that will either prove or disprove what has been offered.
Edwin Broadus, July 2012
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