Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Joseph Bickerdyke Darby - Part II

Edwin Cyrus Darby, first-born and son of Joseph Darby and Mary Chafer, wrote a history of the Darby Family Tree in about 1937. In it, he included the following information:

Jonathan Darby came to America in 1840 with his wife and five children when Joseph was 10 years old.  The youngest son, Robert, was born in 1842 in America.

Joseph Darby married Mary Chafer in 1851 whose father came from Lincolnshire, England.  Of this union sprang Edwin Cyrus, Willis Henry, Blanch Isabell and Francis Marion.  Then she (Mary) died in 1859.  . . .

Then Jonathan Darby moved to Hancock Co., Ill. with his son Joseph, Catherine and Robert.  He went first.  Joseph and Robert and Catherine came after.  Their mother (Mary) had died in Ohio previous to this.  The move to Illinois proved to be a failure.  Catherine (the daughter) died in Illinois.  At that time, Hancock Co. was on the frontier and the hardship was too much for her.

Joseph Darby came back with his family to Boone Co., Kentucky where Grandfather Chafer owned a farm and worked for him till his wife, (mother of Edwin), died in October, 1859.  He moved back to Walnut Hills in 1860 and worked at his trade, house and sign painter, until 1863 when he married again -- a woman named Elizabeth Garwood. . . .

Joseph and Robert Darby went into the Union army in the spring of '64 and remained until the war closed in '65 when he came back to the family on Walnut Hills and worked at his trade, house painter.  He lived to be 82.  Died in November, 1912.

At the age of 35, Joseph and his brother, Robert, volunteered for the 191st Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  It was near the end of the Civil War.  According to Dyer's Compendium,  the 191st Regiment Infantry  was "organized at Camp Chase, Ohio, January and February, 1865. Moved to Harper's Ferry, W. Va., March 10, 1865. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 1st Provisional Division, Army of the Shenandoah, March 20. March to Charleston March 21. Transferred to 2nd (Ohio) Brigade, 2nd Provisional Division, March 27. Duty near Charleston till April 4. Operations in the Shenandoah Valley in vicinity of Winchester, Stevenson's Depot and Jordan's Springs, April to August. Mustered out August 27, and discharged September 5, 1865. Regiment lost during service 29 Enlisted men by disease."

It appears as if they, thankfully, really didn't encounter any fighting.  As was typical, however, many of the men were lost to disease.

Joseph had nine children by two wives and is buried in the Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church Cemetery.  The ashes of one of his daughters is buried with him.  His second wife, Elizabeth Garwood, is also buried in the family plot.

Kathy Reed at Darby Family Plot in Pleasant Ridge

Grave Marker for Joseph Darby and his daughter, Sarah
Note:  Edwin Cyrus Darby's family history does not agree with the ship's passenger list that shows the date of immigration as 1841 and that Joseph was 11. Credit is due to Martha Darby Rutter for photographs of Joseph, the ship's passenger list, and the family history written by Edwin Cyrus Darby, son of Joseph.


  1. So great that Edwin created a history and that you have taken up the mantle of family historian. I also love the fact (in your other recent post) that you connected up with another family member who had registered with the Mormons and gathered more information that way. You are a true researcher, and your posts are fascinating because of it. Thanks so much for following my story as well.

  2. EDwin and Annie Darby were my Great Grandparents, my Grandmother was Gladys George. I am trying to figure out the connection to Mary Bickerdyke. I know that Joseph's middle name was Bickerdyke, His Grandfather was Robert Bickerdyke,but was this Mary's husband, I am not sure the dates line up.

    Thanks for any info you can share. Lea

    1. Lea,
      I just got an email from Martha Darby Rutter. She says that you are cousins. She would like me to try to get your email address and I can give hers to you. If you see this message, would you please add a comment? My email address is

  3. Lea,
    I would be happy to try to help you figure this out. Email me directly at and put Darby or Bickerdyke in the subject line. Do you know Martha Rutter? You have to be related. She is the real authority on this line of the family.


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