I've been working on the Darrah line this past week. William P. Darrah is my third great grandfather, the father of Arthelia Isabel Darrah, who was the mother of Lulu Frances Stoner, who was the mother of my grandmother, Linnia Sylvia Lee.
According to a book, The History of Appanoose County, William P. Darrah moved from West Virginia to Appanoose County, Iowa in 1856, acquired a large tract of land in Walnut Township, and held all of the principle township offices. He lived there until his death in 1887. I've located his death record and learned that he died in Mystic, Iowa on December 18, 1887 of apoplexy. He is buried in the Scheffer Cemetery near his first wife, Mary, who died August 2, 1863 at the age of 42, and his daughter, Mary J. V. Darrah, who died April 6, 1865 at the age of seven.
I found William P. Darrah on the 1870 census with his second wife, four children from his first marriage, two children from his second marriage, and three step children. It seems like he had a serious blended family experience. As I reviewed the information on the census I noticed that my second great grandmother, Arthelia Isabel Darrah, appeared to have been born the same year that her mother died. I can relate to the difficulties of their circumstances as I compare them to our own losses. A husband mourning for the loss of his wife, while trying to help his children deal with their grief over the loss of their mother. Then a few years later he loses a child and experiences the challenges of a blended family. I don't believe life has never been easy in any era. I'm very grateful for the understanding I have that these losses are temporary.
I've not yet located William P. Darrah on the 1860 and 1850 census records. He should be in Appanoose county, Iowa in the 1860 census and in Monongalis County, Virginia in the 1850 census, However, I was able to locate a record of his marriage to Mary Varner on September 4, 1845 in Monongalia County, Virginia (now West Virginia). I spent several hours pouring over the 1850 census on Thursday night. I've found four Darrah families thus far (spelled Dorrah on the census) but not William P. Darrah. I also found three or four Varner families. I guess I've caught the genealogy bug again as I stayed up until 1:30 am looking at the census records.