Thursday, January 7, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday- Rhoda Jane DARLING

Do you ever find yourself drawn to an ancestor that you haven't met and know nothing about?

Well, I have  a few of those people in my line. One of them is my 2nd great grandmother, Rhoda Jane DARLING. From the moment I heard her name I knew that I had to find out about her. Although not having much faith initially, I have since learned that there are many records to search, cousins to find, neighbors to talk to, and message boards to discover, but in the beginning my paternal side was very blank and bleak.

One day I was fortunate enough to travel to Carmi, White County, Illinois with my father and he stopped to talk with someone who I discovered was a cousin. (Why is it so hard to learn these things sometimes?) She knew many things about Rhoda personally. I was thrilled and did one of those happy dances!!! She and I have spent several hours together since that day and now I have some answers.

Rhoda Jane DARLING married John McDONALD 18 Oct 1874 in Gibson, Indiana. There is a classic story in my family that they made a raft and traveled down the river and discovered Maunie, White County, Illinois where they settled, farmed, and raised their 6 children. I have no proof of the raft ride, but ask any cousin, aunt, uncle, neighbor, or stranger, and they will all tell you the same story. Anyway, Rhoda was a ladies lady, dedicated to church, proper in her dress, an avid reader, and always put together. She died 22 May 1931 in Maunie, White County, Illinois in the home of her daughter Cora Estel, surrounded by her children with her grandchildren running around playing. My cousin (who I have not named to protect her), gave me a special treasure during one of our times together- a picture of Rhoda, which I share with you today. She is buried in Little Prarie Cemetery in White County, Illinois. Today you can't read her name on the stone, but a few years ago it was very clear and legible, but unfortunately I do not have a picture of it, so I will include the current stone for now.

This encounter always reminds me that any road has possibilities.


Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Looks like a very strong lady! You are so fortunate to have this treasure, both the photo and the stories.

Keep these ancestor stories coming!

Bill ;-)
Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

Sanjay Maharaj said...

I truly admire their courage to not only make a raft but to travel on it without perhaps knowing where they were going. I honor their spirit of living life to their fullest, great story

Lori said...

There must be at least a grain of truth in the raft story since so many people know about it.

I am fascinated by the painted background in the portrait. I have a picture of my 2nd great grandfather with a painted background as well. They must have been very new at the time!