Rebecca Reynolds 1799-1873  
Rebecca Reynolds

1799 - 1873

Here is a picture of Rebecca ... sent to me by  Georgia Neilsen

Here are two different computerized versions of how she may have looked.

donated by Mike Wedell
donated by Paul Murray


This page is also dedicated to Rebecca's descendants, my internet cousins, who have been so helpful with collecting & sharing information about our common ancestors:

  • A. Thomas, my fourth cousin, our common ancestor is Abraham Darland
  • Becky Farvour, my fifth cousin, our common ancestor Lambert Darland
  • Georgia Nielsen
  • John Eldred Darland , my fourth cousin once removed, our common ancestor is Lambert Darland
  • Judy  Cassidy
  • Lizzie Darland Mollenhauer , my grand-aunt, our common ancestor is Carter Bailey Darland
  • Mike Wedell, my fourth cousin, our common ancestor is Abraham Darland
  • Rosemary Webb, my fourth cousin once removed, our common ancestor William Reynolds
  • Shirley Lillie
  • Terry Taylor 
  • Wendy Yvonne Moore - Palomo , my fourth cousin twice removed, our common ancestor is Abraham Darland
  • Janet S. Chilson
Vividly, I remember the afternoon a few years back (circa 1995) when my first cousin, Marlene, handed me a xeroxed copy of some handwritten pages and told me they were the "Family History" as written by our Great Aunt Lizzie. Vague, disoriented, and difficult to decipher, they held the seeds of much of my future discoveries about my "Family Tree" ...

Aunt Lizzie claimed that our ancestor Rebecca Reynolds was the first white woman to settle "west" or "on the west side" of the Wabash River. I had no idea what that phrase meant. But as time went on I received a quote originating from John Darland, who wrote that "the Darland family story in southern Poweshiek and northern Mahaska Counties  began when several Darland and related families migrated from Parke County, Indiana, onto Old Warren  County, Illinois, crossed the frozen Mississippi River, and settled near Barnes City, which is divided by the  county line." Having NO geographical sense (I memorize how to get to the grocery store) I wondered if perhaps this was where the Wabash River came into the picture.... But couldn't find any maps to confirm this.... maybe because I was dealing with two different states <grin>.

Bits and pieces have come to me from others -- and I have begun to form a mental picture of a woman born before 1800, a woman who buried two husbands (her third outlived her) and gave birth to ten known children. She lived in South Carolina, in Kentucky, in Illinois, and in Iowa -- at a time when walking and rough carts were her most likely form of transportation. I can only imagine what she was like, for she could neither read nor write so there is no diary to tell me of her girlish thoughts or her womanly concerns. Her children have not left descriptions of their parents (none that I have come across), and I can only guess at who she was. I don't know if she believed in God, but I do suspect that she had courage ... 

I have wondered about this woman and her ancestors. I have looked at my face in the mirror and thought of the Darland family pictures I have been fortunate to receive ... seen the same droop of my mouth as is in the photographs and wondered if "this downturned feature" was
something I inherited from them (Rebecca's children).  Then, an on-line cousin, Georgia Neilsen, sent me a xeroxed copy of a picture of Rebecca. THANK YOU!!! 

It seems only right that Rebecca have a page on the internet. A tribute, however small, to one of the women who cooked over open flame and walked thousands of miles in her lifetime ... from a woman who microwaves most meals and needs a car to pick the kids up from school, 3 blocks away. Today, Rebecca can travel to the ends of our earth, and up into a satellite dish perched amongst the stars, thanks to computers and the internet.

Rebecca Reynolds

Rebecca was born on 5 Apr. 1799 in South Carolina, probably Laurens County as that is where she first appears on the 1800 Census (age 1). There were four young females in William Reynolds's 1800 home - they would have been Elizabeth, Nancy, Jane & the infant/toddler Rebecca. She was the fifth child (fourth daughter) of  William Reynolds (born bet 1755 and 1774 - died abt 1822) and his wife Alsey  (born bet 1755 and 1774-).  The family probably lived on Beaver Dam Creek of Little River, as they owned land there. 

Rebecca's Coverlet as it was June 2001
When she was about 16 years old, she made a bedspread (or coverlet) which currently (1999-2002) belongs to one of her descendants. The following are excerpts from letters written by that descendant:  “I have a bedspread that was made by Rebecca Reynolds.  It is a piece of homespun. The most accurate, short description is  Woven Coverlet.  It was probably woven as one extremely long piece of cotton fabric. probably 27 inches wide. She ... cut it in 3 pieces and sewed the pieces together side by side.  The finished piece is approximately 80 inches wide by 103 inches long. It is white, woven, and no longer is great shape. 
About 200 years old, the coverlet shows minimal damage
It was woven in two pieces with a seam down the center.  The seam is coming apart at the end, there are other small tears and it has rust stains.  Nevertheless, it still exists, and given its age, I'm proud to own it." ...  Regarding "... the dimensions of Rebecca Reynolds' piece.  ...  it probably would have taken her one winter to make it.  (Because) she grew, ginned, (and) spun the cotton. ... she put (so) much work into it, it probably took her one year to make the coverlet."  Rebecca's brother, William, was a "weaver" by profession. I wonder if he helped his younger sister in her endeavor ... 

There were a couple of notes attached to the bedspread they have been typed in the way they were written.

Note #1 from Maude Gertrude Darland Walters to Mabel Eliza Northup Moore:
Owner Mrs. Lydia Chandler up until her death Jan. 1945, now to go to Mabel Northup Moore, Daughter of Late Martha Ellen Darland Northup.  Name of pattern of this bed spread probably snow ball was woven by Miss Rebecca Renyolds in the year 1815 in Mercer Co, North Carolina for her hope chest. Miss Rebecca Reyolds married Abrahan Darland and was the Grand Mother of Lydia Ann Darland Chandler.  Inside envelope, Mabel, you will find paper I found pinned to spread when I went to wash it Oct 22, 1945. 
Maude Darland Walters

Note #2.  Author unknown:
Owner -- Mrs. Chandler Name -- probably a Snowball pattern woven by Mrs. Chandler's Grandmother Darland in 1815 Mercer Co. N. Carolina. Unusual in being all white, all cotton.  The cotton picked, ginned, carded and woven by Rebecca Reynolds Darland for her hope chest.

When her family left South Carolina for Mercer County, Kentucky, is unclear. When Rebecca was 18 years old her sister Jane married in Mercer Co., Kentucky (4 Jul. 1817). The note attached to her bedspread could be interpreted to mean that the family was already in Mercer Country around 1815 -- or that they were still in the Carolinas (probably not NC). Rebecca may or may not have already been married herself when the family left South Carolina / arrived in Kentucky. We know that she was a widow by the time she married Abraham Darland.

Rebecca's first marriage was to a Benjamin Carter. They most likely married  between  1815 and 1819 . Possibly it was in preparation for this marriage that she made the bedspread for her hope chest. Whenever and wherever her first marriage took place, she was widowed by the time she was 20 years old. There are no known children from this union.

In Mercer County, Kentucky, on  15 Dec. 1819 (age 20) she married Abraham Darland.  Just less than a year later she gave birth to her first child, a daughter named  Catherine Victoria  (15 Sept. 1820 - 20 Jan 1908).

Abraham is on the tax lists for Mercer County (Kentucky) in 1819 but it appears once he married he, his brother Isaac and their wives (sisters Rebecca & Alsey Reynolds) left for Indiana. In the fall of 1821 several families from Kentucky (the "Darlan’s" amongst them) arrived in Washington Township, Parke County, Indiana.  "In the fall of 1821 there came from Kentucky five (5) families among them Abraham Durlin to settle on the west bank of the north branch of the Little Raccoon, south of the railroad crossing at Guion."   "This was the first settlement of the township."  "The first cabin built was Abraham Durlin’s."

Rebecca and Abraham's first child  (Catherine) would have been about a year old at the time of this trip. Their second child, William, was born 4 April 1822 according to the family's Bible Records, supposedly  in Mercer Co., Kentucky. Did Abraham leave his wife behind in Mercer County? Did she return to Kentucky to have the baby? Or was there an error in recording William's birth? 

At the age of 22, with two small children Rebecca found herself living in Green Township, Parke County, Indiana . 
To see a map of the area where she lived, and some information about the Darland's of Washington Township, visit this page < >, 
please remember to use your back button to return here.

At about the same time, her father William Reynolds died in Mercer Co.. There are records indicating that his children and widow inherited his land there, including Rebecca, who appears with her husband Abraham on documents dated between  18 Oct. 1836 and 1 May 1837  in Anderson County, (AKA Mercer County) Kentucky. 

Rebecca and Abraham had several more children while in Parke County, Indiana:
 Lambert Darland (18 Jan 1824-13 Jan 1910)
 Martha I. Darland (26 Oct. 1827-26 Sept. 1867)
 Mary Jane Darland (20 Sept. 1829-10 Sept. 1918)
 Alva A. Darland (abt 1832-)
 John Darland (7 Apr. 1832-30 Aug. 1916)
 Alsey Anna Darland (18 Oct. 1834-)
 Abraham Darland (2 Nov. 1837-30 Apr. 1917)
 Isaac Morrison Darland (10 Jul. 1840-28 May 1929)

Family folklore claims Rebecca  was the first white woman to settle "west" or "on the west side" of the Wabash River. This may have been an exaggeration (or romanticizing the event),  but it does appear that Rebecca was amongst the first of the women to settle in Parke County. It could not have been an easy life for her. “Supposedly they lived long Moon Creek. Evidently Indians were frequent visitors to their home and not friendly.  The Indians wanted their ponies. " There is an account written by Maude Gertrude Darland Walters (Feb. 20,1961) in which she states "... in Indiana, Parke County. I think the Indians were very thick there and one day when Grand Mother Darland was alone with her 2 little children 3 Indians rode up, jumped off their ponies, began sharpening their knives on the ground stone beside the door. Grand Father Darland was in (the) timber clearing it off to have some ground to raise a crop. One Indian said to Grand Mother Darland 'Indians go by in night' Grand Mother D. said 'yes'. Indian said 'hear bells'. Grand Mother said 'yes'. Indian said 'hear 3 bells, 2 little ones, one big bell'. Grand Mother said 'yes'. Indians jumped on their horses, said 'Indians steal ponies' away they went. Of course Grand Mother D. was badly frightened as some of the Indians were very hostile and war like. "
Rebecca and her family continued to live in the community of Washington, Parke County, Indiana  as evidenced by the 1850 census.  Her eldest 6 children had married: Catherine to Phillip Taylor (1839); William to Sally Ann Ruble (1842); Lambert to Sarah Jane Lough (1846); Martha to her cousin John Darland (1844); Mary Jane to Joseph Barnes (1844); John to Allesy Lough (1849 ). She had a dozen or more grandchildren with three or four of her own still at home. She was 50 years old.

In 1851 16 year old Alsey Ann married  James Lough

A year later, on 13 Feb. 1852 Abraham died, leaving Rebecca widowed for a second time in her life. She was aged only 52 years, 10 months, and 8 days at the time of her husband's death.

Still at home were her two youngest sons, Abraham (14 yrs., 3 mo.) and Isaac (11 yrs., 7 mos.). 

The next few years brought two more major changes in Rebecca's life. She married her neighbor (probably her son William's father-in-law as well) Charles Rubble, and she moved to Iowa. The date of her third marriage was  1 Jan 1856 in Parke County, Indiana (her age would have been 56). They probably pioneered to Iowa abt 1853, when she was 54 years old.  According to researcher John Darland, the Darland family story in southern Poweshiek and northern Mahaska Counties began when several Darland and related families migrated from Parke County,  Indiana, onto Old Warren County, Illinois, crossed the frozen Mississippi River, and settled near Barnes City, which is divided by the county line. We know that in the 1870 Census she was living with her husband Charles in Pleasant Grove, Mahaska County, Iowa.
In the 1870 census, living with Rebecca and her third husband Charles Rubble was a boy named B.I. Darland, aged 11 years,  who was born in Iowa. This may have been one of her grandchildren,  most likely Abraham's son Carter Bailey Darland (born June 1859), and about 11 years old at the time of this census; Judy Cassidy wrote about Carter: "His mother died 17 August 1863 in  McCune, Kansas.  Carter went to live with his grandmother Rebecca until she remarried to Mr. Ruble  who had a son Stanford. The boys  did not get along so Carter went and lived with Isaac and Alsey, his  Aunt and Uncle until he was 14 years old." (Please note the discrepancies in dates)

Little is known about Rebecca as a person. She was not educated, could neither read nor write. On the paperwork her family filed in Anderson Co., Kentucky (Deeds) she signed with "her mark", not with a signature. She was reportedly of Scotch Irish decent. 

Rebecca  died on 4 Jun. 1873 in Barnes City, Mahaska County, Iowa. She was buried in the Boswell Cemetery, Barnes City, Jackson Township, Poweshiek Co., IA . Her grave is in Row #12 “Ruble, Rebecca d. June 4, 1873; aged 74-1-30; wife of CB.” The county line dividing the counties of Mahaska and Poweshiek lies just south of the cemetery and many buried (like Rebecca) within actually were residents of Mahaska County during their lifetime but are buried across the line in Poweshiek County. It seems fitting that a woman who was born in South Carolina and lived in Kentucky, Indiana and Iowa during the Pioneer Days of our Country, should be buried on the boarder of two communities. 
This photo of Rebecca's Grave Stone was provided by Mrs. Judy Cassidy. She wrote: "... sent to me by Marsha Homsey who was a Darland, but who was also doing a genealogical column called "Genie something?" She interviewed many Darlands ... She also sent me the photo of the gravestone, so her child is in the photo 
which was taken many years ago. ...  The child , her daughter, is holding a piece of railroad chalk in her had, which Marsha used to highlight the inscriptions so they could be easily read, with out damage to the stones as the rain would just wash it off."

On the back of the photo is the following:

Boswell Cemetery
Sec 32, Jackson Twp.
Poweshiek Co., Ia. Nov 1979

"Rebecca Wife of C. B. Ruble"

"the top of this stone is badly cracked, nearly ready to fall apart..."

The circular shape above her name appears to contain an open book (a Bible?) perched on a pedestal.

Sources (in no particular order)
  • John E. Darland.  Darland's Notebook.  Cited By Mrs. Wendy Palomo Nee Moore And By Mr. Terry  Taylor. 
  • Broderbund Family Tree Maker CD. 
  • L.D.S. (Latter Day Saints) F.H.C. (Family History Centers). 
  • Bible Records And Family Information Of Residents Of Mercer County, Kentucky.  Harrodsburg Historical Society, Compiled By Mrs. Alma Ray Sanders Ison., 1986. 
  • The Darland Bible Records 
  • Notes, Letters & Manuscripts Attributed To Ms. Cassidy. 
  • Boswell Cemetery Records, Mahaska County, Iowa. 
  • Terry Taylor 
  • DAR Lineage Books
  • Lizzie Darland Mollenhauer. 
  • 1850 Census. 
  • John E Darland.  The Darland's Story (Untitled?).  1991, Poweshiek County (Iowa) Historical Society.
  • 1800 Census. 
  • Michael L. Cook.  Mercer County (Kentucky) Records Vol. II.  Kentucky Records Series, Cook Publishing; 3318 Wimberg Ave., Evansville, IN 47712. 
  • Darel And Marsha Bargar.  Poweshiek County Cemeteries, Vol. 1
  • 1870 Population Schedule Of The Ninth Census Of The United States.
  • Wendy Yvonne Moore - Palomo. 
  • Mike  Wedell 
  • Shirley Lillie.
  • Boswell Cemetery Records, Mahaska County, Iowa. 
  • Mary Jane Sopher.  Letter Addressed To Wendy Palomo 
  • Rosemary Webb. 
  • A. Thomas
  • Georgia Neilsen 
  • Janet S. Chilson
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This page was established on Tue, 31 Aug 1999.    for a picture of Rebecca's sister-in-law for links to pictures of Rebecca's descendants

If you have information about Rebecca Darland nee Reynolds on your Website, we would be interested in linking this page to that page <smile>.