Thursday, September 20, 2012

Darling Whelpley


Darling Whelpley is my great great great great great great great grandfather.

1.Christopher—2.Robert—3.George—4.Aubrey—5.George F—6.George W J—7.Andrew—8.Elizabeth Weldon—9.Elizabeth Whelpley—10.Darling Whelpley.

He was born in either Greenwich or Stamford, Connecticut around 1739. The details of his life are sketchy, and many of the records that would tell us more about him have been destroyed, but Darling Whelpley is one of the ancestors that I have worked with and searched out the most, trying to figure him out and gather his family together. I know now that Darling was named after his grandmother, Mary Darling Whelpley. His great grandfather, Henry Whelpley, came to New England in the early 1600s from England. His father was Jonathan Whelpley, Jr. and his mother was Martha Pennoyer.

Darling fought on the British side of the Revolutionary War. He fought at Lloyd’s Neck on Long Island, NY and was defeated by the American Revolutionaries. I am unsure of the details of the raids and skirmishes that he participated in, but one source I have states that in retaliation for this, Darling and the other British soldiers made a raid on Greenwich(?) where he burnt buildings including the church, likely the same church where the family’s records were held. The loss of those records made it hard for me to put together his family.

After losing the war, he was convicted to death by the victorious revolutionaries because of his actions. Before he could be executed, however, it was decided that he would be exchanged for an American prisoner (thankfully), perhaps because they had mercy on him because of his large family. The family did, however, lose all their land and property, which was given over to the American side. I often wonder how that would have been for his wife, Abigail Peck and their ten children. The horror and anxiety of having your husband and father sentenced to death, and then the relief of having him returned, but losing all your property and land and being forced to leave to a new country.

Darling Whelpley left the United States and sailed for New Brunswick on board the ship called “Hope” in 1783, along with his wife and nine of their children, according to the passenger lists. They settled in Upper Saint John and Kingston area with many other British loyalists.  Another son, Jonathan, probably came later.

I like that little fact that they came to Canada on the ship “Hope.” After surviving the war, losing all their property and most of their possessions, forsaking a land they had worked hard to build, and narrowly escaping execution, they came to Canada, their new promised land.

Sitting in the sealing room with my sister and wife, I felt their presence and their overwhelming acceptance of the gospel as they were sealed together for eternity. After over two hundred years, the family had finally reached their destination with plenty of hope.

     Darling Whelpley
     Abigail Peck
          1. Oliver Whelpley
          2. David Whelpley
          3. Jonathan Whelpley
          4. Martha Whelpley
          5. Abigail Whelpley
          *6. Elizabeth Whelpley
          7. Jeremiah Whelpley
          8. Richard Whelpley
          9. Joseph Whelpley
          10. William Whelpley

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