Harrison Darnell was my great-great-great-great grandfather. He was born by his own statement on 15 April 1815 in Wilkes County, North Carolina.1 His mother was Catherine Darnell,2 a somewhat mysterious woman who moved her small family from Wilkes County, North Carolina, to first Spartanburg District and then Pickens District, South Carolina, before settling finally in Rabun County, Georgia.
Harrison was supposedly the son of Catharine’s first husband, whose name is unknown. She married second to a Darnell, whose name Harrison took, and then a third time to Benjamin Grist, a veteran of the Revolutionary War who was himself a widower. Of these suppositions, the only one that has thus far been documented is Catherine’s marriage to Benjamin Grist, which took place on 2 April 1834 in Pickens District, South Carolina.3