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Susan Sillers Darden Diary

Susan Sillers Darden was 38 years old when this diary begins in January 1854. The diary gives us a wonderful glimpse into the everyday lives of our ancestors in Jefferson County.  The original diary is in the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in Jackson, Mississippi.

I have included the key to the characters in the diary written by Caleb F. Darden, son of Thomas L. Darden, Jr. & Martha McGinty.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did!


Darden Family Tree


Thanks to Kevin Ross Richlin we now have the Darden Diary in *Adobe PDF format!  Kevin is the grandson of Jewell Ross who originally typed the diary into its present format in 1978.  Many thanks to Kevin!

*(Requires Acrobat Reader) Don't have it? Download it here for free! Just click on the icon! 


Darden Diary PDF Files

WARNING! This PDF Version is copyrighted by Kevin Ross Richlin and may not be distributed in any form except by express written permission from him!




Key to diary written by Caleb F. Darden, son of Thomas L. Darden, Jr. & Martha McGinty

Key to Characters in Diary

Children of the writer of the diary

(John) Buckner Darden; lived at Millican Bend, La., died in C. S. A.

Martha; married Dr. (Patrick K. Henry) Pat Wade

Olivia; married Dr. (Uriah Overton) Tate; lived near Natchez

Laura; married (1) (Winfield) Bridewell; m. (2) (Edward Short)

Irene married (Dr. Thomas Cage) Tommie West; killed by Negroes. Ku Klux Klan raid

Jesse (Blount) Darden married Sallie Killingsworth

George (Young) Darden married (Rosa M. Jones)

Brother’s and Sisters of Jesse (Harper) Darden husband of the writer of the diary

Betsy (Elizabeth) called “Sister” Betsy m.. (1) (Samuel R.) Hornsby;  (2)(Benjamin F.) Sibley; lived near Natchez

Sam (Samuel W.) or ‘Brother” Sam m. Anna McKeown; lived near Ebenezer Church E. of Fayette

Buckner (Madison) or “Brother” Buckner m. Sarah (Annette) Torrey; lived near Ebenezer Church

Mariah or “Sister” Mariah (Lanier) m. Prosper King Montgomery; lived E. of Fayette four miles

Drusilla (Caroline) m. (George) Guilford Torrey; lived E. of Port Gibson near Pattison

George ( Wynn) m. Susan Bolls; lived Pattison

Anne (Sarah Annette) m. Jeff (William Jefferson) Briscoe; lived at St. Joseph, La.

Mary (Jane) m. (Thomas) Scott; lived in Tennessee

Virginia ‘Jennie” in. (Dr. Alfred L.) Green

Jack (Andrew Jack m. Kate (Vernon) Mayberry;  lived near Stampley;  had son, Henry (M Darden m. 1st. cousin, Catherine “Kate” (Virginia) Darden and he was killed near Fayette in KKK raid,

Children of P.K. (Prosper King) Montgomery and Maria (Lanier) Darden Montgomery

Jeff (Jefferson Darden) Montgomery m. Martha Wade

Sam (Samuel Swayze) m. Laura Horrington

Mary m. John Bondurant

Prosper Jr. (Prosper King, Jr.) m. (1) Ruth S. Chambliss (2) Margaret Cook

Frank (E.) m. Theresa Kinnison

“Tip” (must be Harrison Prentiss Montgomery) m. (1) Minerva Herrington (2) Mollie Forsett

Clara (Ann) in. Austin Williams Smith

 “Jennie’ (Virginia) in. Thomas Percy

Ellen (Maria m. J S. Goode

Three other children died in infancy

Prosper King Montgomery m. (2) Clotilde Ligon Seymour, Two children.

Children of Buckner (Madison) Darden and Sarah (Annette Torrey Darden

Mary  Jane m. Samuel B. Chamberlain

Madison Alexander Darden died in C. S. A.

George (Everett), accidentally killed by his own gun, aged 13

Rosie (Rosalie Elizabeth) m. Brown A.  Stewart

 (Sarah) Annette m. Garfield Stewart McMillan

Jimmie (James Torrey) m. Mrs. Henrietta Perry Finn

(Marion) Eloise m. John Parks Subor

Catherine “Kate” (Virginia) m. Henry Mayberry Darden; lst cousins

Minerva (Olivia) m. Judge William Peake

Buckner (Eugene) Darden — not to be confused with his Uncle or Cousin

Others, frequently mentioned:

Coz, John & Margaret (F. Fleming) (John Pendleton Darden & wife)

Tommy (Thomas Landrum) Darden, my grandfather, and (1) wife Sophie McCaleb and (2) (Clara Dorroh)

Put (Putnam) Darden, (Brother  of my grandfather)  and his wives; Carrie (Carolyn Roach) McCaleb, Miss Ellen Griffin, Mary Lou Harper, Kate Aby

Other sisters of my grandfather

(Sarah) Cunningham m. Wes (Charles Westley) Whitney

Josephine Darden m. Jeff (Jefferson J.) Whitney

Sue (Susannah m. J. R. Armistead


Bob McGinty, Anne (Sillers) Stuart a sister to writer of diary and her brothers; Joseph (Sillers) and. wife Matilda; Robert (Sillers), Blount Stuart, husband of Anne. “Ma” (Mariah Harper Darden), the mother of J. H. (Jesse Harper) Darden, who was married to Buckner Darden and both buried Old Salem Cemetery near Stampley

Ebenezer Church -  Presbyterian - was located 7-8 miles east of Fayette adjacent to Fayette-McNair highway, also close proximity to the Torrey and Currie or Curry graveyards.      

Villine’s, an early restaurant located in Fayette on the Rodney  Road.

Spring Hill, an early settlement between Fayette and Stampley.

Wild Springs, a pleasure resort owned by my great-grandfather, J. P. D. (John Pendleton Darden), also Miles. Am not sure, but think it was SW of Fayette probably Franklin-Adams County.         .

The residence of John P. D and wife, called Coz. John and Coz. Margaret (F. Fleming) by the writer of the diary, was built by Susan Sillers Darden’s father, Walter  Sillers. Family graveyard near.

Torrey graveyard E. of Fayette (Scotch settlement). Also buried here Rev. William Montgomery, Buckner Darden. Near by the Buckles-McPherson’s and Currie or Curry graveyards.   Closer to Fayette on Union Church road is private cemetery of P. K. (Prosper  King) Montgomery.

Full names in parentheses copied from Lanier by Louise Ingersoll and Family Records of Mississippi Revolutionary  Soldiers by Alice Tracy Welsh and added by Virginia Truly Groome (died March 1969)


1854 1855 1856 1857

Webmaster's note:  Only the years already online will be shown here.  The diary runs from 1854 to 1877.  There are no diaries for the years 1862-1864.

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