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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Can't Hide Her Age Any Longer!

You can live. You can hide. But the years can't be hidden any longer........

A brief reference to the first wife of grandpa John HENRY of Lower St. Clair, Allegheny, PA, has been written about in the past by myself and others. Her name took some digging, but enough documentation finally surfaced to confirm her name was Sarah SMITH, daughter of John SMITH of Hopewell, Washington, PA.

According to history books and old family papers, they had either 3 or 4 children (most likely the number 4 is correct) before her demise which seems to have been around 1785-1786.  Like any good widower with children at that time in history, John looked around and found a new bride, Margaret McMILLEN. Yada, yada.

While I know John and Margaret had a daughter, Sarah Smith HENRY(d.1817), I didn't know when she was born.  She married Andrew FIFE(1790-1878), had two children and died (most likely due to childbirth as her child was born 1817).  Sounds fun.

My cousin who authors the Free Range Genealogist recently wrote some thoughts about Sarah FIFE(1817-bet1855-1860), the second child of Sarah Henry FIFE(d.1817).  In her writings was a picture of her tombstone.  This was news to me.

Off I went to Find a Grave, and there it sits in all its glory.  The angle of the tombstone is a little off so I am unable to read the inscription at the bottom.  What is cool is the information on the tombstone does say "in the 24th year of her age."  She was 23!  Now I can come close to estimating her year of birth.  It should have been either late 1793 or very early 1794.  What this also does is confirm she was the oldest daughter of John HENRY and his second wife, Margaret McMILLEN.  What this does is allow me to now write her name with new
found confidence as the following:

Sarah Smith HENRY (abt1794-Feb 1817)

What confidence to name your first daughter after the dead wife!  I rather suspect they knew each other, but I have to prove it now by maps, proximity, or church records.  It could be a challenge.

Ahhh, genealogy. Gotta love it when a tombstone speaks volumes almost 200 years later!  Let me know if you can decipher the bottom inscription.  It seems to start "Death thous hast......

©2015 ASEldredge

Read More on the FIFE family fun on Genitales, my old blog:

Findagrave. Round Hill Cemetery, Elizabeth, Allegheny, PA. Photo by LAB.
Boucher, John Newton, 1854-1933, Jordan, John W. (John Woolf), 1840-1921. A century and a half of Pittsburg and her people, Vol. 3, pg431.
Will of John Henry, dated 28 Apr 1838, St Clair Twp, Allegheny, PA
Family Bible
The Descendants of John and William Fife, of Upper St Clair, Allegheny Co, PA
Free Range Genealogist, Sarah Fife entry
Washington Co, PA Will Bk #1, pg 84

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