Monday, March 9, 2015

May I introduce...

Sarah Jane Swartzel Withrow

     This is the story as I know it of my 3rd great grandmother, Sarah Jane Swartzel Withrow If you are descended from one of my mom's siblings, one of Grandma Nina's siblings, one of Great Grandma Smith's siblings or her mother, Ginevra's siblings,  Sarah Jane is our common grandparent. You are my first, second, third, or fourth cousin.  I actually know who a couple of these fourth cousins are. Imagine their surprise when they discover this.

     Sarah Jane Swartzel was born in Montgomery County, Ohio in 1834 and is buried in the Scranton Township cemetery near Scranton, Iowa.  Many, many of her descendants are buried there as well.  The vague idea of an ancestor becomes real when I can actually take flowers to her grave. And I want her story to be told.

     In 1853, at age 19, Sarah Jane married Joseph Withrow in Ohio.  They had a total of seven children.  Only three of these children had families of their own.  Obviously, I am descended from one of these three.

     The first four of their children were born in Ohio. Mary Kate (1854), Ginevra (1855), Anna Josephine (1857), Aurilla Rosella (1859) moved with their parents to Indiana and then on to Jasper County, Iowa sometime between 1860 and 1868.  We know this because the 1860 census locates the family in Ohio. In 1868, Viola Emma was born in Jasper County, Iowa.  Followed by Joseph A. Jr. in 1874.  By 1879, the family was living in Greene County, Iowa where Sarah Jane ( named after her mom I assume) was born on 26 August 1879.

     Grandma Sarah outlived not only her husband but also 6 of her 7 children.  Her one remaining child (age 67) died only a few months after Sarah Jane. In my opinion, Grandma Sarah Jane Swartzel Withrow had a lot of sorrow in her 88 years.




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