Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Meet Sarah's family


     In November of 1875, John Mac and his father-in-law, Joseph Withrow, went to Greene County, Iowa,  and made a purchase of 160 acres of land.  In February of 1876, the family all moved to the new homestead leaving Mary Kate behind buried somewhere I have yet to discover. Sarah, Joseph, 5 children, and married daughter Ginevra, now eight months pregnant with her first child, and son-in-law, J.M. Vorhies, undoubtedly traveled together.
     Estella Mae Vorhies was the first born child of Ginevra and John Mac Vorhies, and the first grandchild of Sarah and Joseph Withrow. She was the first of our family born in Greene County, Iowa, and she was my great grandmother. Can you imagine the trek in 1876?  Did they move then because rivers would be frozen? Can you imagine being pregnant on the trip? Was great grandma born in the wagon when they got there? There couldn't have been time to build a house or was there? Did they even have a wagon?

     I will have more to say on the land when I write about the grandfathers. For now, I want to introduce Sarah and Joseph's children.

    As is the case in large families, the older children of the second generation might be older than the youngest children of the first generation.  Such was the situation with the Withrow and Vorhies family, Estella (1876) and her brother, Eugene (1877), were actually older than the last child of their grandparents. Joseph and Sarah's youngest child named Sarah Jane (26 Aug 1879) was born just a month or so before Ginevra and John Mac Vorhies's last child, Leroy (2 Oct 1879).

    So, Sarah and daughter, Ginevra, were busy having babies those first few years in Greene County.  What were the other kids doing?

    Anna Josephine was about 19 when the family moved to Greene County and Aurilla was 17. Wedding bells were probably in their futures. Yes,  Anna Josephine married William Cromwell 3 October 1876 according to her obituary. Anna Josephine will have her own post later.

    The 1880 census shows Joseph to now be 49 and his wife, Sarah Jane, to be 46.  The only children still at home were Viola Emma age 12, Joseph Jr. age 5 and baby Sarah Jane.  Joseph's occupation is listed as farmer.  Viola Emma and Joseph Jr. are list as "going to school".  Their school was in the southeast corner of Section 16 in Greene County. 

     Their oldest living daughter, Ginvera, is now 25 and John Mac, her husband, is 29.  Their children, Estella, Eugene, and Leroy are ages 4, 3, and 6 months old.

     Anna is now married to William Cromwell but their first child has not yet been born.

     Aurilla at age 20 is married to Mat Frederick. 

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