Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday's Stories, 52 Ancestor Weeks, Week # 27, Sarah (Nee Basye) Whitmer

Copyright 2014, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

This is week 27 of my participation Amy Johnson Crow's, once a week challenge to blog about one ancestor a week, tell their story, biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on that one ancestor. More about the challenge can be found at her Blog, No Story Too Small.

Sarah Basye was born Jan 29, 1843 in Shenandoah County, Virginia to Edmond Washington Basye and his wife, Anna (nee Carryer) Basye.  

No marriage record has been found for Sarah, who married Sellestine (also found spelled Sellesteen) Whitmer on May 17, 1866 in Hardy County, West Virginia.  A search of Marriage Register Vol 1 of Hardy County, now West Virginia, did not find a marriage recorded for Sellesteen and Sarah.  However, it should be noted that they were married in May of 1866 (just after the end of the Civil War) and that marriages were not recorded during the War.  The clerk began recording marriages again in June 1866, about 1/2 month after the marriage of Sellesteen and Sarah. However, the marriage was found reported in the Rockingham Register. They were married in the residence of Mr. Abraham Hockman by Rev. John Neff.

Sarah and Sellestine had 8 children (that we are aware of):  Sena Catherine, Sarah Ann, Mary (Mollie) Elizabeth, Eliza Jane, Ida Matilda, Minerva (Minne) Frances, John Edward and William Casper.

Sarah is found enumerated on the 1870 U.S. census of Lost River Township, Hardy County, West Virginia: Sellestine, age 32, farm laborer, value of personal property is $300.00, born Virginia; Sarah, age 27, keeping house, born Virginia; Sena, age 3, female, born Virginia; Sarah Ann, age 1, female, born Virginia.

The 1880 census, 1900 census, 1910 census nor 1920 census enumerations have not been recorded in my data base.  See Wish list below. 

Sarah died on Feb 19, 1922 at Lost River, Hardy County, West Virginia and was laid to rest the next day at the Whitmer Family Cemetery on the land Sarah and Sellestine lived on for many years.

Lyle Whitmer in his work on the Whitmer family (Descendants of the Swiss Immigrant, Sons of John Whitmer:  Francis Suffare Whitmer & Sellesteen Whitmer, 1992) provides us with a transcription of Sarah's obituary, no newspaper is stated:
     "Death of Mrs. Sarah Whitmer
     Sarah Whitmer (nee Basey) was born in Shenandoah County, Va., Jan. 29, 1843, and died Feb. 19, 1922; aged 79 years and 20 days.  She was united in matrimony to Sellesteen Whitmer of Hardy Co., W. Va., May 17, 1866, at which place she was living at the time of her death. Her husband preceded her in death nearly three years ago.  They had 9 children - 2 sons and 7 daughters, being survived by 1 son and 6 daughters.  She leaves three sisters, Mrs. J. D. Stidley and Mrs. John Hepner, of Orkney Springs, Va.; and Mrs. Noah Beedle of Cross Roads, Va.  The funeral services were conducted by the Revs. Louis Shank and Joe Siles."

Photo of Sarah's headstone provided by a distant cousin.  Man and I have never been to the Whitmer family cemetery, it is located several miles up the "cove".  We did manage to locate the general area of the cemetery on one trip, but, the cemetery was far up the mountain, and we failed to find access without some guidance, which we did not have. 

Wish list for Sarah:  Complete searching and record the census enumerations stated above, 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920.  A personal visit to the cemetery.

*Source of the photo of Sarah is unclear, our apologies to the kind soul that shared.

** Additional source data can be obtained by contacting me, see the right hand column for a yahoo email address.

*** 52 Ancestors Weeks Button courtesy of Amy Johnson Crow.

**** I use many resources to research, is a free site. is a pay site for which I pay, no discounts, etc.  None of these sites have asked me to review them, or use them.  See my Disclaimers page for further details.


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