Month: July 2014

23. Sarah A. Fowler

Today is my husband’s birthday. But, it is also his 3rd great grandmother’s birthday, Sarah A. “Sallie” Fowler. So, she is this week’s blog entry for the 52 Ancestors challenge.

Sarah was born on July 27th, 1837 in Alabama to Lewis Fowler and Lucinda Perkins. However, the family had moved and the Fowler family was living in Union Parish, Lousiana in 1850. They later moved to nearby Jackson Parish in Louisiana, sometime before 1860.

Around 1855, Sarah married Martin Abraham Tullos. They were living in Jackson Paris in 1860, near her parents, and had 3 children of their own: John Abraham, William Lewis, and Malinda.

Martin joined the Confederate Army during the Civil War, and I have not been able to find out anything more about him after 1862. So, it is unknown if her died during the Civil War or not. But, he was clearly out of the picture in Sarah’s life. Sometime around 1864, she married Greenbury Sanders, and had 5 more children: Lenora, Robert, Leroy, Leon, and Charles. The family moved to Comanche County. Texas before 1880.

Sarah died on September 13, 1900 in Comanche, Texas. She is buried in the Zion Hill Cemetery in Comanche, Texas.

Sarah Jane Keiper – An update and DNA results

A few months ago, I wrote a 52 Ancestors blog about my great great grandparents, Augustus and Sarah Jane (Keiper) Hettig. It was said that Sarah was a full blooded Indian that was adopted.

However, when I took a DNA test last year, Native American did not show up at all in my results. My ethnicity estimate is 40% Ireland, 35% Great Britain, 11% Italy/Greece, 9% Europe West, and trace regions consist of Iberian Peninsula, Finland/Northwest Russia, Europe East, Scandinavia, and Melanesia.

So was Sarah not Native America or did I just not receive any of the Native American DNA? And did the trace Melanesia figure in?

I bought another test and had my Mom take it. Her results were: 47% Europe West, 27% Scandinavia, 20% Italy/Greece, and trace regions Iberian Peninsula, Great Britain, European Jewish. No Native American.

So, do these results prove Sarah was not an Indian? In the photo of her with her husband, she looks like she had a dark complexion, and looked like she could have been Indian. Perhaps she was of Italian or Greek descent instead? And was she really adopted? Since she was born around 1853, and there are no adoption records for that time to really find out.

So, I’m not sure if I will ever find any answers to all the questions I have on my great great grandmother.

21. Johannes Serfass – Revolutionary War Patriot

Today is July 4th, so deciding who to blog about for the 52 Ancestors challenge was a simple decision. My 5th great grandfather, Johannes Serfass, served in the Pennsylvania militia during the Revolutionary War.

Johannes, or “John” was born in Philadelphia on March 20, 1752 to Philip and Maria Catherina (Altemous) Serfass. Philip purchased land north of the Blue Mountain in Chestnuthill Township in what is now Monroe County, Pennsylvania and moved his family there so he could farm and develop the land around 1753. Philip and his neighbors named the land “Pleasant Valley.”

However, Philip and his neighbors were in danger of Indian attacks. In 1755, the Hoeth family, neighbors of the Serfass family, were massacred by Indians. Philip and his family fled to Nazareth, PA and resided at The Red Rose Inn, seeking refuge from the Moravian Congregation there. Many other of the Pleasant Valley residents followed suit.

The colonial government at the time responded to the growing Indian raids by building a series of forts. One of those forts was built on Philip Serfass’ land and was known as “Fort Norris.” After the forts were built, Philip and his family returned.

About 20 years later, the colonies found themselves in a Revolutionary War with Great Britain. Philip’s son, John, was among the many men that answered the call and went off to fight for their freedom. John served in the 4th Battalion, Northampton County in Captain John Gregory’s company as a clerk and a soldier.

Sometime before 1778, John married Susannah Hone. They had 15 children. John died on July 11, 1825 at his home in Chestnuthill Township. He is buried in the Salem Church Cemetery in Gilbert, PA.