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Sunday, January 5, 2014

52 Ancestors: #1 Sarah M Graves

Sarah M. Holley/Holly (looking out the window) was the granddaughter of two American Revolutionary Soldiers, Joseph Holley/Holly and Henry Hatevil Fall.   Her parents were Numon Monroe Holley/Holly and Elizabeth Fall. She married Gilbert Graves on the 2nd day of March in 1859 and lived in Ellisburgh, Jefferson County, New York until 1877.  Elizabeth Holly, her mother, survived her father, Numon, and was executrix of his will.  I checked online resources to find Numon’s will and estate settlement and wrote to the Surrogate’s Court of Jefferson County to obtain copies.  These records have a wealth of information and have aided me in finding more information on Sarah’s siblings.  There were ten children born to Numon and Elizabeth Holly; viz. Don Carlos, Sarah Lucinda, Glorian, Lucinda Louise, Sarah M., Mary, Jane, Anson, Cynthia, and Preston.   The first two children died in infancy.  Jane and Preston died 12 May 1848 and have a joint tombstone, Cynthia died in 1869.  This left Glorian, Lucinda, Sarah, Anson and Mary still living at the time the will of Numon Holly was filed on the 12th day of June in 1871.  Glorian married Samuel H. Chamberlain, Lucinda never married and took care of her mother (as stipulated in her father’s will), Mary married A. L. Freeman and Anson, married for a short time, was an inmate at the St. Lawrence State Hospital until his death.  Sarah and Gilbert had four children, Adella, Wilbur, Florence and Burleigh. Sarah raised and sold canaries.  After her father’s death, Sarah and Gilbert Graves left New York in the winter of 1877.  They arrived first in Barber County, Kansas with two of their surviving children, Florence and Burleigh. Both children married in that county, Florence to Jared Hoag (that's them in the photo above) and Burleigh to Hattie Jesse.  Sarah and Gilbert made the Land Run into Oklahoma Territory on 16 September 1893.  Sarah kept a diary, which is in the possession of my aunt, of her life on the prairie.  They built a ‘half log and half dug out’ cabin along a creek.  The painting below was done in watercolor by my aunt.  It shows the log cabin after it was added onto two different times.  The log/dug out cabin was built onto, first adding a kitchen. The farm was mortgaged in August of 1906 for $400 so that a 4 room two story addition could be built on to the dug out to accommodate family planning to visit them in 1907.  The mortgage was paid off in August of 1911 and Gilbert died that November.  They had a cistern (as seen in this painting) that caught rain water for their household use.
  Sarah planted flowers on the roof of the dug out portion and continued to raise and sell canaries.   The dug out had a dirt floor which was swept and then sprinkled down with water to reduce the dust.  She draped sheets across the ceiling to keep the dirt from sifting down.  She lost one of her canaries to a snake that had crept in through the roof and into one of the cages.  They kept milk and butter cold by placing them in a bucket and lowering the bucket down into the water well.  They seined the creek for fish.   Their daughter Florence died the 28th of November in 1897 of consumption and the grandchildren, Mitchell, Ray and Elsie, came to live with them on the farm. For 10 years, 5 people lived in this little log/dug out cabin.  Gilbert was granted a patent on his homestead on the 25th of June in 1901.  Their son Burleigh decided to move his family to Alva so that his children could attend Northwestern Oklahoma State University.  Sarah moved to Alva with them, leaving the farm to Mitchell, Elsie and Ray.   Sarah died in 1925 leaving her brother, Anson, as her only surviving sibling. 

Mitchell married Mary Steinmetz in 1924 and they reared their family in the same house on the farm in Oklahoma
My mother and her six siblings were all born in this house. A brick brooder house for raising chickens as well as a hen house was erected on the farm and was still standing in 1997 when I last visited.  After Mitchell died, my grandmother Mary Hoag hired movers to move the entire house into Seiling, Oklahoma, leaving the original log/dug out cabin behind.  I painted a watercolor of the log/dug out cabin in high school and it still hangs on the wall of my parent’s home.  My aunt has painted many scenes of Oklahoma including the one above as well as the original home of Elsie Hoag who married John Steinmetz, Mary’s brother.  They married the same year and month as Mitchell and Mary.  Ray never married and lived in a one room cabin on the farm.  The family farm was sold by the heirs of Mitchell and Mary Hoag, I believe it was in 2005 but I don't have a copy of that record.

My goal in researching Sarah was to find as many original records and newspaper accounts of their lives.  I found her and Gilbert in the 1875 New York State Agricultural Census listing the crops and livestock they owned and sold, including butter and cheese.  I found marriage records for their two surviving children.  I found photos of the tombstones for Adelle and Wilbur Graves, they are buried in Saxe Cemetery in Jefferson County, New Yorkwww.nnygenealogy.com has been a wonderful resource for finding gravestone photos and clues to more information on Sarah and her family.  In 2004, one of my cousins and I got together and scanned 65 photos of the Hoag, Graves and Steinmetz families.  I then created a CD slideshow and mailed copies to all family members who wanted one.  There are still more original records out there waiting to be discovered.  I would like to visit Jefferson County, New York one day.


1 comment:

  1. Hi, Kathleen. I enjoyed reading your post and am fascinated with Sarah's story. I am married to a Holley and have been told that the name "Anson" goes back many generations. AND, though I haven't proven it, this branch of the Holley tree is said to have come to Mississippi from England via NewYork. I'll be keeping my eyes open for a connection to Sarah :-) Dianne

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