Sunday, January 12, 2014

52 Ancestors #1 Sarah L. Babcock

Sarah L. Babcock

   Shortsville (one of seven villages that make up the town of Manchester), Ontario County, New York was the birthplace of Sarah L. Babcock on October 12, 1852.[1] The 1860 census lists her parents as George W. and Mary A. and a sister, Martha A. That census also lists their residence as Manchester, Ontario County, New York. This was an important town on the Lehigh Valley Railroad. The Erie Canal also passed through northeast corner of the town.[2] Her father was listed as a miller and her mother a domestic in that census.

            On February 2, 1870 she married George A. Hadley in Canandaigua, NY. It would be seven years before her first child was born. George is listed in the 1870 census but with no occupation. They were living with Sarah’s father. The father was then listed as Washington Babcock and what must be a second wife, named Fanny since she is much younger with small children. Sarah has three half-brothers in this census, George W.-7-yrs-old, William W.-5-yrs-old and Samuel C.-2-yrs-old. Her father is listed as a farm laborer.
            Sarah and George’s daughter, Mattie B., was born on January 24, 1877 in Shortsville.
George Hadley died on May 30, 1880 of Sciatic Rheumatism. His occupation was harness maker and his cause of death was reported to have been contracted in the army.[3]

Life must have been difficult for the widowed Sarah trying to support herself and a young daughter. It wasn’t surprising that she was willing to marry Spencer Downey on January 17, 1883. Spencer was a widower raising two sons, John Henry and Frank Oliver. They had a daughter, Clara about 1889. Clara died young.
Sometime between their marriage and the 1900 census they moved to Batavia, NY.[4] Her daughter also was living in Batavia and married to William Augustus Bristol at this time too.
On October 12, 1926, Sarah died in Batavia and was buried in the Manchester Cemetery in Shortsville, NY.[5] Her husband, Spencer was alive at the time of her death. 

[1] Database online. Year: 1860; Census Place: Manchester, Ontario, New York; Roll: ; Page: 448; Image: 449. Also the 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 Censuses and her obituary
[2] “History of Manchester, NY”, History of Ontario County New York, 1893, and “Manchester, NY”, Wikipedia,,_New_York, 1/6/2014
[3] 1880 Federal Mortality Schedule
[4] Year: 1900; Census Place: Batavia, Genesee, New York; Roll: 1038; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0006; FHL microfilm: 1241038
[5] Sarah Downing obituary

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