Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sarah Jane Harris Kendall, from Appalachia to the Prairie (52 Ancestors #28)

This is another article for the series "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks", a challenge by Amy Johnson Crow on No Story Too Small.

Today I'd like to introduce my 2nd great-grandmother, Sarah Jane Harris Kendall, mother of Henry Martin Kendall, my great-grandfather (whom I've not yet profiled).  Her profile is based solely on internet sources and all of it requires further evidence.  If there are any Harris-Kendall cousins out there, please inquire within!

Map Courtesy of

Sarah Jane Harris spent over three decades living in a four county area of northeastern Kentucky: Lawrence, Morgan, Carter and maybe Rowan.  Much of the region is in the Cumberland Plateau region west of the main Appalachian Mountains.  Densely forested, rugged, yet beautiful land.  An enlargement  (above) of the four county area excerpted from a Kentucky county map shows the geographic relationship of each county.   

She was born in Lawrence County, Kentucky[1] in November 1830[2] to parent's whose names are yet to be determined.

On 12 Apr 1855, Sarah Jane Harris married Lewis Henry Kendall[3] in Morgan County, Kentucky. Their first two children died the year of birth, 1856[4] and 1857[5].  Subsequent children were:
  • James W., 1858 and Celia A., 1859[6] in Morgan County
  • John Allen, 1861 in Carter County, Kentucky[8] [9]
  • Henry Martin, 1864 in (maybe) Rowan County, Kentucky[10]
  • Rebecca Susan, 1866[11]
  • Elijah, 1869[12] and Melvin Hayden, 1872 in Clark’s Creek County, Kansas[13]
Sarah raised her children and kept house while Lewis farmed the land during their 19 years of marriage.  They lived in various locations over the years:
  • August 1860 in Carter County, Kentucky (Bruin Post Office).[7]
  • June 1870 in Clark’s Creek, Morris County, Kansas (Council Grove Post Office).[14]
Kendall family in 1870 U.S. federal census, Morris County, Kansas [14]
(click to enlarge)
The Kendall family had probably lived in Kansas for about five years when, on 31 Jan 1874, Lewis Kendall died at 46 years of age.  He was buried in Burton Cemetery in Parkerville, Morris County, Kansas.[15]

The following year, 45 year old Sarah and the children were living in Highland Township, Morris County, Kansas (White City Post Office).  Son James W., at 17 was the man of the house and farming the land.  Celia Ann was 16 and Henry M., 10.  The 1875 Kansas State Census showed the value of personal property at $80.[16]. Rebecca, Melvin and Elijah were not recorded in the household. However, could "M.H. Kendall, 2," family #59 in this census be Sarah’s youngest son, Melvin living/staying with a nearby family?

Beginning with the 1880 U.S. federal census, and the next 30 years, Sarah lived in Ohio Township, Morris County, Kansas.  At first she was the head of household, then James.  Sarah was 50 now, James W., 21, Henry Martin, 14, and Melvin H., 7.  James continued to farm.[17]

James married Emma in about 1886 and they had eight children.  For census years 1900 and 1910, Sarah continued to live with James and was surrounded by grandchildren. The farm was owned and #26 on the Farm Schedule.[18] [19]

From the mountains of Appalachia to the prairie of Kansas, 82 year old Sarah Harris Kendall called it a life when she died on 12 Aug 1912 in Morris County.  She was buried in Burton Cemetery, Parkerville, Morris County, Kansas.[20]

Future Research
  • Obtain birth, marriage, death and land records
  • Name Sarah's parents and siblings
  • Follow-up on "missing" children in 1875 census
  • Determine town names in four counties
  • Develop assumptions for relocating
  • Find evidence of religious affiliation
  • Locate living relatives of Sarah's children


[1] "Kentucky Marriages, 1785-1979," index, FamilySearch, Lewis Kindall and Sarah Harris, 12 Apr 1855; citing, Lawrence, Kentucky, reference ; FHL microfilm 216831
[2] Year: 1900; Census Place: Ohio, Morris, Kansas; Roll: 491; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0107; FHL microfilm: 1240491.
[3] See Footnote #1
[4] "Kentucky Births and Christenings, 1839-1960," index, FamilySearch, Kendall, 12 Jan 1856; citing, MORGAN, KENTUCKY, reference; FHL microfilm 216835.
[5] "Kentucky Births and Christenings, 1839-1960," index, FamilySearch, Kendall, 14 Feb 1857; citing, MORGAN, KENTUCKY, reference; FHL microfilm 216835.
[6] Kentucky, Birth Records, 1852-1910: Original data: Kentucky. Kentucky Birth, Marriage and Death Records – Microfilm (1852-1910). Microfilm rolls #994027-994058.
[7] 1860; Census Place: Carter County, Kentucky; Roll: M653_361; Page: 341; Image: 341; Family History Library Film: 803361.
[8] "Kentucky Births and Christenings, 1839-1960," index, FamilySearch, Kendall, 05 Jul 1861; citing Carter, Kentucky, reference 2:2C31X2H; FHL microfilm 216819.
[9] Unsourced Word document of Denise Hibsch Richmond
[10] See Footnote 13.
[11] See Footnote 13.
[12] See Footnote 13.
[13] See Footnote 9.
[14] Year: 1870; Census Place: Clarks Creek, Morris, Kansas; Roll: M593_439; Page: 679B; Image: 599; Family History Library Film: 545938. Township : Clarks Creek.  Accessed on
[15] Find-A-Grave Memorial #21500700, created by Theresa, photos by Renate.
[16] 1875 Kansas State Census. Microfilm reels K-1 – K-20. Kansas State Historical Society.  Accessed on Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925.
[17] "United States Census, 1880," index and images, FamilySearch, Sarah Kendall, Ohio, Morris, Kansas, United States; citing sheet 408A, NARA microfilm publication T9.
[18] "United States Census, 1900," index and images, FamilySearch, Sarah Kendall in household of James W Kendall, Ohio Township, Morris, Kansas, United States; citing sheet 2A, family 26, NARA microfilm publication T623, FHL microfilm 1240491.
[19] "United States Census, 1910," index and images, FamilySearch, Sarrah Kendall in household of James W Kendall, Ohio, Morris, Kansas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 88, sheet 2A, family 30, NARA microfilm publication T624, FHL microfilm 1374462.
[20] Find-A-Grave Memorial #21500813, created by Theresa, photos by Renate.

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