52 Ancestors: #16 Sarah Jane Harris Whitney --My Maternal 2nd Great Grandmother

I am participating in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge put forth by Amy Johnson Crow of the blog No Story Too Small. If you aren't familiar with the challenge be sure to check out her blog.

Last week I featured my 2nd great grandfather Samuel Whitney on this blog for my 52 Ancestors post. It seemed appropriate to follow up with his wife and my 2nd great grandmother, Sarah J Harris Whitney, this week.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia {{subst:User:Dbenbenn/clm|county=Jones County|state=North Carolina|type=county}}
Jones County, NC is noted in red.

This is what I know of her life so far. According to her death certificate, she was born in Jones County, NC on October 11, 1866 however, an entry in the family bible which I featured here on this blog in 2012 shows her year of birth was 1859.

Image from the Whitney/Harrison family bible.

This 1870 and 1880 Federal censuses seem to corroborate the entry found in the family bible so 1859 is the year I have chosen to go along with. Her parents were a Bristow/Brister Harris and Amy Brown who resided in New Bern, NC after the Civil War. Here's the family group listed in the 1870 and 1880 Federal Censuses. 

Image courtesy of FamilySearch.org.
"United States Census, 1870," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MW8X-DCS : accessed 28 May 2014), Sarah A Harris in household of Bristow Harris, North Carolina, United States; citing p. 29, family 288, NARA microfilm publication M593, FHL microfilm 000552631.

Image courtesy of Ancestry.com 
Source Information:  Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 
1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: New Berne, Craven, North Carolina; Roll: 959; 
Family History Film: 1254959; Page: 292C; Enumeration District: 043; Image: 0753.

Sarah married Samuel Whitney on August 8, 1883 in New Bern, NC. From this union, a number 8 children were born. Early on in my research, I knew from the 1900 census that my 2nd great grandparents had lost 2 kids prior to 1900. I didn't find out until a couple of years ago when I had a chance to review through the family bible the names of those who had died.

Children of Sarah Jane Harris Whitney and Samuel Whitney:

Bristor F Whitney (June 20, 1884--died same day)
Samuel David Whitney (November 3, 1885--March 12, 1957)
Johnny Edward Whitney (May 16, 1887--September 1888)
Johney H Whitney (September 27, 1888--unknown)
George W Whitney (January 2, 1891--unknown)
Benjamin William Whitney (November 3, 1893--February 1970)
Amey Ularah Whitney Pearson (May 12, 1896--September 7, 1913)
Carrie Ethel Whitney Harrison (October 11, 1897--August 1, 1939) --my great grandmother

Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: New Bern, Craven, North Carolina; Roll: 1683; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0019; Image: 953.0; FHL microfilm: 2341417.

She worked as a laundress and raised her family on the land that she, her husband and mother purchased in New Bern in July 1883. She remained on that same land even after her husband Samuel passed away in 1916. She was a loving mother and grandmother and assisted her daughter Carrie Whitney Harrison with the raising of her kids. My great grandmother Carrie would go on to eventually inherit the house at 10 Brown's Alley (now 709 Hatties Lane) from her mother.

Sarah Jane Harris Whitney died from a cerebral hemorrhage on September 12, 1937. She's buried at Greenwood Cemetery in New Bern, NC.

To see more of the Whitney/Harrison family bible, take a look at these posts:

Amanuensis Monday: The Whitney/Harrison Family Bible--Part one

Amanuensis Monday: The Whitney/Harrison Family Bible--Part two

Amanuensis Monday: The Whitney/Harrison Bible--Part three


  1. They had such large families back then for a reason I suppose, working the land was a rough job, but it seems women had to be made of some "rough stuff" because they endured and that's how we got here! Great story!

  2. Wonderful story Andrea on your 2nd great-grandmother.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

It's Been A Long Time

Amanuensis Monday: Charity Ambrose Deed to Mt. Olive Methodist Church

Pink Invitational 2020