Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sarah Jane Miller Brooks Anderson

Sarah Jane Miller

I've spent more time lately researching my mother's paternal line thanks to a Randy Seaver's recent Saturday Night Genealogy Fun to list all 16 of our great great grandparents.  My maternal grandparents divorced when my mother was about 10 and since she didn't stay close to her dad, we never really knew our grandfather.  Her mother remarried and her step dad was the man we considered Grandpa.  But that other line has always been out there, just waiting to be found :-)

I last wrote about my 2nd great grandfather, William Brooks, who was killed at the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862.  While I've had other ancestors who served in the Civil War, William is the first I've found who died during the war and the first who served for the Confederate Army. 

I wonder how long it took before Sarah Jane Miller Brooks knew she was a widow with four small children to care for.  What must communication have been like in 1862?  Did someone come to her door to notify her or did she wait anxiously for a letter from her husband that never arrived.  No matter how she was told, she was alone.

Sarah was born in South Carolina in November, 1836 and was the third child of Albert Miller and Margaret Finley.  I have a lot more research to do on Albert and Margaret but I do know that when Albert died in 1856, he left "one negro girl (value $595) and ten bushels of wheat (value $13.25)" to Sarah's husband, William Brooks. I guess the daughter's share was given to her husband in those days.

In 1868 Sarah married John Hayward Anderson and together they had two children and moved to Fresno in 1888.  It is this part of the family to which I've recently connected and my new-found cousin has graciously shared the photo above (as well as many other treasures) with me.  Thank you, Terry!

Sarah died in Fresno on April 30, 1923.  She was survived by all six of her children, 21 grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren.

I don't know much about Sarah but I'm sure I'll learn more.  I do know that she looks like a very kind woman and I wish I'd had an opportunity to know her.  There are so many questions I'd like to ask.......


  1. She indeed looks like a kind woman. Beautiful picture.

  2. I've not found any ancestors who crossed the entire country in one generation - at least not until after WWII. What a journey she had...