Sunday, June 20, 2010

Great Grandfather John Hamilton Morgan's cousin, Sarah Morgan Hamilton Rankin.

I wanted to know more about this lady than I was able to learn in the gray brochure I posted about here. Having studied the 100 some-odd Hamiltons that appear in the 1850 Decatur, Indiana Census, helped me.

Sarah Morgan Hamilton is Great Grandfather John Hamilton Morgan’s cousin. Why do their Morgan and Hamilton names appear in opposite order of one another?

Sarah's mother is Mary Morgan Hamilton, married to Uncle Marshall (Robert Marshall) Hamilton [some information about him is posted here]. John Hamilton Morgan’s father, Garrard III Morgan, is Mary Morgan Hamilton’s brother [some information about him is posted here].

Sarah was born to Uncle Robert Marshall and Aunt Mary “Polly” Morgan Hamilton in 1845 in Decatur, Indiana. The Hamilton's gave their first daughter her mother's maiden name, Sarah Morgan Hamilton.

On February 24, 1875, in Decatur County, Indiana, Sarah was married to John T. Rankin, a man 20 years her senior.

In the 1880 Washington Township, Decatur, Indiana census, John was listed as a farmer, born in Ohio, and his mother and father were born in Tennessee. Sarah was keeping house.

A daughter, Mary, was born to them. According to the 1900 census, they were still in Washington, Decatur, Indiana. John T. was listed as age 74, and Sarah Rankin as age 54. There 16-year old daughter would have been born in about 1884. Under the question to the mother of how many of her children were living, Sarah listed 1. Under "how many children," she listed 4.

According to this record, John T. Rankin served in two South Carolina infantry divisions, and one from Illinois. His place of birth on his census record was Ohio, with his parents each born in Tennessee.

According to this Civil Ward record, John T. Rankin filed for an invalid’s pension in 1890. Sarah filed for a widow’s pension on July 18, 1915.

In the 1930 Greensburg, Decatur, Indiana census, Sarah Rankin was 84, and her daughter, Mary Rankin was 45, and lived with her mother.

What became of Mary "Polly" Morgan Hamilton's granddaughter, Mary, who was named for her grandmother?
Marriage Records 1878-1905 Books L thru P, compiled by Ruth M. Slevin Part I-Grooms Part II, Book L, Page 150, Indiana Marriage Collection, 1800-1941 [database on-line. Provo, UT, Operations Inc, 2005.


  1. This is such a neat picture with the reflection.

  2. Thank you, Flora Lee. I thought it was very nice too, second or third generation copy that it may be. NFS shows Sarah’s death date as 3 November 1942. And, for the first time I located gravestones at Find A Grave.