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Sunday, August 17, 2014

52 Ancestors: #33 Sarah Greer

Sarah, wife of Francis Hardgrave, was born on 7 February 1751, according to family Bible records. Edythe Rucker Whitley identified her as Sarah Skelton, and the book The History of the Hardgrave Family also states that Francis Hardgrave's wife was Sarah Skelton. Numerous online family trees also refer to Francis Hardgrave's wife as Sarah Skelton. However, she was actually Sarah Greer, daughter of John Greer.

Around 1770, Francis and Sarah Hardgrave moved from Virginia to Surry County, North Carolina; in 1778, the area became part of Wilkes County. They lived near John Greer and other members of the Greer family. John Greer's will mentions Sarah Hardgrave; she was one of the heirs of his estate. She must have been his daughter, since she inherited a portion of his estate along with his other children.

According to the family Bible, Francis and Sarah had the following children: James (born 12 December 1772), Sarah (born 31 December 1776), Robert (born 17 August 1778), Nancy (born 6 August 1780), Hannah (born 22 February 1782), Micajah Lewis (born 1 November 1783), Seeley (born 27 April 1786, died 1791), John (born 29 October 1787), and Skelton (born 7 May 1792).

Skelton is an unusual given name; Edythe Rucker Whitley may have assumed that Skelton Hardgrave was given his mother's maiden name. But he was not the only child in the family who was named Skelton. Hannah Greer, John Greer's daughter and Sarah's sister, named a son Skelton Taylor DeMoss. Sarah's grandson James Russell named a son Skelton. At first I thought that James named his son after his uncle, but then I found out that James' wife Miriam Hill had a brother named Skelton. The name may have come from a family surname, but if so, it must have come from an earlier generation. There is no other evidence that suggests that Sarah's surname was Skelton.

The Hardgrave family moved to Kentucky about 1795, and then to Davidson County, Tennessee around 1799.

Francis Hardgrave died in 1828,  and Sarah was listed as head of household in the 1830 United States census. Sarah died on 30 November 1832.

Davidson County Tennessee tax list, 1929. Tennessee, Early Tax List Records, 1783-1895. Original data: Early Tax Lists of Tennessee. Microfilm, 12 rolls. The Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee.

Sarah Hardgrave will. Davidson County, Tennessee. Available from Tennessee, Probate Court Files, 1795-1927 on FamilySearch.

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