This is the 16th article in the genealogy project “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition.” This week’s theme is “Live long.”
Sarah Fagan is a paternal fourth great-grandmother. Most of the information about her comes from two sources.
One source is the book, “Everett/Everitt Family: A Genealogical History, written by A.K. Regsiter, who was a certified genealogist and who was herself an Everett. The second source is a book, “Laurus Crawfurdiana: Memoirs of the Crawford Family Memorials of that branch of the Crawford Family which comprises the descendants of John Crawford of Virginia.” It was written in 1883 by first cousin three times removed Frank Crawford Vanderbilt, a great-granddaughter of Sarah Fagan. Although the book is primarily about Crawford ancestors, it has a chapter on Everett ancestors as well.
Sarah Fagan was born in 1746 in North Carolina to Bedford Fagan and his wife Mary. Little is documented about Sarah until she got married. A.K. Register said Sarah Fagan married John Everett around 1772, probably in Tyrrell County. Sarah and John had seven children between 1774 and 1786.
Sarah and John moved to Georgia in 1785 after John returned from serving in the American Revolution. John Everett died in 1820 and Sarah outlived him by 31 years. John left all of his assets to Sarah with instructions to divide everything into seven shares upon her death. However, Sarah died in 1851 at the age of 104 or 105 and outlived all seven of her children.
Sarah left a noncupative will, which means she dictated it to witnesses, who wrote it down. The will was immediately challenged in court. The court appointed Sarah’s grandson, Jehu, son of Sarah’s son Joshua, as her estate’s administrator. The property and money were divided into seven shares and distributed to heirs and attorneys.
Both Sarah’s will and the Crawford family book state that Sarah was mentally alert and in possession of all of her faculties until the end of her life.
At age 95 Sarah appeared before a justice of the peace to apply for a pension for John’s military service. No one knows why John never received a pension. Considering more than 60 years had passed since John’s service, Sarah gave detailed information on where he served, where he was when he was wounded, and who his commanding officers were.
Sarah’s great-granddaughter, Frank Crawford Vanderbilt, provides the best information on what Sarah looked like and what her life was like as a widow.
“She possessed a very fair complexion, was small of stature, but very healthy and active, rising before daybreak to superintend her household affairs, and continuing her activity to an extreme old age.
She was made a cripple for several years before her death, having injured her hip by a fall, but she was carried about the house in her arm-chair, and rode out almost every day in her rockaway. Notwithstanding her misfortune, she lived to the great age of 104 years, outliving her husband many years, wonderfully retaining her mental faculties and still managing her affairs.”
Sarah Fagan died May 24, 1851 in Bulloch County, Ga., leaving behind many descendants who were around to know her and thousands more since.
To receive email alerts when a new article is posted, click on the “Subscribe” button next to my photo and bio, located at the bottom of this page or at the top of my main articles page. Follow me on Twitter: @ancestrysleuth to get other genealogy news. I am also the National Hobbies Examiner and write about people and their favorite hobbies. Follow me @funhobby for more hobby news. Other links of interest: