Sunday, January 19, 2014

#52Ancestors Week 3: Sarah (Combs) Webb

Once again, thanks to Amy Johnson Crow for her great idea to write about 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

This week I wanted to share the story of my maternal great-great-grandma, Sarah Ann (Combs) Webb.  I wish I had more than a basic outline of her details because I feel certain that her life was very difficult.  It would have been interesting to hear her describe it in her own words.

Born about 1840 in southwestern Virginia, "Sally's" parents were Newell and Frances (Beamer) Combs.  On July 20, 1855, she married John J. Webb in Carroll County, VA.  She gave birth to four children while he was alive.  After the South seceded from the Union in 1860, John Webb joined Co. I of the 13th Virginia Infantry, fighting for the Confederacy.  At first I assumed that John Webb was my ancestor and that he had fathered my great-grandmother, Rhoda (Webb) Tolbert, after he had returned from the war.  However, I was disappointed to learn that John Webb was taken prisoner and died of typhoid at the Federal Prison Camp at Camp Chase near Columbus, Ohio on May 2, 1865.  Since Rhoda Webb was born in October of 1866, it seems unlikely that John J. Webb was her father.

Sarah Webb bore 9 children after her husband died, but she never remarried.  A distant cousin, Freddie Spradlin, mentioned in an email that when he looked at the original birth records for her children at the court house in Carroll County, VA, he found notes from a person he called a "helpful" clerk (quotes added by Freddie) noting that her husband had died in the Civil War. 

I haven't been able to locate burial places for most of my ancestors on my mother's side of the family and I have assumed that their graves were unmarked.  I was very excited to find Sarah listed on Find a Grave HERE. Her memorial had been created by a volunteer who was able to visit  Cruise Cemetery in Carroll County where Sarah is buried. In October of 2013, I was able to visit her grave myself and took many photos, including the one I've posted here.  It seems likely that this marker was placed long after she died.  I find it interesting that only the first three of her children are mentioned on the stone, although another of her children, Fair Lillian (Webb) Nester is buried nearby. There is also no date of death engraved.  I have been unable to determine exactly when Sarah Webb died.  She was still living when the 1900 Census was taken, but she was not enumerated in the census for 1910.  She probably passed away sometime between those years, but since many of my ancestors seem to have hidden from the census taker, I'm not assuming that is true.

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