52 Ancestors,
in 52 Weeks
Week 16:
Out of Place

Catherine Landon, 1844-1920

I wrote about my great, great grandmother Catherine Landon’s family for the week 11 prompt, “Large Family.” [1] While writing that post I realized I had not identified an exact date of death for Catherine. She appears in the 1880 census with her children and her husband George. [2] Although, George’s name is crossed out and “deceased” written in the column labeled “Sick.” (I have found George in the 1880 Mortality Schedule.) I had long assumed Catherine died sometime between 1880 and 1900 since I had not found her in the 1900 census, and there is no 1890 census. But, while writing the Week 11 post, I decided to make a push to find Catherine and, I did! She was out of place, but once I found her everything fell into place.

The Search

At first, I looked more closely at Catherine’s children. I knew I would not find her living with my great grandparents since I am very familiar with their various census records. Her other adult son, Henry, died in 1894, but no obituary naming surviving relations can be found. I looked for records of Catherine’s surviving daughter, Lizzy Lafary Carothers, but found just marriage and the 1900 census. Neither mention Catherine, although Lizzy did name her only child, born in 1897, Catherine. I considered this could indicate Catherine died prior to 1897.

A Discovery

I decided I would need to cast a wide net to find Catherine. Since her married surname is unusual (I wrote about that Week 3.) [3] I searched on Ancestry.com for everyone with the surname “Lafar*” between 1880 and 1900 in Indiana. I focused on death records and the 1900 census, particularly any in Hamilton County, or the surrounding counties. A 1900 census record for an 11-year-old boy named Jesse Lafara, living in Cicero Twp, Tipton County, jumped out. [4] He is listed as “Grand Son” with an occupation of “helping his g mother.” The adults in the household, presumably his grandparents, are given as “Wm and Katherine Sanders.” A closer look at Katherine Sanders revealed she was born the same year and in the same state as my missing Catherine.


I wanted to find out more about Katherine Sanders. I searched Ancestry.com using her husband’s name among the marriage records for Tipton and surrounding counties. If Katherine Sanders was my Catherine, then the marriage would have occurred after 1880. I quickly found a William Sanders marrying a Catherine Lafare on 1 June 1882 in Hamilton County. [5] I found her! Out of place, not where I expected, but there she was on a marriage index with a man named Sanders. Catherine was just 36 when her husband George died, I should have considered she remarried.


I quickly uncovered more census records, newspaper articles and death records for the Sanders’. They moved to Madison County before 1910 [6] and Catherine died 24 July 1920 in Summitville. [7] She is buried there in Vinson Memorial Park near her husband William who died in 1932. [8] I found an obituary for Catherine in a local paper, The Alexandria Times-Tribune, and it lists her children, “Mrs. Elizabeth Crothers” and “John Lafare,” my great grandfather. [9]

Vinson Cemetery

Headstone next to plant is William and Sarah Lafara, headstone in center is Uva Lafara Ratchford, military headstone is William Sanders, tall headstone to his left is Catherine Landon Lafara Sanders and headstone to her left is Jesse Lafara.


Catherine’s grandson Jesse Lafara went on to marry, have two children, lose a child to disease, divorced, and live a long life. He died in 1969 at age 80 in Muncie, IN and is buried near his grandmother. [10] His surviving daughter Uva lived her adult life in Muncie where she was an accountant, she died in 1991 at age 78 and is buried near her father and great grandmother. [11]


1. https://barblafara.com/george-lafary-and-catherine-landon-large-family/

2. Entry for Kate Lafary, U.S. Federal Census, Year: 1880; Census Place: Jackson, Hamilton, Indiana; Enumeration District: 35; Page: 320C; Roll: 281; FHL microfilm: 1254281

3. https://barblafara.com/laferre-to-lafara-unusual-name/

4. Entry for Jesse Lafara, U.S. Federal Census, Year: 1900; Census Place: Cicero, Tipton, Indiana; Enumeration District: 0119; Page: 11; FHL microfilm: 1240406

5. Entry for William Sanders, Indiana Marriage Collection, 1800-1941; Hamilton County, Indiana; Index to Marriage Record 1880-1899 Inclusive Volume, Part One 1880-1889 Part Two 1890-1899 W. P. A Orig; Book: 6; Page: 452

6. Entry for Kathern Sanders, U.S. Federal Census, Year: 1910; Census Place: Van Buren, Madison, Indiana; Enumeration District: 0128; Page: 23A; Roll: T624_365; FHL microfilm: 1374378

7. Entry for Catherine Sanders, Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011 [database on-line], Ancestry.com; Indiana Archives and Records Administration; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Death Certificates; Year: 1920; Roll: 14

8. Catherine “Kate” Landon Sanders, Find A Grave Memorial, FindAGrave.com; https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/57766427; accessed 9 July 2019

9. “The Alexandria Times-Tribune” 26 July 1920, p1, col2, below fold, “Aged Woman Dies at Summitvillehttps://www.newspapers.com/image/81287468; accessed 9 July 2019

10. Entry for Jesse Lafara, Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011 [database on-line], Ancestry.com; Indiana Archives and Records Administration; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Death Certificates; Year: 1969; Roll: 11.

11. Entry for Uva D Ratchford, Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011 [database on-line], Ancestry.com; Indiana Archives and Records Administration; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Death Certificates; Year: 1991; Roll: 15.