Sarah Mary Tucker Lafary, 1800 – 1889
Sarah was born to Levi and Susannah Tucker in Prince George Parrish, MD in February of 1800. Soon after Sarah’s birth, the Tucker family relocated to Ohio, probably to the area now comprising Brown County in the southern part of the state on the Ohio River. Sarah’s father Levi served in the Ohio Militia during the War of 1812 in Capt. Hugh Flinn’s company. According to county marriage records, Sarah married John Laffary on 25 April 1822. John was nearly 30 years older than Sarah, he was a contemporary of her father and along with Levi Tucker was one of the first settlers in the Brown County area. Since Levi Tucker served in the War of 1812, I decided to search for records to support the idea that John Laffary also served. I searched military records for Ohio and Pennsylvania since I knew John lived in both those states. I also searched on variants of his surname. What I found was at first disappointing and then profoundly sad.
Family tree of Sarah Tucker Lafary, based on my research, as of October 2018
I searched online for any evidence of John Lafary serving in the War of 1812. I found many similar names, and I believe his brother and/or a son. The state of Ohio posted many research aids leading up to the 200th anniversary of the war and Fold3 has a wealth of scanned original documents. I eventually found a ‘Widows Pension Application‘ file on Fold3 for John Lafary which led me to hope I would find a service record. What I found was a 45 page file that included letters from lawyers and memos from officials AND, most amazingly, a handwritten letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary to the then president of the United States, Grover Cleveland. It was her last appeal for a pension, sadly the pension was denied. However, finding this letter was a reward in itself. The letter gives a glimpse of a person who had no formal education, a poor farmers wife, then widow, mother of nine, who probably just wanted some independence through an income of her own. Below is the scanned image of the letter and my transcription.
Below is my transcription of the letter written by Sarah Tucker Lafary (1800-1889) on 3 January 1888 to President Grover Cleveland with regard to the War of 1812 widow’s pension she hoped to receive. Sarah originally applied in 1886 and had been through several appeals. The second page of the letter shows the stamps of the various departments that received this letter. Her claim was rejected, she never received a pension.
I have transcribed as she wrote, including the poor spelling and grammar, and line breaks as they are in the letter.
January the 3 – 1888
Mr president I take plesure
to rite you a few lines to you
about my afars conserning
pension money Sarah
lafara the wido of John
lafara her husband who
was from brown county
ohio under Sewmalt as
his capton in the year 1812
for the purpes of defending
his contry well now mister
gover clevlant i wis you cold
get mee a pension for i am a
needy wid and if tre is
a chance for a penshon i think
that i am worthey of the same
now i will close riting for
this time hoping to here
from you shortly youers
trooly Sarah lafara to
pleas send you
leter which you will
rite to mee direct to
atlanta Hamilton county Ind
in the care of Henry Smelsor
by her reqwest
Prince George Parrish, MD
Perry Township, Brown County, OH
Ripley County, IN
Although Sarah Tucker Lafary was born in Maryland, her family moved to Perry Township in Brown County, Ohio shortly after her birth. It was in Brown County that she married John Lafary and it was there their nine children were born. About 1842, Sarah and John, and their nine children moved to Johnson Township in Ripley County, Indiana. After John’s death in 1850, Sarah and some of the children returned to Brown County for a time. After the Civil War, Sarah moved back to Indiana with two of her sons and they lived for a time near Rushville in Rush County. Then, sometime before 1877, the family moved to Hamilton County, near the farming community of Atlanta. It was while living in Hamilton County, with her youngest son Francis Marion Lafara, that Sarah filed for the pension and it was there she died at the age of 89.
 “Maryland, Births and Christenings Index, 1662-1911” FHL: 13201, Ancestry, Provo, UT
 “U.S., War of 1812 Service Records, 1812-1815” Roll: 212, film# M602, Ancestry, Provo, UT
 “Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993” FHL: 000384273, FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah
 “The History of Brown County, Ohio: Etc.” Higginson Book Company, Pub. 1883, page 482
 “War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index, 1812-1815” Roll: 55, film# M313, Ancestry, Provo, UT
 “War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files” NARA, Pension# 44214, Page: 43
 Entry for Sarah Lee Ferry, 1850 United States Federal Census, Roll: M432_169; Page: 240A, Ancestry, Provo, UT; https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/8054/4192474_00109/2289856
 Entry for Sarah Laffery, 1860 United States Federal Census, Roll: M653_938; Page: 188, Ancestry, Provo, UT; https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/7667/4304697_00380/43677546
 Entry for Sarah Leffry, 1870 United States Federal Census, Roll: M593_356; Page: 448B, Ancestry, Provo, UT; https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/7163/4263270_00364/21752915
Born Takeo Furukawa on 15 March 1883 in Tottori-Ken, Tokyo, Japan, little is documented of his early childhood. Family oral history stories say that the young Takeo experienced hunger, poverty and the loss of his family. Additionally, the stories tell of friendship, spiritual learning and scholarship.
My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne, lived at over 20 addresses around Indianapolis between 1876 and 1942. I thought it would be interesting to see all the old buildings and homes where he lived in my hometown of Indianapolis.
My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne (1848-1942), was a widower with two young sons in 1886 when he married Jennie Warbington (1857-1918) in Minneapolis on the 27th of May. I decided it was time to put sources to the story.
While working on a family photo project I decided it would be fun to compare side-by-side my father and his parents, at similar ages, to try and discover a family resemblance.
Jesse King was born in Ohio (probably in the vicinity of Chillicothe) in 1805, he was a son of Philip King and Mary Leah Wright, both of Pennsylvania. Philip King was a farmer, he married Leah Wright in 1801 in Somerset, PA, they had six children, of whom Jesse was the third.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 2: Challenge
So much about genealogy research is a challenge, perhaps the most common challenge is the ‘brick wall,’ meet Sarah Smith. 18?? – 1846
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 3: Unusual Name
The surnames in my tree are typical of common western European names. However, the name that is unusual among these names is MY surname: LaFara.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 6: Surprise!
Just when you think you know everything about an ancestor, surprise! I thought I knew most everything about my paternal great grandfather David L. Osborne, 1848-1942.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 8: Family Photo
For all of us who are procrastinating about labeling photos I have one thing to say, “Be considerate of the genealogist of the future!” My maternal grandmother was very good about labeling old family photos, and there is one in particular I found very informative.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 10: Bachelor Uncle
My uncles are the marrying kind, sometimes more than once!
I had to go back four generations for a bachelor uncle, my great-great-great uncle Conrad Rumple, 1833-1911.
Conrad was an older brother to my great-great grandfather on my matrilineal line, William Rumple, 1839-1912.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 11: Large Family
My great-great grandparents, George Lafary and Catherine Landon, had a relatively small family, three of their six children survived to adulthood. However, they both came from large families of nine siblings and nearly all survived to marry and have children.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 13: In The Paper
It’s fun to find articles in the paper mentioning one of my relatives. Mostly they are birth, marriage, divorce and death events. But, it’s the oddball articles in the papers I like the most.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 14: Brick Wall
We all have a brick wall, that one ancestor who defies all research. I decided I would work at my brick walls by generation, I broke through the last of my 3rd great grandparent brick walls, now I am working on 4th great grandparents.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 16: Out of Place
I realized I did not have a date of death for my great, great grandmother, Catherine Landon Lafary. A fresh search uncovered the date and much more. Out of place, but once discovered, everything fell into place.
I have many favorite photos among my collection of family artifacts. Currently, my favorite photo is of two little children from 1916 who were a complete mystery to me until last spring.