Monday, January 13, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #2 Susanah Maddox Alkire

I had picked out an ancestor to write about for week two -- until I burned my hand working with my glass kiln! As I tended the second-degree burn and wallowed in self-pity, it struck me how fortunate I was compared to Susanah Maddox Alkire.

The eighth and last child of my 4th-great-grandparents Lazarus Maddox and Elizabeth Greaton (Gratton), Susanah Maddox was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, on July 11, 1837. Her father died shortly before her 13th birthday and all reference to her mother's dower portion disappeared from the land records when she sold her one-eighth share shortly before her 17th birthday, in 1854.

She was married on September 24, 1857, to the farmer John W. Alkire of Madison County, Ohio. Their lives were briefly disrupted when John joined the Union Army in 1862. After his return, they went on to raise four children, burying two others in childhood.

By 1880, John had become a sewing machine salesman and the family had moved from the farm to the town of Circleville, the seat of Pickaway County. John died in 1899, leaving Susanah a widow at age 62. She subsequently lost a son in 1916 -- a heart-rending event for any parent.

Early on the morning of July 3, 1917, a young man on his way to work spotted a fire at Susanah's home at 513 East Mound Street. The newspaper reported that he used a fire alarm box to call in the fire, but the firemen were too late to save her. She was found lying on the dining room floor, with a broken coal oil lamp nearby. Her body was badly burned and much of the house was destroyed.

Susanah Maddox Alkire was survived by three children and several grandchildren. She was laid to rest next to her husband in Pleasant Cemetery, near Mt. Sterling, in Madison County.

Susanah's death record is important to all descendants of Lazarus Maddox. Her death certificate clarifies her mother's maiden name -- a name that is hard to read in the original 1816 marriage record and has been transcribed and published incorrectly. This layout shows the remnants of the torn death certificate and the marker for the couple in Pleasant Cemetery.

Elements from ClubScrap Fire and Ice digital kit, template also from ClubScrap

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