In my 2014 "52 Ancestors" series, I covered three of my four paternal great-grandparents. To start my new year, how about a look at the fourth, my great-grandmother Sarah C. Sukeforth. Although her middle initial appears in many of the records that name her, I have never seen anything that might indicate what the "C" stands for. A strong possibility however is Catherine, for her great-grandmother Catherine Newbert.
Sarah was born on 30 or 31 March 1838,1 in the town of Washington, Maine,2 the third child and first daughter of Simon and Jane (Miller) Sukeforth. She appears by name in the census only once with her parents, at age 12 in 1850,3 before marrying a young shipwright named Silas Kirk, in his home town of Warren, on 12 June 1856.4
|Marriage of Silas Kirk and Sarah C. Sukeforth, 12 Jun 1856, Warren, Maine|
A little over a year later, Sarah gave birth to a son, Chester, and in 1860, the family is living in Union.5 By 1870 the family has moved to Auburn, where Silas is working in one of the city's thriving shoe shops while Sarah is "keeping house."6
|1860 U.S. census, Union, Knox County, Maine, Silas Kirk household|
|1870 U.S. census, Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine, Silas Kirk household|
In 1875, they sold their homestead and moved again,8, 9, 10 this time to Freeport, where they are found in the 1880 census.11 Silas has returned to his original occupation as a ship carpenter.
|1880 U.S. census, Freeport, Cumberland County, Maine, Silas Kirk household|
|1900 U.S. census, Freeport, Cumberland County, Maine, Silas Kirk household|
Sarah died at home on Friday, 26 May 1805,14 from "softening of the brain"15 (at that time, this probably referred to senile dementia). She is buried, together with Silas and their daughters, in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Auburn, Maine16 – on the land where she and Silas had lived, which they sold to the cemetery corporation in 1875.17
|Sarah Kirke funeral article, Six Town Times||Sarah Kirk death, 26 May 1905, Freeport, Maine|
Children of Silas Kirk and Sarah C. Sukeforth:
- Chester F. Kirk, b. 1857, Warren, d. 1939, Lewiston, married five times
- Abbie A. Kirk, b. 25 Jun 1861, Washington, d. 15 Jan 1867, Auburn
- Mabel S. Kirk, b. 4 Jan 1872, Auburn, d. 21 Mar 1874, Auburn
|Silas Kirke family gravestone, Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Auburn, Maine|
- Greenleaf Cilley and Jonathan P. Cilley, The Mount Desert Widow: Genealogy of the Maine Gamble Family (Rockland, Maine: Knox County Historical and Genealogical Magazine, 1895), p. 170, Sarah Sukeforth b. 31 Mar 1858; digital images, Internet Archive (http://archive.org/details/mountdesertwidow00cill : downloaded 5 Mar 2012). This is consistent with the birthdate calculated from her death record (see footnote 2). However, her gravestone gives the date as 30 Mar 1858.
- “Maine Vital Records, 1892-1922,” digital images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 7 Jan 2014), Sarah Kirke death, 26 May 1905; her age is given as 67 years, 1 month, 26 days and her birthplace as Washington.
- 1850 U.S. Census, Lincoln County, Maine, Washington, p. 576 (penned), dwelling 296, family 296, Simon Suckforth household; digital image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 14 Apr 2012).
- Original Records of Maine Towns and Cities: Town of Warren, 1762-1938, digital images (PDF), CD-ROM (Rockport, Maine: Picton Press, 2005), pdf p. 42, Silas Kirk-Sarah C. Sukeforth marriage, 12 Jun 1856.
- 1860 U.S. Census, Knox County, Maine, Union, p. 41 (upper left), 227 (penned upper right), dwelling 312, family 300, Silas Kirk household; digital image, ProQuest, HeritageQuest Online (access through participating libraries : accessed 7 Mar 2012).
- 1870 U.S. Census, Androscoggin County, Maine, City of Auburn Ward 2, p. 35, dwelling 237, family 318, Silas Kirk household; digital image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 9 Dec 2010).
- Mount Auburn Cemetery, Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine, Kirke monument, read and photographed by the author, 10 Nov 2007. Also, Cilley and Cilley, The Mount Desert Widow, p. 170.
- Directory of ... the Cities of Lewiston and Auburn for [Date] (Boston: Greenough & Co., 1874-1876), 1874-5, p. 226, entry for Silas Kirk, shoemaker; 1876-7, p. 230, no entry for Silas Kirk; database and digital images, "Maine City Directories," Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 Jan 2016).
- Androscoggin County, Maine, Deeds, 80:460, Silas Kirk to Mount Auburn Cemetery Corporation, 9 Aug 1875; digital image, Androscoggin County Registry of Deeds, Records Access Site (http://androscoggindeeds.com : accessed 25 Jan 2016); Silas is "of Auburn" at this time.
- Cyrus Eaton, Annals of the Town of Warren, in Knox County, Maine, Second Edition (Hallowell [Maine]: Masters & Livermore, 1877), p. 567; digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com/books : accessed 11 Dec 2010); Silas "r. Freeport" by the time the book was published in 1877.
- 1880 U.S. Census, Cumberland County, Maine, Freeport, ED 33, p. 22, dwelling 203, family 222, Silas Kirk household; digital image, ProQuest, HeritageQuest Online (access through participating libraries : accessed 9 Mar 2012).
- Mount Auburn Cemetery, Kirke monument. Also, Cilley and Cilley, The Mount Desert Widow, p. 170.
- 1900 U.S. Census, Cumberland County, Maine, Freeport, ED 42, sheet 12A, dwelling 261, family 282, Silas Kirk household; digital image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 9 Dec 2010).
- "Freeport Sentinel," The Six Towns Times, Cumberland Globe, Yarmouth Gazette & Freeport Sentinel (Portland, Maine), 2 Jun 1905, p. 6, col. 2-3, article about Sarah C. Kirke's death and funeral; digital images, Google News Archive (https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=UIW7YHcmbUEC : accessed 26 Jan 2016).
- “Maine Vital Records, 1892-1922,” Sarah Kirke death, 26 May 1905.
- Mount Auburn Cemetery, Kirke monument.
- Androscoggin County, Maine, Deeds, 80:460, Silas Kirk to Mount Auburn Cemetery Corporation.