Sarah Ann Johnston (1811-1888)
Sarah Ann Johnston
Sex: Female
Birth: 1811
County Tyrone, Ireland
Death: 1888
Spouse/Partner: Alexander Morrison (1808-1853)
Marriage: March 14, 1837
Salem Township,
Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
Children: Samuel M. Morrison (1837-1864)
Martha B. Morrison (c1840-?)
John T. Morrison (c1842-?)
Nancy E. Morrison (1844-1871)
Mary J. Morrison (1846-1872)
Margaret E. Morrison (1850-1938)
Alexander J. Morrison (1853-1932)
Sarah B. Morrison (?-?)

Sarah was born 1811 in County Tyrone, Ireland.

Children by Alexander Morrison[edit | edit source]

1850 Census[edit | edit source]

The 1850 census of Orange Township, Carroll County Ohio reveals that Sarah was born in Ireland, and that she was living with her husband Alexander Morrison, a blacksmith born in Pennsylvania. Also listed in the household were children Samuel Morrison (12 years old), M. Morrison (10 years old), Jno. Morrison (8 years old), N. Morrison (6 years old) and M.J. Morrison (4 years old). All of the children were born in Ohio.

1860 Census[edit | edit source]

As Sarah's husband Alexander Morrison had died prior to 1860, Sarah was a head of household in the 1860 census of Orange Township. The census lists Sarah as 49 years old with real estate valued at $300 and personal property valued at $150. Also residing in the household were children M. Morrison (20 years old, now a teacher), John Morrison (18 years old, now a shoemaker), N. Morrison (16 years old), M.J. Morrison (14 years old), M.E. Morrison (10 years old), A.J. Morrison (7 years old), as well as borders John Daniel (a student) and John C. Forbes (a farmer, and Sarah's future son-in-law). By 1860, Sarah's eldest son Samuel had already left home to become a teacher in western Ohio.

1870 Census[edit | edit source]

Sarah once again appears as a head of household in the 1870 census of Orange Township. Her age is listed as 59, as expected. The value of her real estate had risen to $500, while the value of her personal property had decreased to $100. Also residing in the household were children Mary J. Morrison (24 years old, now a teacher), Margaret E. Morrison (19 years old, now a teacher), and Alexander Morrison (17 years old), as well as a boarder named Lydia Johnson, who was also a teacher. The eldest daughter Martha B. Morrison had left home and married a Presbyterian minister who preached in Ohio for a few years before moving to Pennsylvania. Daughter Nancy E. Morrison was living nearby in New Hagerstown with her husband John C. Forbes. Son John T. Morrison (c1842-?) had probably already moved to Kansas.

1880 Census[edit | edit source]

The final census Sarah appeared in, prior to her death in 1888, was the 1880 census of New Hagerstown, Carroll County, Ohio. She was living alone, listed as a widow, aged 69. Daughter Mary J. Morrison had died in 1872, and children Margaret E. and Alexander J. had married and left home.

Memories of Margaret E. Price[edit | edit source]

Daughter Margaret E. (Morrison) Price wrote the following about her mother Sarah:

[My mother] was a wonderful woman--not great as the world calls great, not blessed with much of this world's goods, and her education limited. She was blessed by Nature and grace, with a large fund of good, Christian common sense, and impressed one favorably as one who knew. She was a great reader, a good talker, and active in all home and community duties. She was one who "lived by the side of the road and was a friend to man." Her home was always open to all, and was the rendezvous of the young people. Like the only woman called great in the Bible, she had a prophet's chamber in her home, and when traveling ministers came to preach, they found a home there. She was a helper to her pastor, one upon whom he could always rely. Early left a widow with seven children, she brought them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Early were they sent to Sabbath school and church, and whenever possible, she went with them. Three times a day a blessing was asked upon the food, and night and morning she gathered her family together for family prayers. The children were taught to pray, read the Bible, and learn the catechism. On Sabbath afternoons they remained at home, no gadding about, but reading some good literature; and in the evening the mother examined them in the catechism--and later the children rose up and called her blessed. All were members of their father's and mother's church, the Presbyterian. Left alone as she was, she had to work hard to provide for her family, and many were the sacrifices she made for them, and I am glad to pay this tardy tribute to her memory.

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