Monday, July 1, 2013

My Canadian Mystery - Sarah Sephrona? (Fletcher) Kemp (1802-????)

Happy Canada Day!  The only Canadian ancestor I have who might be descended from a French person or a Native person is one of my biggest mysteries - Sarah (or perhaps Sephrona?) Fletcher.  I'm at a brick wall with her (but not, I hope, a dead end!).

Sarah (or perhaps Sephrona?) Fletcher (1802-????), who married Abraham James Kemp, probably in Prince Edward County, Ontario in 1818, and had at least 11 children by Abraham Kemp, all in Prince Edward County, Ontario.  I described my evidence in The Elusive Sarah Sephrona Fletcher (1802-????, married Abraham Kemp (posted 8 March 2008).

The only evidence I have for her name, birth date and marriage date are a page from a Kemp Family Bible:

The information about the Abraham James Kemp and Sarah Fletcher family was obtained from "Kemp Family Bible Record" in possession of the Orange County (CA) Genealogical Society. The Bible was printed by A.J. Holman Co of Philadelphia, 1877. This Bible was given to Daisy Rader by John Evans Kemp, who died in 1956.

The Bible record above lists Sarah's name as "Sarah Fletcher."  

In the 1851 census, the family lived in Ameliasburg township, Prince Edward County, Ontario. The family includes Abram (age 55, a farmer, absent when taken), Sephrona (age 44, Catholic, born in France), Abram Jr. (age 21, a labourer), John (age 17, a labourer) Peter E. (age 14, a labourer), and Wesley (age 4), all Wesleyan Methodist except for Sephrona (who is Catholic). Abraham is also found in the 1851 census in Hastings County in Huntingdon township, as Abraham Camp (age 55) with his son Peter (age 14).

In the 1861 census, Abraham Kemp lived in Huntingdon township, Hastings County, Ontario. The family consists of Abraham (age 65), wife S. (?, age 55), and Wesley (age 13), all Wesleyan Methodist religion and born in Canada West. The wife may not be Sarah Fletcher.

Abraham may have had more than one wife - Sarah Fletcher (from the Bible record), Sephrona --?-- (from the 1851 census), S (from the 1861 census), and perhaps another not in any record found to date.  Or Sarah, Sephrona and S may be one person.  I don't know.  The 11 children of Abraham James Kemp were born at regular intervals between 1823 and 1847.  My hypothesis is that Sarah, Sephrona and S are all the same person, although the ages in the census don't match the birth date in the Bible.  I may be wrong!

One more bit of information:  My autosomal DNA test with 23AndMe indicates a small 0.6% segment on Chromosome 15 (see My 23andMe Test Results - Post 2: Chromosome Views UPDATED!  I don't know if this segment is inherited through Sarah Fletcher, but it's a distinct possibility - she may have a native ancestor in earlier generations.  I have not seen any other autosomal DNA results from descendants of Abraham James and Sarah (Fletcher) Kemp.  If a match does come up with descendants of Kemp folks from this line, then I will have narrowed it down a bit more.

Sarah (or Sephrona?) may be French-Canadian, and therefore in Quebec birth records.  There may be Fletcher families in Prince Edward County, Ontario, in the 1815 to 1840 time frame.  I found none in the 1851 Canadian Census (using the helpful index on Automated Genealogy.  

Or, Sarah's surname might have been something else.  The Bible record was written after 1877, and the typed page was made later than that.  

I would appreciate any ideas for further research on Sarah Fletcher.

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copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


M.C. Moran said...

Have you checked the Ontario civil death records for all of the children of Abraham Kemp and his wife Sarah? The Ontario civil death registration for Andrew H. Kemp (died at Delhi, Norfolk Co, Ontario, 6 Jan 1915, age 75) lists his father as Abraham Kemp and the maiden name of his mother as Sarah Fletcher.

T said...

My Canadian Mystery: Great grandfather Daniel Dimmott Ward born 1804 Prince Edward Island. Just dropped in with no parents or siblings. Sigh.. Since he baptized most of his children in Wesleyan Methodist church in Ontario, my vote is for Prince Edward County. I'd be delighted to find him in either place!