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Ancestor 3: Sarah Britton known for great strength of religious character

The second listing shows Obadiah Hand marrying widow Sarah Butler in 1792.
The second listing shows Obadiah Hand marrying widow Sarah Butler in 1792.
Helen Wallace

This is the third article in the genealogy project, "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks."

Sarah Britton is a fourth great-grandmother. She was born in Brittons Neck, South Carolina Nov. 10, 1759. Her father, Daniel Britton, fought in the American Revolution. Little is known about her mother, Mary Graham (alternately known as Mary Goddard).

Sarah Britton had three siblings. They were Francis, John Graham, and Abraham Britton. Sarah was the eldest.

Not much is known about Sarah Britton’s first two marriages, to William Godfrey and a man whose last name was Butler. She was likely widowed both times. She married Godfrey in 1777 while still a teenager and had four children. Butler came along next, and then she married Obadiah Hand Jan. 10, 1792 at age 32. It was Obadiah Hand’s first marriage, but not his last.

She and Obadiah Hand had three children between 1794 and 1800, including a daughter named Sarah Britton Hand, who was born in 1797.

Sarah Britton died March 31, 1826 in Wayne County, Mississippi. It is not certain where she is buried. There is a memorial stone at the Philadephus Cemetery. She outlived her daughter, Sarah, who died in 1824. Obadiah Hand married three more times after Sarah Britton’s death.

The only information about Sarah Britton’s personality is a passage from a book, “Laurus Crawfurdiana: Memoirs of the Crawford Family Memorials of that branch of the Crawford Family which comprises the descendants of John Crawford of Virginia.”

It was written in 1883 by first cousin three times removed Frank Crawford Vanderbilt, a great-granddaughter of Sarah Britton. Although the book is primarily about her father's Crawford ancestors, it has chapters on Everett and Hand families.

The passage on page 82 reads, “Mrs. Sarah Hand, the mother of Mrs. Everitt, was a woman of great strength of religious character. In her dying hours she calmly gave directions to her household, left blessings and exhortations to her children, and after selecting Psalm xxxiv.19 as the text for her funeral sermon, breathed her last, triumphantly praising God."

The reference to Mrs. Everitt is to Sarah and Obadiah’s daughter Sarah Britton Hand. She was Frank Crawford’s grandmother, who married John Fagan Everitt and who died in 1824.

There is an international DNA project for the Britton family that is available online for anyone needing more information on the Britton surname and its various lines.

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