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Ancestor 8: Sarah Britton Hand, mother of five, died too young

Sarah Britton Hand married John Fagan Everitt in 1818 and died in 1824. She is buried with two of her children.
Sarah Britton Hand married John Fagan Everitt in 1818 and died in 1824. She is buried with two of her children.
Judy Everett Ramos

This is the eighth article in the genealogy project, “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.”

Sarah Britton Hand is a paternal third great-grandmother. She was born May 11, 1797 to Obadiah Hand and Sarah Britton. It is not certain where Sarah was born. Her parents were married in South Carolina in 1792 and in 1820 were living in Mississippi.

Sarah had a brother and a sister and she had four half-siblings from her mother’s previous marriage to William Godfrey.

Beyond that information, little is known about Sarah until 1818, when she married John Fagan Everitt in Mobile, Ala. The genealogy book, “Everett/Everitt Family: A Genealogical History,” by A.K. Register, a certified genealogist who was herself an Everett, said Sarah and John’s marriage was published in “Toulmin’s Digest,” a court minute book by Harry Toulmin. The book was published in 1825 at Cahawba, Ala. Register said that Toulmin was appointed the first U.S. judge for that district.

Chapter III in the court minute book has a record dated Nov. 20, 1818, which records the divorce of John F. Everitt from his first wife, Sarah Ann Lester. What follows the divorce record is a record of the marriage of John F. Everitt and Sarah Hand.

The court minute book states that “previous to the passage of this act be, and the same is hereby declared to be good and valid in law, and Mary Elizabeth and Enoch, the issue of said marriage be, and the same are hereby declared to be legitimate.”

This information is also found online on a website about the history of the Alabama Legislature.

Mary Elizabeth and Enoch were the first two of Sarah and John’s five children. Mary Elizabeth was born Nov. 6, 1816 and Enoch was born Sept. 8, 1818, before the Nov. 20 court record. This made Sarah 19 years old when she had John’s first child. John was 32.

Sarah and John had three more children after their marriage was recorded in 1818. They had Martha Eliza Everitt, born 1820, John Ross “Jack” Everitt, born 1822, and Dinkins Everitt, born June 20, 1824. A.K. Register’s book states that Dinkins also died June 20, but his tombstone states he died in December 1824.

The only other information about Sarah is that she died July 2, 1824, less than a month after Dinkins was born. No one knows the exact cause of death, but it was most likely associated with complications from childbirth. Sarah was 27 years old.

She is buried in the Church Street Cemetery in Mobile, Ala. She is buried with Dinkins. Her son, Enoch, is also buried with her. He died in 1855 in a drowning accident.

Sarah’s tombstone reads, “Sarah, wife of J.F. Everitt, died July 2nd 1824, in the 27th year of her age. Dinkins, son of J. F. Everitt and Sarah Everitt, December 1824. Enoch Everitt, born September 8, 1818, drowned September, 1855.”

John Fagan Everitt went on to marry a third time in 1826. He had children from all three marriages.

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