Sarah Ann (Skiff) HoldenSomeone’s birthday is today—she knows who she is! But it’s also the 191st Anniversary of our shared 4th Great Grandmother’s birth. Sarah Ann Skiff was born 20 September 1822 in Schuyler County, NY to Russell and Sarah (Davis) Skiff. She married Charles Morrill Holden in November of 1842 in Yates County, NY. The couple moved their family to Michigan in the mid-1850s where Charles worked as a doctor and farmed. They had 12 children with a wide range of fun names. My 3rd Great Grandfather Chapin was their 5th child, and his daughter was the recently featured Lula (Holden) Porter.

Happy hunting,

Jess

Dr. Charles Morrill and Sarah (Skiff) HoldenToday’s the 191st anniversary of Dr. Holden’s birth and seemed a fitting time to introduce my Holden family.

The first of my Holdens to settle in Kent Co., Michigan were my 4th Great Grandfather Dr. Charles Morrill Holden and his family. Dr. Holden, his wife Sarah Ann (Skiff), and eleven of their children settled in Courtland Township where, Dr. Holden practiced medicine and farmed. When I was started researching this line I was interested in Dr. Holden’s role as one of the pioneer doctors in Kent County but, to be honest, I was more fascinated by the names of his children.

Charles and Sarah are common enough names and maybe their children’s names are a strange reaction to that. I knew going in that my 3rd Great Grandfather’s name was Chapin—which didn’t seem common for the time but was at least a name I was familiar—but then I was introduced to the rest of his siblings.

  1. Cassius—Died young.
  2. Catherine—Unknown.
  3. Americus G.—He died after being sent home from Union Army due to illness.
  4. Horatio Seward—Became a doctor in Pierson and Grand Rapids, Michigan.
  5. Chapin B.—Married my 3rd Great Grandmother Lois Blakeslee.
  6. Rosalia D. —Died young.
  7. Xantippe—Married Edd P. Nelson.
  8. Cassini J.—Married Flora Lewis.
  9. Ida—Married William Pitts.
  10. Nellie—Unknown.
  11. Saracence—Married Frank D. Saunders.
  12. Kendric Charles—Married my 4th Great Aunt Minnie Isabel Porter (George’s sister).

I don’t know the what the middle initials stand for where I have them listed—though I could swear that I saw Balean as Chapin’s middle name somewhere, sometime before I learned to accurately cite my sources. My favorites have always been Xantippe (pronounced with a Z) and Saracence (totally guessing here: Sarah-sense). I know the latter is mostly noted as Sara in articles and family notes. I love names!

A copy of this photo is held by the Rockford Area Historical Society Museum, Rockford, MI.

Happy hunting,

Jessica

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