Friday, June 4, 2010

Sarah A. (Raymond) (Smith) Downey

Birth:  1854
            New York

Died:   Sep. 17, 1883
            McDonough County, Illinois

Inscription: "Wife of John and dau. of G.F. & S.A. Raymond"

She died at age 29 years, 5 months, 4 days.

She was the daughter of Gabriel F. and Sarah Ann Raymond who are also interred in this cemetery. She was born in New York state, the eldest of five children. The family moved to Illinois in 1858 and arrived in McDonough County in 1869. When she married John S. Downey on January 3, 1880, her name was "Mrs. Sarah Smith."

The 1880 census shows that John S. Downey was a 19-year-old farmer, head of the house, while she was 26 years old and keeping house. Her two children from her previous marriage are shown living in the household of her parents nearby. Daughter Bertha A. Smith was 5 years old; her son, Daniel G. Smith was 3 years old. Both children were born in Illinois.

After her death, Sarah's widower married Finetta Stoneking in 1884. They had at least six children together and eventually moved to Canton, Illinois where he died in 1941.
Burial is documented by: Duane Lester's, Rural Cemeteries of McDonough County, Illinois, Volume II, Bethel-Industry. The stone is weathered and difficult to read, but overlaying aluminum foil on the face of the stone and gently smoothing over the letters allowed a perfect reading of the inscription.

Biographical information comes from census records, vital statistics, and marriage records from and the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index.

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