Although I am seven years late to the game, I have decided to take the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge started by Amy Johnson Crow in 2014. The goal is to write about one ancestor every week. I have chosen Hepsibah Sawyer to begin my year’s long journey because I like her name.

In documents of her time, Hepsibah was sometimes spelled Hepsybah, Hepsibeth, and several other variations. I thought about using the traditional Hephzibah in my title, but decided against it. I will henceforth use Epsey, which is the shortened version of her name she used for most of her life.

Epsey Sawyer was born on July 5, 1830 in Edgefield County, SC to George Sawyer (1755–1835) and second wife Mary Jones (1780–1838).

Epsey Sawyer married Francis Thrailkill (1817–1889), son of John T. Thrailkill (1772–1856) and Margaret Ervin (1795–1858).

The 1900 census reported that Epsey had given birth to fourteen children with seven still living. The list below includes only thirteen, so one child was born and died in-between census years. Epsey Sawyer and Francis Thrailkill had the following children:

  • Georgianna “Sarah” Thrailkill 1845–1872
  • Lenorah “Lena” Thrailkill 1848–1905
  • John C. Thrailkill 1850–1896
  • Tabitha Thrailkill 1853–1914
  • Laura Thrailkill 1855-1897
  • Theodoshia Thrailkill 1856-1931
  • Catherine Thrailkill 1858–before 1900
  • William B. Thrailkill 1861–1925
  • Eugene Franklin Thrailkill 1862–1947
  • Alonzo Andrew Thrailkill 1864–1932
  • Anna Elizabeth Thrailkill 1866-1896
  • Epsey Thrailkill 1869–1880
  • Robert Lee Thrailkill 1874–1904

Laura Thrailkill married James Madison McCarty (1843-1922). These are my great grandmother Laura Belle Ruff’s grandparents. Hepsibah Sawyer — the woman with the wonderful name — was my great, great, great, great grandmother.

Epsey Sawyer Thrailkill died February 13, 1901. She was buried at Butler Methodist Church Cemetery in Saluda County, SC.

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