Sarah and Susan sisters; and both were married Jacob!

The Obituary:

Lancaster Daily Intelligencer,
Tuesday, July 12, 1882:
COLE – In this city, July 11, Susannah, relict of the late Abraham Cole, in the 82nd year of her age.
Her relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the funeral, from the residence of her son-in-law, T.A. Albright, No. 337 West King street, on Friday afternoon at 2 o’clock.

The Story:

Susan Ward and her sister, Sarah, probably shared toys as children. As adults, they shared a husband, although not at the same time.

Sarah was the oldest, she was born in May of 1784 and Susan as born in September of 1800. When Susan was only 14, she watched her sister marry Jacob Axer and become the mother of three of his children. Every two years, she had a child, John in 1815, Catharine in 1817, and in 1819 another child. This child didn’t even live a full day, and Sarah only lived until the next day. It must have been a real tragedy to everybody around the young family.

Susan, it appears, may have been a caregiver, both to the children and their father, as Jacob and Susan were married two years after Sarah’s death. Jacob and Susan married on September 27, 1819. Less than a month later, their first child, Sarah, was born. Their young daughter, was named in honor of Jacob’s first wife and Susan’s sister. Alas, this young daughter, did not live to see October end. She, too, had a short life.

Four more children were born to this marriage, Jacob Jr. in 1822, Sarah in 1828, George in 1832 and Frederick in 1836. In 1843, Jacob died and was buried next to Sarah in Lancaster Cemetery.

Susan had three children at home and was on her own and less than a year later, she married widower, Abraham Cole who was a tanner in Lancaster. The couple must not have owned property because in 1857, they boarded at the Keystone Tavern according to the City Directory for that year. In 1860 the Coles lived with the Albright family, Susan’s daughter, Sarah and her husband.

Fact: Newspaper obituary published 30 November 1864:

Abraham Cole died on November 28, 1864 and was buried next to his first wife in Lancaster Cemetery. Susannah (Susan) continued to live the remainder of her days with the Albrights.

Susan died on July 11, 1882 and her will left her entire estate to the Albrights, after her debts were paid. She was buried in Lancaster Cemetery next to her 2nd husband Abraham Cole.
See anything funny about this picture? You only see Susannah’s inscription, right? Guess what? Abraham Cole and his first wife’s stones face forward; Susannah’s faces backwards! Did his kids insist on this? Was it a mistake? I’d love to know the story behind this!
. . . and this is why I love cemeteries and the “stories” they tell! Rest in Peace, Susan.
Published in: on September 23, 2008 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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