Susan and Sarah! Sisters! and both married Jacob.

The Obituary:

Lancaster Daily Intelligencer,
Tuesday, July 12, 1882:
DEATHS:
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 Susannnah (Susan) was 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, Sarah 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.  Less than a year later, she married widower, Abraham Cole who was a Tanner in Lancaster.  It appears the couple did not own property.  No deeds have been found for them and in 1857, they boarded at the Keystone Tavern.  Three years later they lived with the Susan’s daughter, Sarah, and her family.

Fact: Newspaper obituary published 30 November 1864:

Abraham Cole died on  November 28, 1864 and is buried next to his first wife in Lancaster Cemetery.  It took me awhile to find his obituary since I was looking for his correct name, not Ephraim!  Silly me!  Susan continued to live the remainder of her days with the Albrights and died in July of 1882.  Her will left her entire estate to the Albrights, after her debts were paid.  Her other children were excluded.  She was buried in Lancaster Cemetery next to her 2nd husband Abraham Cole.
Lancaster Cemetery, Susannah Ward Axer Cole's headstone

Lancaster Cemetery, Susannah Ward Axer 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!  Wouldn’t you like to know the story behind this? Was it a mistake?  Was it a decision by Abraham’s family?  What’s the story??
Lancaster Cemetery, Abraham and Catharine Cole's headstones

Lancaster Cemetery, Abraham and Catharine Cole's headstone

. . . and this is why I love obituaries and cemeteries.  Oh the “stories” they can tell!
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One thought on “Susan and Sarah! Sisters! and both married Jacob.

  1. I have an Abraham Miller Cole from Lancaster, PA b 16 Feb 1842. I wonder if this is HIS father’s gravesite and wifes that you have listed here. I can’t read the dates on the tombstone. Maybe you could enlighten me some more. Thanks so much! MY Abraham MILLER Cole dropped his COLE name after the civil war and married and had children with his MILLER name. I THINK that his mother’s maiden name might have been MILLER. Do you know anymore? Thanks so much!
    Barb Dalton
    tnotlads@aol.com

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