Friday, March 19, 2010

Aunt Sarah Cram - part 1

Today we get to meet Josiah Holden's sister, Sarah. According to the Holden Genealogy, Sarah was born on 10 Mar 1808. She married George Washington Cram on 22 Oct 1827. The family lived in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts. Cambridgeport is a small area of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The map of Cambrisgeport comes from a Wikipedia article. Just click on the image to see the article. I've scanned her letter for you all to see. The letter was written in June, but no year is listed. Her son Frank dies in 1880 and in this letter he is still alive, so I guess it must have been written some time before that.

It appears that our Sarah Cummings must have written to her Aunt looking for information regarding Sarah Cummings's parents. Remember, Sarah was adopted by one of her uncles after she was orphaned. I wonder if her interest in genealogy was some kind of attempt at answering all of the questions she must certainly have had regarding the parents she never knew. In any regards, her Aunt Sarah starts her letter by telling Sarah that, "I cannot give you much of your father's history." She recommends that Sarah should try contacting her father's people for that information.

I clipped a portion on the 1880 Federal census for Cambridge. It shows the household of George and Sarah Cram. What is so eerie about this, is the fact that their daughter-in-law is living in the home with her child Frank, while her husband (George and Sarah's son Frank) is in Colorado. The date of the census record is 4 Jun 1880. Frank dies in Colorado on 26 Jun 1880.

Sarah Cram's husband, George, worked as a carpenter and builder. I was searching the net for information on George W. Cram and came across one of the buildings he constructed! It is the Swampscott T station. Again, just click on the image to go to the Wikipedia article. I wonder if George Cram would be surprised to see 'his building' still standing as proudly as when it was brand new. Aunt Sarah mentions her husband was born in Meredith, New Hampshire on 11 Apr 1805. He relocated to Boston around 1820 and, with a short one year gap, remained in the greater Boston area. I'll cover Aunt Sarah's family in my next post.

Aunt Sarah continues describing Sarah Cummings's parents (I know - too many Sarahs):

"You know, of course, that your parents were both deaf and dumb, were both educated at Hartford Asylum. I think your father's deafness was caused by measles when he was four or five years of age.Your mother's was caused by Typhoid fever a little before she was two years old. She was a very promising child and she grew up to be a very lovely woman. She was greatly beloved by every one who knew her. Always kind, cheerful, and happy. She was with me a year before her marriage and was married at our house.

The last time I visited her (about a month before her death) there was a sadness on her brow. I [saw] that her future looked dark, but she did not complain. You are aware that she died when you [were] two weeks old. I was sent for, and was at her bedside till the last, dearly as I always loved her. I was ready to give her up knowing that she was better off"

The American Asylum for the Death in Hartford, Connecticut, is still around today. Click on the link to see a history of the school. My next post will cover the remainder of Aunt Sarah's letter. This includes a '49er story!


  1. I believe we own the house that Sarah Lucy Holden Cummings grew up in after her adoption by her "Uncle Adams". She actually grew up with and later married William and lived here in Plymouth all the rest of her life as well. We have pictures of the family at

    There was some confusion in the records as to her father's real name (Harrington vs Arrington) but Uncle John changed her name legally to Holden in a petition to the NH Senate in 1855. Our research names her as a descendent of David Atwell and Bridget Holden so it seems to all add up.

    Please feel free to contact us and perhaps we can share details.

    1. Do you know who Sarah Holden Cram's parents were? I am trying to make a family