Need Help With Two Brick Walls

+6 votes

I call them the "Two Sarahs" - my two seriously difficult Brick Wall Ancestors who have eluded me for nearly two decades.  

I would greatly appreciate if others could look at the profiles I've created for them and give me some tips on how to make them better so as to eventually make a break-through.

Sarah E. Tuttle should not have been so difficult to research, since she died in 1914, and yet she has been.  At least I know her maiden name...  

That isn't the case for Sarah E., wife of Samuel S. Brown. I have tried to figure out her maiden name for years to no avail.

WikiTree profile: Sarah Brown
asked in Genealogy Help by Jana Shea G2G6 Mach 1 (18k points)

7 Answers

+5 votes

I wish I could be of more help, but I know how you feel. I jokingly call Pennsylvania the black hole of genealogy.  As each family I trace into Pennsylvania, seems to get pulled out of existence and is never heard from again. 

 But I was doing some idle thinking.  Sara named her first child Jefferson William.  With William being the name of her husbands father.    I couldn't help but wonder if Jefferson is also a family name, perhaps on her side. 

I did a bit of looking and searched for girls named sarah born in 1852, living with a household with someone named Jefferson in it, in Pennsylvania in the 1860 census.

There's only 3. In each case the Jefferson is a brother. 

Sarah Moore - Walker Township, Huntington County,

"United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch ( : 30 December 2015), Sarah Moore in entry for Samuel Moore, 1860.


Sarah Gleason - Jackson Township, Venago County,

"United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch ( : 30 December 2015), Sarah Gleason in entry for Henry Gleason, 1860.


Sarah Nelson - Peebles Township, Allegheny County.  There's also a younger sister named Rebecca as well in this one. 

Citing this Record

"United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch ( : 30 December 2015), Sarah Nelson in entry for John Nelson, 1860.


Granted I'm probably grasping at straws, but who knows,

Best of luck.



answered by Craig Albrechtson G2G6 Mach 6 (67.1k points)

Thanks, Craig!

Central Pennsylvania is indeed like a black hole for genealogy... particularly in the first half of the 19th century.  Philadelphia (and nearby counties) are fairly good for records, though. 

I had the same idea about Jefferson.  Unfortunately, Sarah Moore appears to have married an Israel Hastings (see: Sarah M. Hastings).  


+4 votes

The 1850 Census shows three different Sarah Tuttles, age 19.  But I found Sarah in 1880: age 48, married to Phillip, with household members.  Is this your missing Sarah?

Charles Bender 28; Mary Bender 19; Philip Bender 55; Sarah Bender48; Theresa Bender20 in the 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1184; Family History Film:1255184; Page: 35D; Enumeration District: 520; Image: 0073.  

answered by Janine Barber G2G6 Pilot (133k points)
Hi Janine,

Yes, this is my Sarah.  I have plenty of information for her after marriage to Philip H. Bender, but absolutely nothing about her origins other than a birth date (from a death certificate that included a lot of errors) that closely matches her age found in census records.  

There were only a handful of Tuttle families in Philadelphia at the time of her birth, but I cannot seem to connect her to any of them.

Another census record from June 1880 lists Sarah and sons Frank and Elias. A boarder is Winslow Davis, of New York. Could he be a relative?

"United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 24 December 2015), Pennsylvania > Philadelphia > Philadelphia > ED 465 > image 21 of 22; citing NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

+3 votes
Hi, I took a look at this and I am wondering if your Sarah E. Brown was born 1852 and died about 1877?.Or was she born about 1824?  I found a Sarah E. Stuter Brown born 1852 married to a Samuel S. Brown and I found a Sarah E. Schaffner Brown born 1839 died in 1932. Also married to a Samuel S. Brown. Let me know if you need more help. I would need the date of birth, or date of death. Thanks Nancy
answered by

Sarah E. Brown was born 12 Aug 1852 and died 26 Aug 1877.  Stuter is not the correct LNAB.  

Sarah's husband, Samuel Brown, remarried Rebecca Stuter/Studer after her death. His second wife was the mother figure Sarah's children grew up with and they likely heard Stuter as a surname connected to the family.  


I got Sarah E. Tuttle Brown off of Samuel S. Brown's find a grave page. Did you try looking under Ellis?  Ellis could have been her mother's maiden name, I don't know but I am trying to help. It also mentions Rebecca as his 2nd wife. And if you put in Samuel S. Brown in the marriage records, did you put in Sarah Ellis instead of Stuter?  I will keep looking and I will get back to you. Nancy
+4 votes
I found a Sarah Ellis Arnold Tuttle born Aug. 3,1824, Died Aug. 31, 1914. Forest Lawn Cemetery Washtenaw Co, Michigan . Find A Grave memorial # 157337928.  Take a look and let me know if this is her. If it isn't then I would need dates to find the right one.   Nancy
answered by

Sarah E. Tuttle was born 7 Apr 1831 in Pennsylvania (likely Philadelphia) and died 10 Oct 1914 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has a Find A Grave memorial created by me.

+3 votes
I went to and found this:  1870 census Philadelphia Ward 24 Dist.81, Philadelphia, PA.

Philip Bender - age 41 -born about 1829;  Sarah Bender -age 36;  Charles -age 16; Philip Bender -age 14;  Sarah Bender - age 13;  Susan bender - age 11;  Theresa Bender - age 8;  Francis Bender - age 3;

Charles P. Bender -marriage 6 June 1906 in Johnstown, Cambria, Pa. age 22 born 1884 -- Wife - Annie B. Stormer -age 27 born 1879 parents - William Stormer and Minnie.

Elias H Bender - born 7 Nov. 1874 Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA. Parents, - Philip and Sarah Bender

Theresa Bender - born 3 Dec. 1860 Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.

Philip H. Bender Died 14 March 1913 Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.  age 83 Born 1830 Father is Charles Bender - Mother is Rodie Nuell - Retired Burial 18 March 1913.

Philip H. Bender - born June 23, 1853 - died 3 Dec. 1928 Cause: Intestinal Obstruction. 75 Years. Burial North Cedar Hill Cemetery- Glassboro, N.J. R.F.D.#2 ---Parents Philip H. Bender and Sarah E. Lubbel - informant: Sarah E. Myers-  (this is off of his death certificate) that I got on The information above is what I got on

They have her last name misspelled that I am not sure If Lubbel is the last name but there is a Justin Lubell in Pa.


The last name could be spelled:  Lovell, Label, Lubell, Labell, Loval, Leffel, Liebel, Lavely, Lovely, Lapell, Lepley, Loeffel, Lovewell, Lavelie, and so on. So I did try to find her parents, but with the name misspelled it is hard but if you can go through all of the children's death certificates and see if it list the parents name, you might find the correct spelling.  I only found Phillip's. If I have time I will try to look myself. Thanks.
answered by
+4 votes
Did you research "Tuttles and Tuthills Families in America ?  Available on-line.  Note that the surname spellings "Tuttle" "Tutle" "Tuthil" and "Tuthill" are often interchanged over time and one should investigate the variations. The book was published in the early 1900's.  It contains a vast amount of information and time, and its condensed method of presentation may appear confusing until one studies and comes to understand it.  It helped me greatly with an 1800's Tuthill branch of my Brown family.
answered by Daniel Brown G2G2 (2.8k points)
edited by Daniel Brown
+1 vote
A theory that makes sense of all the data, but it will need more research ... and you might not like it.

1. This is the Sarah Tuttle that is Sarah E Tuttle's mother, explaining the:

2. Sarah Tuttle Pettebone Perkins gave birth to Sarah E Tuttle out of wedlock, to [[Bender-1392|Charles Bender]], whose page says that he is a black sheep. Sarah E was given her mother's name.

3. Later on, Sarah E married her half-brother (or, if it was a different Charles Bender, a cousin, perhaps), Philip Bender.

4. Elizabeth/Eliza Perkins would then be her half-sister, the daughter of David Perkins.

The dates and places match up reasonably well.

Of course, if the records are simply lost, then there is no possible way to prove that. But this also make sense to me as a possibility.
answered by Roger Shipman G2G6 Mach 1 (12.4k points)
Oh, and I added a source to Elias H Bender, showing at least two of his children.
Your theory makes absolutely no sense.  

1. The Sarah Tuttle Pettibone Perkins you linked to was very likely a generation too old to be my ancestor's mother (based on the birth dates given for her two known sons)

2. This Tuttle/Pettibone/Perkins family is from Luzerne County, PA - my Tuttle and Bender family have no connections there.  

3. The Eliza/Elizabeth Perkins enumerated with my Bender family was likely a married woman (Perkins being the married surname) and Tuttle being possibly the maiden name.

I said you might not like it.

But since you didn't exactly know the roots, I thought it *might* be a fruitful line of inquiry to see if you would find some.  You did not.  No problem.

Sorry if I led you down the wrong trail and wasted your time; I was just trying to help.  I would have done more research myself, but I was getting tired.

Good luck on linking everyone up properly!

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