Cerra Sarah (Franklin) Sagracy

Cerra Sarah Gordo (Franklin) Sagracy (1852 - 1934)

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Cerra Sarah Gordo Sagracy formerly Franklin
Born in Anderson County, Kentuckymap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married in Anderson County, Kentuckymap
[children unknown]
Died in Anderson County, Kentuckymap
Profile last modified | Created 24 Apr 2016
This page has been accessed 71 times.

Categories: Franklin Y DNA Project FY19 Group | Franklin Name Study.



Cerra Gordo was born in 1852 in Anderson County, Kentucky. [1] [2] Cerra Gordo passed away in 1934.[3] [4] [5] Her father was a veteran of the Mexican War. She was named after a town in Mexico where a famous battle took place. [6]

Cerra Gordo was the child of Benjamin Franklin and Elizabeth Railsback. Her father and mother married in Anderson county, Kentucky in 1843. They had the following children:

  1. George W. Franklin, born about 1844
  2. Mary Jane Franklin (Ingram), born about 1846
  3. James Nathan Franklin, born about 1849
  4. Cerra (Sarah) Gordo Franklin, born about 1852
  5. Elizabeth "Lizzie" Francis Railsback Franklin (Hendricks), born about 1854

After the death of her mother, her father left the above children behind in Kentucky (except Elizabeth) and went to Illinois and Indiana. He married a second time in Franklin, Johnson county, Indiana in 1856 to Josephine Mayhall. They had the following children:

  1. Josephine Eleanor (Nora) Franklin, born about 1857
  2. Evangeline (Eva) Rose Franklin (Lowe), born about 1860

Her father left the above children behind in Illinois and went (initially) to Idaho. While away, his second wife died. He then married a third time in Clatsop County, Oregon in 1872 to Hannah Johnson. They had no children together.

Her father died in June 1906. Benjamin had been very private about his life and most friends and family were unaware of his other marriages. Upon his death, his third wife Hannah requested Benjamin's Mexican War pension be given to her. Her application apparently didn't provide all the known facts about Benjamin (including that he had been married previously). Her request was considered possibly fraudulent and it triggered an investigation of Benjamin's life, and included testimony from family and past neighbors. An effort was made to contact all the children of Benjamin B Franklin. Interviews were conducted with the following children:

  1. George W. Franklin
  2. Elizabeth "Lizzie" Francis Railsback Franklin (Hendricks)
  3. Evangeline (Eva) Rose Franklin (Lowe)

Interviews were also conducted with a number of individuals who knew Benjamin B Franklin, including:

  1. Martha Searcy-Burge (the woman who raised Cerra Gordo Franklin)
  2. William H Secrest (also spelled Sagracy), husband of Cerra Gordo Franklin

The result of these interviews provided many details of Benjamin B Franklin's life, including who he married and who all of his children were (and who they had married). His children learned their father had lived much longer than they thought, that he had married a third time, and in many case, that they had siblings they were previously unaware of.

Early Life

Her mother Elizabeth died when she was two years of age. Her father left her and her siblings with various neighbors in Anderson, Kentucky when he went to Indiana in 1854. Cerra was left with neighbors William C. Searcy (1821-1865) and his wife Martha Ann Snider (1825-1909). [7] [2] While away, her father remarried, and Cerra never saw her father again. Some years later, Martha remarried and became Martha Burge. She was deposed in 1906 during the investigation of Cerra's father's Mexican War Pension. Note that Martha was also a cousin to Larkin Smith Leathers and Darius P Leathers. They were witnesses to the marriage of Cerra's sister Mary Jane Franklin.

Near the end of the Civil War, she received a letter from her father telling her that he was in Idaho, and that he was remarried. Her older brothers, George and James fought in the Civil War. Both returned to Kentucky briefly after the war, and then moved to Illinois. She maintained contact with them by mail. [7]

Later Life

She married William H Secrest (Sagracy) on 16 Sep 1874 in Anderson, Kentucky. [8] They had no children of their own, but adopted the two children of James "Jim" T. Hardin (1866–1895) and America V Noel (1863–1895) in about 1895. They were: [9] [10]

  1. John W Harden, born about 1886
  2. Loda "Sadie" Estele Hardin, born about 1889

William Sagracy was the son of James E. Sagracy (1820-1872) and Mildred M. Foster (1823-1875). Both of his parents were born in Kentucky. He was born in Jessamine County, Kentucky. His last name of Sagracy was also spelled as Secrest.

Cerra continued to live in Anderson, Kentucky the rest of her life [11] [12] She died in 1934, and was buried in the Fairview Christian Church Cemetery in Anderson county, Kentucky. [3]


1854: Anderson, Kentucky (birth)
1860 Anderson, Kentucky [2]
1874 Anderson, Kentucky (marriage)
1900 Anderson, Kentucky [9]
1910 Anderson, Kentucky [10]
1920 Anderson, Kentucky [11]
1930 Anderson, Kentucky [12]
1934 Anderson, Kentucky (death) [3]

Deposition of Martha Burge

Transcript of her deposition:[13]

My age is 81years. P.O. Antioch, Ky [Kentucky]
Housekeeper, widow, live with brother
Raised Cerra Gordo Franklin. I took
her when she was said to be two years
old and she is now the wife of W. H. Sagracy.
Her father was Ben Franklin[Benjamin B Franklin], who was
a Mexican soldier and his wife who
was a Railsback [Elizabeth Railsback] died here before
I took their daughter to raise.
Ben Franklin left her & took his
daughter Elizabeth Franklin with
him & went to Illinois and he
married out their, but I don't know
name of woman or county he married in,
but I understood she had come from
Ky [Kentucky]. He had two children I think
by this second wife and he left her
during the war & went to Idaho and
we did not know where he was for
a long time. Then some woman [his third wife Hannah] I
think wrote here, from Idaho I think [more likely Oregon]
asking if he left a living wife here,
she said she was his wife and she
heard he had another wife here.
I don't know this woman's name & I
never saw the letter. This was some
15 or 20 years ago & that is the last
we ever heard directly or indirectly
of Ben Franklin. There is no one
here who can tell anything more.
His sons after being grown went
to Ills. [Illinois] to their father [in 1865]
Cerra Gordo Franklin was next to
the youngest child of Ben & his wife,
he took the baby [Elizabeth Franklin] & I took the next
oldest. His wife, the Railsback [Elizabeth Railsback] woman
certainly died here back in the 50's.
Am not related [to the Franklins or Railsbacks] or interested [in the pension claim]
Have heard this read & same
is understood & correctly recorded.
Ben Franklin left here about 1856.
Their oldest boy was George Franklin.
This is true & correct. His daughter
Mary married John Ingram - I think
& went to Missouri, but forget where.
This is correct.
M. A. Burge
Deponent [a person who makes a deposition or affidavit under oath]

Deposition of Wm. H. Sagracy

Transcript of his deposition:[14]

My age is 57 next December.
P.O. Antioch, Ky. Farmer.
My wife is Cerra Gordo Franklin, she
is daughter of Benjamin B Franklin
by his wife Elizabeth Railsback.
I show you my Bible record.
W.H. Sagracy born Jessamine Co. Ky. Dec 26, 1849.
C.G. [Cerra Gordo] Sagracy born Nelson Co. Ky. April 12, 1854
Married September 1874 -
The Bible is new but has no date [of her marriage] P.S.Crown [initials of recorder]
I never saw my wife's father & mother
nor none of her brothers & sisters.
I only know of these facts from heresy
but my wife's mother died when she
was an infant, died in Nelson Co. Ky. & is
buried at Van Buren. My wife gets
letters from her brothers. I think they
are in Ills. [Illinois] I think but I never knew
any of them. My wife is away or she
could tell you more than I can.
I know though that Elizabeth Railsback
my wife's mother is dead & died when
my wife was an infant. My wife
was taken by Martha Burge, now near here,
and raised [her] like a daughter & she will
know more than any one.
My wife heard shortly before we married
from her father, then in Idaho, that he
had been married again, but I don't know
to whom. After his wife Elizabeth died
Ben B Franklin went to Ills. [Illinois] & took one or
two children with him & some of his boys
I think settled there after the Civil War, but I
don't know where they live.
My understanding is my wife's father
Ben B. Franklin was married several
times, for there was a half-sister I think, [actually two half-sisters]
but not about here. I give you a letter
my wife rec'd [received] from her brother George W. Franklin
and that will tell you more than I can.
My wife is away & really knows nothing about her father & mother or the others of
her family. G.W. Franklin [her oldest brother] can tell of
her family. G.W. Franklin can tell of
the wife in Ills. [Illinois] & of her death perhaps -
I know Ben B. Franklin was in Mexican
War from records & talk but that is all
I do know about it.
My wife has no exact date of her
mother's death but she was born in
1854 April 12 & her mother died soon
after that- I you leave questions
I will have my wife answer them when
she returns.
Can not state further. Am not at
all interested in this claim. Have
heard this read & same is understood
& correctly recorded. We have not
heard from Ben B Franklin since we
married in 1874 & I don't know whether
[he is] living or dead. This is true & correct.
W. H. Sagracy
Deponent [a person who makes a deposition or affidavit under oath]


  1. There is some confusion when she was born. Censuses indicate it was between 1852 and 1855. The 1860 census (the one closest to her birth) show 1852, and this is probably correct. Also, her mother died in 1854, a few months after her younger sister Elizabeth was born. All of this indicates Cerra was probably born in 1852.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZB9-CV6 : 30 September 2017), Saragorda Franklin in entry for William C Searcy, 1860.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Find A Grave Index," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVGY-XWWG : 13 December 2015), Cero Gorda Sagracy, 1934; Burial, , Anderson, Kentucky, United States of America, Fairview Christian Church Cemetery; citing record ID 130488591, Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com.
  4. "Kentucky Death Records, 1911-1963," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NSRM-T4R : 20 October 2016), Cero Gorda Sagracy, 27 Jan 1934; citing , Anderson, Kentucky, United States, Office of Vital Statistics, Frankfort; FHL microfilm 1,913,123.
  5. "Kentucky, Vital Record Indexes, 1911-1999," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKC9-D6WZ : 1 July 2015), Cero G Sagracy, 27 Jan 1934; citing Death, Anderson, Kentucky, United States, Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort.
  6. The Battle of Cerro Gordo was an engagement that took place during the Mexican–American War on April 18, 1847. The battle saw Winfield Scott's United States troops out-flank and drive Antonio López de Santa Anna's larger Mexican army from a strong defensive position. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cerro_Gordo for more details.
  7. 7.0 7.1 From the Mexican War Pension file for Benjamin B Franklin, Deposition of William H Sagracy, Kentucky, wife of Cerra Gordo, daughter of Benjamin B. Franklin, dated June 27, 1906
  8. "Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9S7-9ZYD?cc=1804888&wc=QD3Q-4D5%3A1300867701 : 21 December 2016), 005560940 > image 370 of 1195; Madison County Courthouse, Richmond.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9WC-HFC : accessed 16 October 2017), Sarah G Sagracy in household of William Sagracy, Magisterial District 5, Goodnight, Anderson, Kentucky, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 7, sheet 5A, family 73, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,506.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M287-TFF : accessed 16 October 2017), Cerro Gordo Sagracy in household of William H Sagracy, Goodnight, Anderson, Kentucky, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 12, sheet 5A, family 97, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 462; FHL microfilm 1,374,475.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=6061&h=56561590&ssrc=pt&tid=82703078&pid=46472569415&usePUB=true
  12. 12.0 12.1 "United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XMDK-SRP : accessed 16 October 2017), Sarah G Sagracy in household of W H Sagracy, Rutherford, Anderson, Kentucky, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 9, sheet 2A, line 26, family 30, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 732; FHL microfilm 2,340,467.
  13. Deposition of Martha Burge, 27 June 1906 - Antioch, Anderson county, Kentucky, Page 1, Page 2
  14. Deposition of Wm H Sagracy, 27 June 1906 - Antioch, Anderson county, Kentucky, Page 1, Page 2

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Cerra Sarah by comparing test results with other carriers of her ancestors' mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known mtDNA test-takers in her direct maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Cerra Sarah:

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Images: 6
Marriage of Serrogorda Franklin - 1
Marriage of Serrogorda Franklin - 1

Marriage of Serrogorda Franklin - 2
Marriage of Serrogorda Franklin - 2

Deposition of Martha Burge Page 1
Deposition of Martha Burge Page 1

Deposition of Martha Burge Page 2
Deposition of Martha Burge Page 2

Deposition of Wm H Sagracy Page 1
Deposition of Wm H Sagracy  Page 1

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Cerra Sarah is 25 degrees from Robin Helstrom, 21 degrees from Katy Jurado and 19 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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