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Sarah Ann (Rasdall) Payer (1838)

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Sarah Ann Payer formerly Rasdall
Born in Madison, Dane, Wisconsin, Michigan Territorymap
Ancestors ancestors
Sister of [half] and [half]
Wife of — married 1850 in Long Prairie, Todd, Minnesota Territorymap
Descendants descendants
Died [date unknown] [location unknown]
Profile last modified 8 Nov 2019 | Created 23 Sep 2019 | Last significant change: 8 Nov 2019
21:05: Richard Dieterle edited the Biography for Sarah Ann (Rasdall) Payer (1838-). [Thank Richard for this]
This page has been accessed 33 times.
Sarah (Rasdall) Payer was a Native American and member of the Ho-Chunk tribe.


[There] personally appeared Abraham [Abel] Rasdell a white man aged thirty two years, who being duly sworn according to Law doth depose and say that about the fifteenth day of December 1834 he was married with Onck say onc ah a full Blood Winnebago woman daughter of Monk skaw kah & Hopink ah according to Indian custom‘ That he has one Child named Cain a Son begotten on the body of said Onck say onc ah that was three years old the fifteenth day of Jany last. that said child is smart and active, and residing with deponant at Four Lakes [in] the Wisconsin Territory. and deponant further says that on or about the first of March 1837, he was married according to the Indian custom to Naw waw chock wink ah sister to the said 0nc say onc ah and daughter of the aforesaid Indians—That he has one child named Sarah Ann a daughter begotten on the body of the said Naw waw chock wink ah said child was born Jany 22nd 1838 that said child is smart and active and residing at present with this deponant & its mother. 21 Sept. 1838 (Waggoner, 22b)

The fate of this baby was something of a mystery. Not long afterwards, in 1840, when the Winnebago were forced to move to Iowa, Sarah's mother, Fortress Woman, decided to go with her people rather than stay with husband Abel Rasdell. The Blackhawk genealogy states that she married Alex Payer, but the censuses consistently given the birth year of Sarah Payer as being 1829, nine years before Sarah Rashdell's actual birth date. Furthermore, in the 1900 census, Alex's wife is said to have the maiden name "Rogue." On the other hand, in the 1865 Minnesota State census, she is referred to by the name "Ann." On a marriage certificate for one of their children, Louise Johnson, her mother was named as "—— Rasdall." This shows that Alex Payer married Sarah Ann Rasdall. She had the surname "Rogue," it is to be surmised, because her mother remarried into the Rogue family. In another census, the marriage date for Sarah Ann was given as "1850." If she had been born in 1829, she would have been exactly 21 years old, just the age she needed to be. However, Sarah Ann Rasdell was born in 1838, making her a mere 12 years old. We must conclude that Alex Payer married Sarah Ann Rasdall-Rogue under the false pretense, at least on her part, that she was 21. Her first born son, Barcley, was born in 1874 (1900 census), when she was supposedly 45 years old, but in fact she was 36. Her youngest child was born in 1883 when she was supposedly 54 years old, but was in fact 45 years old. The climacteric begins betwee 49 and 52 years of age. Five older children had died, some perhaps still-born partly on account of her youth.

The 1900 census reveals that Sarah could neither read, write, nor speak English. The language of the Payer home was Hocąk.


  • Linda M. Waggoner (ed.), “Neither White Men Nor Indians: Affidavits from the Winnebago Mixed-blood Claim Commissions, Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin, 1838-1839” (Roseville, Minnesota: Park Genealogical Books, 2002). Extracted from Territorial Papers of the United States, Wisconsin, 1836-1848. M236. “Special Files of the Office of Indian Affairs,” 1836-46. “Special File 161” (Roll 41). “Special File 190” (Roll 42). National Archives, Washington D.C., Documents on Microfilm, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (Record Group 75).
  • 1900 United States Federal Census for Winnebago, Thurston, Nebraska; Page: 11; Enumeration District: 0187. United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls; FHL microfilm: 1240941.
  • Charles J. Kappler, Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties, Vol. 2, Treaties (Washington : Government Printing Office, 1904). Treaty with the Winnebago, 1829, Article V, 2:302.
  • Minnesota State Census for 25 May 1865, at Empire City, Dakota County. Minnesota State Population Census Schedules, 1865-1905. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN, USA: Minnesota Historical Society, 1977. Microfilm. Reels 1-47 and 107-164.
  • Blackhawk Family Tree, Bethamy Blackhawk,

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Sarah by comparing test results with other carriers of her 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 Sarah:

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Sarah is 16 degrees from T S Eliot, 16 degrees from Walter Howe and 15 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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Categories: Ho-Chunk