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Sarah Ann (Rasdall) Payer (1838)

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 Territory, United Statesmap
Descendants descendants
Died [date unknown] [location unknown]
Profile last modified | Created 23 Sep 2019
This page has been accessed 349 times.
Sarah was Ho-Chunk.


[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 give 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 between 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.


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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 some percentage of DNA with Sarah:

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Categories: Ho-Chunk