One of my most elusive and most intriguing ancestors is Patience Suddarth. I first encountered Patience on the 1820 Crawford County, Indiana census. She is enumerated as ‘Patience Suddreth’ and is the head of household, 26 – 45 years of age. Also in the household are two young boys, one 10 – 16 and the other under 10 years. Enumerated immediately before Patience is ‘James Suddreth’ and immediately after is Jeremiah Tadlock, husband of James’s sister, Sarah Suddarth.
There is definitely a relationship between Patience, James and Sarah. Just what exactly that relationship is has not been confirmed. James is 25 years of age at this time (born 1795) and Sarah is 17 (born 1803). Looking at the 1820 census record, Patience would have been between 26 and 45, so she could be a sister to James and Sarah, their mother, an Aunt, or some other relationship. It is also not clear from this record whether Patience is a widow or had never married (we cannot be sure that Patience is the mother of the two boys in the household). I have found no other records for Patience in Crawford or surrounding counties in Indiana, and I do not find her anywhere in the 1830 census.
I do, however, find someone who could possibly be her in the 1810 census. The 1810 Casey County, Kentucky census lists a ‘Peashant Sutheard’, head of household, between the ages of 26 and 45. Additionally, there is another female in the household, under 10 years of age, making her born between 1800 and 1810. There are also two young boys in the household, both under 10, so born between 1800 and 1810 as well. Is this the same Patience Suddarth as was found in Crawford County?
I believe it is. The age on the two census records agrees. If this is the same Patience, she would have been born between 1775 and 1784. James Suddarth, enumerated in the 1820 census immediately before Patience, enlisted at the Casey County, Kentucky courthouse in 1813 to fight in the War of 1812. Additionally, James is found in Casey County tax lists for the years 1812 – 1814. There is also a John Suddarth found in the Casey County tax lists in 1809 and then again from 1812 through 1815 and in 1817. I have not found John in the tax lists for 1810, 1811 or 1816. Neither John nor James are found in the Casey County census in 1810.
So, we know that there are Suddarths in Casey County at the time. We also know that James from Crawford County, Indiana, is from Casey County, Kentucky and is found on tax lists there. But what about the children found in the census records?
The Suddarth family of Crawford County, Indiana consisted of 4 brothers and 1 sister, according to a letter written by Jerry Suddarth in 1899. These brothers were James, born 1795; Benjamin, born 1801; John, born 1811; and Lewis, born 1812. The sister was Sarah, who was born in 1803. In 1810, the female found in the household is the right age to be Sarah. Of the two boys, Benjamin was born in 1801, so he would have been under 10 at the time of the census. James would have been 15, so it is possible that a mistake was made in the census. James could also have been in another household at the age of 15 and this is another child who died young. I think that with all the other evidence, that either of these situations is very likely. The 1820 census in Crawford County, Indiana shows two boys, one under 10, and the other 10 to 16. I think that it is very likely that the one under 10 is Lewis and that the one who is 10 to 16 is John (he would have been 9 at the time; it is very possible that he was reported and/or marked as being 10. James and Sarah are each in their own households in 1820. Benjamin has not been found in 1820.
No other records have been found which mention Patience. This is not surprising for a female at that time. I am pretty confident that the Patience found in 1810 is the same as the Patience found in 1820. If that is the case, then I believe that she is not a widow, but that Suddarth is her maiden name. This of course leads to all kinds of questions, such as whose children is she raising, both in 1810 and 1820? Are they hers and she was never married or are they the children of a relative that she has taken in and is helping to raise? I am sure that there are many other possibilities, as well. Patience will remain one of my favorite ancestors to research, hoping to uncover more of her life’s story.