Tombstone Tuesday – The Tale of Two Sarahs

sarah gravessarah handley keyes

Today I’m starting a “mini-series” for this week of all things spooky and haunting (if you’re into that kind of thing).  The articles today through Friday will be about different events and places surrounding the ill-fated Donner Party.  Today’s article is about the tale of two Sarahs – one who died not long after the trip’s beginning and the other who actually made it to California after being caught in Nevada in the snow storm and subsequent events that doomed so many.

Sarah (Handley) Keyes

According to the Find-A-Grave web site, Sarah Handley Keyes was born in 1776 in Monroe County, Virginia (no specific date of birth given, however, and I wasn’t able to locate more detailed information).  Her parents were Major John Handley and Mary (Harrison) Handley.  The grave stones of the Major, his wife and Sarah all have commemorations indicating John Handley was an American Revolutionary patriot (DAR plaques).  I found conflicting information indicating that perhaps this John Handley did not serve in the Revolutionary War, but had been a Major of the Virginia Militia during the Whiskey Rebellion of 1793.


NOTE: This article is being re-purposed and will be included in a future edition of Digging History Magazine. Please check out our new site:  Samples are available by clicking magazine image.  Regular monthly issues currently available for only $1.99. – Updated 1/20/18.




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