Sarah Wood

It has been an excellent week for genealogy research.

Many posts ago, I wrote about Rosetta’s grandfather, Charles Madden, and his wife, Sarah Wood.  I had received the lead on them from a fellow researcher who has Madden DNA connections to us.  Charles’ probate record identifies his wife, Sarah.  Their marriage return identified her as Sarah (Sally) Wood.

Marriage return for Charles Madden and “Sally” Wood.

Our DNA cousins identified her father as Joel Wood, through a Mercer County, Ohio deed that named her, Sarah Madden, as one of his heirs.

I cheated again; I cast my net out to see what other researchers came up with for Sarah (Wood) Madden, and one person referenced a publication by J.F. Vallentine.  Still I had a heck of a time finding this publication in hard print or electronic print.  Well…I finally found it in Ancestral Families of Emily Catherine Wood (Pack) including Aten, Ballinger…Wood and Write (  The late Mr. Vallentine was a descendant of the Wood family and, lucky for me, a Ph.D. who was a serious genealogist.  He has quite a few publications, AND he provides great source citations for all of his works!  

Title page of Mr. Vallentine’s book. Image scanned and available online at

Just like that, a line opened up.  Mr. Vallentine’s sources included the usual public records as well as regional histories and references to family bibles.  By 1994, Mr. Vallentine had reported that Sarah’s grandfather’s bible had been lost.  However, in 1936, Nelle Hornbeck Gaertner captured transcriptions of his bible in an article published in The Magazine of History and Biography, No. 8 by the Randolph County Historical Society.  And lucky me, the article transcribing the bible entries are published online!  I’m getting ahead of myself again.  These bibles aren’t important until we get to Sarah’s father.

So, Sarah (Wood) Madden is confirmed to be the daughter of James Wood and Elizabeth Miller.  Sarah was born in Virginia (parts of which are now West Virginia).  She moved with her parents to Ohio sometime around 1810 or 1811, where she met and married Charles Madden in Clark County.  Sarah and Charles bought land in Mercer County, Ohio from her father in 1828.  This adds a new entry to the timeline I listed in Elizabeth’s profile (Rosetta’s mother).  Since I could not pinpoint Elizabeth’s birth county this purchase may indicate that her parents didn’t move to Mercer County until after her birth (1820).

Genealogical Summary:

1800 county map of Virginia. The red line shows the approximate boundary between Virginia and West Virginia. Note how 1800 Pendleton County covers land that today is on either side of the state line.

Sarah Wood was born 4 March 1800 in either Monroe County or Pendleton County, Virginia (both are now West Virginia) to parents, Joel Wood and Elizabeth Miller.

She married (1) Charles Madden on 9 September 1818 in Clark County, Ohio.  She married (2) David Majors after the death of Charles.

According to Charle’s probate files he and Sarah (Sally) had the following children:

  1. Unknown boy born before 1820 (only evidence is 1820 and 1830 census). 
  2. Elizabeth Madden born about 1820 probably in Clark County, Ohio. Married James F. Johnson.
  3. Benjamin Madden born about 1823 probably in Clark County, Ohio.
  4. Harrison Madden born between 1828 and 1831, probably in Mercer County, Ohio. Married 1) Catherine Holzer Kolb on 10 August 1862 in Auglaize County, Ohio and 2) Susan Spicer on 17 April 1878 in Johnson County, Kansas. He died in Douglas County, Kansas in 1880.
  5. Cynthia Madden born 3 September 1830 in Mercer County, Ohio.
  6. William Madden born 4 June 1834 in Mercer County, Ohio. He married Elizabeth Ayres on 19 November 1855 in Mercer County, Ohio. He died 14 June 1865 in Nashville, Tennessee.