Sara Ann Eyster Harbaugh

Sara Ann Eyster Harbaugh
birth: 22 Jun 1822 in Union Bridge, Carroll, Maryland to John and Mary Garver Eyster
death: 21 March 1883 in Liberty Township, St. Joseph, Indiana
burial: Lutheran Cemetery, Liberty Township, St. Joseph, Indiana

marriage: 13 Jun 1843 in Waynesboro, Franklin, Pennsylvania
George Henry Harbaugh
birth: 1 March 1823 in Waynesboro, Franklin, Pennsylvania to Elias and Mary Magdeline Weaver Harbaugh
death: 2 January 1909 in Liberty Township, St. Joseph, Indiana
burial: Lutheran Cemetery, Liberty Township, St. Joseph, Indiana

Children of Sara Ann Eyster Harbaugh and George Henry Harbaugh:

  • John Elias Harbaugh 1844-1899 Jemima Fair
  • Lincoln Mordecai Harbaugh 1846-1847
  • Mary Alice Harbaugh 1848-1931 Rev. Andrew Melling Rupel
  • Samuel Walter Harbaugh 1851-1916 Lozetta Rose
  • Laura Catherine Harbaugh 1853-1885 Daniel Steele
  • George Frederick Harbaugh 1856-1931Margaret E. “Maggie” Long
  • Ella Harbaugh Circa 1858-died as a child tombstone unreadable
  • Charles Victor Leo Harbaugh, M.D. 1861-1933 1st m. Elizabeth Swartley 2nd m. Frances Elizabeth Athey

Ancestor here lived in:

  • St. Joseph County, Indiana

Other Information: Sara Ann Eyster was the first of two daughters born to John and Mary Garver Eyster in Union Bridge, Carroll, Maryland on 22 June 1822. Sara’s father was a blacksmith who relocated with his small family to Waynesboro, Frederick, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1850. It was there that Sara likely met her husband, George Henry Harbaugh; they wed there on 13 June 1843 only a few weeks after her mother’s death. Sara’s father is found living with Sara and her growing family in the 1850 US Federal census. Although John Eyster’s tombstone is unreadable, it is thought that he died before 5 April 1852 when Sara sold a lot to one of her brother-in-laws on Main Street in Waynesboro for $375.00. Of her eight children, two died young. Both had been buried at the Old Union Cemetery in Waynesboro but when the adjoining church wanted to expand, the graves were re-interred in a mass grave at Green Hill Cemetery with the stones purportedly in the same order placed close by. Unfortunately, both stones are in poor condition and Ella’s is unreadable. The children’s baptisms were held at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waynesboro, except for the oldest and probable two youngest children. The oldest child may have been baptized at a German-speaking church at the foot of South Mountain near Pen Mar where Sara’s husband’s family attended. No records for that church remain. It is unknown why Ella and the youngest child, Charles, were not baptized at the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Perhaps, it was due to the looming threat of Civil War. The family did experience the Battle of Washington Township, the only Civil War battle that occurred on both sides of the line. The family incurred a loss of $81.00 in goods stolen by the Confederates but were reimbursed by the Federal government on 5 August 1868. The following year, the family relocated to St. Joseph County, Indiana close to Sara’s only sibling, Mary Ann Eyster who had married William Johnson. Mary Ann and William joined fellow parishioners from the Meadow Branch Church of the Brethren of Westminster, Carroll, Maryland in going west. Family records show that Sara readily adapted to the move to Indiana, visiting the community’s sick, helping out with church functions, and with her many grandchildren. She joined the Pine Creek Church of the Brethren and became an active member. At “6 oclock” on Wednesday, 21 March 1883, a day that had dawned “clear, cold, ground coverd with snow” in Liberty Township, Sarah Ann Eyster Harbaugh died of “a stroke of palsy.” Sarah was buried in St. John’s Lutheran Church Cemetery on 23 March 1883, following a funeral service performed by J. Hildebrand at the Pine Creek Church of the Brethren. The sermon was noted to be from “Luke, chap forty, fifth verse,” however, since Luke ends with chapter 23, the reading was most likely from chapter 4, “Then he took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant. The female relatives gathered at George Henry and Sarah’s residence the day after the burial and “washd for their loved mother for the last time.” On 29 March 1883, Mary Ann “Went up to Saras to look over her things for the last time before the sale.” George Henry hired a sale caller and clerk who held the estate sale on 31 March 1883. Sarah’s family erected a tombstone on her plot on 11 September 1883. A white rose bush and flowers were added and the grave was tended to by family for years after her death.

Please see the following sources for much more information on Sarah Eyster and the Harbaugh family:
Lori Samuelson. Perseverance Amidst Adversity: The Ancestry of Three George Harbaughs. Amazon eBook, 2016.
Contact the submitter for a transcription of The Diary of Mary Ann Eyster Johnson.
Note: Church historians erroneously thought Sara and Mary Ann’s maiden name was Orndorff so the diary name is sometimes written as The Diary of Mary Ann Orndorf.

Submitted by:
Lori Samuelson
Email: genealogyatheart@gmail.com

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