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Sarah P. Albright



28. Sarah P. Albright (Married 1st: John Cunningham Donnell (#26); bond date: 27 September 1847, bond 000054916 in Guilford County, NC. The bondsman was Robert C. Donnell and the witness was John M. Logan (Source: North Carolina Marriage Bonds 1741-2011 Record # 01 122). Married 2nd: William Rankin Smith on 1 April 1863 in Guilford, County). (Source: North Carolina Marriage Collection, 1741-2004 (database on-line.) Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007. The original data is from County court records located at Greensboro, NC and on Family History Library microfilm #0536823-0536828.) (Source of orange below: Ancestry of Albright and Holt Families of Clay County, Missouri Book 2,1984, p. 312 - 313, Compiled by Claribel Albright McClain, great granddaughter of Daniel Albright and Amelia Holt.)


Born: 15 April 1827 in Guilford County, North Carolina of Jacob Albright (#55) & Sarah Albright (#56).

Died: 24 November 1906 (Source: U.S. Find A Grave Index). She is buried at Moriah United Methodist Church in Guilford County). Sarah's tombstone is shown at the bottom of this web page. [Note: Ancestry of Albright and Holt Families of Clay County, Missouri Book 2,1984, p. 313, Compiled by Claribel Albright McClain, great granddaughter of Daniel Albright and Amelia Holt states that Sarah died on 18 December 1891 and was first married to Irwin Donnell. This is not correct information. McClain's document is correct in stating Sarah was born on 15 April 1827 and that her second husband was W. R. Smith.


[Her siblings included:

a) Elizabeth Catherine Albright: (Married 1st: Sampson (Simpson) Efland, on 16 February 1843, who died 1847, Married 2nd: Wm. McKnight, 1849) Born: 14 August 1822. Died: 12 July 1879, aged 55 years buried at Buffalo Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Greensboro, N.C.;

b) Rebecca Jane Albright:(Married:___ Little in 1859); Born: 8 August 1824. Died: 18 July 1887, aged 62 years, 11 months; Miscellaneous: Rebecca was living with brother William M. Albright in 1870 and 1880 census. [Note: Rebecca was living with her brother George and his wife Julia when the 1860 census was taken. It is odd that Ancestry of Albright and Holt Families of Clay County, Missouri Book 2,1984 states Rebecca was married, but the 1880 census lists her as age 54 and single, not divorced or widowed. The name "Little" appears in the 1870 census, but it is believed to be used as an adjective in front of "Sally" since two Sallys were in the home; one would have been Rebecca's mother and the other her niece. Misinterpretation of this census may be where "Little" was interpreted as the last name of someone Rebecca married. ]

c) Ruben Albright: Born:ca 1825; Died: ? [Note: Russell Leach's research did not include Ruben Albright as a child of Jacob Albright (#55) & Sarah Albright (#56)'s . Also note the 1850 Census was incorrectly transcribed at one time with the name "Ruben", when it really listed "Rebecca." This web master believes there was no Ruben in this family but she is leaving this explanation for future reference.]

d) Daniel Eli Albright: (Married 1st: Julia W. Kirkpatrick 24 November 1852; Married 2nd: Jennie Purvis of Virginia 27 April 1870) Born: 21 July 1830. Died: 12 April 1917. (12/21/1890 ordained elder, Buffalo Presbyterian Church, Greensboro, N.C., buried at Buffalo Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Greensboro, N.C. (Captain of Home Guards-Confederacy);

e) George W. Albright: (Married: Julia Westbrooke, 6 May 1856) Born: 20 January 1833. Died: ?; Miscellaneous: The 1860 census lists George's occupation as farmer. He was 26 years of age. Listed with him are his wife, Julia Albright (age 24), daughter Carrie Albright (age 2), and his sister Rebecca Albright (age 30).

f) Julia A. Albright: Born: 20 March 1835. Died: ? [Note: Julia likely died before 1847 when her mother wrote a petition to the North Carolina Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions August Term 1847, as explained below].

g) William Madison Albright: (Married: Josephine R. Rankin, 12 November 1867); Born: 9 May 1845. Died: 14 June 1899 Miscellaneous: He was doctor-in Ordnance Dept., Confederacy. His occupation listed on the 1870 census is "physician." On the 1880 census, his occupation is listed as "farmer." Sometime prior to the 1870 census, both William's mother (Sarah Albright (#56)) and his sister (Rebecca) moved in with his young family. The 1870 census shows Sarah Albright (#56), called "Sally", was 65. Rebecca was 45. The 1880 census shows Sarah Albright (#56) (age 76) and Rebecca Albright (age 54). Click on the census numbers to see other members of his family at the time.

h) May Caroline Albright: Born: 10 July 1858 .Died: ? ] The blue inclusions above are from Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Cemetery Greensboro, North Carolina compiled by Raymond Dafau Donnell, 1996, p. 3).

[Note: There are many questions about Sarah P. Albright's siblings.

1st) It is curious that Sarah's mother Sarah Albright (#56) filed a petition with the North Carolina Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions August Term 1847 stating Jacob had died, leaving her a widow with two adult daughters (Elizabeth C. Ephland (widow) and Rebeccah Albright) and four minors under the age of twenty-one (Sarah Albright, Daniel Albright, George Albright, and William Albright ) There is no mention of Ruben Albright, Julia A. Albright, and May Caroline Albright in this petition.

2nd) History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church And Her People, written by Rev. S. M. Rankin, p. 56 lists the children of Jacob and Sarah as: Elizabeth C., Rebecca J., Sarah P., Daniel E., George W., Julia A., and William M.. Perhaps, Julia A. Albright died before Sarah wrote the petition described above that listed the children. There is no mention of Ruben Albright or May Caroline Albright in the church history.

3rd). Pages 311-312, of Ancestry of Albright and Holt Families of Clay County, Missouri Book 2,1984.,Compiled by Claribel Albright McClain, great granddaughter of Daniel Albright and Amelia Holt, states that the 1850 Census for Guilford County, North Carolina listed Sarah Albright as head of the family. Listed below her are Ruben Albright (25) son, Daniel Albright (20) son, George W. Albright, (17) son, and William Albright (6) son. Actually, in examining the census, "Rebecca" was incorrectly transcribed by someone as" Ruben". It is this webmaster's conclusion that there was no Ruben in this family.

4th) Since Sarah's P. Albright's father (Jacob) died in 1845, he could not have fathered May if she was born in 1858. One posting has a "May Caroline Albright" born 19 July 1846 to parents Jacob Albright and Sarah Sallie Wolfe. Another posting has May born in 1858 to Jacob Albright and Sarah Albright, but as pointed out, this is not possible, at least not to the Jacob Albright that was Sarah P. Albright's father.]



The 1850 census shows that Sarah and her husband, John, are living in Guilford County. John was 28, farming, and owned real estate with a value of $1,850. Sarah was 23.

Later, John and Sarah had 2 children: Mary Elizabeth Donnell (#14) and Sarah Rebecca Donnell.

John died less than 4 months after his youngest daughter's birth, leaving behind Sarah to raise two young daughters alone. Mary Elizabeth was only 3 years old.

John, died intestate; ie. he did not have a will. As a result, Daniel Albright, Sarah's brother, became the administrator to help Sarah settle affairs. With a legal team, Sarah petitioned the Common Pleas Court for a year's allowance of her husband's land, Negroes, crops, and money to provide a livelihood for herself and her two young daughters. Daniel had John's land surveyed and inventoried, and listed all of the property for probate records. Some items were given to Sarah. Other things were sold to pay off debts.

John had had 9 slaves. The court divided the slaves into thirds, giving 1/3 to Sarah and 1/3 to each of her daughters.

In 1858, Daniel applied to the State of North Carolina, Guilford County court to become guardian of the two young girls. In 1861 Daniel did not pay the required bond fee to the Court of Pleas to renew his guardianship of the girls. The Court issued a summons. In 1862, Daniel showed up in court with his brother. The 1882 document shows that he paid $6,000. 1862, the court re-appointed Daniel E. Albright as guardian of Sarah's children, Mary E. and Sarah R. Donnell.

The 1860 US Census shows Sarah is the head of the household. She is 30, a farmer, with real estate value equal to $1800 and her personal estate equal to $7600. She had two daughters, M E Donnell (#14) (age 6) and S R Donnell (age 3) living with her.

On April 12, 1861, the Civil War began. Several of Sarah's brothers and brothers-in-law served in the Confederate Army. Their service is described in the discussion above about her siblings and in the link to John and his siblings at John Cunningham Donnell (#26).

On January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation, stating "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free." It is unknown how this would have affected the slaves that had been assigned to the Donnell women in 1858. The names of slaves did not appear with Sarah's family in the 1860 census, so it is unknown where they were living.

On April 1, 1863, Sarah married William Rankin Smith.

On April 9, 1865, the Civil War ended.

There were several years that Daniel Albright did not pay the required $1000 bond to the Court of Pleas to review his guardianship. In May, 1866, he went to court with John G. Efland and George W. Albright (his brother) and paid the bond.

The 1870 US Census shows Sarah was 41 and keeping house. The head of the household, William (Age 37), was a farmer. Evidently Sarah and William had had three children since their marriage ~7 years earlier: Jesse Smith (age 5), Annette Smith (Age 3), and William Smith (Age 5/12). Also in the house are Elizabeth Donnell (#14) ( Age 15), and Rebecca Donnell (Age 12), Preston Donnell (Age 9), and Jefferson Donnell (Age 9). [Note: Both Preston and Jefferson as listed as Black. They are likely freed slaves.]

On July 8th, 1874, a complaint was filed for Mary E. Donnell (#14) & Sarah R. Donnell, by W. R. Smith (the girls’ stepfather) against Daniel E. Albright, administrator & guardian. They were suing Daniel for money they were entitled to from their father’s estate as well as money from the estate of their uncle (Robert Donnell... their father’s brother). (Robert had died in the Civil War in 1862). [In 1872, Mary E. would have been 20 years old and Sarah R., 17 years old.] Daniel explained that over the years he'd been paying debts owed by John Donnell and paying doctor bills, legal fees, and other costs. Daniel had records to show that both Mary and Sarah had received some cash and interest for some estate items previously. In interviews conducted by the court, Daniel explained that over the years he'd been hiring out the girls' negroes for money, selling lumber, and in other ways acting as administrator of the estates to pay bills, but he admitted that he had not been keeping good records. Daniel explained that there were many circumstances making his job as administrator and guardian difficult. Some men who had rented slaves and purchased lumber never paid him. In addition, Daniel had served as a Captain of Home Guards in the Confederate Army and been absent from home. During his absence, he relied on others to keep track of things, and they had to be paid. Another problem was that some transactions prior to the ending of the war had taken place using Confederate dollars, which at the end of the war were worthless. In 1874, after legal fees were paid out and Daniel was paid an administrator fee, the court awarded Mary $274.68 and Sarah $50.88.

The 1880 US Census shows Sarah is 52, living with her husband William, age 47, and their two sons, Jesse E. Smith, age 16, who is helping out as a farm laborer, and William A, age 10, who is attending school. Annette Smith must have died. Elizabeth Donnell #14, Rebecca Donnell, Preston Donnell, and Jefferson Donnell were no longer living with them. [Note: Mary Elizabeth Donnell (#14) married Julius Henry Sharpe (#13) in 1878 and had begun a family in 1879. ]

The 1900 US Census shows Sarah, age 73, and her husband William, age 63, are living alone on the farm.


Sarah must have had 5 children in all : Mary Elizabeth Donnell (#14) and Sarah Rebecca Donnell with John Cunningham Donnell (#26) and Jesse Ed. Smith, Annette Smith, and William Adolphus Smith with her second husband, William R. Smith. (Source: 1870 & 1880 US Census.)

Sarah died in 1906 and was survived by her second husband.

Below: The photograph of Sarah's tombstone is courtesy of <>.


APR 15, 1827
NOV. 24, 1906
79 YRS 7 MOS.









Lifetime Events Summary for Sarah P. Albright:

Sarah's age
15 April 1827
Age at Father's Death
5 May 1847
1st Marriage
27 September 1847
Children's births
1854 - 1870
27 - 43
Death of 1st Husband
November 5, 1857
Civil War
34 - 38
2nd Marriage
1 April 1863
Age at Mother's Death
18 December 1891
24 November 1906


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