Sarah Rawlings



    Sarah Rawlings was probably born in Harrison County, Kentucky about 1797.1   Shortly after 1800, her father Nathan and his family settled in the Franklin/Pickaway County, Ohio area. 2  It was there, in Pickaway County, Sarah married Robert Higgins in 1810.3  Nathan moved west to Illinois about 1816-17, where his children and their families settled.4  As appears with all of Nathan's children and their families, the Higgins family packed up and moved west with him, or at least in the same direction, as they appear in the same vicinity in southern Illinois by about 1820.5 


    The Higgins family is first located in Edwards County, Illinois during the 1820 federal census.6  In 1830, they were living in Lawrence County.7  It should be remembered that when the Rawlings clan first located in Illinois, it was only a territory and consisted of 11 counties.8  At that time, the area where the Rawlings and related families settled was near the Crawford and Edwards County lines.  The Higgins family probably settled in the northeast corner of Edwards, as that is the area of Edwards County that would in 1821 become the southern half of Lawrence County.9  It is entirely likely that the families never moved as the counties evolved around them and the land on which they lived changed counties.


    Robert and Sarah Higgins had 10 children.  Some were born in Ohio. One was born in Kentucky, and the younger ones were born in Illinois after the Higgins family arrived there.  They were:


               William, born in Ohio on 26 May 1811

               David J., born in Ohio on 06 Dec 1812

               Nathan, born in Ohio on 09 March 1815

               James R., born in Kentucky on 19 April 1817. 

                                             Mary Jane Higgins, born in Kentucky on 24 March 1819

               John S Higgins was born in Illinois on 30 Aug 1821

               Angeline Higgins, born in Illinois on 25 Feb 1824

               IvyAnn Higgins, born in Illinois on 30 Jan 1826

               Clark B Higgins, born in Illinois on 12 Nov 1829.  

               Henry B Higgins, born in Illinois on 09 May 183210


    By 1840, the Higgins family had moved to Brown County, located just to the West of the Illinois River, and southwest of the Lamoine River, one of the Illinois' tributaries.11  Robert Higgins probably died in Brown County, IL between 1840 and 1850.12 


    Sarah Rawlings-Higgins married William Stableton in 1855.13  He apparently died soon thereafter, as she married again in 1858 to John Wilson.14  Both marriages took place in Brown County.   By 1860, Sarah appears to have been widowed a third time, as she is found living alone with her grandson, Ira Deakins.  Her own some, James Higgins, was her next door neighbor.15  


    There is no sign of Sarah following the 1860 census.16  It is believed that she passed away in Brown County sometime between 1860 and 1870, though there has been no grave or estate record found.



    Robert and Sarah Rawlings-Higgins' children continued to live in Illinois in the Brown and Schuyler County areas, and in later years continued the westward migration of their parent to places like Missouri, Kansas and onward to California.17  Below is a chart depicting some of the descendants of Robert and Sarah Rawlings-Higgins.18




Chapter 6 NOTES


1.  The 1850 Census-Brown County, Illinois, lists “Sarah Higens” as age 57.  Her father, Nathan and family 

     were residing in Kentucky, probably Harrison County, in 1797.
2.  Harrison County, Kentucky Deed Records - 12 Mar 1801, Nathan Rawlings and wife Mary purchase 110

     acres in Harrison County, Kentucky (land from James Blackburn lying on the south fork of the Licking River)

     and . Ohio Newspapers - 1800-1810, which refers to mail ready for pick-up that was addressed to Nathan

     Rawlings of Franklinton (Columbus).  These references represent the last documentation of Nathan Rawlings

     in Kentucky and the first in Ohio that the author has located.

3.  Pickaway County, Ohio Marriage Records – Robert Higgins to Sarah Rawlings, based on a license issued

     16 July 1810.

4.  From The Combined Histories of Edwards, Lawrence, and Wabash Counties, Illinois (p.229) – Reference

     shows Nathan Rawlings settled in Edwards County about 1816. 

5.  Nathan’s family and children are all located in southeastern counties during the 1818 and 1820 censuses.

6.  1820 Census – Edwards County, IL

7.  1830 Census – Lawrence County, IL

8.  Origin and Evolution of Illinois Counties published by the Secretary of the State of Illinois.
9.  Ibid.

10. From family bible in the possession of Warren Brown, (Warren Brown - [email protected])
11.  1840 Census – Brown County, IL

12.  Robert Higgins appears in the 1840 census of Brown County, Illinois, but is not listed during the 1850 census. 

       Sarah Higgins is listed in the 1850 census – this implies that Robert died between the two censuses.

13.  Brown County, Illinois Marriages, Sarah Higgins to William “Stabelton”, 5 June 1855.

14.  Ibid., Sarah Stableton to John Wilson, 23 Dec 1858.

15.  1860 Census – Brown County, IL.

16.  Illinois Census Records, 1870 and beyond.

17.  Descendants migrated westward.  Evidence is shown in the censuses subsequent to 1860.

18.  This chart was created by the author using data from various federal and state censuses, and other local

        records, largely from databases located on the Internet.  Most data was accessed using the

        Internet website.