Sarah Ann Evans & Matthew G Bedell

8:39:00 PM

Pottsville, Pennsylvania c1850

When looking through the burial records for all Evans interments at the Homewood Cemetery in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, I noticed a Sarah Ann Evans Bedell 1851-1931

The Homewood Cemetery is where Benjamin Evans and John P Evans are buried. As John P Evans' mother-in-law was named Elizabeth Bedell, I wanted to determine if Sarah Ann Evans Bedell was related to John P Evans and if there was any relationship with Sarah Ann Evans husband Matthew Bedell and the family of  Amanda Beebe and Elizabeth Bedell.


Bedell Lineage in Evans Family

Matthew Griffin Bedell

The entry at findagrave for Sarah Ann Evans records 29 August 1851 as her date of birth as and the date of her death as 2 May 1931. The death record for Sarah Ann Evans Bedell is noted at findagrave as Pennsylvania Death Certificate #48436.

1931 Pennsylvania Death Certificate Sarah Ann Evans Bedell

The Pennsylvania Death Certificate for Sarah Ann Bedell names Matthew G Bedell as as her husband and confirms the date of death and the date of birth as recorded at findagrave. The document also includes the information that Sarah Ann Evans was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania to parents Enick Evins (Enoch Evans) and Sara Ashford both of whom were born in England.

Matthew G Bedell husband of Sarah Ann Evans 

Matthew G Bedell is age 4 in the 1850 US Census, born c 1846, and is living in West Elizabeth, Allegheny, Pennsylvania. A.P. Bedell born c 1814 is listed as the head of household. Abner M Bedell enumerated as age nine is the brother of Matthew G Bedell.

1850 Census Abner Patterson Bedell Family  - West Elizabeth

The A.P. Bedell family is also recorded in the 1860 US Census, They have moved to Birmingham, Allegheny, Pennsylvania and for some strange and unknown reason, most of the Bedell family was enumerated using their middle names. Fidelia and Mary Bedell are listed with their correct given names which was fortunate as this record was difficult to find.

It is useful to know the middle names of this family when looking for additional records and family surnames. We now know that Matthew Bedell is Matthew Griffin Bedell and his brother is Abner Milton Bedell. Abner Patterson Bedell is Matthew's father as other records show his first name is Abner, so his full name is Abner Patterson Bedell.

1860 Census Abner Patterson Bedell Family  - Birmingham

Of note, the 1860 US Census records Matthew Griffin Bedell's place of birth as Ohio which is consistent with Mathew G Bedell's enumeration in the 187019001910, and 1920 US Census records. The 1880 US Census has M.G. Bedell born in Pennsylvania. Sarah Ann Evans Bedell is listed in the 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, and the 1920 US Census records with Mathew G Bedell.

Abner M Bedell, brother of Matthew G Bedell knew John P Evans 

Abner M Bedell served with John P Evans in the Pennsylvania 13th Regiment Infantry Company B. Abner M Bedell is listed in muster rolls of the Pennsylvania 13th Regiment Infantry Company B with John P Evans as recorded in The History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers 1861-1865 by Samuel Bates, Volume 1, Page 128.

Abner M Bedell is the author a detailed affidavit on behalf of John P Evans in his pension record. (page 51 of John P Evans Civil War Pension Record). 

Abner M Bedell states his age as 43 at the time of his 1882 affidavit which would place his year of birth at c 1841, which matches the estimated year of birth for Abner M Bedell, brother of Matthew Griffin Bedell in the 1850 US Census record for the Bedell family in West Elizabeth, Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Additionally Abner M Bedell states in his affidavit that he has known John P Evans for 4 years before they enlisted in the PA 13th Regiment Infantry Volunteers in 1861 which would be a couple of years after the marriage of John P Evans and Amanda Beebe. They were married in 1855 per John P Evans Civil War Pension Record, Page 89.

Bedell Lineage in Evans Family

Elizabeth Bedell born 1812

John P Evan's mother-in-law, Elizabeth Bedell, was born c 1812 in West Elizabeth, Allegheny, Pennsylvania as shown on the death record of her daughter Amanda Beebe. Amanda Beebe is the wife of John P Evans. (West Elizabeth is a small borough in Allegheny County and is where the family of Matthew G Bedell was living in 1850)

Amanda Fitzellen Beebe Certificate of Death

Elizabeth Bedell is the daughter of Daniel Bedell (1785-1861) and the granddaughter of Abner Bedell. These relationships are established in the will of Elizabeth Bedell's grandfather Abner Bedell 1761-1842. The family relationships stated in the will of Abner Bedell 1761-1841 are detailed the "The Will of Abner Bedell Proved circa 1842"

It seemed highly likely that Matthew Griffin Bedell was related to Elizabeth Bedell since they lived in the same town in the same time frame, the only other known Bedells in West Elizabeth are descendants of Abner Bedell 1761-1842, and the somewhat unusual given names Abner, Amanda, and Daniel appear in both families. Additionally Matthew G Bedell's brother, Abner Milton Bedell, personally knows Elizabeth Bedell's son-in-law John P Evans.

Abner Patterson Bedell (1814-1878)

I thought it was likely that Matthew Griffin Bedell's father, Abner Patterson Bedell, could be Elizabeth Bedell's brother and the son of Daniel Bedell (1784-1861).

Abner Bedell 1761-1842 had three sons Daniel, Andrew, and William Bedell. William Bedell never married. Andrew Bedell had a son named Abner Washington Bedell, so Abner Patterson Bedell could not be the son of Andrew Bedell.

If Abner Patterson Bedell and Elizabeth Bedell were siblings, that would make Matthew Griffin Bedell and Amanda Beebe first cousins. To determine if Elizabeth Bedell and Abner Patterson Bedell are brother and sister, I began to research the parentage of Abner Patterson Bedell.

A P Bedell and Fidelia Griffin were married in Trumbull County, Ohio on 9 August 1838. Abner Patterson Bedell was 21 years old at the time of his marriage and Fidelia was only fourteen. The record of the marriage licence and recorded marriage are available, but do not name the parents of the principals.

Abner Patterson Bedell died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on 14 September 1878. The death record found in the "Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh City Deaths" database does not name his parents.

I have been unable to determine the parentage of Abner Patterson Bedell from his marriage record and or death records since unfortunately neither name his parents. There is no available birth record for Abner Patterson Bedell.

I reviewed the John J Evans Jr collection of family history documents and found a synopsis of correspondence from Agnes Bedell Sheplar from 1930. This document states that Abner Patterson Bedell is the son of Daniel Bedell.

I was also able to find a reference of Abner Patterson Bedell as the grandson of Abner Bedell (1761-1842). In Abner Bedell's (1761-1842) Revolutionary War Pension Application file there is a letter written in 1904 from Amy Davis Schaum. Amy Schaum is writing to the War Department to confirm that Abner Bedell "my grandfather's grandfather who was also named Abner Bedell",  was a soldier in the Revolutionary War.

I was able to determine that Amy Schaum was the daughter of Minerva Bedell and Minerva is the daughter of Abner Patterson Bedell and Fidelia Griffin (see 1860 US Census above).

Biographical Review, Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Pittsburgh and the Vicinity. page 457 contained the following information about Amy Schaum. This sketch is incorrect regarding the middle initial of Minerva Bedell's father. All other records show that the husband of Fidelia Griffin and the father of Minerva Bedell was Abner Patterson Bedell, also often known as A P Bedell.

Daniel Bedell Lineage including Abner Patterson Bedell


Sarah Ann Evans 1851-1931

The Pennsylvania Death Certificate for Sarah Ann Evans, shown above, provided the following information; Sarah Ann Evans was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania on 29 August 1857 to Enoch Evans and Sara Ashford, Sarah Ann Evans was married to Matthew G Bedell, and that she died in Pittsburgh on 2 May 1931. It is possible that Sarah and her father Enoch are related to John P Evans since it has been established that Sarah Ann Evans husband, Matthew Griffin Bedell, is the first cousin of Amanda Beebe, wife of John P Evans.

Sarah Evans is listed in the 1860 US Census in East Birmingham, age nine so born c 1851. Enoch Evans, enumerated as age 45, born in England is listed as a coal miner and as the head of household with Sarah Evans in the 1860 US Census record. (The 1860 US Census does not enumerate family relationships). The woman listed in this household is named Elizabeth and is 34 years old and so is possibly Enoch's second wife as Sarah's mother in her death record is named Sara Ashford. There is an older child, Mary Evans, who was born in England and several children younger than Sarah all born in Pennsylvania. Thirty year old Thomas Rack living with the Evans family in 1860 may be a relation as he is also born in England.

1860 US Census - Enoch Evans East Birmingham, Pennsylvania

When researching the other members of the Enoch Evans household from 1860, I found a Pennsylvania death certificate for a Maria Taylor who was born in 1857. According to the death record, Maria Taylor was born in Philadelphia in 1857 to Enoch Evans and Elizabeth Ashton and died 1 August 1928 in Allegheny County. The death record contains the information that maria Evans Taylor's parents were both born in England. Maria Taylor is most likely the same person as Maria Evans shown as age three in the 1860 US Census living with Enoch & Elizabeth Evans.

It is possible, perhaps probable that the maiden name of the mother of Sarah Ann Evans (Sara Ashford) or Maria Evans (Elizabeth Ashton) could have been incorrectly recorded in the Pennsylvania Death Certificates. The information in these records is usually provided by family members and there are often errors. Ashford and Ashton are similar surnames.

Evans Family living in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania in 1860

Sarah Ann Evans was born in Pottsville according to her death record, but is enumerated as age nine and living in East Birmingham, Allegheny County in 1860. Fourteen year old future husband, Matthew G Bedell is living in adjacent Birmingham, Allegheny County in 1860.

John P Evans and Amanda Beebe are not yet located in the 1860 US Census, but John P Evans brother Benjamin Evans is living in East Birmingham in 1860 as are Amanda Beebe's parents William Beebe and Elizabeth Bedell who are living with Amanda'a sister Mary Beebe and grandfather Daniel Bedell.

John and Benjamin's sister Emma Evans and her husband John Hanson are also in Allegheny County according to the 1860 US Census, living next door to Mary Thomas, mother of John P Evans, Benjamin Evans, and Emma Evans.

Additional Research Possibilities

Enoch Evans 

I was looking for Enoch Evans and Sara Ashford in the 1850 US Census in Pottsville, Pennsylvania as that is where Sarah Ann Evans 1851 birth is recorded in her death certificate. I found an Enoch Evans in Minersville Borough, PA which is located a few miles from Pottsville, Pennsylvania in the 1850 US Census enumerated as age working as a coal miner with his place of birth noted as England.

Enoch Evans with possible father Thomas in Minersville Borough, PA

1850 US Census Minersville Borough, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania

Enoch Evans could be a relative of John P Evans and Benjamin Evans. There is a fifteen year old Enoch Evans living in the same company housing as John P Evans and Benjamin Evans in Scotland in the 1841 Scotland Census. Enoch Evans is living with parents Thomas and Margaret Evans and siblings Joseph and Mary in 1841.

There is an Enoch Evans and a John Evans on the ship the Helen McGaw arriving in Philadelphia on 11 August 1848. This date is consistent with the time of arrival in the United States noted for John P Evans by his son Harry Sylvester Evans in his family history survey for Wilkenburg Township, Pennsylvania. Harry had it that John P Evans, born 1831, arrived in the United States at age 17.

Ship Helen McGaw arrival 11 August 1848  (possibly through Matanzas, Cuba) would have John P Evans as age 17 at the time of arrival.

The following names are also on this voyage of the Helen McGaw.

Enoch Evans no age  (appears in index cards, doesn't show in Ancestry)
Thomas Evans no age   accompanied by family (maybe father of Enoch)
John Evans no age
John Evans no age
Richard Thomas (possibly second husband of Mary Evans, mother of John P Evans) no age
 + about 10 other Evans on the Helen McGaw

no Benjamin Evans, Margaret, Joseph, Eben, Mary found in index cards on the Helen McGaw

West Elizabeth Map showing Abner Bedell warrant dated 1923

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