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Sarah Smith


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At a Glance

Sarah Smith and her sister Mary Smith  of Granville County, NC, attended the Burwell School as boarding students c. 1845 [1].


Sarah Smith appears to be the daughter of Rev. Samuel Henry Smith of Granville County, NC who took his AB at UNC in 1821. Her sister Mary Smith  was a student at the Burwell School in 1845, but is not listed on the Burwell School Catalogue of 1848-51 [2].

However, a letter of January 17, 1846 from Mrs. Burwell (Anna Robertson Burwell ) to her friends, mentions Sarah Smith as a student in the fall session of 1845:

Neither Sarah Smith nor Lavinia M. Alston  have returned...we do not expect Lavinia but still think Sarah may come, as her Father said she would. People are so fickle"now a days"  that we never know when we expect scholars.

Around 1850 Sallie moved to Mississippi with her sister Amy and her husband Franklin Moore.

Sallie Smith was the younger sister of Mary Smith, the oldest of the five cousins who attended the Burwell School.. Their older brother James Jesse Smith married Sarah Ann Moore, and their older sister Amy married Franklin Moore, who were siblings of Burwell student Sophronia Moore. Around 1850 James Jesse and Sarah Ann Moore Smith and Franklin and Amy Smith Moore moved with their families to Panola County, Mississippi. Sallie Smith accompanied them and lived in the household with her sister Amy. Around 1870 Sallie married Robert Searcy of Bedford, Tennessee. The Searcy family is quite large, with many descendants, making it difficult to follow [3] [1].

Biographical Data

1870 Census Granville County NC  "Robert and Sallie Searcy"

Important Dates

Sarah Smith was born in 1838, in Granville County, NC. She died in 1890, and was buried in Tennessee.

Places of Residence

Schools Attended



  1. Mary Claire Engstrom. The Book of Burwell Students: Lives of Educated Women in the Antebellum South. (Hillsborough: Hillsborough Historic Commission, 2007).
  2. Burwell School Catalogue of 1848-51.
  3. The Alumni History of the University of North Carolina.