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Sarah Adams Bitely - Story

b.2/21/1802 — d.3/29/1879



Sarah Adams Bitely was the daughter of Peter Bitely and Elizabeth Maria Douglas. She was born in the State of Vermont on the 21st of February 1802. She was named after the mid-wife, Sarah Adams, who attended her mother. This woman had no children and asked that the little girl be given her name, so she was given the name of Sarah Adams Bitely. Sarah Adams Bitely married Charles Ferdinand Conrad February 8, 1830, in the town of Seneca, Ontario County, New York. Their first child, John was born in Fayette, Seneca County, New York. He died when only two months old. The second child was a girl, Elizabeth, she was born in the town of Seneca, Ontario County, New York. A little later the family moved from New York to Brownstown, Wayne County, Michigan where Mr. Conrad took up 80 acres of land, which was located on Mud Street going into Detroit.
This was all new country, thickly timbered, and full of wild animals, especially deer and bear. There were a few panthers and these animals with their peculiar cry were feared and many stories were told about them leading the settlers into the forest with their cries, because it was thought that some child was lost. The trees had to be cut and burned so as to clear the land before it could be farmed. Among the other trees in this section of the country were hardwood trees such as the hickory, oak and ash. Mr. Conrad leased a piece of land on the North East Corner of his property for a school house. This school was used for many years. He was a prominent man in his community and held the office of Justice of the Peace at Trenton, Michigan.
Nine children were born to Sarah Adams Bitely and Charles F. Conrad in Brownstown, Wayne Co., Michigan. They were poor but sturdy, and love the new country in spite of the hardships of pioneering. Many times they had only potatoes and salt to eat, sometimes they even lacked the salt to eat with the potatoes. Though Mr. Conrad was interested in his community he didn't seem to take any of the responsibilities of his family, and many times the children went to school without shoes. Elizabeth wore her father's old shoes when she had to go out in the snow on an errand. The snow sometimes piled up in drifts of three and four feet. It was so deep that it was possible to sleigh ride over the fence. Sarah Adams Bitely Conrad's fourth child, William, caused her a great deal of worry. He loved to hunt and whenever he found his father's rifle in the house he would take it and go out hunting. When any one asked where he was, his father would look in the corner where his rifle always stood, and missing it would say, "Bill's gone hunting, the rifles gone."

In Brownstone, Michigan they heard and accepted the gospel of the church of Latter Day Saints. They sought to join the saints in Illinois, but the death of the prophet changed their plans and they remained in Michigan. Sarah's husband eventually left the church, but her own faith never wavered and in 1862, she left her home and family to go by ox team to Utah.
In 1864 her three sons, Charles, Serrine and George and her son-in-law James Hook came to Utah and in 1870 her daughter Elizabeth and family arrived. They bought property in NE Provo where Sarah lived until her death on December 29, 1879. (Copied from a page Aunt Hazel had.)
Sarah separated from her husband and never saw him again. Some records report she became a polygamist wife to George Brown. Personal family records do not support this, however she is buried in Provo Cemetery under the name Sarah Brown Conrad in block 3 lot 8. Family history of Marian Ercanbrack states that a short time after she came to Utah, she was sealed to George Brown, a blacksmith who lived across the road from her. When her health began to fail, she lived with her daughter until she died at seventy seven years of age.

Family links:
Elizabeth Conrad Hooks (1830 - 1921)*
Charles Conrad (1831 - 1910)*
William Thomas Conrad (1833 - 1894)*
William Thomas Conrad (1833 - 1894)*
George Conrad (1838 - 1915)*
Serrine Moroni Conrad (1842 - 1906)*

Charles Ferdinand Conrad (1808 - 1884) 

Related people

Sarah Adams Bitely

Posted By: David Conrad

  1. Website: Charles Ferdinand Conrad;

Updated: 11-29-2013
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