Sarah <I>Richardson</I> Isbell

Sarah Richardson Isbell

Cumberland Gap, Claiborne County, Tennessee, USA
Death 1845 (aged 69–70)
Lim Rock, Jackson County, Alabama, USA
Burial Jackson County, Alabama, USA
Memorial ID 105684479 · View Source
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Sarah Isbell's maiden name was given as Richardson by the late Ethlyn Rainey and some other descendants, although no known documentation at hand proves her maiden name nor those of her parents and any siblings. The name Richardson was handed down in the family, however.

The oral tradition is most probable since her son Levi's daughter-in-law Jane Dowdy Isbell lived some time with her own son Dr. A.L. isbell (Ethlyn's father) in Albertville when Ethlyn was young and many more years lived with Ethlyn's aunt and cousins at nearby Asbury. Sarah had a son named James R. Isbell, whose brother Levi Isbell named a son James Richardson Isbell as well as another son Allen Richardson Isbell. Another son of Sarah, John W. Isbell, also had a son Levi Richard or Richardson Isbell.
DNA results indicate she was most probably a sister of Phillip or Philip David Richardson, born 4 APR 1774 in Cumberland Gap, Claiborne Co., Tennessee.

Sarah Richardson and William Isbell probably married in Claiborne County or Sevier County, Tennessee about 1788-89.
Their first two sons John and James were born 1789 and 1791. The next living child was Levi in 1797, leading some researchers to believe that Levi's mother Sarah Richardson was William's second wife. However, DNA results of descendants of John, James and Levi Isbell all match the Boone-Richardson line which seem to prove that Sarah Richardson was his first wife of William Isbell and mother of all his children. Sarah Richardson was born in Claiborne County, Tennessee, c1775, orphaned at age 5, and probably married there or in nearby Sevier County at only about age 14.

Family trees generated by DNA matches between Isbell, Richardson and Boone families, indicate strongly (or prove) that Sarah Richardson was the sister of Philip David Richardson and daughter of Alan (or Adam) Alexander Richardson and wife Jemima Boone. Based on the DNA matches between Isbell, Richardson, Boone and Farmar descendants in 2017 at FTDNA as well as, this is the line of descent appearing in numerous family trees for Sarah Richardson Isbell at
1. George Boone Sr
+Sarah Uppey
2. George Boone Jr
+Mary Maugridge, d/o John & Mary (Milton) Maugridge
3. Squire Boone Sr. 1696-1765
+Sarah Jane Morgan, d/0 Edward & Margaret Morgan
4. Israel Morgan Boone 1726-1756 (brother of Daniel Boone)
+(31 Dec 1747) Martha Farmer 1726-1756 Rowan,NC
5. Jemima Ann Boone 1753-1780
+ Alan/Adam Alexander Richardson 1749-1779
6. Sarah Richardson 1775-1846
+William Zachariah Isbell
(See "My Children's Heritage" by Gina Burfield, among others.)

It should be noted, however, that Israel Boone's uncle Benjamin married Ann Farmar, first cousin of Martha Farmar Boone, and their son John married Rebecca Bryan, aunt of the Rebecca Bryan who married Daniel Boone. It is possible that Jemima Anne Boone was their daughter if not the daughter of John's first cousin Israel Boone.

Jemima Anne Boone married Adam (or Alan) Alexander Richardson 31 OCT 1773 "in Boonesborough, Kentucky Co., VA.(present day Madison Co., Kentucky)." He died 1779 in Cumberland Gap, Claiborne Co, TN., and she died 9 Sept 1780 leaving two children, Philip David age 6 and Sarah age 5.
Philip David Richardson was born 4 APR 1774 in Cumberland Gap, Claiborne Co., TN., and Sarah Richardson was born c1775 and married about 1788-89 William Zachariah Isbell.

The Isbell family moved from Lincoln County, Tennessee to Madison County, Alabama about 1812, back to Lincoln County about 1814-19, then back over the state line to Jackson County, Alabama, in 1826. Sarah Isbell and younger children are known to have lived in Jackson County, Alabama, in 1826. Her older sons had acquired land in Jackson County by 1818. As early as 1827 through 1844 Levi and John Isbell were members of Blue Spring(s) Baptist Church, where their brother James was buried (ref., The First Hundred Years, A History of Baptists in Jackson County, Alabama from 1821 until 1921 by J. Nelson Varnell, pp. 45, 57-58, 64-65).

Sarah Isbell died 1840-50 in Jackson County, Alabama, probably in the home where she lived with her son Zachariah in 1840.
There may be as many as 100 graves in the Isbell family cemetery, most of them marked by rocks or unreadable. A dozen of the earliest graves are marked by large stone cairns with no discernable names. At the highest point north of the center of the cemetery are two adjoining stone cairns attached to a large stone room or walled area containing three or four graves. These appear to be the earliest graves, flanked on the east by three of six Isbell graves enclosed in iron fences. One of these may be Sarah Isbell and one of them may be William Isbell, although many similar cairns at the nearby Blue Springs Cemetery could also be graves of the first Isbells in Jackson County. James and other family members are buried there. The newer markers were erected by descendants.

Children of William and Sarah Isbell:
1. John William Isbell b. 1789 in TN who mar. Sarah Roden and had 8 children.
2. James Richardson Isbell b. 5 Oct 1791 in TN who mar. Elizabeth Birdwell and had 13 children.
3. Unknown Isbell b. c1794 who probably died by 1830 (see note below about 1830 census)*
4. Levi Isbell b. 14 Nov 1797 in TN who mar. Sarah H. Birdwell and had 11 children.
5. Miller Isbell b. 1800 who mar Sarah Womack and had 6 to 10 children.
6. Jemima Isbell b.c1807?, d. 1835-42, who mar. John Summers (probably named for her grandmother Jemima Boone Richardson)
7. Elizabeth Isbell b. 1804 who mar. Matthew Summers
8. Hannah Isbell b. 1805 who mar. Timothy Marchand (Marshon)
9. Zachariah L. Isbell b. 20 Feb 1814 and never married.
10. Nancy Margaret Isbell b. 20 Feb 1814 (twin) who mar John Baker and had 6 children. (Some list Nancy and Margaret as two separate daughters.)
11. Rebecca Isbell b. 1816 who mar. Madison M. Bruton (Jackson Co., AL 1850, Franklin Co. 1860, Colbert Co. 1870)

*In the 1830 census, living with widow Sarah Richardson Isbell and her other children was a female aged 20-30 (b1800-1810) and a male 5-10 (1820-25). The female could be a widowed daughter or daughter-in-law, who doesn’t appear in the 1820 census, with her son. If a daughter, she was married by 1820; if widow of an Isbell, her husband was son born c1794. Whether the boy or his heirs later appear in the lengthy estate settlement of Zachariah Isbell has not been determined. He may have died or moved away and was unknown to the other heirs in 1890.
Whether other children who died young were born in the periods 1891-97 and 1807-14 is not known as names of any do not appear in known family bibles.

Descendants of William and Sarah Richardson Isbell are eligible for membership in the following hereditary societies:
Daughters of the American Revolution
Sons of the American Revolution



  • Created by: Ray Isbell
  • Added: 22 Feb 2013
  • Find a Grave Memorial 105684479
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sarah Richardson Isbell (1775–1845), Find a Grave Memorial no. 105684479, citing Isbell Cemetery, Jackson County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by Ray Isbell (contributor 47188697) .