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Sarah Cousins, d/o William Sr - Wife of Joseph Deets or Joseph Hawthorn?
Posted by: Roger Whiting (ID *****8793) Date: June 01, 2006 at 06:20:01
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William Cousins of Sugar Creek Twp, Venango County, Pennsylvania died in 1825 leaving a will, see Venango County Will Book A, page 40, written 15 April 1825 and probated 23 April 1825. William left a widow, Mary Ann, and five living children, or sons Thomas & William; and daughters Elizabeth, Nancy and Sarah. William also mentions that an equal share was to go to his deceased son Samuel's children, not named. Executors of William’s will were Thomas Wilson and Alexander McCalmont and witnesses were Royal Brown and John Wilson.

It is important to note that none of the married names of William’s daughters or their husbands were mentioned in his will. Additionally, the Venango County, Pennsylvania, Register of Probate’s office has no other documents regarding William’s will i.e. inventory of assets, list of heirs, distribution of property to heirs, etc. Never the less, research of Venango County deeds has produced evidence that William’s daughter Nancy married William Brown; and, her sister, Elizabeth married Samuel Allen. Both moved to Ohio and settled near their brother, Thomas. As mentioned, Samuel died prior to his father, and William Jr. remained in the Sugarcreek Twp area.

So, who is Sarah? Who did she marry? What are the names of her children? Did she remain in the Sugarcreek Twp area of Venango County?

Let us be clear that Sarah Cousins, born 8 February 1814 and wife of William Hughes, was the daughter of William Cousins, Jr. and granddaughter to William Cousins, Sr. This relationship was proven by several Venango County deeds. However, several Cousins family researchers have identified “Sarah Cousins” as the wife of Joseph Deets (or Dietz); whereas others maintain that “Sarah Cousins” was actually the wife of Joseph Delaney Hawthorn. So which of these two is William Cousins’ daughter, Sarah?

Let’s start with what we know about Sarah, wife of Joseph Deets.

1.       Sarah (Cousins) Deets, wife of Joseph Deets, was born 10 August 1802, died in Canal Twp, Venango County, on 10 March 1865, and is buried with her husband in Oakwood Cemetery adjoining the Canal Wesleyan Church at Hannaville.

2.       Joseph and Sarah Deets settled southwest of Canal Center and lived most of their lives there. They were enumerated in the 1820, 1830, 1840 and 1850 US census for that location. The 1850 census has Sarah as “S. Deets born c 1803 in PA.

3.       Joseph and Sarah Deets had 15 children born between 1820 and 1850; or, John, Mary, Samuel, Adam, Mary Elizabeth, Jane, Joseph, Sarah, Jackson, Jacob, Lavina, Hannah, Nancy Ann, Louisa, and Margaret Elmira. (See Walter S. Olson, Deets Descendants, 1975).

4.        Prior to 1959, several women identified William Cousins as their revolutionary ancestor in order to secure DAR membership. They specifically identify William Cousins as having served in a revolutionary military unit from Northumberland County. Based on William Cousins’ will, they claim their right to DAR membership based on their heritage through his daughter Sarah who had married Joseph Deets. Their evidence for the marriage consisted of statements made by Joseph Deets in his War of 1812 pension application. However, even as Joseph mentions that he married “Sally Cozzens” on or about 13 May 1819, his pension papers do not provide evidence that Sarah, his wife, was the daughter of William Cousins.

5.        Walter S. Olson in his genealogical report, Deets Descendants, published in January 1975, agreed with the Cousins/Deets DAR membership information. However, Walter did not provide any evidence that Sarah (Cousins) Deets was the daughter of William Cousins, Sr. Walter also included a copy of Sarah (Cousins) Deets’ obituary; but it did not include any reference to her parents or siblings.

6.       Another Deets researcher, Frances Deets Latham, however, mentions in her February 1975 Genealogy of the Samuel Deets Family, that she disagreed with Walter Olson that Sarah Cousins was the daughter of William, Sr. She had contact with Venango County genealogists who provided her with “evidence” that William’s daughter, Sarah was actually the wife of Joseph Delaney Hawthorn. Unfortunately, she did not provide this “evidence” in her manuscript.

7.       Lastly, Joseph and Sarah (Cousins) Deets never sold an inherited right to William Cousins' land or other property, nor did they purchase other Cousins heirs rights. Interestingly, Joseph and Sarah lived most of their lives in Canal Twp; whereas, William Cousins lived in Sugarcreek Twp. It would appear that they did not participate in the settlement of William Cousins, Sr., estate.

So what do we know about Sarah Cousins, wife of Joseph Delaney Hawthorn?

1.       Sarah Cousins, wife of John Delaney Hawthorn, was born 24 October 1802, married c. 1818, died 3 April 1870, and is buried next to her husband at Wareham Cemetery, Irwin Twp, Venango County, PA.

2.       John and Sarah Hawthorn had 12 children. The names of the first four (4) are most interesting, or Mary Ann, William, Nancy, and Eliza. Another child’s name was Samuel Allen. Other children were Sarah, Belinda, James K., Juliaette, John B., Boone Marion and Amanda M. Clearly, John and Sarah tended to name their children after some of the Cousins family. Also, Amanda is buried at the Cousens Cemetery located on the Burkhardt Farm in Sugarcreek Twp, along with William, Sr. and Margaret (Mary Ann) Cousins.

3.       After William Cousins, Sr., died in 1825, his heirs began to sell their inherited rights to 150 acres of land located in Sugarcreek Twp, Venango County to John D. Hawthorn. These sales continued until 1861 when John and Sarah Hawthorn sold the land.

a.       On 20 September 1830, William and Elizabeth (Cousins) Brown of Union Twp, Morgan County, OH, sold Elizabeth’s inherited share of William Cousins, Sr. land, or the home tract consisting of 150 acres and another property consisting of 200 acres to John D. Hawthorn, Venango County, PA.

b.       On September 1830, Samuel and Nancy (Cousins) Allen of Muskingum County, OH, sold all of Nancy’s inherited share of William Cousins, Sr., land to John D. Hawthorn, Sugarcreek Twp, Venango County, PA.

c.       As Samuel Cousins, son of William, was deceased by 1825, his children, except Emeline, sold their ¼ shares of his 1/6 share as follows:

1.       On 6 January 1835 Mary Ann (Cousins) and her husband, Amos Brown of Canal Twp, Venango County; and Samuel Cousins Jr. and his wife, Mary of Sugarcreek Twp, Venango County to John D. Hawthorn, Sugarcreek Twp, Venango County.

2.       On 23 June 1846, William, son of Samuel Cousins, and Betsy Cousins his wife, of Warren County, PA sell William’s inherited ¼ of 1/6 rights to 150 acres of land previously owned by William Cousins, Samuel’s father to Allen Cousins. Allen later sold this property to Joseph D. Hawthorn.

d.       As William Cousins, Jr., had died c 1834, his estate was probated during the mid-1830s. Unfortunately, a list of his heirs has not been found in the probate files located in the Register of Probate’s office at Franklin, PA. Nevertheless, several of his children did sell their inherited rights to 150 acres previously owned by William Cousins Sr.

1.       On 6 March 1844 and on 24 July 1847, Allen Cousins and wife, Harriet of Sugarcreek Twp, sell two separate rights to 150 acres of land previously owned by William Cousins, Sr., to John D. Hawthorn of Sugarcreek Twp. The land was currently in possession of John D. Hawthorn at the time.

2.       As John Cousins, another son of William Jr., had died prior to 1850, his estate administrator and brother, Allen, sold John’s heir ship rights to 150 acres in Sugarcreek Twp by Sheriffs deed to Robert and Margaret Lamberton on 1 March 1850

3.       On 17 April 1854, Robert and Margaret Lamberton sold their rights to 1/60th of 150 acres previously owned by John Cousins, estate administered by Allen Cousins, to John Hawthorn. As they purchased John Cousins 1/60th right to William Cousins, Sr.’s 150 acres, this indicates that John Cousins was one of ten children.

4.       On 17 April 1855, Mary Ann (Cousins) and her husband Michael Sutley sold her inherited rights previously owned by William Cousins, Sr., and now in possession of John Hawthorn, to John Hawthorn for $1.00. This was an interesting price and would only indicate that a special relationship must exist.

5.       On 22 September 1860, Sarah (Cousins) and her husband William Hughes of Cranberry Twp, Venango County, a 1/54th part of 150 acres of land previously owned by William Cousins, Sr. to John D. Hawthorn of Sugarcreek Twp, Venango County. The smaller share may be the result of earlier sibling deaths.

6.       On 5 February 1861, Nancy (Cousins) and her husband, John Daily, Samuel Cussins, Harriet Cussins, all heirs of William Cousins Sr., sell their rights to 150 acres of land to John D. Hawthorn of Sugarcreek Twp, Venango County.

e.       As mentioned, Thomas, son of William Cousins, Sr., had moved to Ohio where he had died c 1830. Samuel A. Cussins, Thomas’ oldest son had purchased his siblings heir ship rights in two separate purchases. On 16 November 1860, Samuel A. Cussins sells his and his siblings’ heir ship rights to land previously owned by William Cousins, Sr., to John D. Hawthorn. Samuel A., Josephus, Mary A. Warne, Lucinda along with their brother William G.’s children, Joshua and Martha J. were from Muskingum County, OH; whereas, Thomas and Nancy were from Howard County, IN and Sarah Careins was from Grant County, IN.

f.       On 1 June 1861, John D. and Sarah Hawthorn of Sugarcreek Twp, Venango County, PA, sold 150 acres of land previously owned by the heirs of William Cousins, Sr. to Arian Shotwell of Harrison County, OH. Sarah as the daughter of William Cousins, Sr., obviously sold her right along with the other heir ship rights that her husband John D. Hawthorn had purchased over thirty years.

4.       The John D. Hawthorn family was enumerated during the 1840 US census as living near or next to Mary Ann Cousins and Jane Cousins in Sugarcreek Twp, Venango County, PA.


1.       Research has demonstrated that there are no known family ties between Sarah (Cousins/Cozzens) Deets, wife of Joseph Deets, and William Cousins, Sr., or any of his descendants.

2.       Clearly, there is no primary or direct evidence proving that Sarah (Cousins), wife of Joseph Delaney Hawthorn is the daughter of William Cousins, Sr. However, there is significant data proving that she is William’s daughter.

a.       Sarah’s tombstone indicates that her maiden name is Cousins.

b.       Sarah and Joseph apparently named their four eldest children for relatives, the first two for her parents, Mary Ann and William. They also named others with family names, i.e. Sarah, Eliza, Nancy, and Samuel Allen.

c. Joseph D. Hawthorn was living on the William Cousins, Sr., property during the 1840’s and 1850s. He was also enumerated in the 1840 US census for Sugarcreek Twp, Venango County, living adjacent to Mary Ann Cousins, probably William’s wife, and Jane Cousins, probably William Jr.’s second wife.

c. Joseph D. Hawthorn purchased all of the known rights to 150 acres of land previously owned by William Cousins, Sr. At no time did he purchase any land rights from Joseph and Sarah Deets nor did Joseph and Sarah Deets sell any heir ship rights to any other person.

So…hopefully this will help clarify the William and Mary Ann (?) Cousins, Sr. family. But, it also raises many questions regarding the several unknown Cousins (whatever spelling) that lived, married, in Venango County, PA, from 1810 through 1825. For example, who was Sarah (Sally) (Cozzens/Cousins) who married Joseph Deets? Is there another Cousins family in the Venango County area that would account for them?

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