31 July 2014

Sarah Backus's Illustrious Family

Sarah (Whiting) Backus Ingersoll was the daughter of Gamaliel Whiting and sister of General John Whiting and the wife of John Backus. The biographical information about Sarah was found in The story of Laura Secord and Canadian reminiscences; Sarah was Laura Secord's step-mother.  The marriage between John Backus and Sarah Whiting ended in divorce.

Mrs. Sarah Backus had one daughter (Nancy Backus) by her first husband, who married Mr. McKinstry. In 1850 David and Nancy (Backus) McKinstry were living in Ypsilanti, Michigan. David McKinstry died in 1856.

Nancy (Backus) McKinstry's daughter-in-law, Mrs. Mary McKinstry, died in Cairo, Egypt*.

*Michigan In Brief
Date: Friday, March 10, 1876   Paper: Jackson Citizen Patriot (Jackson, MI)
"Mrs. Mary McKinstry, of Detroit, died at Cairo, Egypt, Thursday last.  Her worldly possessions in and about her home are estimated at a million."  Mary was the widow of Commodore James Paterson McKinstry, and was the daughter-in-law of Nancy (Backus) McKinstry... .

Brief bios of David and Nancy (Backus) McKinstry's son, Elisha Williams McKinstry, and Elisha's son, James C. McKinstry, were listed in A National Register of the Society, Sons of the American Revolution, Volume 1.

[Edward] Elisha Williams McKinstry was an Associate Justice on the California Supreme Court. He was born in 1825 in Detroit, Michigan, and attended Kenyon College and Columbia Law School.  He, his wife, his son James, daughters Laura and Frances, his mother-in-law and a servant were all living together in San Francisco in 1900.   Elisha died November 1, 1901.

In 1880 the E. Elisha McKinstry family was living in Oakland, California:

United States Census, 1880
name : Edward Mc Kinstry
Oakland, Alameda, California, United States
occupation : Associate Judge
birthplace : Michigan, United States
Household Gender Age Birthplace
self Edward Mc Kinstry M 55  Michigan, United States
wife Anna Mc Kinstry F 33 New York, United States
daughter Laura Mc Kinstry F 15 California, United States
son Charles Mc Kinstry M 13 California, United States
son Clarence Mc Kinstry M 12 California, United States
brother-in-law Charles Heges M 57 New York, United States
sister-in-law Anna Heges F 46 New York, United States
other  Loy M 25 China

Another son of David and Nancy (Backus) McKinstry was West Point graduate Justus A. McKinstry (see photo).  James Paterson McKinstry, a naval officer, was also their son.

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