This is a closer look at the delayed birth certificate of Sarah Bohannon, daughter of Patrick Bohannon and his first wife Rixey Watson. This certificate was issued 68 years after Sarah’s birth.

Delayed Birth Certificate, 1956.

Line 1. Place of Birth of Child: Bear Creek, Searcy County, Arkansas.

Bear Creek is a populated place in modern Mount Pleasant Township. At the time of Sarah’s birth it was in the old Sulphur Springs Township. There is also a Bear Creek Township in Searcy County, so take care not to mix them up.

Line 2. Full Name at Birth: Sarah (None) Bohannon.

Sarah’s “full” name.

Though no middle initial was given on the birth certificate, the 1900 census reported it was M. I’ve found no source that reveals her middle name in full.

It’s possible that Sarah was named after her maternal grandmother, Sarah Watson.

Line 3. Is Child Male or Female? Female.

Line 4. What is Child’s Color or Race? W.

Line 5. What was Date of Child’s Birth? 29 December 1887.

It was a cold winter’s Thursday. Sarah’s star sign was Capricorn.

Line 6. Father’s Full Name: P. L. Bohannon.

Details of Sarah’s father.

We know for certain his first name was Patrick, but the middle name is a mystery. His middle name is often reported online as Lyons, but I’ve also seen it reported as Lee. The only official record I’ve seen with Patrick’s full name was his daughter Sylvania’s delayed birth certificate, which recorded his name as Patrick Leonard Bohannon.

Line 7. Where was Father living at the time of this birth? Bear Creek, Arkansas.

Line 8. What is Father’s color? W.

Line 9. What was Father’s age at time of birth? 22 yrs.

That’s not quite consistent with the birth date reported for Patrick on his death certificate and grave marker, 20 July 1866. Calculating from that date, his age at Sarah’s birth was exactly 21 years, 5 months, and 9 days.

Line 10. In what State or Country was Father born? Searcy County, Arkansas.

Line 11. Mother’s Maiden Name: Rixe Watson.

Details of Sarah’s mother.

There are several variations of Sarah’s mother’s name to be found. The most common variation in online family trees is Roxann Rixy, which is inscribed on her grave marker. It is important to note that the name Roxann is not supported by any other available records. The 1870 census reported her name as Rixey Watson. The 1880 census reported Rixy A. Watson. At her marriage to Patrick in 1886, her name was recorded as Rixey A. Watson. Somewhere along the way I recorded that her middle name was Ann but failed to properly source that. Regardless, it seems to me that Roxann is not sufficiently supported and may actually be a conflation of Rixey Ann.

Line 12. Where was Mother living at the time of this birth? Bear Creek, Arkansas.

Line 13. What is Mother’s color? W.

Line 14. What was Mother’s age at time of birth? 20 yrs.

Line 15. In what State or Country was Mother born?

I’m not entirely sure what that says, to be honest. Rixey was born in Tennessee per the 1870 census, but I don’t think that says Tennessee. It’s too short. It might say “Unknown” or maybe even “Arkansas.”

EDIT: Keith Graham appears to have the answer! Read his analysis in the comments below this article on why he thinks it says “Tenn.”

Line 15. Number of Children born to this Mother up to and including this child? 1.

Sarah was the first of three children born to Patrick and Rixey. Her siblings were Sylvania Bohannon and John Alexander Bohannon.


The details of this certificate were sworn under oath by Sarah’s aunt, Annis Bohannon Castlebury, who was then 95 years old. It was recorded on 12 March 1956 by W. W. Heard, notary public. Heard was also a physician and he was present at the births and deaths of many Searcy County residents.

The certificate was filed on 16 March 1956 by state registrar J. T. Herron, M. D.

Why did Sarah need a birth certificate 68 years after her birth?

Sarah died four months later, on 25 July 1956.

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On 8 June 1861, voters in Tennessee approved a referendum to secede from the United States of America to join the Confederacy, the last state to do so. Upon the end of the Civil War, Tennessee was the first of the seceding states to have its elected members re-admitted to the United States Congress, on…

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Bibliograpy, Arkansas, Birth Certificates, 1914-1917 (Lehi, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2019),,, Arkansas Department of Vital Records; Little Rock, Arkansas; Birth Certificates. Record for Sarah Bohonnon. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Year: 1870; Census Place: District 5, Polk, Tennessee; Roll: M593_1554; Page: 48B; Family History Library Film: 553053 and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. Year: 1880; Census Place: Archey Valley, Van Buren, Arkansas; Roll: 58; Page: 450C; Enumeration District: 201, 1900 United States Federal Census (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004. .Original data – United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623.),,, Year: 1900; Census Place: Sulphur Springs, Searcy, Arkansas; Page: 13; Enumeration District: 0123; FHL microfilm: 1240076. Record for Patrick L Bohanon., Arkansas, County Marriages Index, 1837-1957 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2011),, Record for Rixey A Watson.

Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed 06 March 2021), memorial page for Roxann Rixey Watson Bohannon (7 Mar 1869–17 Oct 1895), Find a Grave Memorial no. 45013153, citing Bear Creek Cemetery, Marshall, Searcy County, Arkansas, USA ; Maintained by Searcy County Families (contributor 47027966) .

2 thoughts on “Birth Certificate of Sarah Bohannon

  1. The state on Roxy appears to be Tenn
    The “T” almost looks to be in calligraphy style. They did go wild with the top of the “T” looping up from the left side over the top and way down on the right side of the vertical part of the “T”. The next letter, hard to decipher could very easily be a lower case e, the last two letters are the letter ‘n” when compared to the double n in Bohannon. To me looks identical. The e in Bear and Creek does not have an open area in the center, although in other places they did leave an open space in the center of the e such as at the end of the word none and female.


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