Site hosted by Build your free website today!

The family of

William Lane and Sarah Smith


(updated June 13, 2002)



    William Lane b. March 24, 1804 in England d. February 13, 1856 in Pennsylvania married November 1, 1824 in Rothwell, England,  Sarah Smith b. July 15, 1803 d. March 3, 1878 daughter of William Smith and Ann Garnet.

    William and Sarah are believed to have sailed for the United States about 1829 as their daughter Mary was believed to have been born on the ocean.

    Williams occupation is know to be that of a farmer, blacksmith and a Preacher.

    The couple had ten children as follows:


1) Rachel Lane b. September 11, 1825 (England)


2) John Lane b. October 2, 1827(England) d. October 18, 1828 (England)


3) Mary Lane b. August 16, 1829 (On ocean) d. ? married James Gorman


4) William Lane Jr. b. November 16, 1831 d. January 19, 1833


5) William John Lane b. December 14, 1833 (Philadelphia, Pa) d. ? married Mary Collins Nelson and Nancy Miller


6) Joseph Lane b. June 11, 1836 d.? married Mary Barfield


7) Sarah Ann Lane b. March 8, 1840 d. 1903 married John Franklin Barfield and James Cole


8) Lydia Lane b. September 8, 1842 d. ? married ?


9) Robert Lane b. March 16, 1845 d. April 5, 1907 married Emma Harvey


10) Hugh-Bourn Lane (my line) b. July 20, 1847 (Driftwood, Pa) d. January 16, 1929 (Tunkhannock, Pa) married Elizabeth Jones (my line) and Lucinia Jerusha Nelson



Here is an interesting story passed on to me from Shirley Thompson, descendant of Mary Lane Gorman.


"The Lost Graves That Reappeared"


   " The reappearing grave sites is a true story! I hoped to write it down in case any alive still knowing it in it's wholeness could correct or add to any facts, dates or names. These are the graves of William J. Lane and Sarah Smith Lane. He was born March 24, 1804 d. September 3 1856, his wife Sarah was born July 15, 1803 and died March 3, 1878. They came from England originally and were buried on their family farm.

    So it was in the rustic isolated setting there at the bank of their homestead down a narrow lane, that the graves rested. Directly near these graves ran the railroad tracks and just a ways past the tracks flows the Sinnamahoning River. It was in this setting that some engineer who ran the train started a tradition which began on a date unknown and ended on a date well remembered by area residents. (unknown to me) The tradition goes more or less like this. These particular railroad men would on many occasions stop the train on this isolated, lonely set of tracks and go to the lone graves to place fresh flowers. I am uncertain of the length of years that this continued nor do I know how many men were involved. The end of it is well dated by a great flooding of the Sinnamahoning River which I believe to be in the 1940's. (This may have been in the spring of 1941) It was soon noticed by the railroad men that the graves were "missing"! After they had exhausted the search, the story went about and others looked but the gravesites were lost. It was said that most had agreed that the forceful waters and debris had washed away the graves forever. It was said that the railroad men and the community helped to place a memorial marker in Gilmore Cemetery due to the belief that the graves were permanently lost.

    It was 1989, that the current owner of the property, Raymond Flough, while walking along an old overgrown path back in the woods stepped into our family history. Something caught his eye after going to investigate he knew it was a stone marker of some kind. He thought it to be a railroad or land boundary marker. However, as he removed the dirt away it was becoming clear it was a gravestone. The gravestone was later found to be attached to it's foundation. It was the stone of William Lane. He had not long after uncovered Sarah's broken off stone besides its foundation. These stones had been buried under what was over two feet of debris and silt. He asked around, researched the history and learned of the railroad men and the memorial marker. He was a lover of the areas history and an owner of other property that was in Mix Run, near Castle Garden, Pa. (that property was the birth place of Tom Mix "King of the Cowboys" movie and TV fame)

    I tell you this because later in the early 1900's he was at the Tom Mix birthplace, which was being visited by Mary Lou Gorny. They were chatting away about the area and it's basic history. The topic had gone on to her continuing the family tree research on the Smith family. It had really given her a hard time until she had uncovered that it had been two separate Smith families. One family was from the New York/Connecticut area. The other had come from England to Philadelphia, on to this area. This family was William J. and Sarah Smith Lane. Their granddaughter would marry in to the other Smith family. Mr. Flough jumped up, he said "come with me. I have something you are going to want to see on my property." They got into their cars and went there. Imagine the excitement to be able to bring a Lane descendant to the woods and show them what he had found! He was able to share the story of the lost graves. He was at that time trying to repair Sarah's stone.

    It seems quite a heritage of kindness to pass on to our children. I am humbled by a force stronger than the river. This force had flowers brought to the site by railroad men. A whole community searching and a memorial marked placed. It restored the stone to the sunlight and had a stranger revive the history nearly half a century later.

    This is mainly written and retold for Jacob , the GGGG grandson of William and Sarah Lane, by his Great Aunt Di."



If any one has heard this story or has anything to add to it, please contact me. We would love to hear more!


The restored tombstones courtesy of Roger Dale Lane. Thank you!!






Update on story!!


I was contacted by Mary Gorny and there are a couple of corrections to make. 

1) The other Smith family mentioned is believed to have come from Germany.

2) The granddaughter that married into the other Smith family is Olive Minnore Gorman, daughter of Mary Lane Gorman. She married Alvin Smith.