Searching for Sacres
I have researched the Sacre family
for the last 35 years, ever since discovering while in college that my
grandmother was a Sacre. The name was fascinating and found in very few
places, primarily in Virginia and Kentucky with a few members scattered in other
Over the years I have gathered a
large amount of data on the family and have created a framework which now
includes virtually all branches of the family. A year or two ago, I shared
some of the early data with another Sacre genealogist. Since then, the
basic data has shown up in several places on the Internet. In the interest
of accuracy, I am posting here the details of how I arrived at the various
connections and which ones are tenuous and which ones are strong.
I am also posting data on the early
members of the family down to about 1850 since that appears to be the time
period when most researchers run into trouble.
I have much more data in my files
taking most branches down to 1920 and many to the 1980's. The
reconstruction is based entirely on original county records in Virginia,
Kentucky, Missouri and other states. Most members of the family I
contacted were unable to provide much data past their grandparents so much work
went into connecting the branches.
Please use the material presented
here responsibly. You may quote from it with credit to this web site.
You may also freely place links to this site if you so desire.
Origin of the Sacre family
The Sacre family has used many
spellings over the years, including Sacre, Sacra, Sacrey, Sacray and Sacrae.
In many cases records have been indexed under the name Lacre because of the
similarity of the S and L in early handwriting. In the following records,
I have used the name each branch seemed to prefer although at times and
individual many use several variations, even in one document.
Simon Sacre, who arrived before
1674, was the first of the name in America, and almost certainly came from
England. He was among the many thousands of immigrants transported to
Virginia by adventurers seeking land in exchange for populating the new colony.
Many of these immigrants then worked for ten to twenty years as indentured
servants to pay off the costs of their passage to America.
Sacre is an uncommon name in
England, occurring in the area of Kent and along the English Channel Coast.
Across the channel, it is a common name in France and Belgium. Many
Frenchmen fled to England in the late 1500's to escape persecution of
Protestants by the Catholic kings of France. These refugees could have
included members of the Sacre family.
Settling in America
original place of settlement is not known. The man who transported him to
America received land in New Kent County, an ancient county whose records were
burned at the end of the Civil War. He may have worked off his passage in
New Kent County, then moved into the northern part of the county as the area
opened to settlement.
In 1720, northern New Kent County
became Hanover County. From the few surviving records, we know
Click on the map below to go to the first
page of the Sacre History.
that the Sacre family was living
there as early as 1730, when the name appears in a few years of surviving
court records. In later years the family lived around Beaverdam, in
the far northwest corner of the county, near the boundaries of Caroline and
Spotsylvania counties. (See map above. The red x's mark the
earliest areas occupied by members of the Sacre family.)
Since most of
Hanover County's records were also destroyed in courthouse fires before the
Civil War, we must rely on tax lists, census records, a few years of court
records, and some local store records to reconstruct the family.
Some members of
the family lived just across the county line in Caroline County, where court
records have survived although early deeds and wills have not. It is from
this branch of the family that the early Kentucky Sacre families emerged.
Another early member of the family settled in
King George County and may be the ancestor of the Sacre's who lived in
Fredericksburg and Stafford counties.
A later generation settled in southern
Spotsylvania County, not far from Beaverdam, and became the ancestor of most
of the Sacres scattered along the Virginia coast.
The major branches of the Sacre family are
listed blow. Click on the map above to go to the first page of the
Sacre family history, presented here in full for the first time.
Hanover County: Sabra Sacra
(c1735-c1812) and her sons Charles (of Spotsylvania Co., VA), John,
Shelton and Reuben (of Hanover Co., VA).
Caroline County: James Sacre (c
1725-c 1783), his sons Isaac (of Shelby Co., KY), James (of Shelby Co., KY),
and William and his brother John Sacre (of Frankfort, KY) and sons George
(of Fayette Co., KY) and Thomas (1764-1807, of Fredericksburg, VA).
King George County: Thomas Sacre
(c1720-1764), sons Francis and Thomas
Fredericksburg: Benjamin Sacrey
(1802-1878) and his brother Butler Sacrey (c 1805-1859), both born in
Stafford Co., VA
Richmond County: Charles C.
Sacra (b 1792 Caroline Co., VA)
Bibb Co., GA: Thomas Sacrae (c 1800-c 1845)
KY: James F. Sacra (c 1805-c 1870)
Missouri: George Sacre (1802-1875) went first to Kentucky as a child,
then settled in Missouri.
Texas: Walker Sacre, born in Virginia, grew up in Kentucky, lived and
died young in Indiana. His son Edmund went to Texas and left a large