SEWALL, ELIZA WARD (MIDDLETON) - Eliza Ward (Middleton) Sewall was born at Locust Hill, near Nanjemoy Creek, Charles County, Md., July 27, 1795, the daughter of Samuel Ward Middleton, born in that county, September 4, 1755, and Catherine Taliaferro (Hooe) Middleton, born in Charles County, Md., near Efton Hill, November 1, 1865. The Middletons were thrifty, prudent people, and Samuel Ward, who spent his entire life on a plantation in Charles County, was no exception to the rule. He was fortunate in the possession of a wife who had excellent executive ability, and who was skilled above the average in the accomplishments of her day. Among other things she was credited with being able to knit in one day one of the long stockings worn by the men of that time, the stitches so arranged as to spell his name, and the day, month and year of his birth.
The maternal family of Hooe is traceable in English history to the year 1600, the coat of arms being a silver teapot with a lion's paw engraved upon it. Mrs. Sewall's maternal grandparents were Richard and Annie (Ireland) Hooe, and her great-grandparents were Gilbert and Annie (Dent) Ireland. Richard Hooe's mother was a Taliaferro, the Taliaferro family having arrived from England over three centuries ago. John, son of Robert, fought the Indians in 1692; Philip was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1780; Benjamin, who was born in Virginia and during the Revolutionary War served as a subordinate in Morgan's celebrated rifle corps, was sent to Congress from Georgia from 1799 to 1802. Others bearing the name of Taliaferro won the rank of Captain, Major and Colonel.
Eliza W. Middleton was educated in a select school near her home in Maryland, and by private instruction. Dancing in those days was regarded as a much greater accomplishment than at the present time, and in all ways was a much more graceful performance. None exceeded in grace and ability Eliza W. Middleton, who not only attended the classes in her neighborhood, but had private lessons as well. She also was well trained in the domestic arts, and at the time of her first marriage, September 23, 1817, to William Adams-who lived only two months after the union-was a wife calculated to adorn any station in life. The second marriage of this graceful, old-time lady, occurred in Washington City, August 9, 1821, to William Sewall, a man of domestic tastes, and honorable, upright nature. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Sewall lived in East and West Virginia for about eight years, and in December, 1829, came to Jacksonville, Ill., where they remained until April 4, 1833. They then settled on a farm in Cass County, Ill., where Mr. Sewall died, his wife returning to Jacksonville in the fall of 1850, the better to educate her four younger children. After her children were married and established in homes of their own, she returned to Cass County and lived with her youngest daughter, Mrs. Harriet A. Goodell, near Chandlerville, where her death occurred October 5, 1874, at the age of seventy-nine years, two months and nine days.
Mrs. Sewall was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and was particularly active in church work during the pastorate of Rev. J. M. Ellis, one of the earliest clergymen of Jacksonville. She was large hearted and charitable, and the possessor of a sweet and affectionate disposition. She was the mother of four daughters and two sons: Henry Middleton, born March 6, 1823; Catherine Taliaferro Hooe, born November 6, 1825; Susan Elizabeth, born July 30, 1829; William Winter, born February 11, 1832; Mary Middleton, born July 13, 1835; and Harriet Abigail Sewall, born April 14, 1838.