Sarah Shannon was born in Chester, New Hampshire in about 1766. In 1785, when she was 18, she married Jeremiah Leavitt, who was 24 years old and a Revolutionary War veteran. In about 1798, Jeremiah and Sarah moved to Canada, where they helped to settle the town of Hatley in Quebec.
Known for its rich farmland and abundant timber, Hatley is located just east of Lake Massawippi in Quebec, about 300 miles east of Toronto. (The movie Secret Window with Johnny Depp was filmed in North Hatley.) It was here that Jeremiah and Sarah raised their family, which eventually included 10 children. Jeremiah died in 1817. He was 57.
After her husband’s death, Sarah Leavitt continued to be a strong influence on her family. She concerned herself with teaching her descendants to observe the Sabbath, pray morning and evening, read the scriptures and do good to others. The whole Leavitt family wanted to be part of a good Christian church, but were never really satisfied with the local congregations in Hatley.
In 1836, Parley P. Pratt served a mission to Canada where he distributed copies of the Book of Mormon and a pamphlet he had written called “A Voice of Warning.” Copies of these two books were eventually brought to Hatley by a man who had attended Mormon gatherings near Toronto. After some persuasion, he agreed to loan the two books to the Leavitt family. Night after night, the family gathered to read the two books aloud and discuss their contents. Sarah’s son Jeremiah later reported that “we believed them without preaching.”
In 1837, the family determined to join the other members of the Church in Kirtland, Ohio. At the age of 71, with close to 60 members of her family, Sarah made the trek west. She died in 1840 at Twelve Mile Grove in Illinois.
To find the link between Sarah Leavitt and Eric Eastman, follow this trail: Eric Eastman – Blanche Savilla Jones – Amy Sophronia Whitney – Elizabeth Jane West – Betsey Jane Fish – Hannah Leavitt – Sarah Shannon Leavitt