Newspaper search reveals evidence in long rumored affair of Great Grandmother and employer before marriage to Great Grandfather



I recently discovered 2 items to verify more concretely that my Great Grandmother (Sadie Walton-Sheaffer) and the father of her first child were at the same event as they were listed amongst the attendees of a wedding of an Uncle to Sadie. Sadie worked as a housekeeper for a middle-aged widower named Emlin (Elmer) Heiney in 1909-1910 time frame. She was listed in the 1910 census as the housekeeper where Mr. Heiney is listed as a widower with small children. In  1909 Sadie had her first child Charles Emlin Sheaffer and in August 1910 Sadie married Ralph D Sheaffer …my Great Grandfather. It was always said that Charles was not Ralphs son and this was verified to me by the 3 children of Charles many years ago themselves. No one ever had any documented proof of the relationship of Sadie and Emlin but a long list of evidence has suggested so with the most glaring evidence Charles’ middle name is Emlin! Recentlty while researching the name of an uncle of Sadie I came upon his marriage announcement with a list of attendees which included Sadie and Emlin. I then did a search on Charles’ birth certificate and it show father’s name as Emlin Heiney although I was unable to view the birth certificate and will need to go to Pennsylvania Archives and purchase.  With all the circumstantial evidence all leading to the fact the Emlin Heiney is indeed the father as well as family lore suggesting such a relationship existed before Sadie met and married Ralph D Sheaffer I am much more confident in displaying in my work that indeed Sadie bore a child to Emlin Heiney!  Sadie would be married to Ralph for 23  until her death at age 41 in 1933. She and Ralph would have many more children all to Ralph. Emlin moved to New York State where he remarried and died in September of 1940. I had always assumed this may have been a brief romance but  now believe it to have been more than that now. Either way it was never a hidden fact and was common knowledge amongst the children of Sadie but the details of the relationship and even who Emlin was had always been neglected in the stories told down to my generation and even to the children of Charles Sheafffer themselves as he had never told his children that he wasn’t a Sheaffer. It was after his death that Charles’ wife told his kids the truth. I am glad to have been a part of helping them discover the story of Charles’ father as it isn’t always an easy thing to discover you are not who you thought you were.


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