Sarah Kingamen

Subject: Family Legend


Informant: Talitha Barkow


The following narrative is a story told to me by Talitha Barkow about someone in her family. The story dates way back to the time when an ancestor far down the line moved to the United States. The story has been passed down in her family for generations, and by now, as Talitha told me, she isn’t quite sure how accurate the whole story is, and it is missing significant details that have been lost as the story has been passed down again and again. However, the narrative is an important one to her and her family, as it tells them where they came from, and how their family got to the United States, where they reside now.


“I’m part Irish, but it’s a very small part compared to my German ancestry. But I do have one Irish ancestor who came to America when she was eighteen years old. She came on a boat alone.


She went to Canada on the boat, and then went down to Minnesota—I’m pretty sure it was Minnesota, but we don’t really know anymore.


Her name was Sarah Kingamen.


And then from there, in Minnesota, she met—this is such a German name, you’re going to need me to spell it for you—Reinard Barkow—and Sarah and Reinard got married.


She wasn’t even five feet tall, and I’m five foot ten! She also had really, really red hair—she was very Irish.”