Of Service To The Queen


Our family’s connection to royalty continues. I’ve just learned that Sarah Jones, the great-great grandaunt of my sons, who lived in Rochester NY during the late 1800s, emigrated to the U.S. from England with her parents when she was 38 years old. But it was her life prior to that which came as a surprise. 

Sarah was hired in 1833 to be a housemaid for a teenaged Victoria who was seven years younger than she. She is listed on the employment records of Windsor Castle as “supernumerary’ (temporary). It is unclear how long she was employed at that time however, when Victoria assumed the throne at the age of 18, Sarah was re-admitted and transferred to Buckingham Palace where she had the title of “linen room woman.”

Her employment records at Buckingham indicate that she remained there at least until 1845. She appears on a list of servants who were given an allowance for mourning clothes in 1844 after the death of the Duke of Sax Coburg Gotha. He was Ernest 1st, father of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband.

Sarah learned the millinery trade while in England and after arriving in America with her parents and siblings in 1850, she opened a millinery shop in Rochester NY which is where she stayed until her death in 1880. She never married.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotapes, audio recordings, photos, negatives and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website. And be sure to watch our TEDxEustis talk at https://youtu.be/uYlTTHp_CO8.

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