I sent you an email directly with all of my speculation, and I'm posting a summary here because it may help others.
I believe that the Sarah listed in the 1860 census as age 3, living with Clarke and Wealthy Birdsell is their granddaughter, most likely the daughter of their son Lewis/Louis and his first wife, Sarah/Sallie Ann Smith. I have never found a tomstone for Sarah/Sallie, but I suspect that she died either during or just after the birth of this Sarah, whose real age should be more like 5. She and Clarke's daughter Mary A. are both listed as age 3, and Mary A. was born in 1855 according to the 1878 history. Lewis/Louis married his second wife Mary C. Armstrong in November, 1855, so his first wife Sarah/Sallie was out of the picture by then. In 1870 Mary and Sarah are both listed as age 15, which is about right. In her will, Wealthy left her sewing machine and her "milch" cow to her granddaughter Sarah Birdsell, and directed that this Sarah was to get an equal share of her estate. Talk about your favorites!
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