Sarah Ann Abernathy was born in Tennessee on June 14, 1827. She was the daughter of Sterling Abernathy and Mary Louise McCormick. She married John James Phillips in Tennessee on November 6, 1841. The family moved to Texas in 1852 settling southeast of present-day Thornton.
John James and Sarah Ann Phillips had thirteen children, some born in Tennessee and some born in Texas. They were Martha Eliza (1842-1930), Moses Sterling Polk (1844-1908), Virginia Spotswood (1847-1941), Helen Euzeda (1849-1934), Robert Moorman (1850-1900), Mary Louise (1852-1902), Francise Hill (1855-1939), John James, Jr. (1857-1859), Susan M. (1859-1860), Nancy W. (1859-1867), Edna D. (1862-1949), Sidney Vernon (1863-1936), and Sarah (1868-?).
Sarah Ann Phillips died in Thornton, Limestone County on April 1, 1895. John James Phillips died in Thornton, Limestone County on February 1, 1895. They are buried in the Thornton Cemetery.