The Winchester family’s history stretches back to the Civil War era. In the 19th century, Oliver Winchester created a rifle that bore his name and was active in politics. According to what Sarah told Cinderella’s Glass Closet, “It is true that my great, great, great grandfather Oliver Winchester is known for making and marketing the Winchester repeating rifle. Therefore, yes I am related. However, I am not related by blood (only by marriage) to Sarah Winchester who built the amazing Winchester Mystery House.” (Side note: Legend has it, the original Sarah Winchester built the twisty, turny house to appease evil spirits whom she believed were haunting her due to the many people killed with the rifles.)
On Twitter, Terry got atip from a reader that the Winchester trust was denying Sarah’s claims to be an heiress of the family. Then Terry was reportedly contacted directly about the issue. Terrywrote, “Winchester Mystery House has contacted me without provocation. They state [Sarah] is not related directly or otherwise to Oliver Winchester … I asked them about possible defamation claims and they stated ‘the truth is an absolute defense against defamation.’ Let the games begin.”
Heather then pointed to theWinchester Family Tree, which shows the family line ending in the nineteenth century,writing, “Check out the Winchester family tree. #imposter.” According to Wikipedia, Oliver’s only son, William Wirt Winchester, had only one child — Annie Pardee Winchester, who died as a baby in 1866. However, William had two sisters and at least one of them gave birth to several children — though they took their father’s surname, Bennett.
However, Sarah is sticking to the story that she’s a part of the Winchester family. On June 22, she wrote onTwitter, “My relation to Winchester Inc. growing up never seemed like that big of a deal as a kid expect [sic] for when I got teased at school.”She added, “Being related to Winchester firearms ws [sic] always very evident growing up. My dad kept us very well educated abt [sic] our family history.”