I’m getting ready for a trip to southwestern Ohio with my sister, who is a reliable cemetery

Ready to go!

sidekick. We’ve been traveling together occasionally for a lo-ong time. It is appropriate that I post this today, the day after Father’s Day in the US, since it is my father’s side of the family that we will be researching (and meeting). There are several cousins who I have met briefly but whom my sister has not. I am already connected and making plans with two of these. And I’m hoping for the 3d, although I think he has had significant health problems and may not be up for company.

My sister and I met for lunch on Friday to talk and catch up and make some plans. Long-distance (she lives in northern New Hampshire and I live in Massachusetts) we have put together the basics to get ourselves there and have a car and a place to lay our heads. But we needed to touch base in person and pin down details. I also needed to start refreshing her knowledge of these family lines, since we have only traveled to places for my mother’s lines in the last few years.

Here’s the plan, in a nutshell. There are several cemeteries I want to check out personally and try to get pictures of family headstones in. There are also 3 houses that my father lived in at different times in his

House at Saltair, from Carrie B. Salt’s scrapbook

life, that I want to see – if they are still there. The house he was born in, in Saltair Ohio, I know is still there. The owner just recently sold it. This is what it looked like when he was born there.

And there are the cousins to see, on both the Salt and Boothby sides. Not closer than a second cousin, but family! Interesting to me that my father never spoke of any Boothby relatives except maybe his grandmother who he lived with off and on. I don’t really know if he knew any of his Boothby cousins or uncles, although at least one uncle and his family must have lived close-by. I start to wonder if that was his mother’s doing, or his relatives on the Salt side.

Besides seeing the houses my father probably lived in, I really want to do some cemetery-walking and see the headstones for the family. I know there are at least two very old cemeteries and at least one more recent that contain a number of the Salt family members. I don’t have a proper “cemetery exploring kit” to take on the plane with me but am putting together my list of names and locations as well as the list of equipment to have along.

The equipment grows every year, in my experience. Let’s see, I need my cell phone and bluetooth earpiece and the charger for that. I need my trusty pocket-size digital camera and the extra battery, and probably should take the charger for those batteries. I have had bad experiences in the past with this camera and batteries when I wasn’t prepared to change batteries! And although my sister will also undoubtedly have her camera, I hate to

Partial pile of equipment to take

have to rely on hers. And then the question of binoculars – do I need to take them or not? (At least they don’t require a charger.) And my handy-dandy digital recorder. I might think about talking into it at the cemeteries as an additional way to have information captured. And the cousins might agree to tell me stories. The recorder at least will operate on a single non-rechargeable battery. I think that is all the equipment I will need. Oh wait, not for the cemetery, but for traveling I will want my eReader. And its charger should probably come along too. And of course I need to take my netbook computer along. I don’t yet have an iPad, although both Judy and my husband are working hard to convince me that I need one. The picture doesn’t show either my netbook or my cell phone (which I used to take the picture), or the binoculars that I am debating with myself about. I think I might need a separate suitcase for all of this equipment.

This doesn’t include the other things I need to take, like clothes and a toothbrush and a book or two (I like to read real books as well as ebooks). And sunscreen. And…

Judy and I recently had a weekend in Portland Maine with our 2 other wonderful college friends. It was not perfect weather by any means, being misty to rainy and somewhere around 55 degrees. As usual, though, the four of us had a great time. We walked and wandered and sat and talked and ate and drank. Oh yes, we watched movies too. But I digress.

In looking at one of the meant-for-tourists maps of the city, I happened to notice – quite by accident – that there is a small square on Fore Street that is named Boothby Square. Boothby was, as I wrote recently, the maiden name of my father’s mother. So it caught my eye, and I proposed that my one goal for the wandering was to see that square and get a picture. Both Judy and I were trying to stay out of genealogy mode, since our friends are not particularly interested. But a square, located in the exact area we were going to wander, was too much for me to pass up. Here is a picture of the fountain that marks the square.

Boothby Square, Portland, Maine

Now to the genealogy part. I have some reason to think that my ancestor, James Boothby, was the son of Josiah Boothby. When James married Elizabeth Divers in 1827, Josiah Boothby gave his oath of presence (as well as certificate of her parents being filed). So far, the assumption is that both were underage, and required parental approval to marry. Other entries on the same page show “oath of applicant”, which I take to mean that the applicant groom is of age to marry. I also have some reason to think that my Boothby line came to southwestern Ohio from Maine, sometime before about 1802. Josiah Boothby married Mary Rounds in September 1802 in Clermont County, Ohio.

Well, I emailed a cousin Boothby who replied that the Square in Portland is named for Frederic E. Boothby who was mayor of Portland in 1901, 1902, 1903. He (and his wife who was a philanthropist) donated the park that is now the square to the city of Portland in 1902. It turns out that it was Frederic Boothby for whom the Boothby Home was named as well. The Boothby Home was built in 1902-3 while Frederic was mayor, to house the city’s destitute men and women.

Frederic was born in 1845 in Norway, Maine, the son of Levi T. Boothby and Sophia Packard Brett. This Boothby family established itself in Waterville, Maine. Frederic was educated in Waterville and began his railroad career there, through his father’s interests. By 1875 he and his wife, Adelaide E. Smith, were living in Portland, and there they stayed for a number of years. Frederic was not only mayor, but he also participated in a number of volunteer organizations and was a member of the S.A.R. and the Society of Mayflower. Frederic and Adelaide did not have any children and both were very active in a number of organizations and philanthropies. Frederic Boothby was probably not very directly related to me, but obviously he was interested in his family history and participated in genealogy societies. He died in 1923 in Waterville, where he and his wife had returned sometime after his terms as mayor in Portland.

Ok, back to my own genealogy. What follows is my speculation and piecing together of information that doesn’t yet connect firmly to my Boothby family in southwestern Ohio, but is suggestive.

I know that there were at least two Boothby men in Clermont County, Ohio by 1802; there are marriage records showing that James Boothby married Abigail Rounds on May 1, 1802 and Josiah Boothby married Mary Rounds on September 3, 1802. A James and a Josiah Boothby, and a Josiah Jr. were listed as having been given Donation Tract Land in the Marietta area, which were 100 acre plots given by the Ohio Land Company to men 18 and over. In return the men promised to carry a gun and protect the approaches to Marietta from the Indians. This land donation was done between about 1790 and 1820. There is a Josiah Boothby shown in the 1790 census in Maine with 2 sons 16 and under and 2 females. If this is the same Josiah then the family must have migrated to eastern Ohio sometime after the 1790 census was taken and may have left family members in that area (which would help explain Boothbys in Washington County more recently). So between 1790 and 1802 the Boothbys moved first to the eastern edge of what became the state of Ohio and then further down the Ohio River to Clermont County.

After their marriages, both James and Josiah (presumably the junior) show up in tax records from 1806-1810. The older Josiah and his wife both died about 1804, if the information I have found so far is correct (I have no direct documentation). James and the younger Josiah died between 1830 and 1835. James does not seem to have been enumerated in the 1830 census, nor does his wife Abigail.

Since none of the early censuses list family members by name except for the head of household, I do not have much to go on. The early categories enumerated in 1820 do tell me that Josiah reported 1 boy under 10, 3 boys between 10 and 16, 1 male between 26-45 (probably himself), and 2 girls under 10.

Josiah Boothby, 1820 census, Brown county, Ohio

His wife doesn’t seem to have been included, although there is some reason to think she didn’t die until 1824. There’s a mystery. James reported 1 boy under 10, 1 between 10-16, 1 between 16-18, 1 between 16-26, and 1 between 26-45 (himself I assume), 2 girls under 10, 2 between 10-16, 1 female between 26-45 and 1 45 or older.

James Boothby 1820 census, Clermont county, Ohio

I guess that the woman in the older range might have been a mother-in-law. Or, one of the women might have been James’s sister-in-law Mary (who was missing from her husband’s house at the time of the census). I do not yet know anything about the two Rounds women who married the Boothbys. They may have been sisters. And here, for now, my trail ends. I have many more questions than answers, but can see what I need to look for. That’s the usual place I find myself in my genealogy searching.

Thanks to Steve Danko and Michelle Goodrum for inspiring me to use the Scientific Method to pursue my research this year. I closely followed Steve’s 8-part presentation in December of his question and like the idea of trying to be that disciplined in researching one of my questions. As I have confessed before, I usually am fairly haphazard in my approach, following my nose from one thought to another and collecting tidbits along the way. I also tend not to analyze the data in a methodical way, but to accept or discard without considering all I know. I do know better, but have too often been cavalier in my approach to this fascinating study. I am resolved to do better.

Here I am trying to be more methodical, and so I’m presenting my first take on using this Method on a genealogical question. This is a somewhat condensed version of what I have collected along the way.

This particular research question is related to one of my difficulties with my Boothby women. I have noted before that there are two particular places in my Boothby line where there are unresolved questions about exactly who the woman in question was. I’ve written about Elizabeth Divers and whether it was she who married the James Boothby who is my great-great-grandfather. My goal this year is to identify the parents of my great-grandmother Mary Earhart Boothby and prove that they were her parents. Mary lived in southwestern Ohio (mostly Brown County) from 1855 to 1934.

The question arises because of 2 different last names being given in the Federal Censuses and births recorded at the Brown County Courthouse. There are also variations of her first name. The information on her death certificate, given by her daughter Carrie, is that Mary E. Boothby was the daughter of John Earhart and Margaret Shotwell, born 17 Jun 1855 in Brown County, Ohio. This was the first piece of documentation I had for my great-grandmother and I assumed that her daughter’s information was correct. Silly me. As I started adding to the information pile, I discovered that there was a mystery. The first available Federal Census she shows up on (1860) lists her as Elizabeth Hockman (see below). At this point I started to see that I had a more interesting problem than merely documenting events.

Here is the first iteration of the Scientific Method.

I. Define the question: Who were Elizabeth Mary or Mary Elizabeth’s parents?

II Gather information and resources:

  • 1. Born to John Earhart and Margaret Shotwell, 1855 (Ohio Death Certificate, informant daughter Carrie)

    Mary E. Boothby death certificate info

  • 2. Living in Clark Township, Brown County, Ohio in 1860 as Elizabeth Hockman with John and Margaret Arehart (1860 Federeral Population Census), age 4

    Arehart 1860 census

  • 3. Living in Clark Township, Brown County, Ohio in 1870 as Elizabeth M. Earhart with John and Margaret Earhart (1870 Federal Population Census), age 15, “Helps Mother”

    Earhart 1870 census

  • 4. Married Alexander A. Boothby as Mary E. Earhart, 1873, in Brown County, Ohio (Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958)
  • 5. Birth of son, M.K. Boothby 1879, Scott Township, Brown County, Ohio to Alexander Boothby and E.M. Hockman (Ohio Births and Christenings, 1821-1962)
  • 6. Living in Clark Township, Brown County, Ohio, 1880 as Mary E. Boothby (1880 Federal Population Census)
  • 7. Birth of son, Ray T. Boothby, 1890, Lewis Township, Brown County, Ohio to A.A. Boothby and E.M. Earhart (Ohio Births and Christenings, 1821-1962)
  • 8. Birth of daughter, Delia C. Boothby, 1894, Lewis Township, Brown County, Ohio to A. Boothby and Mary Earhart (Ohio Births and Christenings, 1821-1962)

(The Ohio Marriages and Ohio Births and Christenings listed are indexes found on the Family Search website, www.familysearch.org)

III. Form hypothesis: Mary Elizabeth or Elizabeth Mary Hockman was taken in by John Earhart and Margaret Shotwell between 1855 and 1860 and later “adopted” by them between 1860 and 1870.

IV. Perform experiment and collect data: Search for birth records in the Brown County Courthouse for 1854-1857 for both Elizabeth Mary Earhart and Elizabeth Mary Hockman. Since the earliest records I have to date show her as Elizabeth it is possible that this was the name originally given to her.

Since it was not required to register births in Brown County until 1867 there may not be any birth records available for these earlier years. Or, there may be some births recorded earlier but not all. The microfilmed records available from the Family History Library start at 1867 but do not include all births even after it was required. In this rural area of the state not all events got recorded, and some got recorded long after the fact. Therefore I should also search the guardianship and probate files.

I have already decided to send for a copy of the birth of M.K. Boothby, as well as the marriage record for Alexander and Mary. There may be more information on the original record than shows on the index. (This is a separate experiment: I have been told by Cousin Nancy that you can request photocopies of specific images or pages from microfilms at the Family History Library. I will mail my first request to them and see what I get back.)

Otherwise, it looks like I will need to take a trip out to Ohio to research in the courthouse records to see for myself. Wonder what my sister is doing this summer?

I have a couple of brick walls involving women in my Boothby line. Two of the women who married my Boothbys seem to have been born with a variety of last names. That is, I don’t yet have good evidence of exactly who they were.

The one I’m looking at here is my great great grandmother. There is general agreement that her first name was Elizabeth. However, her birth name has been variously reported as Divers, Stores, or Stewart. The first piece of information I found that named her specifically was the death certificate for my great grandfather, Alexander A. Boothby. I am lucky that this family was in Ohio from the early 1800s; Ohio is one state that has good access to digital images of death certificates and indexes for some that aren’t digitized. So I have digital copies of lots of Ohio death certificates. Including 4 of Elizabeth’s 10 children, the eldest and the youngest and two in between. I show the names of their parents from these 4 certificates below. These death certificates are where my collection of last names for Elizabeth come from. Unfortunately both James and Elizabeth seem to have died before Ohio started requiring death registration/certificates. There are also a variety of birth places listed for both Elizabeth and her husband James Boothby on these certificates. A problem for another day.

Based on my great grandfather’s death certificate, and no other good evidence, for a long time I thought Elizabeth’s name was Stores (or something like that).

Alexander Boothby's death certificate

Collins Boothby death certificate

Then I discovered that Stewart had been listed as Elizabeth’s last name  on Collins’s death certificate.

And he was much older than Alexander, so maybe he had passed along more accurate information.

Edward’s death certificate didn’t help (he also was older than Alexander); it listed Elizabeth with no last name.

Edward Boothby's death certificate

Finally, I found the death certificate for Mary Jane, the eldest child (that I have found so far) of James and Elizabeth. Her certificate said E. Divers.

Mary Jane B. Fiscus death certificate

This fits with information I got from a number of people on Ohio listservs that either said it was Elizabeth Divers or at least suggested it.

The documentation I can put together so far looks like this:

Maryland Marriages 1655-1850 lists a marriage for William Divers to Elizabeth Hanna, 12 Apr 1803 (Ancestry.com, accessed and printed 3/14/10).

The Methodist Circuit Riders Registry for Harford Co., Maryland (found in Google books) lists a number of children born and baptized to parents William and Elizabeth Divers, children born from 1804 to 1813, including Elizabeth Hanna born 12 Feb 1810. This is the right age for our Elizabeth Divers, based on ages and that she is listed as born in Maryland in every federal census found that named her. She is also listed as Elizabeth H. in at least one of the censuses.

11 Oct 1827 A James Boothby marries Elizabeth Divers in Brown Co., Ohio. Certificate of her parents filed; oath and presence of Josiah Boothby. [Therefore, it appears that both were underage to marry and that James is the son of Josiah. This information came to me from Lois Derrough, obtained on her trip to Ohio, June 2002] If she was born in 1810, Elizabeth would have been 17.

On the Divers side these are questions I am currently considering:

Did the Divers family migrate from Maryland to Ohio between 1813 and 1827 or was the certificate of her parents agreeing to her marriage sent from Maryland (see 1830 census)?  If the family didn’t migrate how, when, and why did Elizabeth Divers get to southwestern Ohio?

If the 1830 federal census of Harford Co., Maryland I find is William and Elizabeth, he was born between 1751 and 1760 (only adult man); the woman between 40 and 50 is the right age to be Elizabeth; there are 2 children in the household, one boy and one girl, both both in the age 10 to 14 range so born between 1816 and 1820. There is also an 1840 federal census for Harford Co. that includes a William Dever and two females: one woman the right age range to be Elizabeth and a girl age 15 to 19, who could be the girl from the 1830 census. These suggest that the Divers parents stayed in Maryland. at least through 1840.

On the 1850 federal census, an Elizabeth Courts (age 68 born in MD) lived in Ohio with James and Elizabeth Boothby and their children. She wasn’t living with them at the 1860 federal census, or in the 1840 one. Could this have been Elizabeth’s mother, Elizabeth Hanna Divers remarried and widowed? Her birthplace of Maryland fits with this possibility.

So it is possible, perhaps even likely, that my great great grandmother was Elizabeth Divers. But there are many questions remaining and nothing primary yet linking the James and Elizabeth Boothby who were my Alexander’s parents to Elizabeth Divers and a specific James Boothby (there was more than one in the area at about the same time).

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Death Certificate Summary:

Mary Jane Boothby Fiscus d Jun 7, 1917, age 85 7 mo 21 days. Father James Boothby, born in Clermont Co. Mother E Divers, born in Maine. Informant James C. Fiscus (of Oxford, Ohio, ?relationship). Buried Oxford Cemetery.

Collins Boothby d Nov 12 1926, age 88 1 mo 28 day. Father James Boothby, born in PA. Mother Elizabeth Stewart born in ME. Informant Chas Boothby (?son). Buried Georgetown.

Edward R. Boothby d Mar 20, 1928, age 78, 9 mo 24 days. Father James Boothby, born in Pennsylvania. Mother Elizabeth, born in Ohio. Informant Mrs. JF Butts (?dau). Buried Mt. Zion Cemetery.

Alexander Boothby d Jun 5, 1922, age 70 4 days. Father James B. Boothby, born in Main. Mother Elizabeth Stores, born in Penn. Informant John Boothby (?son). Buried Bethel Cemetery.