As I said I was going to in my August To-Do list, I went on a short road trip with my sister to Maine.  My main goal was to begin to explore the resources available in Maine for researching family history and genealogy.  Before we left I developed a tentative itinerary and time-table.

Based on scraps of information about our Boothby line and where they likely had been in Maine, I wanted to see what we could see or find in the Scarborough area.  From my online searching I knew that there is a Scarborough Historical Society and Museum that I wanted to explore.  A short phone call to the Scarborough Town Hall confirmed that the Historical Society was the place for me to look for information.  I was told that for vital records created after 1892 the Town Hall should have the record and will search it and copy it for you.  Before 1892  they have some of the records but not all.  Since I am interested in the early 1700s to about 1800, and I wanted to see the records for myself, the Historical Society it was to be.  I also hoped to find an old cemetery to wander.

The other location I decided I needed to explore was the Maine State Library and the Maine State Archives .  These are located in the same building in Augusta.  Based on the time we had available and the driving times, it seemed that Scarborough and then Augusta were about all we could do in this trip.  Plus there were things my sister wanted to see and do that weren’t genealogy-related.

I have to admit that I was not fully (or anywhere near fully) prepared for this trip in terms of knowing what specific records or information I wanted to look for.  So, for example, just before we left I found a Find A Grave entry that may be our ancestor Samuel Boothby in an old cemetery in Portland.  Did I know where it was or how to find the stone that is pictured on Find A Grave?  Did I know anything about where the records, if they exist, for this cemetery might be found?  No!  I also found a family tree for this Samuel on Ancestry.com, so I printed out the family group sheet to take along as possible hints about our family.

Here is what we did – from the genealogical perspective.  We drove up to Scarborough and found the Scarborough Historical Society.  Luckily our planning had allowed for a visit there on the one morning a week they are normally open (which is Tuesday for anyone who is interested).  It was easy to find, right on Route 1 next to and slightly behind the IMGP4257Dunstan Fire House as they describe on the website.  The building is a neat old place and there is stuff everywhere.  The Museum is connected (the white building to the left and also had lots of stuff.  I was so taken by the people and the resources in the Society, however, that I never really got a good look at the Museum.  I definitely need to return.   The collection of what the Society has is not really catalogued formally (i.e., there is no online catalog and I don’t think there is a paper one in the building) but the group of people who were there working that morning were all very knowledgeable and helpful.  A lovely woman named Sarah took us in hand and started providing folders of papers and books and pictures for us to explore.  They don’t have the original vital records there, but they do have microfilm and books of transcriptions from the microfilms that go back to the earliest days (some into the late 1600s and more from the early 1700s).  I was able to find the transcriptions of the baptisms of the children born to Samuel and Esther Boothby and the transcriptions showing my Josiah Boothby’s two marriages, first to Betty Beard and then to Sarah Stuart.  I did not find records of any of Josiah’s children, nor of the death of his first wife (presumed to have died).  I found the burial of Esther, wife of Samuel Boothby.  I did not find any record of Samuel and Esther’s marriage.

When the Society folks finally started closing up for the day, they directed us to the Saco public library and the museum next door to it.  IMGP4338The Dyer Library in Saco has a Maine History Room which is a repository for more historical and genealogical resources.  The Saco Museum in the York Institute building had a well-done exhibit on the Civil War from the perspective of a local man who served in it.  The Roy P. Fitzgerald Maine History Room is staffed by a group of volunteers who are both very knowledgeable about local history and families and also very helpful to researchers who wander in.  I was very excited to find books that collected deeds for York County, and found a couple involving a Henry Boothby and a Richard Boothby in Wells.  It is not clear at this point exactly who these Boothbys are.

In between repositories and lunch and walking and coffee with a niece we did find time to wander through the old Dunstan Cemetery in Scarborough and locate a number of Boothby stones.  None of these are our direct ancestors and I don’t yet know who they all are, but I got pictures and a listing of all the Boothbys from a work that had transcribed all the headstones.  There were also a number of Snows (another family line for us), so I took some pictures of some of them too.  I don’t know of any of our line of Snows who migrated to Maine so these may not be relatives.

Then we headed for Augusta.  Even though I was not as organized as usual about knowing exactly where we were going, we found our way with little trouble or backtracking.  IMGP4359My photo shows the front of the building both the Archives and the State Library are housed in, and the convenience of the parking lot.  I was impressed.  The Archives requires a Research Room Privileges card so we both filled out the short form and provided picture ID to establish our credentials.  I spent a couple of hours browsing through microfilm looking for our Boothbys in the Kittery vital records – hoping for the marriage of Samuel and Esther but not finding it.  I now wish I had spent some time with the Scarborough films since it was very easy to make printed copies of pages.  I did look quickly at a film of some Saco records as well, though didn’t find anything.  My sister, in the meantime, had gone up to the Library and was browsing the collections there.  (There may also have been a short nap involved.)  My two finds were the record of Thomas Boothby and Lydia Cane’s intention to marry, in 1725, and Thomas’s will in a book of Maine wills.  No will for Samuel.

2013-08-16 12.02.22Our last day in Maine was spent doing a leisurely drive over to the coast from Augusta to Boothbay Harbor and then a lovely morning of wandering in Boothbay and having lunch where we had a great view of the waterside.  We watched kayakers and paddle boarders go out and come in, and enjoyed the beautiful sunny summer day.

Research
* I’m getting ready to do a short road trip to Maine with my ever-patient sister. My goal is to begin on-the-ground research on our Boothby family line. I want to know why our family line left Maine and migrated to southern Ohio in the late 1790s-early 1800s.
* Do a timeline for Mary Elizabeth Hockman Earhart. Get all the census records for the Earhart families, her Boothby family, and any Hockman families. Also get all possible birth, marriage, and death records. (I have some of these records but need to be sure I have all of them.)

Organization
* Pick a group of records and really learn how to enter them in Clooz1 – a program which I really like my early experience with but which I need to learn to be more proficient using.
* I may also try to create my own version of a spreadsheet to track digital files and note the basics of the sources they come from, as described by Josh Taylor in one of the sessions he taught in our GRIP course.
* Continuing to organize the various files on my hard drive.
* Back up the blog! Plug-ins found so far to automate this task don’t meet my needs However I just saw a review of another one, that looked worth investigating. There is always hope – in the meantime I must remember to do it by hand.

Education
* In July Judy and I attended the intermediate course at GRIP2. I hope Judy is getting ready to write a story about our experiences there.
* I will combine education with research in my trip to Maine. I want to explore some of the resources available in Maine including the State Archives and State Library.
* I will find a webinar, probably toward the end of the month, to watch.

**********

  1. http://www.clooz.com
  2. http://www.gripitt.org/

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.

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