Sunday, December 09, 2012

Draper Manuscripts - Booth Research

Still looking for scraps of information for my illusive ancestors I have been collecting historical accounts that might mention any of them. Even if it is just an historical account of their home county or city, etc. This time I got interested in something that some of my older collegues kept mentioning, but I thought it was out of my reach. So I started digging to see if I could find how I could get a hold of these famous Draper Manuscripts. From all the research I did they said I should first get a copy of the Guide to the Draper Manuscripts. So I finally ordered a copy for our local Society to be put in our local library. You can get a copy from the Wisconsin Historical Society Online Store at

I finally got my copy last week and am anxious to go through it. I first decided to make a list of all my ancestors that I want to look up in the index. I also want to look for those persons related along the side lines such as son-in-laws, some of the neighbors that I found listed elsewhere, etc. So I got a little excited at first and started browsing through the guide. There is a lot more to this guide than just an index. The first section describes what each set of manuscripts covers. I was able to pick out a name (some of the more common names such as John Smith) and compare it with what the description of the particular manuscript is about. That way I was able to narrow down which area of the country that was closest to my ancestor.

I did get one definite hit so far. There was a listing in the index for a James Booth, hopefully mine, that had written a letter about an Indian attack in Wheeling, WV. One of these letters is by James Booth concerning an attacks in 1777-78 on the Charles Grigsby family. My James Booth was known to be in that area about that time. In fact, I had previously found an historical account of how Captain James Booth had been killed in an Indian attack in 1778 in Harrison County, WV. Even if this is just a one page letter written by my James Booth, it would be one of the most valuable items I could acquire.

Captain James Booth left a family with children. I am a descendent of his son, John Booth. His son, John, was also involved in military service during the Revolution. John Booth eventually moved to Indiana which is where my family is from. I'm getting excited about this, but I need to slow down and finish that list. I need to try to cover all my ancestors. Who knows what else I might find.


Dann Booth said...

I am descended from James' son James C. Booth; James C McCelland Booth; Nathaniel Monroe Booth; Harrison Garfield Booth; Paul Eugene Booth.
I had also heard that Captain James Booth married Nancy Stalnaker but now that has been questioned. Also that Captain Booth was born in Wales with either Caleb or William as his father. This is also in question. I'm not exactly sure what to do next.

Rhonda said...

I have a trail of paperwork from James Booth's father's estate (or rather a suit filed after the estate was settled) back in Loudon County, VA and his name was Robert Booth. Some of the information is not totally spelled out, but a lot of the names are the same and it is pretty good proof of his relationship as Robert Booth being the father of Capt. James Booth.