Thursday, August 08, 2013

Capt. James Booth in the Draper Manuscripts

James Booth's Letter 1777

A while back I order the Guidebook for the Draper Manuscripts to be donated by our Genealogy Society to our local library for their genealogy section. Of course, I wanted to look through it first to see if any of my ancestors were in it somewhere. I was excited to find that my 5th great grandfather was mentioned in it as having written a letter. I wrote down the notes of where I could get a copy of this letter. That's one thing I would be so excited to own especially if he had signed it himself. The Guidebook also told me how to quote my source so I had better do that correctly - Draper Manuscripts 4ZZ10.

James Booth and wife, Nancy Stalnaker, lived in Harrison County, Virginia (now W. Virginia) on Booth's Creek named for James Booth. He was a true pioneer and leader that helped to settle the wilds of this area. They had four children: Sarah who married Evan Thomas, Barsheba who married Alexander McClelland, John Booth who married Sarah Kinder (my 4th great grandparents), and James Booth Jr. who married Elizabeth Tucker. Sarah and John both settled in Indiana. Captain James Booth was killed by Indians on June 16, 1778. Little is know about the final whereabouts of his wife. James Booth's exploits as a pioneer are written about in several historical accounts of Harrison County, W. Virginia.

Below is a transcription of his letter as best as I could make out. If anyone can help me make out any of the words a little better let me know.

To Capt. Zedick Springer at Prickett’s Fort
Koon Fort 95
August the 2st, 1777
Sir, By Sertain and satisfactory just gone from the Uper Garrisons are lain tha on the 31st of last month a sertain Charles Grigsby wife and child was kild and skalpt, and one missing supposed to be captured. But to inform you more fully he was a living on the waters of Elk Creek and had moved home, went out in the morning after his cows and on his return found not his family and most every thing which convinst him the more Jakens and men. The men spied a company passed them about four miles and found her as above. The number is sckalpt to be 13 or 14. Our men intended to posse them 5 days in which return shall able to satisfy your men.
This from your friend and humble Svt.
James Booth


Sandra said...

Capt James is my grandfather also. Perhaps you could shed light on his wives, he had several other children, Daniel, whom I am descended from. But there are discrepencies about Nancy Stalnaker who has never been proven as his wife, other than traditional stories. There is man who say he was married to Elizabeth Merrifield, and thus had Jane, Bersheba, John , James and Sarah. With Nancy he had William (killed by Indians), Daniel (who was also a rev war patriot), and Catherine who married Ignatius Baker and moved to Ohio and are buried in Trenton Cemetery. Recently another possible wife was suggested, Sara Turner? who married Edmund Freeman after James death, and being possible as his wife as Doug Houchin found,"In the spring of 1797 Captain Booth's son John (of Shelby County KY) sold the homestead on Booth;'s Creek to Josiah Davisson. Meanwhile Edmond Freeman and wife Sarah--identified in the document as "widow and relict of James Booth, deceased"--conveyed Sarah's dower in the property to Davisson. (See Harrison County Deeb Book 3, pp 1 and 8.)"

If you could maybe add to this or find some truths, it surely would be appreciated.I stumbldd on your blog in trying research on the wives, as needing to know the mothers of the children. Thanks for the wonderful letter by James.

Have a great day!

Rhonda said...

In Captain James Booth's father's Probate, Robert Booth, the only children that are actually named as being heirs to Robert Booth's Estate were John Booth of Indiana, James Booth, Sarah Thomas (wife of Evan Thomas), and Barsheba (wife of Alexander McClelland). The Will was dated 1759 with the later Court case dated 1834. Unfortunately, no other children for James Booth were listed. I'm afraid I haven't gotten any farther on this line, but have read about the possibility of othe r children and wives.

Sandra said...

I have heard of Robert Booth being father to Capt James. Is there a place that this probate document is, so that I can read it. Someone pointed me to a Robert Booth and Sarah Filmore, but the will involved with this couple does not indicate Barsheba or Sarah. Thank you for any info and for responding