Sunday, July 27, 2008

DeWitts and Doolittles

My father's mother's name was DeWitt. Frances DeWitt. Her father was Warren DeWitt. I have two family Bibles that my grandmother passed on to my father, which are now in my possession. The first one has only one generation's records in it - an Elizabeth Bennett and Benjamin Neal, born 11/7/1780 and 3/17/1781, respectively, and their children, Jonathan (b. 1/28/1801), Bersheba (b. 8/10/1803), Ira (b. 9/12/1804), Abigail (b.2/9/1807) and Elizabeth B. (b.3/6/1813). The handwriting is elegant and spidery and the Bible itself is as old as the writing. I have no idea who the Neals are and how they tie into my family history, except I'm sure it's on the DeWitt/Doolittle side and that, possibly, Elizabeth B., the daughter, married a Henry DeWitt in Oak Hill, NY. That is the second Bible I have - a pew Bible which says in large, flourishing script, "Mr. Henry DeWitt's Bible, St. Paul's Church, Oak Hill, Aug 9, '49 (which would be 1849). In small letters in barely legible pencil it says on the inside cover, "Eliza DeWitt, Oak Hill", twice - she wrote it twice in much smaller, more delicate writing than Mr. DeWitt. So I am left wondering if Eliza DeWitt is the married name of Elizabeth B. Neal, born in 1813.

I found one record on of a Warren DeWit - who is my great grandfather - in Greene County, NY, which is where Oak Hill is, but I can't find him associated with a Henry DeWitt. Warren is 23 in this 1870 census record and he lives with Eliza who is 57, and, I presume, his mother. She keeps house and he is a farmer, His property is worth 2000.00 and his personal assets are $800.00. This DeWit is spelled with only one "t" at the end, but census takers have notoriously been known to be inaccurate, so it could still be my ancestor. The dates are right, the place is right, and his mother's name is Eliza - and her age is right, too - she was born in 1813, so I'm pretty sure it's my great-grandfather.

Warren DeWitt married Minnie Doolittle. Minnie Doolittle was born 3/31/1864 and Warren was born 12/31/1846. Their first child, William - my great-uncle Will who fought in WWI - was born in 1884, so sometime before 1884 hopefully Minnie and Warren were married. I say hopefully because Minnie's family did not want her to marry Warren - perhaps because he was so much older than she - I've just heard that they didn't like him.

Their age difference would have made him 37 when she was 19, a spread of 18 years. That doesn't sound shocking today, but perhaps back then it was.

The next mention of Warren DeWitt (with 2 "t"'s now) is in 1910 in Saratoga Springs, NY. He is married to Minnie. Warren is 63 and she is 45. At that point in time, their son Will has left home - he is 26. Maud has also left - she married someone named Schwingler - she is 23. Ira is still at home at age 21, then there is Fannie - my grandmother - who is 13 and Mabel, the youngest, who was 11. And last, but not least, listed as a granddaughter, is a Dorothy Smith, age 2. Huh? It can't be Fannie's or Mabel's. It can't be Ira's or Will's because their last name is DeWitt - unless this is a mistake of theirs. It can't be Maud's - she is already married to Mr. Schwingler. Very strange. And very interesting.
Here is the image:
And, at age 63, Warren DeWitt has been out of work all of 1909 and some of 1910. And, though he is listed as owning the property, it is mortgaged. Hopefully, Ira is working and contributing. The property is on Gilbert Road, which still exists separated from Saratoga Springs by the Northway superhighway today. If I look at Google earth, I can see Gilbert Road, which is still quite rural. Many of the properties listed on it in 1910 were farms. Here it is today on Google maps. No one has taken pictures along it, so you can't go to street view, darn it. The Saratoga Springs directory of 1891-92 says Warren H. (for Henry?) DeWitt has 2 locations - one at 113 Clinton Street, which is sort of a messy neighborhood today, and one at 26 Catherine, which building no longer exists. I don't know why he has 2 locations - perhaps he worked for two different people, depending on work load.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Family History and Photos

First let me say that Blogger is being INSANE. I tried to put these three photos at the END of my post, but it was virtually impossible. So after an hour of trying different methods, I just decided they will stay where they pop up - which is right here.

The first photo above is of downtown Saratoga Springs, NY after a BIG snow. The photo under that is of Champlain Canal towpath in Battenkill, NY. There is nothing written on the back, so I don't know the year. The last photo is of Broadway in Saratoga Springs, NY illuminated for Christmas - no year - but these photos are part of the collection of my grandmother's aunt, so they are probably early 1900's. Check out the ice on Broadway - it looks like a frozen lake instead of a street.

I am -and have been in - the process of studying my family genealogy for a few years now. I haven't gotten too far, but I have had lots of fun - and I've found a few things I didn't know in the past. There is a lot more to learn and some puzzles to solve.

I want to post scans of lots of old photos I inherited from my father, who inherited them from his mother, who interited a lot of them from her aunt. Many of these photos date from the late 1800's and early 1900's and take place in and around the environs of Saratoga Springs, NY.

Basically, for now, this is going to be about my father's family. My mother's family is much more difficult to trace since her parents both came from Galicia in Poland at the turn of the century.

My father is Richard James Bootier. He was born on March 24, 1919 in Saratoga Springs, NY. His mother was Frances (Fannie) DeWitt and his father was Frederick J. Bootier. I have traced the Dewitts back to the Doolittles and I've traced the Bootiers. We'll start with the Bootiers.

Back before the Civil War there were two brothers - Nelson and Ezra Bootier, who lived in southeastern Canada, just over the border from Maine. The family story goes that one of them had a wife and children, but his house burned down with all of them in it, and so, brokenhearted and despondent, he came to the US to fight in the Civil War, hopefully to die. I have my doubts about this story - it sounds like so much romantic nonsense, although tragedies like that DID happen back then. The winters were very cold and houses were made of wood. The problem is that Ezra came to the US in 1846, 15 years before the Civil War began. I, however, am descended directly from Nelson Bootier, so let's see when he arrived in this country. Whether it was Nelson or Ezra, I don't know. But they show up on Civil War records and on census records.

Here is Ezra Bootier - he was born around 1838 in Canada and was 82 in 1920. This is a copy of the 1920 Census.

I cannot find census information for Nelson Bootier after 1880. He was listed in the Saratoga Springs directory in 1891-2 as a tinsmith, but after that, nothing.

I did find someone else on who linked to Nelson and this person somehow has found the birth and death dates for Nelson:
Birth - 18 July, 1829 in St. Croix, Canada. Death - 26, June, 1906 in Saratoga Springs, NY

So now I know where he was born and that he wasabout 10 years older than Ezra. Below is the Civil War record from 1890 for Ezra and Nelson. I'm not sure what this report was for:

The bottom of the form has injuries of each person by line number. Nelson is line number 15, and - poor Nelson - he had piles. That is the old fashioned name for hemmorhoids. We Bootiers are certainly glamorous.

I found another reference on that lists Nelson as entering the country in 1868, which doesn't make sense, since he fought in the Civil War from 1862-1865, as did Ezra.

Here is how the family breaks down.

Nelson Bootier married Phillamenia (sp?) LaJeunesse. They had 6 children as of 1880. I don't know if they had more, but here are the 6:
Freddie, (my direct ancestor), 13, a boot black (born 1867)
Willie, 10, also a boot black (born 1870)
Louis, 9 - at school
Georgianna, 7 - also at school
Charlie, 5
Lena, 1 year old

Freddie grew up and became Frederick N. Bootier. He married Josephine Brunett of Sandy Hill, NY (which became Hudson Falls, NY) on February 28, 1892. Their children were my grandfather, Frederick J. Bootier, Francis X. Bootier and Lawrence Bootier. Lawrence fought in WWI and was never the same after that. He died on 1/25/1964. Francis Bootier was the nicest of the brothers (sorry, grandpa) and helped my father financially through college.

Nelson was a tinsmith, Frederick N. was a carpenter and Frederick J was a linotype operator at the Saratogian. My father worked at carpentry before he became a teacher and he remembers working with his grandfather.

So the continuity is Nelson (1829-1906), Frederick N(1867-1951), Frederick J (1893-1983), Richard James (1919 -), Susan Bootier Humeston (1956-). Phew. Is that cool or what?

Now for some scans of Saratoga Springs and environs. The first one is of an indian. From the info on the back of the photo, his name was evidently Job Shavone, a French Canadian who lived(?) at the Indian Cairn at Highrock Park. I can't find Highrock Park on the internet, except for one by that name in Staten Island. Perhaps that is the one - I have no idea.

The photo under the one of Job Shavone (which shows to be an Italian name - ??) is a picture of some people in boats near Stafford's Bridge at Saratoga Lake. I think the man seated is Albert Freeman, my grandmother's aun'ts husband.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wake Up America!!`

I just watched this Youtube of Newt Gingrich and I agree 110% with what he is saying. He is a lone voice in the political wilderness. I would love to see McCain choose Gingrich to be his VP. If only. We need someone who will tell the truth about Islaam and Mr. Gingrich seems to be the only politician that will.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wife/Husband Test - 1930's

There is a modern version of this test here or you can see the original pages for both husband and wife below. I think the original pages just look 1930ish and the jargon is British, I think. First, the husband's quiz. I love the comments - you don't get that at the test web site - just the questions. When you click on the images below, they will still be too small to read - so you have two options. The first is (if you have a scroll button on your mouse) to click and hold down the Ctrl key while rolling the scroll button - scroll in a downward motion makes the image larger. The other option is to download this completely free "Virtual Magnifying Glass" that I use ALL the time to see things more clearly on my computer screen. For those who don't have a high definition monitor, the magnifying glass may not work too well, but it's worth a try, since it's free!!

For this to be done correctly, the husband is to rate the wife and vice versa. I know I will get a very poor rating - I cook when I feel like it (which isn't often) and I certainly don't dress for breakfast. My daily outfit is an attractive pair (I like some of the colors and designs) of men's boxer shorts and a matching color T-shirt. Folks, it doesn't get more comfy than that, however, that type of dress is off the charts for this test. And red nail polish? Perish the thought. Nice girls don't wear red nail polish, I guess - but the secret is, - and this test won't tell you this - men often prefer naughty girls anyway - so be brazen!

Now for the wife's test. Marital congress? Does Congress know about this? Hopefully, marital congress isn't anything like political Congress.....

I can tell you my husband got a 98. Some of my favorites are "Calls 'Where is', without first hunting the object".....if I had a dime for all the times my husband does just got points off for speaking poorly of him in public. Oh well. And the burping thing? Is that funny or what?