||Richard Booth is currently protected by the Puritan Great Migration Project for reasons described in the narrative.|
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CONTROVERSY: The parents of Richard Booth have not been verified as there is no agreement as to Richard's origins. There is more than one Richard Booth in English records, from different locations, with different christening records, hence different parents. See discussion below, especially the notes of Donald Jacobus, a highly respected genealogist of early CT families. He has been detached from his previous parents of Richard Booth and Elizabeth Brooke.
Donald Lines Jacobus wrote: "The Booth chart compiled by George Munson Booth of Chicago, Ill., states that Richard was bapt. at Great Budsworth, co. Cheshire, Eng., Aug. 1608, a son of Edward (d. 1628), who was a son of William of Twemlow, co. Cheshire (by his wife Ellen, dau. of John Davenport of Davenport), who was a son of Edward of Twenlow, who was a son of Sir William Booth of Dunham Massie, co. Cheshire (d. 1519). The earlier generations of this pedigree are authentic, but I know not the authority for the connection of this line with Richard of Stratford."
"It was somewhat natural, in the early days of genealogical study, to try to connect Richard Booth with the well-known family of that name in Cheshire, but his origin is as much a matter of speculation today as it ever was. His brother-in-law, Joseph Hawley was from Parwick, Derbyshire, and an origin in that county has recently been discovered for William Beardsley who came to New England in 1635 and was an original settler in Stratford in 1639. Hence we are more inclined to believe that Richard Booth was a member of the Derbyshire contingent than that he came from Cheshire. Certainly the Booth surname is frequently and prominently found in the records of County Derby."
We are without definite records of more than one wife of Richard Booth, who because of certain records mentioning relationship is deduced to have been sister of Joseph Hawley and mother of the Booth children. In the lack of a will or specific records, we may theorize that Richard was married once, twice, or even more times. The conclusion that he was twice married is based on a single record which refers to "my now wife",the assumption being that his invariably implied the existence of an earlier wife. Often it did, but in other cases it was merely a legal bit of verbiage intended to distinguish a man's present wife from any other wife, whether a previous one or one he might acquire in the future. Hence the implications of the term are far from certain.
Note: One of the original settlers of Stratford, CT.
Jacobus notes that although Stratford was settled in 1639, early records are so few that it is difficult assign a specific date to the arrival of the early settlers. He concludes that Booth and brother-in-law, Joseph Hawley were living there prior to 1650 and most likely arrived ca 1641 or shortly after. While the children's birthdates begin in 1641, they weren't recorded in Stratford records as a group until 1649, and no location is given thus not useful as evidence of Richard's arrival.
Athough the list of the 17 original proprietors of the town has been lost,evidence points to Richard Booth as one of them. In 1724, Ambrose Tompson age 72 and Ebenezer Boothe age 72 (son of Richard Booth) complain of injustice in the distribution of land, stating: "Our parents we suppose were actually or virtually among some of the very first settlers of the town of Stratford, which was settled with very great difficulty and charge, as we have been informed. The expense of one of our parents for watching and warding and other charges, cost more than L40, money." [Stratford, CT Town Acts p.102]
Richard Booth's name appears often in the town records of this day as "townsman" or selectman, and in other commissions of office and trust. The prefix Mr before his name in the colonial records, indicates, under the rigid adjustment of social rank then observed, a position decidedly influential and respectable. His large landed property he divided in this lifetime, among his children. He left no will. The latest mention of him extant, is a March 1688-89, in his 82nd year. As the Congregational Burial Ground, west of Main street, was opened in 1678, he was doubtless buried there, and was his son Joseph, who outlived him not more than 12 to 15 years.
He owned, through grant and purchase, extensive property which he divided in his lifetime among his children. He was one of others who received land by 1670 in the section known as Nichols' Farms, where one branch of his descendants lived for several generations. Like others, his lands were spread over a considerable area, not necessarily adjoining one another. His home lot #29 was located on the west side of Main St., between Joshua Judson and Adam Hurd and across the street form Isaac Nichols, Sr. It was the fifth below the Bridgeport road.
On March 15, 1687/88, he states he was about 81 and speaks of "my now wife", perhaps indicating he had an earlier wife. His first wife was Elizabeth Hawley, sister to Joseph Hawley the first town clerk and another early settler.
No recorded will has been found but his children's names and birthdates are recorded at Stratford.
It may be possible that Ulysses S. Grant descended from Richard Booth. National Genealogical Society quarterly, Volume 75:236??
Richard Boothe's name and those of his descendants are prominent on Stratford records. His home lot, 29 indicates his settlement there among the earliest, but probably before his marriage in 1640. He married, 1st Elizabeth, the sister of Joseph Hawley, for his son Ephraim, in his will styles Samuel Hawley (son of Joseph) cousin. He was one of the proprietors of the township and received division of land located in various parts of the town, as did also the other proprietors. He was probably[??] married twice and had eight children. The latest mention of him extant is in March, 1688/89, in his 82d year.
Early American Census shows Richard in Stratford, Fairfield Co CT in the years 1650,1655, 1658 & 1669.
In many cases his dates differ from Orcutt's History of New Milford p. 657-58.
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On 13 Apr 2019 at 13:11 GMT Bobbie (Madison) Hall wrote:
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