Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Booth Family and Jones Station

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Map of Jones Station Community in Haywood County, TN
Drawn by Jim Booth and included in the book "Journey Into Yesteryears" by Martha Jones

I finally got all my Booth family research added to my site after working on it for more than six months.

It was an interesting family line on which to work but took a lot of time going through census records to track the migration of the family from Virginia, to South Carolina, to Tennessee and then finally to Haywood County. My third great grandmother, Sarah Evelena "Lena" Booth lived her entire life in Haywood County as did her children and grandchildren.

Her father was W. G. "Billy" Booth who I believe was the son of James Booth who was the son of Stephen S. Booth who was the son of John Booth (not the famous assassin) who was the son of Thomas Booth who was born around 1705 in Virginia. That is as far back as I have gotten.

Jones Station
Much of the Booth family in the early 1900s lived in a community called Jones Station. It was located next to the Holly Grove Community on the north end of Dr. Hess Rd.

Railroad tracks going from Brownsville to Bells were laid through the area long before the Civil War.

A man with the last name of Jones allowed four acres of his land to be used as a train stop and suddenly many small businesses began to spring up around the train station. As more potential customers began to pass through the area, the small community began to develop and grow.

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Vernon Booth, delivering mail via bike

In 1903 the first rural route in Haywood County began at Jones Station with my third great grandmother Lena's nephew, Vernon Booth, delivering mail in the area on a bicycle.

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Photo from Betsy Sullivan Waddell

James Bemberry Booth and Eldorado Thomas Booth and family

According to Martha Jones, Vernon and his father, James Bemberry Booth, one of Lena's brothers, built a store which included a warehouse in which church services were held on Sundays.

James' third wife, Eldorado Thomas Booth, is said to have helped supervise a mission house that was in converted pool hall after it was closed in 1919 by Rev. G. B. Davis.

This site, which includes some information about the community, states that the first cotton gin was owned by Roe Booth in 1903 and was there until the end of WWI. Roe Booth was the grandfather of one of my Dad's childhood friends, Milton Booth. Milton also owns the property where my second great grandfather, George Williams is buried.

The community of Jones Station also included several sawmills and shops that came and went through the years.

My Dad remembers my grandfather, Bo Williams once told him that, when he was younger, he played baseball on a team for Jones Station. 

Today, the Jones community is a few houses and cotton fields along the side of the highway between Brownsville and Bells.

In recent blogs I wrote about about a Booth ancestor who was an influential colonist and others who were Revolutionary War soldiers, a president and a victim in the first national tragedy but there are also other interesting people hanging off the Booth branch of my family tree:

Agnes Booth Clardy
Agness Clardy was the daughter of John and Mary Booth, my fifth great grandparents. She was raised in Amelia County in Virginia. She married Benjamin Clardy on 25 June 1771 and along with the family of her brother, my fourth great grandfather, migrated and helped settle Pendleton District, SC.

Her obituary includes the following:
"Those who read this may see that she was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church better than 70 years; and I can say, truly a very acceptable one. I could write much in her praise but I forbear. The day after her death, at the interment bro. Joseph Smith, whom she chose before her death to preach her funeral, attended and delivered a very feeling and appropriate address.

Her remains were surrounded by some of her children, grandchildren and great grand children and other friends, and though the weather was very inclement they stood patiently and deeply affected during the address. - The feelings of my own soul were deep and my tears were moved when I looked upon her cold remains and remember her address in the last love-feast which she ever attended where she arose and, leaning upon her staff, observed, 'Nearly seventy years I have been a dear lover and close attendant of class meetings and love-feasts, and expecting this to be the last I shall ever attend, I want to say that I am still bound to serve God till death; I want you all to pray God to assist me and meet me yourselves in heaven.'

This short address had a good influence on our love-feast, many felt it good to them. May God Almighty sanctify this short account of her life and death to the good of the living."

James Booth
James is the first Booth of my ancestors who moved to Haywood County. He was married to Nancy Ann Milligan and first shows up in the census of 1830. In the mid-1800s he was a school commissioner for the county and, in 1847, deeded one acre of land to the school commissioners with the purpose of building a schoolhouse. Booth made the transfer of real estate “for the good will that I entertain for the public school system.”

James and his family lived on the farm next door to the farm of another of my ancestors, Augustus and Martha White Brantley. 66 years later, in 1916, Augustus Brantley’s great grandson, "Willie" Brantley and James Booth’s great granddaughter, Allie Marbury would marry and one of their daughters was my maternal grandmother, Virginia Brantley Lovelace.

W. G. "Billy" Booth
Billy Booth, who moved to Haywood County as boy, along with his father James, was a close friend of Sim Cobb whose diary from whose 1875 diary is included in “Nicholas Cobb Descendants, Neighbors and Relatives." Billy is mentioned throughout Sim's entries and they really give a sense of what their lives were like.
19 Jan 1875 – Tuesday, fair and cold; cut and burned brush in the field; moved W. G. Booth’s fence; John F. White came over in the morning; J. C. W. Cobb and W. G. Booth was with me at night until bed time.

2 Feb 1875 – Tuesday, cloudy all day, rained during the day; split some wood and picked up trash in the new ground until dinner; after dinner, went to W. G. Booth and got my spade and worked on shelter by the smoke house.

15 Feb 1875 – Monday, cloudy and cold; burned logs and trash and hauled and put up rails; Pink (Harriett Outlaw) and Agatha ( Mrs. John Hardy Cobb) was here; Bet (his wife) went with them to W. G. Booth; J. E. Lott and W. G. Cobb came down at night to get some castor oil.

24 Feb 1875 – Wednesday, cloudy with some rain and warm; hauled manure in the garden and to the land for the Irish potatoes…caught a rabbit; Mrs. Booth (Eliza) and Lott were here; Ed came.

5 April 1875 – Monday; planted corn in the new ground next to W. G. Booth’s field.

2 May 1875 – Sunday, fair, went to Sunday School; D. W. Watridge and family was here and stayed until after supper; W. G. Booth, Willie (William L.) and J.B. (James Bembery) Booth and Mittie (probably Margaret) White was here and Roe Booth (Albert Cicero) also.

You can check out more of the entries from a blog I wrote a while back.

Missing Photo

Where is a photo of the W. G. "Billy" Booth Family?

Who has a photo of Billy Booth's Family?

The one thing I have not been able to get my hands on is a photo of the family of my third great grandmother, Lena. She is an old woman in the earliest photos I have of her which were taken in the 1940s. Her parents, Billy and Eliza White Booth were more influential than many of the relatives that I have who lived in the area and of whom photos do exist. So I know they had access and the finances to have family photos taken.

I assume that because Lena was the youngest child of many other children, when her widowed father died in 1892, the family photos ended up in the hands of one of her older siblings: James Bemberry Booth, Mary E. Booth Mann, Alphonso Booth or Ada P. Booth Stewart. I already know the family of Albert Cicero "Roe" Booth does not have any old photos.

If you happen to be a descendent of any of those families and have any old photos, please let me know!

For more about the Booth family, check out their page on my site. And if you find any errors or have more information, let me know. For more blog entries, visit my Blog Home Page or the Haywood County Line Genealogy Page.

1 comment:

  1. I was born in Haywood County, and my maternal grandmother was a Booth but not from the Virginia Booths. Her ancestors came through New York. James Bembery Booth II (1907-2000) of Haywood County was a distant cousin. William Booth (1473-1519) of Cheshire, England was a direct ancestor of both lines.