My connection with lumber kings

It’s a funny thing about family stories – many times they turn out to be true.

ImageOne particularly striking one I remember being told by Grandma Ellerby many years ago, where she recalled, as a child, receiving a gold coin from from an uncle John Booth every Christmas. John Rudolphus Booth, as history relates, was one of Canada’s wealthiest men who was a dominating force in Ottawa, but how was he connected to my grandmother, who was born in Bury, Quebec?

The information that is available now in Google searches is truly outstanding, and it was quite easy to work out the connections.

ImageGrandma’s maiden name was Linnie Maxine Webster, and her father’s name was Samuel Harold Webster. According to the 1911 Census, her family lived with her grandparents Walter and Gertrude Webster in Bury. The Bury Cemetery records identify W. Walter Webster as being the husband of A. Gertrude Booth. The census page shows that Gertrude was 50 years old at the time.

ImageA quick check at Family Search – a good site run by the Mormons – shows an extract from the 1871 Census stating that Alice Gertrude Booth (then aged 10) was living in Shefford, Quebec at that time, but it did not list the complete family. However, a search of the actual census records for that year reveals that Alice Gertrude’s father was Elijah Booth, aged 36 at the time.

It turns out that Elijah Booth, born in 1835, was a half-brother of John Rudolphus Booth. Another person interested in the Booth family history was able to dig up Elijah’s baptismal certificate, which proves the connection.

Which leaves one final mystery: whatever happened to Grandma’s gold coins? She was always vague as to that point in relating the story to anyone in the family.


2 thoughts on “My connection with lumber kings”

  1. Rob,
    I have to apologize for one thing.
    I had a similar past, in that there was a story in my family from my Grandmother that her mother, Annie Lucinda Booth used to get $100 bills for Christmas from JR Booth.
    When I started to ask questions about the relationship, she clammed up and would no longer talk about it, so after she passed I started researching back.
    Lets just say Annie had an interesting life… starting with the boy next door, later ending up in the poor house in Tewksbury, and even being deported by the “No-Nothings.”
    I trace backwards from my grandmother, and forwards from JR Booth, and over years I realized that I had to go further back on the Booth family and then come forward down via his brothers.. and even then the only early record I found for Elijah was via the shared baptism that was indexed under his sister.
    The mistake I made was that my Grandmother listed on her mother’s death certificate that her father’s name was Louis. From marriage records I knew it to be Elijah. As I was trying to keep track of both facts at the time, I had listed him as Louis Elijah Booth.. and as that got uploaded to once.. it stuck. People started copying that mistake and now its accepted as truth when I believe it was just a mistake my Grandmother made (as her other grandfathers name was Louis).
    Its great to hear of the similar story about christmas gifts in the distant families.
    I would be very interested in a gedcom of your branch from Elijah if possible.

    1. Thanks for clearing up the matter about Elijah’s name. I was just going with what I had come up with.

      As for the gedcom, I’ll have to get in touch with one of my cousins who has already done work on the descendants of Samuel Harold Webster (my great-grandfather), but I don’t know if she set it out in that format. In any case, Harold had eight children – I remember the size of those family reunions that occurred, especially while he was still alive!

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