PART 1 - New Connections
The marvels of the Internet work two-way. Three people who have used it, via Richard Holbech Boultbee's website, were wishing to find out more of their family connection. These contacts have resulted in some very happy and rewarding exchanges and much new information.
Nancy lives in Victoria, Vancouver Island,
Canada. She is descended from Washington Boultbee (1806 - 1875) son of
William Boultbee and Frances Appleyard, which she did know. Washington
had emigrated in 1837, and had ten children. His daughter Helen Eliza
(1868 - 1948) married John Oliver Benwell in 1891.
Their daughter Nora, Nancy's mother, married Frank Morison as her second husband, which is new information. Nancy tells us that Nora's first husband was killed in the 1914 - 18 war, a fellow officer of Frank.
The History records that "a stone was erected by her daughter Mrs Frank Morison in St John's Church, Ancaster, Ontario" to Nora. St John's was the parish church of the early Ancaster Boultbees (and was visited by Elizabeth in 1957). The move to Vancouver of various members of the Ancaster family appears to have been in the 1880's.
We have given Nancy all the necessary details for her to trace her descent back to Joseph-of-Coleorton, grandfather of William, and from that point back to the beginning of our History.
The miniatures of William and Frances in the History had been preserved by Nancy's mother.
Cathy's initial enquiry, in June of last year
from Australia, was not actually via the Internet but from her inclusion
in the National and International Genealogical Research Directory.
However, since then the Internet has been most useful. Cathy knew that
her great-great-grandmother was Ann Jane Boultbee, born in 1809 (see
page 86 of the History) and that she had married, as his second wife,
Dr. George Bute Stuart in 1827. Her being the second wife is new
information. They had two sons and one daughter. Ann Jane's forebears
was what Cathy was seeking, and it was also a pleasure to draw up a
"tree" for her. Ann Jane died in 1833, aged only 24, and the two sons
died young, Charles lost at sea in the Navy, and Henry during his voyage
to Australia to join his father.
In 1834 Dr Bute Stuart had emigrated there, employed on the voyage as surgeon on the convict ship "Isabella". He practised as a doctor and surgeon on Norfolk Island, and then in Parramatta, New South Wales, dying there aged 56 in 1852. His daughter Charlotte Renton, Cathy's great-grandmother, joined her father (the household also including his two daughters from his first marriage) and she married in 1851 Charles Alphonse Massy. They had nine children, the youngest daughter being Cathy's grandmother Aimée Stuart. Cathy (Catherine Mary) was born in 1946 and married Michael Dwyer in 1969, they have two sons and two daughters. The full details of Ann Jane's descendants have been given to us by Cathy in an excellent "tree".
A painting of Ann Jane is described from family records though it is not known whether it has survived. "She is painted in a low-cut green velvet dress, and she looks out on the world with a solemn face, dark brown eyes, and jet-black curled hair in the fashion of the period. We also possess a delicately painted flower picture of iris and roses and signed in minute handwriting Ann Jane Boultbee 1828".
During the course of the last fifteen years or
so of family history research a vague rumour would sometimes surface
that there was, or had been in the past, another connection with New
Zealand, this being other than the known one of John Boultbee the
"Rambler's" time there in his sealing days. However, there did not seem
to be any current Boultbees living there and further investigation was
consequently difficult. All is now happily revealed, thanks to the
Internet again initially, and we now know when and how this new
connection actually started. Our Internet contact, Annette, gave us the
details and this has led to a lively correspondence. Annette's
grandfather was Howard Baker Boultbee who was actually born in 1855,
though the History, on page 87, said 1853, from incorrect information.
He was one of the several sons of Charles Hilton Boultbee, (who appears
elsewhere in this Newsletter). Howard Baker emigrated to New Zealand in
1875, and had a long and successful career as a pharmaceutical chemist,
dying in 1932. In 1899 he married Edith Minnie Farr whose own family had
emigrated in 1888. Edith was born in 1865 and was a music teacher
before her marriage. They had two daughters, Edith Howard born in 1904
and Minnie Frances in 1907, the latter being Annette's mother, who
married John Thomas Brenkley. Annette was born in 1938 and married
Raymond Leslie Elliott in 1958. They have four daughters, numerous
grandchildren, and live on a 1600 acre farm on the eastern side of the
North Island for sheep and some cattle in beautiful rolling country.
Lambing time involves dosing their huge flock - 4000 lambs last year and
3500 this year.
It has been most satisfying genealogically for what was just a rumour to become, at long last, fact when least expected.
PART 2 - " Mystery" Boultbees
Three have recently emerged and any help towards identifying them and their origins will be most welcome.
Charles L. Boultbee
We are indebted to Terry Fernandez of
Australia for this find. Terry has no family connection but in his
response to a world-wide Internet search seeking unknown Boultbee
references we learnt from him of a book researching people of Asian
origin who had done military service in the American Civil War. It was
found that a Charles L. Boultbee, born in Ceylon, and described as "of
dark complexion", had been mustered in 1864 in the 1st Oregon
Volunteers, Company B. That is all we know of him at present for
The first Asians - Chinese in large numbers - began to arrive in America in 1852, lured by, and to work in, the California "Gold Rush", and from then on Asian immigrants continued to settle in the Western States. The Civil War finally ended on 9th April, 1865, with the surrender at Appomatox, Virginia, of Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army. The West then began to be opened up for many more settlers from the Eastern States with the construction of through railways instead of them having to make arduous journeys by wagon.
But Charles L. - a surmise does present itself - "Ceylon", "dark complexion" - surely we may make a reasonable speculation from that. Can he possibly be a hitherto unknown son of John - the - Rambler? Can the initial 'L' stand for 'Lane', the maiden name of John's mother, Sarah Elizabeth? We know that John and Selo Hamy had a son, Joseph, born in 1838, who definitely bore the second given name of 'Lane' (see page 106 of the History). Naming him after John's father, Joseph, might point to him being the first-born son. John died in 1854 when Joseph would have been 16. If there was another son, born say two years younger, he would have been 24 in 1864, a suitable age for military service on the Union side. Perhaps he was born up-country when John was the Kandy road maintenance officer, and opportunities for formal registrations of births in a remote area did not exist. What could have made our putative Charles, son of John, go to America, and when? Did Joseph go with him? Perhaps the mother died and a future in Ceylon not promising. Oregon points to a journey across The Pacific, maybe the ship having picked up Chinese immigrants on the way. But there we must leave this particular mystery for the present.
From international Mormon records a Margarita
Boultbee was married on 5th February, 1859, at the church of Santa Rosa
de Lima in the town of Melchor Mesquiz, Coahuila district, Mexico, to
Dionicio de la Garza. That is all we know of her, but we may speculate
here too and Mexico is the clue.
Let us go back to the early Canadian Boultbees and to Horatio, born 1801, third son of William Boultbee and Frances Appleyard. Although William did not emigrate to Canada himself until 1847, it seems likely that Horatio may have emigrated earlier, possibly in 1834 with his eldest brother Felix.
At any rate, from a letter to William in November, 1847, William by then already in Canada at Ancaster, Ontario, Horatio writes from Mexico. There he owns a large farm, the Hacienda de San Juan Salinas near Saltillo. Further letters to the Ancaster family follow in 1848 and 1849. However, the last one, dated 11th May, 1849, reports a cholera epidemic in Mexico. Horatio may have succumbed to it, possibly buried on his own hacienda (see pages 130 and 131 of the History) as there is no further news of him at all after the last letter.
Mesquiz, where Margarita was married in 1859, is some 160 miles north of Saltillo, and her birth could be around 1841 or 1842 at the reasonably latest dates. Could she have been a daughter of Horatio from an association or a marriage to her mother not divulged to Ancaster? 160 miles seems a long way from Saltillo but was perhaps the mother's birthplace and home to the latter's family. If born around 1841, Margarita would only have been a little girl at the time of Horatio's death.
Sylvia Best, Patrick's daughter, has done some further research into Mormon Mexican and Central American records but they have not produced any more information about Margarita. Possible eventual discovery of an official marriage certificate, if such obtained in the rather chaotic Mexican political conditions of the time, might tell us more if it gave her father's name. But all is not yet lost, as we have to continue to hope for solutions to genealogical problems.
This is a really baffling mystery. On 11th
January, 1861, within the district of the British Consulate at
Pernambuco, Brazil, (now known as Recife), T. Boultbee - no given name -
a railway labourer, died aged 27.
This statement of meagre facts leads on to a further Brazilian connection which is curious indeed. Charles Hilton Boultbee (see page 87 of the History), and grandson of John the sporting painter, died in Pernambuco also on 11th January, 1861, described as a railway store-keeper. TPB noted that he "had died in the West Indies of yellow fever, having spent a large fortune derived from his mother". She had been Sarah Hilton, his father's first wife. TPB also says that she was a "West Indian". This likely means that she came from an English family who had settled in the West Indies and owned sugar plantations as many others did in the 18th and early 19th centuries. From one of these must have come Charles Hilton's inheritance. His death from yellow fever may simply record a later, and dim, family recollection of its having happened in transatlantic tropical parts where yellow fever was then endemic. It was clever of TPB to pick up this detail. Having got through his inheritance perhaps Charles went out to the West Indies to see if anything more could be got from the plantation and the Hilton family. If that proved impossible perhaps from there he drifted down to Brazil in search of work or simply in a spirit of adventure. There an outbreak of yellow fever may have carried off both him and 'T', so perhaps their deaths on the same day may not be quite the mind - boggling coincidence that first appears.
Charles Hilton's Will was established on 17th August, 1861, by which his wife, Hannah Baker, was left £1,000, a then substantial sum. Having left her in England with seven children, he must have made what provision he could for his immediate family, not necessarily intending to return to them.
Brazil had originally been a Portuguese colony, from 1808 ruled by the exiled Portuguese Royal family who had escaped from the advance of Napoleon's army and in 1822 it was declared independent from the mother country. The long reign of Pedro II from 1840 to 1889 saw development of mineral resources and agriculture as far as possible given that most of the country was almost impenetrable forest inhabited by Indian tribes. Even now railways are not an important factor in transport. A glance at a map of Brazil will show that the national railway system is still mostly confined to coastal parts, generally simply running short lines to inland towns, or connecting up along the coast. In Pedro's reign, however, some railway development must have been going on to open up suitable areas where valuable minerals could be extracted and sent down to ports of which Pernambuco was an important one, sufficiently so to need the services of a British Consul. It would see, likely that such diplomatic services were necessary because most of the experienced railway engineers were British as well as workers. It is this factor which makes it possible that the new railways offered work to both 'T' and Charles Hilton.
They cannot, however, be the same person. 'T' would have been born in 1834 and Charles Hilton around 1821 - he married in 1846. At present we have no idea of 'T's origins. There is no-one in the "tree" who fits the dates at all. This is something which will be a difficult, and challenging, piece of research in the future as to whether there were earlier emigrations to North or South America which are unknown and from which he might be descended. But if we can track him down then the reason for his being in Brazil and working on the railways may appear.
PART 3 - Wills
The History mentions twelve Wills of various
fairly early dates. The most important must be that of Joseph Boultbee
of Griffydam dated 1718 (see page 9 of the History). This clearly shows
the Boultbee family now firmly established in Leicestershire. It gives
the names of his children, and from his three sons, Thomas, William, and
Joseph, comes the family descent as we know it today.
In recent years several mainly late 19th century Wills have been found. These are generally not of any special interest other than sometimes to provide previously unknown death dates.
Five recently discovered Wills are, in contrast, most interesting both for what they tell us, and also in one instance, rather surprisingly at first sight, what they do not, leaving us to attempt an explanation for the omission of what would otherwise have been expected to be normal family bequests.
1. The Will of Joseph Boultbee of Baxterley, 1737 - 1806
One would expect his Will, after all he was a
millionaire in our terms - let us not forget that his father Joseph - of
- Colerton was a banker - to have bequeathed substantial sums of money
to all his immediate family. Transcription of the Will, a lengthy
process involving thirteen pages of crabbed legal hand, has revealed
that no such large bequests were specifically made to his sons, and this
is where, as mentioned above, explanation is needed.
Some time before Joseph died the sons Joseph and Thomas had instead been set up with very handsome estates, Springfield Park and Tooley Hall respectively. The son John benefited financially from arrangements for him to succeed to Baxterley Hall after the father's death. All three estates had large mansions with their own home farm and a great deal of land with tenant farmers and village cottagers, together representing a huge amount of money.
As far as the other two sons were concerned, we know that William received £35,000, in modern terms at least a million. William had obviously not been interested in entering the ranks of landed gentry as his interests lay in Radical politics, which are well brought out in his biographical notes in Chapter X of the History.
Although we have no record, there is no reason to suppose that the fifth son, Charles, was not also given a similar sum before his father died. A wealthy churchman would certainly have been welcomed in the noble Egremont family of Petworth House, Sussex - with several nieces to be married off- enabling Charles to marry one of them, Laura, and with such aristocratic connections to expect early preferment, which in the end did not happen. However, Charles' financial affairs will reappear when we come to the story of Laura's Will.
Joseph - of - Baxterley's Will is far too long to reproduce here, nor is it otherwise of particular interest, It will perhaps suffice if a few points are extracted. The daughters Elizabeth and Catherine are to have ten thousand pounds each, but not until they are 25 years old. They are subject, on any project of marriage to the "Consent and Approbation" of their brothers Joseph, Thomas, and John. If such approval is not given, but the girls do marry, then they are only to receive four thousand pounds each. As far as their mother Catherine is concerned she is to continue to live at Baxterley and to be given the use of such items as "linen, plate, and china, half of the stock of wine and liquor, and the carriage and pair of horses, for the rest of her natural life." In addition, Joseph's executors are given shares in the Bank of the United States of America in trust, with instructions that interest and dividends are to be paid to Catherine. She would have been able to live on in very comfortable circumstances at Baxterley with John and his family.
The Will is dated 9th April, 1806. If anyone would like a copy of the transcription they have only to ask.
2. The Will of Lucy Boultbee, surviving child of John, the apothecary of Manchester
The last Newsletter records that Lucy was alive at the time her father made his Will, in which he provided for her. We now know, from her Will, that she was aged 17, the Will being dated 1783. Sadly, it appears that she was very ill at the time she made it only having the strength enough to make a very shaky "mark" and not able to sign it - it is likely she died soon after. The Will is reproduced below :-
This is the Last Will and Testament of me Lucy Boultbee of Manchester in the County of Lancaster Spinster and Infant of the age of seventeen years and upwards who am now very weak in health but of competent understanding and being intitled to a personal Estate of some value to give and dispose of the same as fellows vizt After payment of my Debts and funeral Expenses I give and bequeath unto my Uncle John Clayton, Mrs Crine Mrs Ewing my Aunt Crowle my Aunt Collier and my two Guardians Mr. John Hope and Mr. James Dinwiddie, Mr. Samuel Hope Mrs Samuel Hope Mrs Brooke and Mifs Brooke all my personal Estate and Effects equally to be divided among them and appoint Mr. John Hope and Mr James Dinwiddie Executors of this my Will In witnefs thereof I the said Lucy Boultbee being too weak to write my name have hereunto set my Mark and Seal and do publish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament this first day of September 1783
Lucy Boultbee X her Mark and SealSigned sealed published and declared by the said Lucy Boultbee as and for her last Will and Testament in the presence of us who have hereunto set our names as Witnefses in the presence of the said Lucy Boultbee
John Bill Saml Wright Junr.
3. The Will of Sarah Boultbee, step - mother of Lucy above, and second wife of John the apothecary of Manchester
This was made on 21st September, 1776, and
being a fairly long one is not reproduced. John was buried at St. Ann's,
Manchester, on 7th May, 1776, and Sarah followed him on 29th September,
1776, also buried at St. Ann's. Her estate is left to Lucy but if Lucy
dies before she is aged 21 it passes to Sarah's father Joseph Dutton.
In fact, Sarah's Will discloses something which is of literary interest. Two of the witnesses were Eliz. (either Elizabeth or Eliza) Gaskell and Ellen Gaskell. Sarah described herself as "of Warrington" some 15 miles from the centre of Manchester, and Warrington was where the Gaskell family lived. It is our belief that the two Gaskell witnesses were likely to have been, possibly closely, related to the Reverend William Gaskell, a Unitarian minister. He was the husband of the well known early Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, authoress of the charming village chronicle "Cranford" and other novels such as "Wives and Daughters" recently excellently serialised on television by the B.B.C. The Reverend Gaskell's father was a successful Warrington businessman, and it is most likely that Sarah, even if not actually related to that family, was sufficiently friendly with them to have two of the Gaskell ladies to witness her Will.
4. The Will of Laura Boultbee, widow of the Reverend Charles Boultbee
This is a very intriguing one with
repercussions in no uncertain manner. Laura was a niece of the 3rd Earl
Egremont, of Petworth House, Sussex, one of the three daughters of his
younger brother William Frederick. TPB in the History was correct in
stating that Laura was the sister of the 4th Earl. The 3rd Earl had no
legitimate children and was succeeded in 1837 by his nephew George,
Laura's only brother.
The Reverend Charles had died in 1833, probably early in that year. It is evident that Laura then went to live in France where her Will was drawn up in Paris on 21st September, 1833. We believe that she died in France (there is evidence in letters of illness) but the Will was proved in London on 12th March, 1835, and it here follows as extracted from the Registry of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury :-
This is the last Will and Testament of me Laura Boultbee late of Wigmore Street Cavendish Sqre in the County of Middlesex but now residing at the Chateau de Launay in the Department of "Eure et Loire" in the Kingdom of France, widow of the Reverend Charles Boultbee formerly of Kirdford in the County of Sufsex but late of Atherston in the County of Warwick clerk deceased and formerly Laura Wyndham spinster. I give and bequeath all my Jewels and Trinkets of every description of which I may be pofsefsed at the time of my decease to my daughter Julia Frances Laura Boultbee. I give and bequeath all and singular the Plate Linen China Household Inventories Farming Utensils and Implements live and dead stock Horses Cattle Property and Effects of every description of which I may be pofsefsed at the Chateau de Launay or elsewhere at the time of my decease and all and singular the Rest Besides and Remainder of my Personal Estate and Effects of every description and whether in France or Great Britain unto Louis General de M…..fsant of the Chateau de Launay aforesaid for his absolute use and benefit and I nominate and appoint the said Louis General de M…..fsant sole Executor of this my Will in Witness hereof I have hereunto and to a Duplicate hereof set my hand and seal at Paris in France this twenty first day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty three.
Laura Boultbee Signed sealed Published and declared by the Testatrix Laura Boultbee as her last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at her request and in her presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnefses
Thos. Mills Solicitor Rue St Honore 335
Claudius Beeth clerk to Mr Mills
Proved at London 12th March 1835 before the Judge by the oath of Louis General de M…..fsant the sole Executor to whom ….?…. was granted being first sworn by the Commifsion duly to administer
Sworn under £450 Charles Dyneley Ext. K.F. John Iggulden Deputy W.F. Gostling Registrars
5. The Will of Dorothy Salkeld
After the dramas of Laura's Will and the
Reverend Charles' debts it was quite a relief to write about a much
quieter Will, but which, nevertheless, unexpectedly provides us with new
information nicely slotting in to what was previously known.
Dorothy, of Osgathorpe, Leicestershire, near Stordon Grange, made her Will in 1817, dying in 1820. She was the mother of Robert Boultbee's second wife, Jane, and the marriage is several times mentioned in the Will. Robert had married Jane in 1817, either towards the end of the Stordon Grange tenancy, or just after it was given up, her surname being Dunwoode. It follows, therefore, that our new information is that she was a widow, her maiden name being Salkeld. Robert and Jane lived at Kegworth, where they were both buried, and in the house which she had occupied with her first husband - a reasonable conclusion. We owe this discovery of her mother's Will to another, and particularly splendid, piece of detection by Dennis Heathcote.
Wills have a vital part to play in genealogical research and those discussed in this Newsletter make an interesting and valuable contribution. October, 2001