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Ambrose Boots

Male 1770 - 1840  (70 years)

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  • Name Ambrose Boots  [1
    Born 1770  Rye, Sussex County, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Died 1840  Beaver County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 3
    Buried North Sewickley Cemetery, Beaver County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I2588  My Genealogy

    Father James Boots,   b. 1724, Bodiam, Sussex County, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. WFT Est 1774-1816  (Age 92 years) 
    Mother Mary Ranger,   b. WFT Est 1716-1742,   d. WFT Est 1775-1831  (Age ~ 89 years) 
    Married 25 Dec 1753  Northiam, Sussex County, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 4
    Family ID F59901  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elizabeth Bull,   b. 17 Feb 1777, Sussex County, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Nov 1847, Beaver County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years) 
    Married 25 Nov 1809  Ewhurst, Sussex County, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 5
     1. John Boots,   b. 1810, Sussex County, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Sep 1853, Beaver County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 43 years)
     2. Edmund Boots,   b. 12 Oct 1811, Sussex County, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Dec 1890, Beaver County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)
     3. Samuel Boots,   b. 25 May 1816, Sussex County, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Jun 1896, Beaver County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years)
    Last Modified 24 Jan 2013 
    Family ID F59910  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Ambrose Boots was born in Sussex County, England, circa 1770. He was baptized in St. Mary's Church, Rye, Sussex County, England, 25 February 1770. He died in Beaver County, Pennsylvania about the year 1840 (the obituary of his widow, who died in 1847, says, in part, "and seven years since was called to follow his mortal remains to the tomb...").

      He was married twice, but we do not know the name of his first wife, nor the number (if any) of their children. He married, 2nd, on 25 November 1809, in St. James Church, Ewhurst, Sussex County, England, Elizabeth BULL. The Marriage Register of this church reads:

      "Ambrose Boots Widower of this Parish and Elizabeth Sharp widow of the same, were Married in this Church by Banns this twenty-fifth day of November in the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Nine By me Henry Hoager Rector of Beckley."

      Elizabeth BULL had married previously, 10 June 1803, in St. James Church, Edward SHARP, who died two years thereafter (the Burials Register of St. James Church lists his burial, 25 March 1805). She had only one child by this marriage, presumably the "Mrs. Mary DENNIS" referred to in her obituary, q.v.
      Elizabeth BULL was born 17 February 1777, in Sussex County, England, and died 22 November 1847, in North Sewickley Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania. Thus far, research in England has not revealed the names of her parents. Ambrose and Elizabeth resided in the hamlet of Staple Cross, in Sussex County. Staple Cross is only a mile or two from Ewhurst, where St. James Church is located.

      Ewhurst Green village, as it is now known, has existed since medieval times, and is mentioned in the Domesday Book of William the Conqueror. This rural community is largely agricultural. A church history provides theh following:

      [Gwen Jones and John Martin, The Parish Church of St. James the Great, Ewhurst, Sussex, 1981]:

      "The vast majority (of residents) owned or tenanted small farms and combined small scale subsistence agriculture with another trade or craft. The two major stand-bys were cattle raising and timber.....Some small-holders managed to make a profit from cheese and butter making. More recently hops became a mainstay of many farmers and in our own century many have turned their land over to fruit. In addition, a great many people over the years must have practised those trades and crafts necessary to keep a self-sufficient community going. They became blacksmiths, millers, millwrights, wheelwrights, saddlers, carpenters, sawyers, brickmakers, glaziers, basket-makers, coopers, ropemakers, clockmakers, grocers, butchers, bakers, brewers, weavers, tailors and schoolteachers - all of them trades and occupations mentioned in the church registers (of Ewhurst Parish)."

      The Church of St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green, Sussex County, England dates in part to the twelfth century, and today is little changed from the way it must have looked in 1809 when Ambrose Boots and Elizabeth Bull were married.

      "The tower clearly reflects the two major periods of building which are discernible in many features of the architecture of this church. Traces of iron are visible in the stonework of the lower portion which together with the west doorway dates from the late twelfth century. The upper part and stair turret are fourteenth century. The windows are of the latter date with the exception of the topmost one which was inserted during the fifteenth century.

      ".....The west and north walls of the aisle are fourteenth century. The east wall has been rebuilt.....Part of the fourteenth century north wall again shows signs of rebuilding. The reconstruction of this wall and of the east walls of both aisles is known to have been carried out in 1769."


      Ambrose and Elizabeth had their oldest son, John, baptized in St. James Church in 1810, but by the time their second son, Edmund, was born in 1811, they had been caught up in the upsurge of nonconformity which had been taking place in the area since the late 1700's, and had apparently joined the Wesleyans (Methodists), because Edmund was baptized in the Wesleyan Chapel at Rye, and Samuel was baptized in the Wesleyan Chapel at Sandhurst in the County of Kent. Both of these baptismal records indicate that Ambrose and Elizabeth continued to reside and Staple Cross and were "of the Parish of Ewhurst."

      In 1830, Ambrose and Elizabeth Boots and their three sons emigrated to America, along with her daughter Mary Sharp, settling in North Sewickley Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania. Tradition states that in addition to the three sons, John, Edmund, and Samuel, there was a brother of Ambrose named Benjamin Boots, who came along, and who settled in Virginia or Maryland. As yet, no research has been done to locate any record of Benjamin Boots in the United States. We do know that Ambrose had an older brother named Benjamin and at least one nephew named Benjamin.

      A History of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, published in 1888, contains an account of Samuel Boots [J. Fraise Richard, Levy S. Richard, and Thomas Henry, Hisroty of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, 1888, pages 750-751] which says, in part:

      "......His (Samuel Boots') parents, Ambrose and Elizabeth (Bull) Boots, came to America in 1830, and settled in North Sewickley Township. The father was a carpenter until coming to Beaver county, when he carried on farming, with his eldest son, up to his death in 1844; his widow died in 1852. They had four children: Mary, John, Edmund and Samuel."

      This same History of Beaver County contains an account of Edmund Boots which says, among other things:

      "Edmund Boots, wagon maker, P. O. North Sewickley, was born in Sussex, England, Oct. 13, 1811, son of Ambrose and Elizabeth (Bull) Boots, the former of whom, a carpenter by trade, came to America in 1830, and Oct. 13th of the same year settled on Brush creek, North Sewickley township, this county, here remaining until his death."

      Interestingly, although the former account has the wrong date for the death of Elizabeth Boots, it does place the deaths of Ambrose and Elizabeth eight years apart (her obituary says "and seven years since....."). The daughter Mary referred to is, of course, Mary Sharp, daughter of Elizabeth Boots and her first husband.

      Ambrose Boots and family did not arrive in Beaver County in time to be enumerated in the 1830 Census of the United States. A search of the 1840 Census for Beaver County reveals no record of Ambrose Boots - evidently he died before the Census was taken. The 1840 Census does, however, list Samuel, Edmund, and John Boots as heads of families. With the family of John Boots is listed one female between the ages of 60 and 70, presumably, his widowed mother. It is unfortunate that Census Records prior to 1850 do not list the names of every individual resident in a particular household.

      Although Ambrose and Elizabeth arrived in Beaver County in 1830, a search of the public records does not reveal that they purchased any real estate. The earliest record of land being purchased by any member of the Boots family is a Deed from Jacob Piersol to Samuel Boots dated 5 October 1835 conveying land on Brush Creek in North Sewickley Township. Ambrose Boots does, however, appear in the Beaver County Tax Records for 1833, which is the earliest record found of him in the Public Records of Beaver County, Pennsylvania. He does not appear on the Tax Rolls in subsequent years.

      It has not been possible to determine with 100% certainty where Ambrose and Elizabeth Boots are buried. The Concord M. E. Church, which their sons helped to found, did not establish a cemetery until more than fifty years after Ambrose and Elizabeth died, and none of the early generations of Boots relatives are buried there. All, or very nearly all, of the Boots family who died prior to 1900 are buried in the North Sewickley Cemetery. Ambrose and Elizabeth either lie in an unmarked grave in this cemetery, or possibly, in some small plot near their original home. The marker for the graves of John and Sylvia Boots is located in one of the oldest sections of the North Sewickley Cemetery, and is in the form of an obelisk of the kind that commonly had names on all four sides. All four sides of this monument, although badly eroded, clearly contained inscriptions at one time. Two of those inscriptions are definitely for John and Sylvia Boots. The other two could have contained the names of Ambrose and Elizabeth. However, they could just as easily have contained the names of two of the children of John and Sylvia Boots. We know that their son Richmond Boots died between 1850 and 1860, and the 1840 Census indicates that there was another child as well. The plot containing this marker is a large one, containing no other headstones except those of two of the children of Samuel and Harriet Boots, and could very easily contain any number of unmarked graves.

      An anniversary booklet published in 1926 by the Concord Methodist Episcopal Church contains, among other items of interest, many obituaries of early members of the church including many of the Boots family.

      The Obituary of Elizabeth Boots reads as follows:

      "Departed this life Nov. 22, 1847, at the house of her son, Rev. John Boots, in Beaver County, Pa., Elizabeth Boots in the 71st year of her age. Sister Boots was born in Sussex County, England, Feb. 17, 1777, and emigrated to America in 1830. In the 24th year of her age she was united in the bonds of matrimony to Edward Sharp; in two short years she was left a widow with one child. In her 28th year, she was married to Ambrose Boots, and seven years since was called to follow his mortal remains to the tomb, and soon after her daughter, Mrs. Mary Dennis. She has left three sons, members of the M. E. Church; two are local preachers and one a class leader. A funeral sermon was preached by the writer of this notice, from a text that she had selected 30 years ago, viz: 'Oh death, where is thy sting; oh grave, where is thy victory? but thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.' Advocate, Dec. 29, 1847.-G. McCaskey."

      Another mystery remaining to be solved is why Ambrose and his family wound up in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. A clue may be the fact that by 1816 the family had become caught up in the Wesleyan movement. The family of Harriet Wilde, who became the wife of Samuel Boots, was involved with the Wesleyans as well. It is known that both the Boots family and Harriet Wilde were in transit from England at roughly the same time, although they were not acquainted. The link between the two families and their arrival in Pennsylvania will no doubt one day be found to be the Wesleyan Movement.

  • Sources 
    1. [S324] World Family Tree Vol. 175, Ed. 1,, Inc., (Release date: April-2005 Customer pedigree.).

    2. [S916] Parish Register, St. Mary's, Rye, Sussex, England.

    3. [S917] Concord Methodist Episcopal Church, North Sewickley Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, 1835-1926., 20 (Reliability: 3).

    4. [S805] Parish Register, Northiam, Sussex, England.

    5. [S807] Parish Register, St. James, Ewhurst, Sussex, England.