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The Booth Descendants of
The Bairds of Lanarkshire
in Comanche and Kiowa Counties, Kansas.

by Joan Amundsen

New Monkland is situated about 8 miles east of Glasgow in Scotland and just north of Coatbridge. In the early years it was mostly populated with coal miners who had large families and who lived under difficult conditions. When circumstances became unbearable for them, there was a large migration of these families across the sea to what they felt would be a new beginning.

Robert Baird was born around 1775 in Old Monkland. About 1796 he married Isobel Easton who was born about 1780 also in Old Monkland. They had four sons.

Alexander Baird, born 16 May 1800 in Old Monkland was the second son of Robert and Isobel. He married Helen Hunter also born about 1800, in Old Monkland on 1 Mar 1820. Around 1839 they set forth across the “big pond” with their growing family to make a new beginning in Nova Scotia. They arrived at Cape Breton, Sydney Mines in Halifax. At that point in time there were 10 children.

The family lived in Nova Scotia until about 1847, when they decided it was time to move on. Coal miners always “follow the coal” to where they feel jobs are more plentiful and conditions are better. There were now 14 children in all. They were :

  1. Robert born 27 Aug 1820 in New Monkland
  2. Jane born 3 Jun 1822 in New Monkland
  3. Isabella born 12 Jan 1824 in New Monkland
  4. Catharine born 20 Nov 1825 in Old Monkland
  5. John born 21 Jan 1828 in New Monkland
  6. William born 24 May 1829 in Barony
  7. Janet born 18 Jun 1831 in Old Monkland
  8. Ellenor born 1834 (unknown)
  9. David Shanks born 18 Feb 1835 in New Monkland
  10. George born 3 Apr 1837 in New Monkland
  11. James born 25 May 1842 in Nova Scotia (twin)
  12. Thomas born 25 May 1842 in Nova Scotia (twin)
  13. Christina Wilson born 5 Feb 1845 in Nova Scotia
  14. Helen born 1846 in Nova Scotia

The Baird family increased in size. Robert, who married a girl named Jane in 1842, now had 3 children.

Isabella, married to Thomas Wallace on 6 Jan 1841 now had 5 children. Thomas’ parents had also gone to Nova Scotia at the same time as the Bairds with their family of sons and their sons’ wives and children.

All of these families traveled south probably down the old Boston Post Road, which was the main southern route at the time. They no doubt formed their own wagon train. There were many industrial centers along the way. They probably passed through Portsmouth New Hampshire, Boston Massachusetts, into New York and then turned south again. Halifax is about 1000 miles from Pennsylvania. A horse drawn wagon could only do 20 or 30 miles a day. It would have taken them from 30 to 50 days to make that trip.

Eventually reaching Pennsylvania, they finally settled in Jeanesville, which is just a few miles east of Hazleton. The group became one of the first settlers in the area where a new coal mine had just been opened by William Milnes.

It appears that work must not have been good in that mine because by the 1850 census all of the families had now moved on to Banks Township in Carbon County PA. while continuing to work as miners.

By 1856 the Baird family decided to move on to La Salle, Illinois. Mining was still their main occupation. The Wallace families stayed on in Pennsylvania but began to scatter about to other counties in the state.

There is no record of Alex or Helen after the 1850 census and there is no record of their death or where they are buried. The only information found to date was from the History of Luzerne County written in 1893 by H. C. Bradsby.

Their son Robert and his family eventually moved on to Tioga County PA. They had five children.

Jane married Thomas Dwyer in Nova Scotia on the 31 Mar 1843. No other records are available about Jane.

Isabella and Thomas Wallace who married 6 Jan 1841 moved on to Schuylkill County. They had 15 children. When Thomas died Belle moved to Hazleton in Luzerne County PA where she operated a rooming house. In later years she married Adam Will and died 17 Sep 1897 in Hazleton. Thomas and Belle had 2 sons in the Civil War and also a future son-in-law who received recognition as firing the last shot of the Civil War at Appomattox. According to the Hazleton Standard Speaker, while General Lee was surrendering his sword to General Grant, a confederate officer “rode out from the lines to challenge the whole army”. Lieutenant Andrew Lee rode out into the open and shot the soldier.

There are no available records for Catherine.

There are no available records for John.

William married Mary Bry Payden in Pennsylvania about 1855 and settled with his family in Morris, IL. They had 2 children. It seems that Christina was very fond of her older brother William. She and Sam lived next to William while in Illinois and they named one of their sons after him. William died 29 Jul 1917 in Morris.

The only record of Janet was that she was living with Thomas and Isabella in 1850. Janet probably became a helping hand to Isabella, who at that time had 6 children.

There are no available records for Ellenor.

David Shanks moved about quite a bit. He went to La Salle, IL with his family for a time and then moved back to Pennsylvania. On 23 Apr 1861 at the outbreak of the Civil War, David enlisted at Harrisburg, PA. At the battle of Falling Water and the skirmish on Martinsburg Road he was taken prisoner and transferred to six different prison camps. He was finally paroled and on 12 Jun 1862 he was discharged in Harrisburg because of disabilities inflicted during his imprisonment. He finally settled down in Kingston PA, married Anna Metzler in 1872 and had one daughter named Helen. He eventually became active in Pennsylvania politics and was a state representative in 1880 at the national convention in Chicago. David died Apr 1923 in Forty Fort PA.

There are no available records for George.

James, a twin, married Sarah Anne Gardner around 1881. They lived in Williamstown PA, which is in Dauphin County. He was a laborer and did odd jobs. When his wife Sarah died he moved in with his son Frank in the York County area of PA. He died 26 Nov 1934. James was also in the Civil War. He enlisted on 1 Nov 1863 in Pennsylvania, but applied for a pension on 28 Aug 1869 in Illinois. He was wounded in the Battle of the Wilderness on 6 May 1864. Apparently he also moved about looking for work, as did other family members.

There are no available records for Thomas, a twin.

Christina Wilson was the next child and her story will follow.

There are no available records for Helen.


Christina Wilson Baird

While growing up in Illinois, Christina Wilson Baird met Samuel Booth who was born 14 Oct 1844 in Ashton, England. They were married on 1 Dec 1865 in Grundy County Illinois. In the 1870 census Christina and Sam Booth were still living in Morris in Grundy County, Illinois. Sam was listed as a miner.

By the 1880 census Sam’s father James was living with them and listed as retired and suffering from asthma, probably miners asthma or black lung disease which was a common ailment of miners. Apparently James died in the mid 1880’s and Sam and Christina, who wanted a better future for their children other than mining, decided to move west, homesteading in Kansas.

According to the Booth History Book, Sam came first in April 1886. He built a sod house for his family and in July Christina arrived with the children. Christina Sadie, their daughter, wrote in 1970 that the first few years were very difficult for the Booth family.

"My father did not have any cattle for the first couple of years as he did not have money in those days to buy any as they had a large family to feed and clothe."

Although Sam is listed as a miner, it was stated in the Booth Family History that Sam was a carpenter and helped with the construction of the Big Well in Greensburg. No doubt Sam’s occupation was originally a sawyer in the mines.

Over the years the family prospered, the children went to school, married and had "good old time families." stated Christina Sadie (Booth) Griffin.

James Booth was born 24 Nov 1866 in Morris IL. He died before 1869.

Alexander Booth was born 29 Dec 1867 in Morris IL. He died sometime in the 1870‘s.

James Booth II was born 30 Aug 1869 in Morris IL. James married Clara Belle Newlin 27 Apr 1892 and they had 8 children. Belle died in 1909 and on 24 Feb 1919 James married Willena May McIleaney. They had no children. His third marriage was to Grace Stapleton on 4 Mar 1944. They too, had no children. In his earlier years, James was a farmer but by 1910 he gave up farming and was working as a machinist in an auto garage. In his final years of employment he was the manager of an Auto Sales Company and died in Coldwater KS on the 22nd of Aug 1963. He was almost 94 years old.

Mary Ellen Booth was born 24 Jan 1872 in Morris IL. She was married to Simmons Murphy. They had one daughter Helena, who lived only 6 years. Although the Booth History states that the marriage to Simmons was dissolved, the 1930 census shows Mary was widowed and had now moved back to Kansas and was living with her brother Sam. Mary was a milliner and originally worked for Marshall Fields in Chicago. Mary was not in good health and returned to live her last days with her family. She died sometime after 1930.

Samuel Booth, Wilmore,  Comanche County, Kansas.


At right: Samuel Booth, Jr.

Samuel Booth was born 15 Oct 1873 in Morris, IL. He married Emma Cottle on 19 Sep 1907. They had 2 children. The oldest, Travis, was killed in an auto accident in 1927; he is buried in Powell Township Cemetery, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas. Sam was a farmer but in his earlier years he "cowboyed" on several local ranches including the Rockefeller ranch. In 1905 he and his brother Bob purchased land where they built their homes and where a school was built. Emma was a teacher at the school before she married Sam. The school was given the name of the Booth school. During the school year many of the teachers who taught there would live with Sam and Emma. Sam died 10 Dec 1960 in Kiowa County. He was 87 years old. He is buried in Powell Township Cemetery, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas.

William Baird Booth was born 18 Sep 1875 in Morris, IL. He married Lillie May Kluttz on 19 Mar 1902 and they had 6 children. He, like many of his brothers and sisters, all homesteaded near each other. In his earlier years, Bill worked on the Rockefeller ranch. Later on when Bill was farming he traded his land with his brother-in-law Lewis so that Bill’s children would be closer to school. Bill lived near Sam and died 9 Jun 1957. He was 81 years old. He is buried in Powell Township Cemetery, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas.

Joseph Booth was born 7 Jun 1887 in Morris, IL. Joe married Addabel Eubank 4 Nov 1903 and they had 1 child, Madaline. Joe also worked on the Frank Rockefeller ranch for a time. He continued to do general farming all his life and died 24 Jul 1941 in Kiowa. Joe was 54 years old when he died. He is buried in Powell Township Cemetery, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas.

Robert Booth was born 2 Feb 1879 in Morris, IL. Bob married Effie Jane Maltby on 8 Apr 1908. They had 8 children. Their first home was a dugout where their first child Lester was born. They later built a 2 story home where Bob engaged in general farming. A son still lives on that farm. Their son Robert Booth, Jr., was killed during WW2 while serving in the Army. Bob was a corporal with the 119th Infantry 30th Division. He is buried in Normandy, France and was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously. Bob Sr., also a general farmer, died 29 May 1961 in Kiowa County, Kansas. He was 82 years old. He is buried in Powell Township Cemetery, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas.

Henry Booth was born 2 Oct 1880 in Morris, IL. He married Bessie Jane Bell on 16 Jan 1916. They had 5 children. Henry also began his early years of employment by working on the Robbins Ranch in Belvidere. Later on Henry owned his own ranch near his brothers and sisters and adjacent to his parents home. Henry did general farming. He was 76 years old when he died 31 Aug 1957 in Kiowa.

Christina Sadie Booth was born 31 Mar 1882 in Morris, IL. She married Sam Wood 27 Mar 1901 and they had 4 children. Sam was the younger brother of Clifton Wood who was the father-in-law of Tina’s sister Hattie. Both Tina and Sam lived and worked on the Rockefeller ranch until they bought land north of Wilmore. They lived in a sod house until 1915 when they built their new home. After Sam died Tina married James Griffin on 26 Oct 1926. Both of Tina’s husbands were general farmers. Tina died 28 Sep 1975 in Coldwater. She was 93 years old. She is buried in Powell Township Cemetery, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas.

Isabelle Barber Booth was born 3 Jan 1885 in Morris, IL. She married James Taylor Hall on 1 Nov 1909 who was a ranch foreman. Taylor purchased part of the Rockefeller Ranch where they planned to build a home. After Taylor died, Belle married John Wright. Belle never had any children. She was 102 years old when she died 21 Sep 1987.

Fred Booth was born 28 Aug 1888. He was only 12 years old when he died about 1900.

Hattie Anna Booth was born 22 Feb 1890. She married Harold Boyd Wood on 23 Dec 1916 and they had 2 children. Hattie and Harold lived with her mother Christina on the Booth ranch until Christina died. Hattie was a quilter and enjoyed giving her quilts away to others. Hattie died 12 days short of her 66th wedding anniversary, on 11 Dec 1982 in Coldwater. She was 92 years old.

Samuel Booth died 10 Dec 1908 at the age of 64. He had been sick for a number of years. Christina Baird Booth died 23 Jul 1937 while at the home of her daughter Belle. She was 92 years old.

There were dozens and dozens of grandchildren and great grandchildren. Many still live in Comanche County and the surrounding areas but a larger number of them have migrated throughout the country, living as far away as the West Coast. However, all of them still call Kansas their home.

Sources:

All United States census years

Social Security Death Index

Family History of Samuel and Christina Baird Booth

History of Luzerne County by H. C. Bradsby

Latter Day Saints web site.

Many cousins who have shared their sources and information


Charles Henry "Chuck" Booth, son of Henry Booth and Bessie (Bell) Booth.

Ricky Lynn BOOTH, son of Ivan and Erma Booth.

Helen Margaret (Wood) Pendergraft, daughter of Samuel and Christina (Booth) Wood.

Madaline Alma (Booth) Elwell, daughter of Joe and Addabel (Eubank) Booth.


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This page was last updated 02 Feb 2006.