Boots Family History

by Matilda Boots Hartzell's brother, Melvin Boots, Jr.

"Gabriel Boots migrated from Holland to America some time early in the 1700s stopping in or near what is now New York City, later going to Baltimore, MD. where he settled. I understand he was buried at Baltimore. A son or grandson, General George Riley Boots served in General Washington's army during the Revolutionary War. I am told that other members of the family served during that war."
Next in line of connection that I am able to connect up is Joseph Boots and wife Susannah, said to be buried in Baltimore. Their son, William (and brother Samuel) moved their families from Baltimore to Seneca County N.Y. about 1800. William Boots died age 53 Gorham N.Y. wife Susan died age 45, Gorham, N.Y. Their son, Benjamin Boots, was born at Baltimore Md. July 3, 1786 died Feb 7, 1839, first one buried in Nettle Valley Cemetery. His wife, Susannah was born Seneca Co. N.Y. Aug 7 1792 died near Potter, New York Dec. 27 1871. Benjamin and Susannah were married at Potter, March 15, 1809. Her maiden name was Basom. Their son Benjamin Franklin Boots was born Sept. 16, 1825 and died Aug 9, 1892 at Rossville, buried at Gorham N.Y. He married Mary Acinith Harwood at Potter, Dec. 16 1845. She was born May 10, 1826 and died June 19, 1871. They lived at Potter until 1848 when they moved to Sturgis, Mich. where daughter Matilda Jane was born Sept. 25, 1851. They moved to Butler, Ind. in 1855, Waterloo, Ind. in 1857, and to Yates County N.Y. in 1864. Mary died June 6, 1871. Benjamin, with son Melvin Jr. and Matilda came to live with son james who had moved to Rossville in 1870. Matilda, known as Tillie, Married David Hartzell February 21, 1875.
Tillie died Feb. 2 1953 age 101, Topeka. David and Matilda's children: Ernest, LeRoy, Edna, Frank and Melvin."

Photo of Matilda Boots Hartzell in 1884.

When I was little I (great-granddaughter) had on my bed a quilt Tillie made; I still remember what it looked like, a crazy-quilt of blue and white. She was known for making quilts. She was born in Sturgis in 1850, but her family is listed as living in Burr Oak. Even today that's pretty far off the beaten track, so I did some reasearch to see why her father was there. That was about the time the railroad was going in, so he could have been working for the railroad. And I'm sure there was all sorts of new construction because of the railroad.

Sturgis, where Tillie was born, is located on Highway 12, the old Indian trade route and then wagon train road west. They only stayed a few years, all the moving around Melvin Boots mentions. The 1860 census shows them in Waterloo, De Kalb, Indiana.

Roll: M653_254
Page: 129
B F Boots 34 1825 New York Male
Mary A Boots 33 1826 New York Female
George Boots 13 1846 New York Male
James A Boots 11 1848 Michigan Male
Matilda J Boots 8 1851 Michigan Female
Augusta A Boots 5 1854 Michigan Female
Mary A Boots 1 1858 Indiana Female

The 1870 census shows them in New York again:

1870 census Jerusalem, Yates, New York
Post Office: Italy Hill
Page: 454
Benjamin F Boots abt 1826 New York White Male
Mary A Boots abt 1826 New York White Female
James A Boots abt 1849 New York White Male
Matilda J Boots abt 1852 New York White Female
Agusta E Boots abt 1854 New York White Female
Melvin J Boots abt 1865 New York White Male

The 1880 census lists Benjamin F. Boots as "Hotel Keeper".

I haven't found the Boots in the Revolutionary War, but there is a Benjamin Boots - Allen's 20th Regiment, New York Militia, War of 1812.