Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Samuel Walker Booksh 1853-1930

Samuel Walker Booksh 1875
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Happy Birthday, Great Grandpa Sam


Samuel Walker Booksh was born on the Fourth of July in 1853 in Iberville Parish, Louisiana. He was baptized in St. Gabriel Church on 16 January 1854.

In this carte de visite the photographer, A. D. Lytle, has touched up Sam's blonde hair and mustache as well as his blue eyes. We have always called it "I wish I had a penciled-in mustache."

In 1850 the Charles Booksh family (listed as Brooks) are living in Iberville Parish, Dwelling 550, Family 590. Charles is 42 years old and Eliza is 31. With them are sons [Charles] Edward 12, [Joseph] Edgar 8, [John] Adolpha 7, [Leonard] Scott 5, and [Thomas] Claiborn 2. Son Louis Frederick had died just the month before  in July 1850. This was probably the house where Sam was born.  (US Census; Year: 1850; Census Place: Iberville, Louisiana; Roll: M432_231; Page: 343A; Image: 365)


In the 1860 census the Booksh family is is still listed in Iberville Parish, Grosse Tete post office, in Dwelling 163. Charles is 52 years old and a Planter with Real Estate valued at $37,500. His wife Elizabeth is 41 years old. His oldest son [Charles] Edward, age 22 is overseer and is listed with his wife Mary 22 and daughter Eliza 2. The rest of the family is [Joseph] Edgar 18, [John] Adolphus 16, [Thomas] Claborn 14, George [Washington] 9, Samuel [Walker] 7, Eliza [Lizzie] 5, and [Frederick] Scott 2.  (US Census; Year 1860; Census Place: Iberville, Louisiana; Roll: M653_411; Page 261; Family History Library Film: 803411) 

Sam was 8 years old when the Civil War began. His oldest brother Charles Edward and several cousins went off to fight. Besides the upheaval of the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Booksh family also suffered through the Great Flood of 1867. Also in 1867 Eliza filed suit against her husband because he had "willfully and without regard expended $6,992 of her prenuptial monies." The Booksh plantation and other properties were sold and the family broke up.

By 1870 Eliza was living in Iberville Parish but husband Charles and children, including Samuel,  are listed as living in East Baton Rouge in the 12th Ward of Baton Rouge in three adjoining houses on the property of Sam's brother Edgar (Joseph Edgard Booksh). The census lists Charles Booksh in Dwelling 422. In Dwelling 423 are Clayborn 24, George W. 19, Samuel 17, Eliza 15, Frederic 12, Erae 21 [Erefile, wife of Claiborn] and Charles 2 [son of Claiborn]. Unfortunately all are indexed with the surname Eli after the House Keeper Loucien Eli, making them very difficult to find. The next dwelling is 424 and there we find Edgar Booksh 27 [Joseph Edgard] and his wife Cramea [Delia] 27 and their three children James 4, Carie 2 [Harriet], and Anie 1 [Alice].   (US Census; Year: 1870; Census Place: Baton Rouge Ward 12, East Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Roll: M593_512; Page: 215A; Family History Library Film: 552011)

Henk Wackwitz in his "Ancestors and Descendants of Charles Booksh" writes that Edgard described himself as a "Hotel owner" and as "Running a Boarding House." He may have been referring to this time when his Booksh family came to live with him in Baton Rouge.

In 1870 Belle and her family were living with her Grandpa and Grandma Pratt in the 3rd Ward of East Baton Rouge Parish and are listed on page 215 so this was probably when Sam and Belle met.  On 23 April 1878 Arabella Maria Tisdale and Samuel Walker Booksh were married in St. Joseph's Church in Baton Rouge.

By 1880 the Booksh family had reunited and the census lists Belle and Sam living with Charles Booksh, age 72, and his wife Eliza Elizabeth Booksh, age 60, in the 9th Ward of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Also living with the family are four grandchildren: Elisa Mary, age 22, and her 19 year old brother, Charles C. Booksh, (children of Sam's oldest brother, Charles Edouard), as well as Mary Eliza (Mary Eliza "Maimie" David age 3); and S. B. [Seth Booksh] David age 4, children of Sam's sister Lizzie, deceased. (For a discussion of this census see blogpost of April 29, 2018)

 It wasn't long before Sam and Belle started their own family. On 4 March 1881 their first son, Samuel Walker Booksh Jr. was born.