Sunday, April 29, 2018

1878 Wedding


Booksh - Tisdale Marriage


On 23 April 1878 Arabella Maria Tisdale and Samuel Walker Booksh were married in St. Joseph's Church in Baton Rouge. My great aunt said when Belle told her grandmother she was engaged to Sam Booksh, Grandma Pratt said, “You're marrying a damned Hessian!” We don't think Sam's grandfather, Carl Friedrich Böcksch, was a Hessian, but the family story is that he was a German soldier, born in Baden about 1775.

The Tisdale family was very proud of their connection to Benjamin Franklin, but the story of their Mayflower ancestor, John Howland, had been forgotten. Similarly the Booksh family was proud of their ancestor Honoré Leonard, who fought in the Battle of New Orleans, but had forgotten the story of his grandmother, Anne Coudray Leonard, who was one of the survivors of the 1729 Natchez Massacre. Both families extended far back into the English and French colonial periods.

In 1880 the census lists Belle and Sam living with his parents, 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 Booksh, age 3; and S. B. David, age 4.

A Family History Mystery


Several people have erroneously assumed that this Mary Eliza was the daughter of Sam and Belle and she is listed as part of their family in several on line trees. The family bible and church records prove they only had four children, Samuel Walker Jr., Charles Leonard, Wilton Tisdale, and Arabella Guinevere. We have puzzled over who this Mary Eliza was for years, but it was only recently that the mystery was solved.

By making a list of every Mary Eliza and Eliza Mary connected to the family it was clear that the Mary Eliza listed in the 1880 census was Mary Eliza “Maimie” David.  The census taker had omitted her surname. She and Seth Booksh David were the children of Sam's sister, Eliza Elizabeth “Lizzie” Booksh and her husband, Joseph Johnson David (pronounced DahVEED). 



Seth Booksh David
Both photos were taken at the A. D. Lytle studio in 
Baton Rouge, Louisiana.



Mary Eliza "Maimie" David




















Lizzie Booksh was born 11 April 1855 and married Joseph David on 11 May 1875. Son Seth Booksh David was born 19 February 1876 and Belle and Sam were his godparents. Daughter Mary Eliza David was born 30 June 1877. Lizzie died 31 March 1878 and is buried in the David plot in Magnolia cemetery. Joseph David had remarried by the time of the 1880 census and is listed in the 4th Ward of West Baton Rouge Parish with his new wife, Amelia, age 21.


Much of the research on the Booksh line was the work of Henk Wackwitz, husband of Winnie Booksh, my grandfather's cousin. I corresponded with Henk for several years, exchanging family information by snail mail, until his death in October 2002. At the Grand Reunion of the Charles Booksh Descendents in 2006 I became the caretaker of the Samuel W. Booksh Branch copy of his compiled family history. Henk was a meticulous researcher and we all owe him a debt of gratitude. I will be glad to share information with other descendants.

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