Collection ID2603 - Botsford family

Title proper

Botsford family

General material designation

  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents.

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  • 1782-1913 (Creation)
    Botsford family (Sackville)

Physical description

15 cm of textual records

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Name of creator

(Branch begins 1744)

Biographical history

Amos Botsford, the son of Bertha Bennett and Gideon Botsford, was born 31 January 1744 in Newtown, Connecticut. A graduate of Yale College in 1763, he studied law and practised in New Haven. In 1770 he married Sarah Chandler (1752-1820), and they had 3 children: Sarah, William, and Ann (nicknamed Nancy or Hannah). At the close of the American Revolutionary War, he emigrated with his family to what is now New Brunswick.

An original grantee of Parrtown (later Saint John), he eventually settled his family in Westmorland County, first on Dorchester Island and later at Westcock near Sackville. Botsford was appointed agent for the Lloyds Neck Associated Loyalists in 1782 and was sent to Nova Scotia to arrange for the settlement of Loyalist refugees. He also ran a large farm, practised law, and established a retail business. Active in provincial politics, Botsford ran successfully for a seat in the House of Assembly as a member for Westmorland County in the first general election in 1785. He was chosen the first Speaker of the House of Assembly, holding that post until his death in 1812. He was reelected to the House in the general elections of 1793, 1795, 1802, and 1809. He held several other prominent positions, including clerk of the peace, judge of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas, and registrar of deeds for Westmorland County. Amos Botsford died at Saint John, N.B. on 14 September 1812.

Amos and Sarah's son William Botsford was born 29 April 1773 in New Haven, Connecticut. Educated at public schools, he received a bachelor of arts degree and a master of arts degree from Yale College in 1792 and 1796 respectively. He studied law in his father's office and also in the office of Jonathan Bliss in Saint John, N.B. In 1802 he married Sarah Lowell Hazen Murray, the widow of Thomas Murray; they had eight sons and one daughter.

William Botsford was admitted to the bar of New Brunswick in 1795. He practised law in Saint John, and was named deputy clerk of the Supreme Court and deputy registrar of the Admiralty Court in 1795. Eight years later he was appointed judge of the Vice-Admiralty Court, holding that position until 1808 when he relocated to Westcock. During his life, he held a number of other prominent posts, including recorder of the city of Saint John (1810-1815), solicitor general of New Brunswick (1816-1823), registrar of deeds for Westmorland Council (1812-1823), and judge of the Supreme Court of New Brunswick (1823-1845).

Like his father, he was involved in provincial politics, being elected to the House of Assembly as a member for Westmorland County in 1813. He was reelected in 1816, 1819, and 1820. In 1817 he was chosen Speaker of the House of Assembly. He resigned his seat in the House and his post as Speaker in 1823 to sit on the Executive Council. In 1832 he was named vice-president in the Court of Governor and Council for hearing causes relating to marriage and divorce. William Botsford died at his home in Westcock on 8 May 1864.

Bliss Botsford (1813-1890) was the seventh son of William Botsford. He was educated at King's College in Fredericton, studied law with William End of Bathurst and practiced in Moncton from 1836 to 1870 with an extensive civil and criminal practice. Bliss Botsford represented Westmorland in the House of Assembly as a Conservative in 1851-1854, 1857-1861, and from 1865 until 24 October 1870 when he was appointed to the bench. He served as a judge in the county courts of Albert, Westmorland and Kent. He was made surveyor general in 1865, a member of the Executive Council during the administration of Hon. Albert Smith, and Speaker from 1867 until 1870. Bliss Botsford married Jane, daughter of John Chapman of Cumberland, England in 1842. They had 4 children: Sarah married William Croasdale, a civil engineer from Moncton; Eliza married George Peters, son of Dr. George Peters of Saint John; Florence married Thomas Peters of Moncton; and Robert who be [Transcript of NBM's description is broken off here]

Custodial history

Information about the custody of this record prior to acquisition is incomplete

Scope and content

This collection consists of Botsford family records donated by 4 different donors. Records relating to Amos Botsford include accounts payable, land records and records of annuities belonging to Deborah Murray. A list of the Loyalist settlement in the Annapolis/Digby area, Nova Scotia includes equipment and tools received from Amos Botsford and names of families. There are also complaints about Amos Botsford's handling of Loyalist claims.

Records relating to William Botsford include his receipt book, 1801-1829, for legal services rendered and testimonials and recommendations written for individuals including one for immigration purposes. There is also a copy of a warrant re William Botsford's salary as assistant judge. Documents pertaining to the Supreme Court case of Robert Crookshank and William Walker v. J. White, George Nowlan, and George Ketchum probably also belonged to William.

There are certificates and other personal papers belonging to Garrad Clopper, Harry G. Botsford of Boston, LeBaron Botsford and Sarah Cyper. Family and business correspondence, 1782-1913. Deeds for Botsford family property from 1797 to 1837 are also included.

There are also ephemeral items including Valentine's Day and other cards, and a printed poem by Maud Botsford entitled, "Our Boys," probably from the First World War. The apprenticeship indenture of Frederick Turner as a clerk and writer to Henry George Clopper of Wakefield, York, Co. N.B. is dated 1827.

There are family and legal papers relating to the Clopper, Murray and Ralph Cook estates. A plan of the Clopper farm in Fredericton is also included.

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Parts of this collection were donated by Miss Mary MacBeath, Sackville, N.B, in 1952; Mrs. Edwin Botsford Busteed, Montreal, in ca. 1929; and unidentified donor in 1936 and W.C. Milner in 1932


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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No restrictions

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Finding aids

Associated materials

The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick holds the Amos Botsford and William Botsford fonds (MC1952)

The Museum also holds Frances Murray, "LeBaron Botsford, M.D., A Memoir", FC2497.26 B67 M87

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