The Maine Boothby line's last days in England

This information is here thanks to the generous spirit of Trish C.

This documentation refers to Elizabeth Boothby, d. c1775 and her possible father Henry Boothby. It comes mainly from "A Genealogy of the Jipson-Jepson-Gipson Family of Maine: The Descendants of William Jepson (ca. 1695-1723) of Moywater, co. Mayo, Ireland and Wells, Maine" by Alan H. Hawkins, 1991.

"WILLIAM JEPSON or GYPSON, as his name variously appears in the records, was one of the Presbyterian Scots who came from Ireland to New England in 1720. He was admitted to the First Church in Wells, District of Maine, upon recommendation from Mr. James Wallace, the minister at 'Magwater' in Ireland, whose letter was dated 22 May 1719. He was probably born ca. 1695 in Killala, then called Moywater, co. Mayo, Ireland, of unknown parentage; d. in August 1723, at the hands of the Indians. His probable wife was ELIZABETH BOOTHBY, daughter of Henry Boothby and his wife. She apparently married, second, 1726 (int. 21 May 1726, Wells), John Webber. She died between 19 June 1775, the date of her will, and 8 April 1776, when her will was proved in court.

"William Jepson came to Wells from Moywater, now Killala, co. Mayo, in the west of Ireland (called Magwater in the First Church Records, Wells). Rev. James Wallace, who issued the disjunction certificate for William and Elizabeth Jepson (see below) was the minister of Moywater from 25 August 1709 to 1720. Irish wills were lost which makes research difficult and usually unproductive. When Donald Lines Jacobus was doing the research on the Gipson family in the 1930's, the Presbyterian minister at Moywater stated that the records of his church did not go back of 1840 thus making it impossible to ascertain William's and Elizabeth's marriage and the baptisms of their older children or to trace their lineage.
"A few general facts will therefore have to take the place of a pedigree. The Scots families of Killala had been there only a generation, and before that were in one of the Scots' Settlements in co. Donegal. Sir Paul Gore, son of a London merchant, obtained estates in Donegal after the Rebellion of 1641. Of these, he settled English and Scots somewhere between the towns of Donegal and Ballyshannon. He was M.P. for Donegal and is buried in the abbey there. His son, Sir Arthur Gore, purchased estates in Killala, it is said for one penny halfpence an acre, and let them out to men from his father's estates in Donegal for two shillings sixpence an acre. It is almost certain that the Jepsons, Boothbys and other Scots families came to Killala (then Moywater) about 1670, from Donegal. It is probable that the father of our William was a native of Donegal and the grandfather, most likely, was a native of Scotland.
"William Jepson settled in Maine in 1719 or 1720. Named among the settlers of 1720 in Wells were Thomas Boothby, Henry Boothby, and William Jepson, all of whom came from Magwater (this name, here and elsewhere, should read Moywater), Ireland ("The history of Wells and Kennebunk from the earliest settlement to the year 1820: at which time Kennebunk was set off, and incorporated. With biographical sketches." Author: Edward Emerson Bourne (1797-1873) Publisher: Portland : B. Thurston & Co., 1875", p. 313). The year of the settlement is confirmed by the following deed, which is the only deed of the first William Jepson on record.
"This shows he was first at Biddeford, where he was granted the land by the town, 2 April 1720, which he sold the following 11 Feb. 1720/1. He probably brought older children with him. In August 1721 he joined the church at Wells and here his two sons were baptized in 1722 and 1724. He had already died in 1723, the victim of an Indian raid. Records of the First Church of Wells, Maine, contain the following entries ["Register", 75:51, 52, 54]:

  • August 4: 1721 William Jepson & Eliza: his Wife received to Communion upon Recommendation from Mr: James Wallace Minster of the Gospel at Mag-water in the Kingdom of Ireland dated May 22: 1719.
  • June 3: 1722 William Son of William Jepson received Baptism.
  • June 21: 1724 James Son of William decease'd & Eliza: Jepson received Baptism.

"The first of these records shows that William and his wife were preparing to emigrate in May of 1719; and the quoted deed shows that they had settled in Maine by April 1720. William's early death is proven by the last church entry, and Bourne's "Wells", p. 315, gives the following account of his death:

    In the spring (1723) the Indian scouts were again abroad . . . Aug. 27, Mr. Jepsum [Jepson] was captured and afterwards murdered. He was at the sawmill at Mousam for some special purpose, and probably alone. Such was the terror inspired by the savage outrages, that he remained here unburied a fortnight, when Joseph Hill and about twenty others, prepared for the purpose, came here, and interred him. His bones probably lie in the field, not far from the house of Jefferson W. Sargent (1875).

"There is no probate for William Jepson, and no deed from his heirs. We must now consider the widow of William Jepson. York Town Records give the intentions of marriage of John Webber of York and Elizabeth Gypson of Wells, 21 May 1726. They were married and had two children recorded according to York materials of the late Charles Thornton Libby:

  • Deborah Webber, b. 9 March 1726 [1726/7]; d. 2 May 1740.
  • Lydia Webber, b. 9 Dec. 1729.

"This marriage certainly pertains to the widow of William Jepson. There is no probate of John Webber to fill out the details of the children of Elizabeth by her second husband. In 1773, one Elizabeth Webber, widow of York, was an heir-at-law of a childless brother, James Boothby.
Other heirs were Samuel Boothby, a brother; Jane More of Kittery and Martha Perkins of Scarboro, sisters; and the heirs of a deceased brother, Thomas Boothby. "On 19 June 1775, Elizabeth Webber made a will giving to her son-in-law, Richard Banks, and his wife Elizabeth, the amount of #8.6.11 due her from brother Samuel in the settlement of James's estate, her bed and bedding, and all else. Proved 8 April 1776 (York Probate, 13:37 Docket 19798). It is not absolutely proved, though it seems likely, that the widow Elizabeth (Boothby) Webber who left this will was identical with the widow of William Jepson who married John Webber. If she was, then the maiden name of the wife of William Jepson was Elizabeth Boothby, and she named her son James Jepson after her brother. The fact that Mrs. Jepson left all of her property to one child and mentioned no others proves nothing, for her property was small and it is natural that she should leave it to the daughter with whom she had probably been living and who had been taking care of her.

"'The Webber Record, From a Collection of Notes made by the late E. P. Webber of Westport, Maine,' a manuscript compiled and typed by Mrs. Fred Lilly (1936-1937) and found in the collection of the Maine Historical Society, provides a list of the children of Samuel Webber, son of Thomas, the first child being John Webber, who married, second, intentions filed 21 May 1726, 'Mrs. Elizabeth (Boothby) Gypson' of Wells (p.25). On pages 91-93 the children of John Webber and his two wives, Magdalen Hilton and 'Mrs. Elizabeth (Boothby) Gypson' are discussed, and the account makes Deborah, whom we have born in 1726, as a child by the first marriage and born in 1724, and assigns to Elizabeth:

  • Lydia Webber, b. 1729, m. John McLucas of Biddeford.
  • Elizabeth Webber, b. _____; m. 7 Nov. 1755, Richard Banks of York.

"If the above mentioned manuscript is correct in placing John Webber and the widow Elizabeth Jepson (Gypson) as parents of Elizabeth Webber who married Richard Banks--and probably it is-- then the wife of William Jepson was certainly Elizabeth Boothby, sister of Thomas, Samuel, James, Jane, and Martha Boothby. These Boothbys are definitely placed as brothers and sisters by the probate of James Boothby, mentioned above. Their parentage is not positively proven, but they are supposed to be the children of Henry Boothby. On 10 April 1720, 'Henry Boothby [blank] his Wife received upon Recommendation from the Eldership at Mog-Water by James Wallace Minister May 22: 1719' into the First Church of Wells. On 1 November 1719, Thomas Boothby had already been received to communion there upon recommendation from the Presbyterian Session at Mog-Water dated the same day, 22 May 1719 ("Register", 75:50). Thus we can see that William Jepson and Elizabeth, Henry Boothby and his wife, and Thomas Boothby, probably their son, were all dismissed from the same Presbyterian church on the same day and all came to Wells to settle. This also helps confirm their interrelationship with one another.

"In conclusion, the Jepsons and Boothbys were clearly Scots families of Presbyterian faith who had been living in Moywater, co. Mayo, Ireland prior to coming to Maine. If Elizabeth was the eldest of the Boothby children, she would have been old enough to be mother of the sons of William Jepson who were born in Wells, and probably old enough to be the mother of three Jepson girls who we must place as daughters of William Jepson. There was no other Jepson who could have been the father of the three women, so we assign them (though without record proof) to William. It will be seen that the eldest need not have been born earlier than 1716, hence even if Elizabeth Webber, daughter of the widow Elizabeth (Boothby) Gypson by her second husband, was born as late as 1734, that would mean a child-bearing period of but eighteen years, and many women have had much longer child-bearing periods, between the ages of 20 or younger and 45 or older."

Addendum: Why would a Scotsman move to Ireland of all places, which was filled with those "unsavory" Irish Papists? Here's an answer: Many poor Scots were pushed off their small landholdings or crofts by richer more powerful men. It was suggested that they go to Ireland, where "free" land awaited them. Of course, that free land was populated with hostile Irishmen, which might be why this group of Scots left the area in a short time.
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