I’ve become fascinated with uncovering the roots of my past. In my adventures through note and written record, I find folks said to be family. Many are strangers to me, ancestors of which I’ve never heard. Sifting through books and collected papers, names leap off the pages, make an impression, and attach to me. I have become fascinated.
Currently, I’m exploring the life of one, David Boozer. Born 1788, David was a prominent farmer, the head of his household according to censuses. When the hotel he owned had no room to house a lovely widow by the name of Amelia Sees, David took the beauty to stay in his own home. Soon after, the two married. David adopted her young daughter Mary (Marie) and changed her name to Mary Sarah Amelia Boozer.
By the appraisal of his net worth, David was a man of means. He was repeatedly appointed to serve in some capacity of trust and responsibility. He was jovial, and a man who had the esteem of his community. Family often turned to David concerning business matters, and most likely for other advice as well. Sadly, David Boozer’s story would meet an untimely end.
It was two short years after marrying Amelia that David took his own life. Was is by any coincidence after marrying the beauty, that Boozer chose to end his life as he did? Afterall, this wasn’t the first husband Amelia had lost. Her second husband reportedly died the day following their marriage. Now, at the age of 25, Amelia had lost three husbands. Folks began to whisper; they called her the “Black Widow.” Amelia was brought before the church and judged. She was cast out of town. The story of Amelia and her daughter, Mary, is intriguing, but I’ll save it for another day.
Here’s an account given on the tragic end of David Boozer:
“David Boozer, (Big Dave, as he was usually called) was an inhabitant of the town of [Newberry, South Carolina] until Sunday, 10th of February , 1850, on which day he blew out his own brains and rushed into the presence of his mighty Maker. He was a native of Newberry. The writer knew him well from 1808 to his death; he was possessed of great energy of character; had generally a great flow of spirits, and until within a few years had been attended by unexampled prosperity. The change in this respect, though he was still surrounded by an ample estate, unsettled his reason and led to the rash, mad act, which he committed. He left his widow, his second wife, and an adopted child to mourn their great loss. His aged mother, of more than four score years, still survives; and sad and awful indeed was it to see her bending over his mangled remains, and lamenting her first born son only as a mother can lament. He was an honest, good man. How frail, however, is poor humanity, at all times, and never more sadly illustrated than in the case of David Boozer’s suicide.”
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If you have any interest at all in exploring your own heritage, I highly recommend it. You’ll find joys and horrors, as we all do. I believe looking back helps us move forward. From our forebears, we can glean both cautionary tales and useful life lessons. Their stories also offer us a sense of who we are, where we’ve come from, and where we are going as individuals, as families, and as a society. If it’s something you’d be interested in, I’d recommend utilizing the resources at Ancestry.com. They provide a valuable starting point.
I’d love to hear from you! If you have any stories from your family’s past, feel free to share them below in the comments. Also, I give away one book every month, as well as a quarterly prize. If you’d like to be held in our monthly and quarterly drawings, be sure to join my free mailing list. Thank you for reading!
The Boozer Family of South Carolina, by Mary Elizabeth Boozer.