LAWMAKING AND LEGISLATORS IN PENNSYLVANIA Vol. One 1682-1709.
b. 1659. arr. by 1690, from New England. d. c. March 1733. Father: John Booth. m (1) 1690 Frances Cowdrey (Spencer) (d. 1708); child: Joseph. m. (2) 1716 Elinor Robinson. Offices: Lower Cos. (Del.): assemblyman, 1702, 1708; Sussex Co.; JP, 1693-99, 1707, Cedar Creek Hd.: surveyor of the highways, 1693-94; overseer of the highways, 1698-1700. (DCMMR; WAMKS, 137, 157; LPQ, 69verso; DCMM, 18 June, 16 July, 20 Aug. 1716; SCCR, 607-8, 742, 780, Dover, Deane, 222.)
Joseph Booth belonged to the Assembly: Sussex Co. 1695, 1700a, 1701 (did not attend)
LAWMAKING AND LEGISLATORS IN PENNSYLVANIA A Biographical Dictionary Volume One 1682-1709.
"Joseph Booth of Sussex and Kent Counties, was a Quaker carpenter, minister, justice of the peace, and assemblyman, who devoted much of his time to his religion, perhaps to compensate for an early personal scandal. Booth was born in 1659 apparently at Scituate, Massachusetts, and may well be the Joseph Booth who in October 1686 was accused by Mary Sutton, of Scituate, of fathering the child "she late bore into the word." Booth was convicted of having had "Divers times bodily and Carnall Knowledge of her...and to be the only father of said child." He was ordered to maintain the child for eight years. Yet by 1690 Booth had moved to Sussex County, Delaware, where he served on juries in 1690, 1691, and 1692. In September 1693 he was appointed a justice of the peace, a post he held each year until 1699. (Memorials 94: Konig, 1:190; SCCR 417-778 passim. Dover.) As a justice, he was moderately conscientious, attending 66 percent (27 out of 41) of the known sessions of the county court.
Booth resided on the south side of Mispillion Creek, gaining 500 acres there when he married the widow Frances Spencer. In 1693 his tax assessment was L150, ranking him in the top 27 percent for the county. During the next three decades, Booth inherited or purchased an additional 750 acres along Mispillion Creek, but by the end of 1723 he had reduced his holdings through sales of 305 acres. In May 1730, several years before his death, Booth purchased another 510 acres part of Sawmill Range, in Mispillion Neck. (LPQ, 69 verso:SCTL, 1693;SCCR, 619, Dover, 34d,60,7e, HSP) Booths estate spanned the counties of Sussex and Kent; although representing Sussex County in the Pennsylvania Assembly, Booth was elected for Kent County to the Delaware Assembly in 1708, and appears to have been considered a resident of Kent County from that time until his death.
Although a four-term assemblyman, Booth has left little evidence of his role in the proceedings. He missed the entire session of 1701 because of illness. In 1702, in a dispute over the method of election, Booth joined his colleagues from the Lower Counties in refusing to meet with the representatives of Pennsylvania, thereby nullifying any Assembly for that year. In 1708 Booth withdrew from the Lower Counties Assembly, along with one member from New Castle County and all the members from Sussex County, to prevent an attempt by their colleagues to invalidate the right of the proprietary governor to rule their counties. (Votes, 1 (pt. 1):142, 2:83; PWP, 4:103n; MPC; 2:83 424-25; Scharf, 1:130.)
Despite being a justice of the peace briefly in 1707, Booth was turning away from politics to a more active role as a Quaker minister. Initially raised as an Independent, Booth had gradually converted to Quakerism after a ministering visit to his home at Mispillion by Thomas Story in 1699. Calling Booth "the most sober and knowing Person in those parts," Story believed that he was reluctant to fully embrace Quaker principles for fear of "the Scoffing and Contempt with which we are treated by the World at this Day." By 1706, however, Booth was a minister and attended Duck Creek Monthly Meeting with increasing frequency until his death in 1733. As a minister, he traveled to New England and Maryland
Father: John BOOTH b: bef 1637 in Kent, England
Mother: Elizabeth GRANGER b: abt 1636 in Kent, England
Marriage 1 Frances COWDREY SPENCER
* Married: 1690 in Sussex County, Delaware
1. Has Children Joseph BOOTH, 2ND b: 13 Nov 1692 in Kent County, Delaware
2. Samuel BOOTH
3. James BOOTH
4. Sarah BOOTH
Marriage 2 Elinor ROBINSON
* Married: 18 Aug 1716 in Mispillion, Kent Co, Delaware
1. Mary ROBINSON