Notes on Asenath Booher Norman

Records on Asenath Booher have a variety of spellings for her first name: Aseneth, Azeneth, Seneth, Acenith, and others perhaps. Her last name is usually given as Norman after 1860. Family members have referred to her as "Grandma Norman," "Grandma Seneth," or "Aunt Seneth."

She always signed her name as "Asenath." From the Booher page which is found AT THIS LINK, on the website Don Norman's Family Files:
Jacob Booher, a son of Peter and Elizabeth (Kinser) Booher, was born in 1814 and died in 1888. He married Nancy McCune in 1833. Nancy, a daughter of Peter and Christina (O'Brien) McCune, was born April 13, 1817 and died October 13, 1899.

Children of Jacob and Nancy (McCune) Booher.

8. (1). Peter b.Oct 15 1835 d. Dec 5 1924
       (Obituary of Peter M. Booher AT THIS LINK)
       m.Catharine Hamric 1856 (d.1878)
       m.Mary A. Sink 1881

9. (2). Jemima b.Nov 10 1839 d.Mar 8 1921
       m.Reason Smith Dec 17 1857

10. (3). Asenath b. 1842 d.May 24 1927
       m.William Zinn Norman Sep 22 1860

11. (4). Malissa b. 1844 d. 1924
       m.------ Tanner

12. (5). Margaret b. 1848 d. 1898
       m.Isaac Starcher Mar 10 1866
       Isaac Starcher, a son of Abraham Starcher, grandson of Philip Starcher

13. (6). Martha b. 1853 d. 1899
       m.------- Corbett

14. (7). John J. b. 1855 d. 1939
       m.Sarah Starcher May 5 1874
       Sarah Starcher, daughter of Abraham Starcher, grand-daughter of Philip Starcher

15. (8). Victoria

Asenath Booher, a daughter of Jacob and Nancy (McCune) Booher, was born in Ritchie County Va 1842 and died May 24, 1927.

She married William Zinn Norman in Calhoun County VA (WV) September 22, 1860.

William, a son of James Nedley and Catherine (Summers) Norman (see note below), was born in VA about 1839 and died before 1870.

Asenath was apparently pregnant when she was married. Her first child, Thomas Jackson Starcher, was born in December 1860. His father was Thomas Starcher, a son of Adam and Phoebe (Coger) Starcher. Thomas was born about 1832 and is believed to have died in the Civil War after June 17, 1864.

Asenath was listed as a widow in the 1870 Calhoun County WV census. She had three children living with her. She apparently had two more children.

The marriage record of Azenith Booher and William Zinn Norman, available AT THIS LINK indicates their marriage September 22,1860, William was 21, born in Randolph County, the son of Isaac and Susan Norman, Azenith age 19, the daughter of Jacob and Nancy Booher.

Child of Thomas Starcher and Azenith Booher.

       22. (1). Thomas Jackson Starcher b.Dec 1860
       m. Mary E. Smith Feb 8 1880

Children of William Zinn and Asenith (Booher) Norman.

       23. (1). William O. Norman b.c. 1863

Other children of Asenath (booher) Norman.

       24. (1). Charles B. Rogers b.c. 1867

       25. (2). Hannibal Maffet b.Jan 1871
       m. Jennie -----

       26. (3). Clara Elizabeth Norman b.Feb 6 1876 d.Aug 17 1953
       m. Thomas Alexander Hopkins Nov 22 1903

There is only one documented marriage of Asenath Booher Norman, namely to William Zinn Norman in 1862, as noted above. She apparently was the mother of a total of five children, four of whom were born to Asenth by other different fathers:
Thomas Jackson Starcher, born December 31, 1860. Father's name given as Thomas Starcher on his marriage document, and known by way of oral family history to be the son of Thomas Starcher. Thomas Starcher was a Confederate partisan during the Civil War, a member of the infamous Moccasin Rangers, and did not survive the war.

William Oscar Norman, born June 1, 1863, son of William Zinn Norman. William Zinn Norman was a Union Soldier during the Civil War, a member of Company C, 11th (West) Virginia Volunteer Infantry. William Norman did not survive the war, having been captured and killed after refusing to take up arms with the Confederacy.

Charles B. Rogers, born December 31, 1867. His death certificate indicates his father to be Jas M. Rogers. This writer has found no other information regarding Jas M. Rogers.

Hannibal M. Maffet, born December 17 (24?), 1871. His obituary, marriage certificate, and death certificate gives his father's name as Isaac Maffet. The 1900 census notes that Hannibal's father was born in England.
A search through the archives at and the complete pension file obtained from the National Archives identifies an Isaac Maffet who this writer believes to be the Isaac Maffet under consideration here. This Isaac Maffet enlisted in to Company B, 11th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry in 1861. (Note: William Zinn Norman enlisted in to Company C, 11th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry in 1862). Isaac Maffet was a resident of Wirt County West Virginia. Asenath was born in Wirt County, and apparently moved with her family to Calhoun County prior to 1860. Isaac Maffet volunteered for re-inlistment on 12 Feb, 1865. His reinlistment document indicates that he was age 44 at that time, a Butcher, born in Yorkshire England. After reinlistment he served in Co H, 10th Regiment, WV Volunteers.

This Isaac Maffet, born in England about 1823 (according to his recorded age in the 1870 and 1880 census), married Sarah Jane Wade in Mason County WV 5 Aug 1854. He is found to be living with wife Sara or S.J. in the 1870 and 1880 census in Wirt County West Virginia. The 1880 census notes that he was a butcher, born in England. He was awarded a Civil War Pension in 1885, on the basis of "rheumatism" supposedly contracted while on duty during the war in Deep Bottom, Virginia, in 1865. He died May 4, 1895 in Wirt County West Virginia. Pension documents indicate that he and wife Sarah had no children.

Documents in his pension file indicate that he was 6' tall and weighed 250 lbs. One medical examiner report indicated that most of his disability was due to obesity. There is an affadavit which states " the fall of 1865 I met the claimant in Parkersburg W Va and he complained of Rheumatism in his arm and legs and that since that time I have saw him so bad as to cause him to remain in his room unable to be out doors this I believe was in 1871 or 72..."

These documents provide no trace of Asenath. It is known that Asenath did travel to and from Wirt County West Virginia after the Civil War. Of some note, her widow's pension file contains a handwritten letter from one George Washington Cain, written by him on her behalf in 1884 in her application process. His address was Burning Springs, Wirt County West Virgina. He is known to have been a storekeeper. He is also known to have been a Civil War Veteran, having been a member of Company B, 11th West Virginia Volunteers, as was Isaac Maffet. Asenath's brother Peter Booher was a member of Company C, 11th West Virginia Volunteers, as was William Zinn Norman.

Clara Elizabeth Norman, born February 2, 1876. Her death certificate gives her father's name as William Norman. This writer has found no other information regarding this William Norman.

There is credible evidence that William Zinn Norman, a soldier in the Union Army during the Civil War (Company C, 11th West Virginia Volunteer infantry) was killed December 1862 after having been taken prisoner -- approximately two years after his marriage to Asenath. The military record of William Zinn Norman was in error for some number of years following the Civil War. He was initially reported as having deserted while on leave at Spencer WV September 1862. It was shown years later that in fact he was captured and killed December 1862 at or near a Confederate prison Camp near Brown's Gap, Virginia. See additional notes on William Zinn Norman the Of note, W.O. "Oscar" Norman, son of William Zinn and Asenath Norman was born June 1863 -- 9 months after William's capture, presumably September of 1862.

Asenath received a widow's pension as a result of the death of her husband, William Zinn Norman. See "It Took 50 Years and an Act of Congress, but Asenath Got Her Civil War Widow's Pension."

It would seem that there were several men in Asenath Booher's life. Her first child, Thomas Jackson Starcher, was fathered by Thomas Starcher, a confederate partisan in the Civil war, believed to be a member of the of the notorious "Moccasin Rangers." (Co. A 3rd Virginia State Line -- Moccasin Rangers), Private, Co. A, 19th Virginia Cavalry. It would seem in September 1860, while pregnant with Thomas Starcher's child, she married William Zinn Norman, whose loyalties later were with the Union. Apparently, neither man survived the conflict.

Asenath had other connections to the Starcher family. Asenath's brother John J. Booher married Sarah Starcher who was the grand-daughter of Philip Starcher through Abraham Starcher, and would have been a cousin of Thomas Starcher. Asenath's sister Margaret Booher married Isaac Starcher, who likewise was a grandson of Philip Starcher through Abraham starcher, and would have been a cousin of Thomas Starcher.

The photograph to the right was discovered in the personal effects of Justine Starcher Miller. Asenath was Justine's great-grandmother. It is not clear how Justine came into possession of this photo - perhaps she obtained it from the personal effects of Viola Starcher Cogar. Viola was Justine's aunt, and Asenath was Viola's grandmother. The picture is labelled "Grandma Norman" on the back.

"Grandma Norman"

We have been fortunate to make contact with Deborah Hopkins, DVM, of Long Island NY. Ms Hopkins is the daughter of Hannable Durwood Hopkins (1905-1976), the granddaughter of Clara Elizabeth Norman Hopkins (1876-1903), and the great-granddaughter of Asenath Booher Norman. Ms Hopkins notes...
... My father knew her well and spoke about her many times. Dad used to tell us that she was an herbal doctor and worked all over those hills tending the sick as well as being a midwife. He was amazed by her abilities. He said she could do anything! She could shear sheep, spin the wool, and crochet or knit the garment. In fact she taught him to knit. I grew up thinking that she was a full blood Indian! Yet when I started searching I only find Irish and English. He also said she had black eyes. According to my father, who loved and adored her, she was the strongest, kindest, most capable women he ever knew...

Asenath Norman. Photo from the family collection of Deborah Hopkins, DVM.

The 1870 Calhoun County West Virginia Census documents Asenath living with three children:
Acenith...29...Keeping House...$100...VA
Thomas J...9...VA
William O...7...VA
Charles B...3...WV

The listing for Thomas J would be consistent with Thomas J Starcher, born in 1860.

Of note, the original census document, available online via the subscription service, has listings for the following in this order, suggesting to this writer that the following were "neighbors" or lived close by:
Jacob Booher and family Nancy, Martha, and John Booher (Jacob and Nancy Booher were Asenath's parents)
Acenith Norman and family Thomas J, William O, and Charles B Norman
George Gibson and family Elizabeth, Mary Belle, and William F. Gibson
Adam Starcher, age 68, and wife Phoebe, age 63, with two "farm laborors" Arnold Houchin and John W. Bailey
Peter Starcher and family Sarah, Ida Belle, and Arnold (Peter was a son of Adam Starcher)

The entry from the 1880 census is as follows:

ASENITH(?), L013 Norman...w...WF...38...Keeping House...VA...VA...VA Jackson...m...WM...19...Son...Wrks on Farm...VA...VA...VA Mary E...m...WF...17...Dil...VA...VA...VA William O...WM...15...Son...VA...VA...VA Charles D...WM...13...Son...WV...VA...VA Hanibal...WM...8...Son...WV...VA...VA Claryse...WF...4...Dau...WV...VA...VA
Of note is the listing for Mary E...m...WF...17...Dil...VA...VA...VA, presumably, Mary E Smith, daughter-in-law, and wife of Jackson (Thomas Jackson Starcher). Family oral history says that Thomas Jackson Starcher generally was referred to as "Jack."

The record of the marriage of Thomas J Starcher to Mary E. Smith February 8, 1880 is noted on the Marriages page at the Calhoun County West Virginia GenWeb site. Of particular note is the identification of Asenath Norman and Thomas Starcher as the parents of the groom.

Victor Starcher, in a taped interview, makes mention of "Seneth" Booher as "Grandma Seneth," the mother of Thomas Jackson Starcher.

Of further note is the listing for Hanibal. This is believed to be Hannibal Maffet. Delma Justine Starcher Miller (1929-2009), grand-daughter of Thomas Jackson Starcher and Mary E. Smith Starcher, has remarked by way of oral history her remembrance of a "Grandma Norman" and "Uncle Han." Hannibal Maffet was born January 1871, died January 24, 1961. H.N. Maffet is listed as the source of information on the death certificate of infant Pauline Starcher who died in 1932. Hannibal Maffet would have been her great-uncle. His certificate of death is available AT THIS LINK, indicating his mother to be Asenath Norman and father Issac Maffet. His death was reported by Rex Maffet.

The 1890 Federal Census of Veterans and Widows Transcribed by Linda Cunningham Fluharty includes the following listing in Lee District, Calhoun County:
NORMAN, Asenath, widow of WILLIAM NORMAN, Private, Company "C", 11 WV Infantry. Enlisted 1861. Address: Altizer, WV.
The 1900 Calhoun County Census, Lee District, #23, lists...
NORMAN, 53-55
Seneth...Head...WF...Jun 1841...58...Widow...5/5...Farmer...WV WV WV
William O...Son...WM...Jun 1863...36...Farm Laborer...WV WV WV
Clarissa...Dau...WF...Feb 1876...24...WV WV WV
Addie...Gr-dau...WF...Mar 1894...6...WV WV WV
Of note, Clarissa (Clara) is noted to be living at the home of Asenath, with her daughter Addie. Additional notes on Clarissa (Clara) Norman are available AT THIS LINK.

An actual image of the death certificate of Acenth Norman is AT THIS LINK. There is a slight discrepancy noted, as the death certificate lists the place of birth as Roane County June 14, 1841, while other sources indicate Ritchie County as the place of birth.

Asenath is buried in the Gibson Cemetery.

We have been fortunate to make contact with Nancy Cretella of New Jersey. Ms Cretella is the 2-great grand-daughter of Asenath Booher Norman, through Clara Norman and Clara's daughter Addie. Ms Cretella's family has in their possession transcripts of letters from Asenath and other members of the Hopkins family. Several are reproduced below. Others are reproduced on the Charles B. Rogers page.
July the 13, 1914

To: Mrs. Clara Hopkins
Creston, Wirt Co., W. Va .

From: Mrs. Azenith Norman
Claria, Calhoun Co., W. Va.

Clara my dear girl and family. After a long delay I will try to answer your ever welcome letter that I received some time ago. You must not think hard of me for not writing sooner. I have been so busy part of the time and part of the time my hands hurt so bad that I could not write. How are all of you? We are still able to go but not well. I was like Tom, I went to the field to hoe corn. I reckon I got too hot. My tongue got numb so I could not talk for awhile. Oliver has a piece of ground to plow once more and my cane to hoe once more, then we will be through, all but cutting our oats. They are nearly ripe. The weather has been so awful dry and hot the stuff could hardly grow till last night it rained rained a little today. We had a fine rain. The stuff is Livened up late. We have corn in silk and tossil that was planted since Oliver was down here. Clara you ought to see my fine lot of hogs. I have 2 that will be one year old day after tomorrow and I have six that got here the 9 day of this month. You ought to see my pet lamb. It is as big as the old sheap. How is your cow doing by this time? The dry weather is drying my cows up and the pasture is burnt up. Well Clara that was awful about that child eating them pills and killing it but that is not as bad as if little children being robbed of their mother in one minute.

Clara don't you remember that old Morris that lived up on the West Fork, that his girl hung herself in the stable. One of her sisters was living at home. She had seven little children. Her and her youngest sister went back into the room to get some clothes to iron. She seen her paps revolver laying there. She picked it up and said to the children, Mother I will shoot you. She shot her sister in her stomach. The bullet come out of her back. She didn't live 5 minutes. Two boys got drownded last week betwixt Rox dale and Richardson. Some said they was saining and some said they was swiming.

Adda and Ray was here last night. Adda is well. Ray played ball too hard and fell down and hurt whis wrist. Clara when are you coming home? Pleas write and let me know. Ray wants to take a buggy and go after you. Come soon and write often.

By by, love and kisses and good wishes for all.

Kisses for you. Kiss all the babes for me

December 28, 1919
To: Mrs. Azenith Norman
From: Jennie Rogers (Charleys wife)
Thayer, W. Va.

Dear Grandma,

They are all gone today but me and I will try to write you a few lines. It is so dark I can't see very well for it is snowing today. Well grandma we got your Christmas gift the day before Christmas. It was real nice too. I killed a big chicken and we had all we could eat. Charley said he don't want any more chicken till next Christmas, he sure did enjoy his dinner.

I wish you had been here to help us eat our Christmas dinner. We are all well as common, all but Charley, he don't seem to improve very fast. Jim will be gone in a few days. He is going to school. I don't know yet where he will go. He had to go to Baltimore to be examined. They told him he never could do any hard work. They are going to learn him a trade of some kind. Ed works every day. There is work, some days he make five and six dollar. Fred and Evie and Dellu (?) go to school.

I have some work this winter, it keeps me in the kitchen all the time. Me and Ed eat at half past six. The other kids at eight and Charley and Jim at nine, and I have to get warm breakfast thru time, so you see I am busy all the time. My cow gives a gallon and half a day, and I make lots of butter. We have all the butter we want and I sell 2 pounds a week and sell a quart of sweet milk and a quart of buttermilk every day. I do lots of sewing for people and Jim gives me money. So you need not worry about us we won t starve for awhile. We have had plenty to eat all winter.

Charley said tell you he wish he could write you a few words but he can't use his right hand. His left hand is all right but his right hand and arm aint much better than they were when you was here. Charley is coming to see you just as soon as the weather gets so he can come. He wants to come before it gets too hot for he can't stand the hot sun.

Tell Clara I wish I could see her and her family. Jim and Pearl said tell Aunt Claria they have not forgot her and would like to see her. Well I must close my letter. I don't expect you can read this letter for I can't write much with a pencil. Answer soon as you can. Hope you are well by this time. I have been sick lots this winter, my head aches nearly all the time and when my head don't ache my back hurts so bad I can't hardly walk. Tell all your folks Hello for us.

From Charley and all of us.
Pearl and Lui ? said they wish you Merry Christmas and a happy new year and hope you will live to see lots more Christmas days.

You send me Claras address on and envelope, I want to write to her.


January the 16, 1920

To: Mrs. Clara Hopkins
Burning Springs, Wirt Co., W. Va.

From: Mrs. Azenith Norman
RFD 1, Box 75A
Burning Springs

Well Clara my ever dear babe and family. It is with the greatest of pleasure that I will try to write you a few lines in answer to your ever welcome letter that I received this week. I was so glad to hear you was all well. Clara we are not a bit well, we took the worst cold and it seem as if we can't get over the cough. Oliver and me both was nearly past working, if we could get over the cough well maybe we could get along better. Cara I would like to be there to help you pack some of your fresh meat bones. Clara we killed one hog that cleaned over 300 three hundred and one over 150. How many have you kill Clara? We got plenty of milk and butter to use and some to sell. Well Clara I got a letter from Jennie and she wanted me to write your address on a envelope and send it to her so she could write to you . I reckon she will write before long. When you answer this, tell me if she has wrote. Clara I sent the letter she wrote so you will know better than I can tell you that Christmas gift I sent to Charley was the fatest hen I ever dressed. I sent it to poor sick Charley. He wants to come home so bad. I thought he would like to have a bite from home. I stamped the envelope so she had nothing to do only write and send it. Clara tell that big Rolly of mine when he gets off that awful big hill if I live I am coming to see him, but I am not able to walk up and it is to high to ride up. Clara I want to see all of you. You come when you can and let the children come when it gets warm so they can stand it.

Clara your Aunt Jemma is awful poorly, she can't hardly get off her chair and can't hardly walk about the house. Well Clara it is 10 minutes past 2 and it is so cloudy and dark I can't see rules on the paper nor the letters where I try to write them.

Clara if I live till you get moved I am coming to see you but if you can come up before I go down, don't wait for me. I will close, hoping to hear from you soon. Write soon and often.

Ma to my ever dear Clara
Bye Bye

February the 27, 1920

To: Mrs. Clara Hopkins
Burning Springs, Wirt Co., W. Va.

From: Mrs. Azenith Norman
Claria, Calhoun Co., W. Va.

Well Clara my ever dear babe and family. It is once more that I will try to write you a few lines in answer to your ever welcome letter that come to hand a week or more ago. Oh I was so glad you was all well. How are you all by this time? I hope all is well.

Clara don't think hard of me for not writing. Oliver and me has been so bad with the flu or something that we was almost past getting up. My hands were so weak that they would cramp and I could hardly hold the pencil to write. Oh Clara you don't know how bad I want to see you. I have had such a hard time that I could hardly get along in the first place.

My mare got fast in the grapevine and the barbed wire fence. She hurt herself so bad she could hardly go. She laid down in the stable, when went to get up her head was under the manger. She tore the the skin off her face from her eyes to the brow ? as wide as my hand, it was to the bone. Then we had to lift her for 2 weeks, then she died. Then in a few days Oliver and me got sick and it has been all that we could do to get along. All of Hans family has been down, only his self. They was all bad about a week, they are about well now. They will bury Jake Morgan today. Jennie is very poorly, Iven Morgan and Corvila was bad. Clara I have an awful bad cough yet. Kisses for you. Kiss the children for me. I can't hardly say good bye

Oh Clara, Bud Starkey is dead and lots of others. Have you got the flu down there? Have you moved off the hill yet? Oh I want to see you and them dear children so bad. Clara don't move away till I can see you. Have you ever got a letter from Charley yet? I have never got but one since Christmas. I wrote to them near the time I got your letter and I can't get a word from them. Peter M. Booher has been poorly. It is all Jemima can do to walk about the house. Yes they burried another baby for Carl Starcher last Sunday.

If nothing happens Oliver will come down next Sunday if he is able. When he comes back can't you come up with him? I don't know whether Oliver is able to all the way in one day or not, for he is weak yet. Clara come if it is not too cold and you are able. If you can't come with come before you move away. How far is it? Is it on this side of the Ohio River? How far from Wheeling? Clara don't go till I get to see you. I wanted to come last fall. I had rheumatism in my knee, so I couldn't hardly walk. I want you to come if you can. Then let the children all come. You fetch my Rolly boy.

From Ma to all,
God Bless all

February 28, 1920
To: Mrs. Asenith Norman
Claria, Calhoun Co., W. Va.

From: C.B. Rogers
Thayer, West Va.

Dear Mother,

I will try to write you a few lines. We are not very well. I don't get much better, but if nothing happens I will try to come home in next month. I don't know just when. If I can come I will come to Arnoldsburg and phone over and let you know I am there. I will stay all night there or at Spencer. Did Sam (editior's note, Tom Hopkins?) Hopkins sell his farm? What made him move? I thought I would get to go and see them when I come home, but if they move I won't get to go. How far will it be from your house? If you write to her, tell her I would like to see her once more. I would like to see her children. I want to see Adda and her children. Jim is working at Charleston. Ed works in the mines He makes four dollars and ninty seven cents a day, and gets work every day. It is awful cold up here but we have plenty of good coal to burn. Our cow is almost dry, she will be fresh in May. This has been a hard winter on us, but I think we will live through till spring.

Jennie has headaches so much, the children are all well. There is lots of flu up here but they are getting better. I ohope we won't take it. Our school closed on account of flu. Hoping to see you soon. I will close.

C.B. Bogers
To his mother XXXXXX

March the 2, 1920

To: Mrs. Clara Hopkins
Burning Springs, Wirt Co., W. Va.

From: Mrs. Azenith Norman
Claria, Calhoun Co., W. Va.

Well Clara in answer to you ever welcome letter that I received this morning. I was so glad to hear that you was all well. Clara I am not very well today. My head aches but I still keep going. Clara I got a letter from Charley this morning, they was all well as common, only Jennie, she has the headaches so mutch. Oh Clara Charley wants to see you so bad before you move. Here is his letter you can see what he says. Clara how far is it from Creston to where you are going to? Is it on this side of the Ohio River? How far from Parkersburg? Will you go on a boat or on the train? Clara can't you come up before you move? If I had a horse I could go down. What are you going to do with your cows and all of your property?

Clara when you leave me this time I am afraid it will be forever. For you won't never come back, and maybe I can't never go. If I never get to see you, a thousand kisses for you and the children. Clara if you go up there, keep your stomach clean so you won't take the fever. I must close for this time, hoping to see you soon. Come if you can and write often. Let the children come if they can.

From Ma to all of you,

I can't say good bye

Clara I would have went to see you often if I had a horse. I couldn't take the mare and colt. The mare killed herself then I was out

April the 1, 1920
To: Mrs. Clara Hopkins
Waverly, W. Va.

From: Mrs. Azenith Norman
Claria, Calhoun Co., W. Va.

Clara my ever dear girl and family. I will try to write you a few lines in answer to your ever welcome letter that we received yesterday. I was so glad to hear that you was all well. Clara we are not as well as we might be. Oliver and me planted our potatoes yesterday. I give out till he had to drop 2 rows to get done. My lettuce is coming up, my onions is big enough to use, my parsnips will be up in a few days, the rest of my garden is not made yet. I was afraid to plant anything else for fear there might come a freeze and kill it all. Have you any garden made yet? Oh Clara you ought to see my Easter flowers, they have beat Easter, they are in full bloom and Easter not here yet. Clara did you take your property all the way on the boat or on the train? Clara don't think bad of me for not coming to see you for you know how the winter has been. My mare died and I could not hire a horse or I would have went to see you and I am not able to buy one.

Tell my dear little Rolly I never expect to get to see him again for he has got so far away and I am not able to go. When you get your crop planted all of you come and see us, if you can't all come at once, you come and then let Durward come, and then let the rest come again. The summer gets warmer Rolly and Anna can ride behind you and Durward. Clara have you ever got a letter from Charley and Jennie? I have wrote 4 letters to them since Oliver was at your house. Now I have a letter wrote to send to the post master to see if I can hear anything from them. Clara I was up to see Adda last Friday. They was all well, only the dog bit Anna in the face. That did not feel very good. He grained her cheek till the blood run and one tooth made a hole up in her hair. She said she steped on his toe, that made him bite her. Well I am glad you have a nice home but I am sorry it is so far away. How many of your cows have you? Is any of them giving milk? Both of mine is giving milk. Adda is milking one of them, her cow is dry. Clara they told you that your Aunt Mary Booher is almost blind, she was coming out of the meat house, she stepped off the plank and fell and hurt herself bad. Then she fell since then and nearly bursted herself. Poor old Jemima is poorly sometimes, she don't know her own boy. She can't hardly walk about the house. Peter is nearly as poorly as Jemima.

Clara I will close. Hopking to hear from you often. Write soon and often and come as soon as you can. Clara here is a lot of kisses for you and kiss all the children for me. Erma can't you and Durward and Roscoe write a letter to me once in a while? Don't be like Charleys children, they can all write, only Dilla and I can't get a letter from any of them.

Ma to all of you. I can't say good bye
July the 5, 1923
To Mrs. Clara Hopkins from her mother Azenith (Booher) Norman

To: Mrs. Clara Hopkins
Waverly, W. Va.

From: Mrs. Azenith Norman
Claria, Calhoun Co., W. Va.

Well Clara how are you all by this time? I hope all is well. Clara you can't realize what a heart full of trouble is. O Clara you have no pore brother Charley anymore. He died June the 29 at 2 o:clock in the evening. He had been a well as common for the last six months. He seemed to be getting all right, he was no better nor worse, he took sick so sudden, he started to walk across the house and took bad. He never lived ten minutes, he seemed as though he was choking. They called the doctor but he could do nothing for him. He said it was a wonder Charley lived as long as he did. They all said he was the prettyest corps they ever looked at. He looked like he was asleep. They had him buried at Green Castle Grave Yard. It is a nice place, his casket cost one hundred dollars and his robe cost 20 dollars. We talked about sending him to your home or up on Elk River where we used to live. They all said we could not do that without lots of trouble and expense. Jennie said tell sister Clara we talked of sending him to your house or up on Elk River where we used to live. Clara I think talk is all when she couldn't write a few lines to let me know where she lived, when the paper and envelope and the stamp was all furnished and nothing to do only write a few lines and stick it in the office and it endorsed and stamped. You could not expect her to do anything. Clara have you got my other letter yet? Can't you come up? Adda is coming down to Hanabels next Sunday if it don't rain nor nothing. I wish you could be here too. I want you to write and tell me when you are coming. Please write soon and often. Tell me how Durwards arm is, write soon and often, come when you can. Please excuse this awful bad ink for I can't write with it. All come when you can. My God how can I stand so much trouble? Jennie said for me to not grieve about Charley for she thought he is at rest. God be with us till we meet. May the Lord bless all of you.

Mother to all and kisses. Kiss baby and Clara for me

April the 14, 1927
To: Mrs. Clara Hopkins
Waverly, Ohio

From: Mrs. Azenith Norman
Mill Stone W. Va.

Well Clara my only and dearest daughter and family. How are all of you today? I am still able to get about but I am not well. Clara, Ralphs family is all at Hanabels. Ralph came home about 2 weeks ago, Rex and Reetha and their family is all out there yet. Ralphs folks and Han have been having a bad cold, they are better. John is not a bit well, Sarah is still complaining but she goes when she wants to. Clara are you afraid to come home for fear you will starve, just come and stay till you see danger of starving.

Clara I have thirty hens and since Ralphs family has been staying at Hans, that is three weeks past, I have sold eight dollars worth of eggs and got the cash in my hand, and I have 10 dozen more ready to take, that is besides what we eat. I think I have the best hens to lay that I ever seen. Han and me eat eggs till we was tired, we averaged a dozen every day for nearly a month. We still have lots of them to eat if we want them. I have not let any of them set yet nor I am not going to if I can help it.

Clara it was bad about your ewe getting killed after she was wintered. Tell Miran we would rather see him than to hear tell of him. Clara how is the fruit, is it all killed? I don't think there is a dozen apples and no peaches left. I lost your letter that you sent and I have hunted this place over so I would know what to tell you. Tell Anna and Rolly that I would like to see them and hear them spell. When Durward and Erma come home I will look for them. Roscoe could come any day when school is out. All of them could come togather, but Clara I want you to come first, for I want to see you the worst. If you see Adda, or write to her tell her that I would like to see all of them and hear from them. Clara I get over a gallon of milk a day and I have more meat than Han and me could get in a barrel after it was smoked. I have more potatoes than I can use and some ? and part of my canned stuff. I have my potatoes and onions and my lettuce planted.

Clara when them chickens hatches, if the most of the egg hatches, if you would take the chicks from 4 or 5 hens and put them with the other hens and take the ones that have no chickens down to the barn and pen them up till they wean the little ones, they won't be half so much trouble, for the hens fight and kill so many. I got 4 hens and they hatched 58 chickens. I took all but one hen from them. The hen that had the chicks tried to kill one. I took 8 of the little ones and put them with one of the hens that helped hatch. They raised all till they was weaned. Fix a coop or a pen, the little ones will go in and eat and you don't have to mind them.

Well Clara Don't forget to come. Write and let me know when you find out when you can come. All come when you can, write often. I will have to close and feed my hens, that is what makes the eggs. Ralphs girl comes up and carrys in my eggs, that is little Rose. This is love and kisses and Well for Clara and all, Bill and Rolly. I want you children to write and let me see your work. Clara don't think hard about my bad writing for I am so blind I can't see the lines only when the sun shines. some times I miss the word and nearly miss the line. Come anyhow and see the porspects.

Clara here is hugs and kisses and love for you.
May God bless you an all the rest.

Of note, A. Norman or Mrs. A. Norman is listed as the midwife in attendance to the births of Minnie Starcher in 1894, Melvin Starcher and Viola Starcher in 1905, Delbert Starcher in 1907, Beulah Starcher in 1913, Victor Starcher in 1915, and Ray Starcher in 1917. Assuming this to be Asenath Norman, she was the grandmother of Viola Starcher and Minnie Starcher, and the great-grandmother of the others listed. Browsing through the birth records at the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Vital Research Records, she is listed as the informant or midwife attending the birth of several in the community.

Of further note, Asenath's son Thomas Jackson Starcher was a storekeeper at Mt Zion WV, and apparantly his mother Asenath was a regular customer. Here follow are two pages from his accounts book from 1899. Asenath often paid her bill via "credit by eggs" or "credit by dried apples." She drank coffee and needed horse shoes from time to time.

Aseneth is buried in the Gibson Cemetery, located on Altizer-Adam Road near Arnoldsburg WV, with her parents, Jacob I. Booher (1814-1888) and Nancy N. McCune Booher (1817-1899). Siblings buried there include John J. Booher (1855-1939) and wife Sarah J. Starcher Booher, M.D. (Martha) Booher Corbett (1853-1899), Jemima Booher Smith (1839-1921) and her husband Reason Smith (1822-1899), and sister Malissa Tanner (1844-1924).

Asenath is buried next to her parents, Jacob I. and Nancy N. Booher

Her mother, Nancy N. McCune Booher, was the daughter of Peter McCune, an early Calhoun County Settler. See "McCune and Cogar, Two Revolutionary War Soldiers, Settled In Calhoun." Also see "Excerpts from Recollections of a Lifetime by Col. D.S. Dewees."

The marker for Jacob I. Booher has apparantly gone missing through the years.


Linda Cunningham Fluharty Website
       Calhoun County WVGenWeb, maintained by Linda Cunningham Fluharty
              Calhoun County WVGenWeb - Marriages
              1870 Calhoun County Federal Census
              1880 Calhoun County WV Federal Census
              1890 Calhoun County WV Census of Veterans and Widows
              1900 Calhoun County Federal Census, Lee District #23
              Cemeteries, Calhoun County

Don Norman's Family Files
       Jacob Starcher page at Don Norman's Family Files
       Peter Booher page at Don Norman's Family Files
       Benjamin Gunn page at Don Norman's Family Files

West Virginia Division of Culture and History
       Vital Research Records

Taped interview with Victor Starcher, 1992

Personal communication, Deborah Hopkins, DVM, Long Island NY

Personal communication, Nancy Cretella, New Jersey

Work in progress

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