This family is actually comprised of two: Higgins and Bott(s). My surname is Higgins, but that was acquired several generations ago by a marriage between Barbara Botts and George Higgins. My actual bloodline stops with whoever the father was for Frederick Botts. Sadly, that name is only listed as ‘Illeg.’, so it’s going to take a near-miracle to find out that line.

  • Casper Bott
  • m. Anna Maria Kappes (see Kappes Family)
    • William Bott
    • Peter Bott
    • Anna Katharina (AG) Bott
    • Barbara Bott
    • m. Unknown (Illegitimate)
      • Catherine Bott
      • Frederick Joseph Bott (Higgins)
      • m. Emma Cornelia Simpson (see Simpson Family)
        • Bessie L. Higgins
        • m. Willard Craig Merchant
          • John Frederick Merchant
          • Lillian Merchant
          • Bessie Carnelia Merchant
        • Milton Lee Higgins
        • m. Nellie Walker (see Walker Family)
          • Evelyn May Higgins
          • James Milton Higgins
          • Robert Higgins
          • Stillborn Higgins
          • Richard Lee Higgins Sr.
          • m. Betty Jane Warren (see Warren Family)
            • Richard Lee Higgins Jr.
            • Christy Lynn Higgins

Richard Lee Higgins Jr.
Born: April 10, 1961 in Alexandria Virginia USA
Died: (Living)

Richard Lee Higgins Sr.
Born: November 12, 1933 in Alexandria Virginia USA
Died: (Living)

Milton Lee Higgins
Born: July 17, 1898 in Alexandria Virginia USA
Died: November 12, 1950 in Alexandria Virginia USA

According to my father … his father Milton Higgins was a good, hard working man. He also liked to drink and fight. My dad says he was of average height and weight, and had a quick temper. In contrast, my grandmother never touched alcohol in her life and was a devout Christian. Interesting how opposites attract.

Frederick Joseph Bott
Born: March 1873 in Loudoun County Virginia USA
Married: Feb 5, 1896 to Emma Cornelia Simpson
Died: June 5, 1958 in Alexandria Virginia USA

Fred is the holy grail of this family, for you see, he is not really a “Higgins”. Or maybe he is. The short of it is that his birth records from Loudoun County show his father as “Illeg”. His mother didn’t marry George Higgins until years later, and he lived in Fairfax County. Granted, just one county over, but years apart. I have nothing to indicate that they knew each other before, and the family verbal history says there was a great deal of animosity between Fred and the rest of the Higgins clan. Full details are here.

Barbara Bott
Born: March 20, 1851 in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany
Baptized: March 29, 1851 in Hesse, Germany (Lutheran)
Married: January 13, 1876 to George Higgins in Alexandria Virginia USA
Died: December 12,1923 in Alexandria Virginia

Barbara is pictured below with her son William, date unknown.

Casper (Caspar) Bott
Born: 1820 Germany
Immigrated: About 1855
Citizenship: About February 21, 1859
Died: 9 Jul 1899 in Alexandria Virginia
Cemetery: Methodist Protestant Cemetery – Plot E131

Legal Document
File: Casper Botts Immigration.jpg
Document dated Feb 21, 1859. Title is unclear but says something like ‘— Court, 1859, 1st Day’. Handwritten. Shows Caspar Botts declaring his intention to become a citizen and giving up allegiance to Germany.

Baptism Index
File: Screenshot 2016-08-26 10.22.58.png
Shows Hesse, Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials 1661-1875. Barbara Bott, born May 20, 1851, was baptized on May 29, 1851 in Hessen Germany. Her father was Caspar Bott and her mother was Anna Maria Kappes. The parish was Wirberg.

Census Fairfax County Virginia USA
File: 1860 Botts Casper Census Fairfax VA.jpg
Shows Casper Bott (40, b. Germany), Mary Bott (46, b. Germany), William Bott (19, b. Germany), Peter Bott (17, b. Germany), AG Bott (14, female, b. Germany), Barbara Bott (12, b. Germany). Casper is a farmer, and William and Peter are laborers. No real estate, but personal value is $200.

Census Loudoun County Virginia USA
File: 1870UnitedStatesFederalCensus_287343846_bott.jpg
Shows Casper (50), Mary (58), Ana (22), Barbara (19), Catherine (2), and William (5). All are shown as being born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, except for Catherine and William. They are both listed as Virginia. Casper is a farm laborer. Ana and Barbara are “Without Occupation”.

General Index to Judgement Lien Dockets and Execution Books, Loudoun County, Plaintiffs.
File: Frederic Bott Birth Register.jpg
Shows on March 1873 (no day) a Frederic Bott next to ‘Barbara Bott (Illeg.). The columns are X’ed out. It looks like they used this form for birth records. Most other names show mother and father.

Marriage License
File: George Higgins Barbara Botts Marriage License
Shows in Fairfax County Virginia, Geo L Higgins and Barbara Botts. On January 12, 1876. Marriage on the 13th. Both are white, husband is 22, wife is 25. Husband is single. As is wife. Husband born in Hanover Virginia, wife in Germany. Husband resides in Fairfax County, as does wife. Husband’s parents are T. & Eliz Higgins. Wife’s parents are C & Mary Botts. Husband is a farmer.

Census Fairfax County Virginia USA (Falls Church)
File: 1880_Botts_Falls_Church_VA.jpg
Shows Casper (60) and Mary (55). Casper is a farm laborer. Both are born in Germany.

Census Alexandria Virginia USA
File: S0018 – Higgins_George_1880_Census_Page_1.jpg
File: S0018 – Higgins_George_1880_Census_Page_2.jpg
Shows George (27), Barbara (29), Kate (12), Frederick (7), Mary (3), and Alice (1). George “works on railroad”. All are born in Virginia except Barbara, who was from Germany. They lived on Fairfax Street.

City Directory, Alexandria Virginia (1895)
File: cd_1895 Alexandria City Directory.jpg
Shows Frederick Higgins, clerk, h 520 South Patrick

City Directory Alexandria Virginia USA
File: 1900_City_Directory_Higgins.jpg
Shows Frederick Higgins, clerk, h 516 S Patrick. Also shows George L Higgins, blacksmith, h 1002 Wilkes.

City Directory Alexandria Virginia USA
File: Probably Incorrect Date 1915_City_Directory_Higgins.jpg
Shows a Miss Bessie L. Higgins, 601 S. Alfred. In bold, a Frederick J Higgins, groceries, meats, and gen mdse, 601 S. Alfred, phone Home 78 M. A George R. Higgins, helper, 1003 Gibbon. And a Milton Higgins, student, 601 S. Alfred.

File: Higgins_Frederick_1910_Census.jpg
Shows in Alexandria Virginia, Fred J. Higgins on S. Alfred Street (40). Also shown is Emma C. (32), Bessie L. (13), and Milton L (11). All born in Virginia. Fred is listed as a merchant in a grocery store.

File: 20061110 Higgins in Alex 1920 census with merchant next door to mcblair
In Alexandria Virginia, shows Higgins F and Emma C., with daughter Bessie Merchant and son-in-law Willard Merchant. Shows Milton Higgins (son), and grandchildren John Merchant and Lillian Merchant. Next door is the McBlair family, which is also in my bloodline.

Internment Permit
File: Intermit_permit_milton_higgins
Place of death: Alexandria Virginia on November 12, 1950. Buried in Bethel Cemetery, Section J, Lot 41, Grave 2. Wheatley Funeral Home.

Internment Permit
File: Burial-Removal-Transit Permit Fred Higgins.JPG
Place of death: Alexandria Virginia on June 5, 1958. Buried in Bethel Cemetery, Section J, Lot 24, Grave 5. Wheatley Funeral Home. There was a $45 digging fee.

Internment Permit
File: Burial-Removal-Transit Permit Emma Higgins
Place of death: Alexandria Virginia on November 5, 1959. Buried in Bethel Cemetery, Section J, Lot 24, Grave 4. Wheatley Funeral Home.

No Date
Headstone, Milton L. Higgins
File: Milton Higgins Headstone.jpg
Shows July 17, 1898, November 12, 1950, “Husband of Nellie M. Walker”.

Headstone, Frederick J Higgins
File: Fred Higgins Headstone.jpg
Shows 1872-1958, which is not exactly correct as far as all other documents. I have no idea why, but this is a year off (death). It is obviously “my Fred”, as it’s in the family plot.

Voter Registration
File: Higgins_Voter_Registration_Register
Shows F. Higgins, c 1874, 28, Clerk, 500 S. Patrick St, 28, 28, 15. Also shows (lined out) a Milton Higgins, c 1899, 29, Machinist, 909 Franklin, 29, 29, 29, “Dec 1950”. Obviously this was after Milton’s death.
File: Higgins_Voter_Registration_Register_2
Shows Nellie M Higgins, 1893, 50, Housewife, 907 Franklin St, 50, 50, 20.

Court Records (Unknown location)
File: Casper Bott Misc Court Record 1.JPG (also 2, 3, and 4)
Shows Casper Bott vs George A. Quimby. Their matter was referred to an arbitrator named Wm Berkeley. That assignment was on January 20, 1874. Later, a Hamilton Rogers replaced Berkeley. Arbitration went to Casper, and on Dec 17th, 1874, he was awarded five dollars (with interest). There is no mention as to the “why”.

Death Records, Alexandria Virginia
File: Alexandria Death Register Higgins.jpg
Shows Barbara Higgins, Aortic regurgitation, 12/12/1923, no parents listed, W-F, 64y, 258. Shows George L. Higgins, Heart disease, 2/15/1925, Thaddius Higgins & Mary E. ___, W-M, 71y10m, 41. Shows Higgins ___, Stillborn, 1/10/1926, Milton L. Higgins & Millie M. Walker, W-F, —, 8.

Birth Records, Alexandria Virginia
File: Alexandria Birth Register 1900s Higgins.jpg
Shows Evelyn May Higgins, Milton Lee, Nellie May Walker, F-W, 7/14/1921, Alexandria, VA, 281. Shows James Milton Higgins, Milton Lee, Nellie May Walker, M-W, 10/28/1923, Alexandria, VA, 424. Shows Richard Lee Higgins, Milton Lee, Nellie Mae Walker, M-W, 11/12/1933, Alex Hospital, 383. Shows Robert Higgins, Milton Lee, Nellie May Walker, M-W, 8/23/1927, Alex Hospital, 268. Shows Higgins ___, Milton L, Nellie Walker, M-W, 1/10/1926, Alexandria, VA, 11.

Henry Hill
Henry is my “cousin”, in a way. He is a descendant of William Higgins, Fred’s half-brother. He vividly remembers playing with my father and his brothers, and has first hand knowledge of the relationship between the families. He is also a treasure trove of information about the Bott clan. To start off:

From an message from Henry pertaining to Peter: “From my grand-grandmother Botts’ Pray book (from/written in German, owned by a uncle of mine):

  • Peter Bott, b. 1 Jan. 1845
  • Anna Katharina Bott, b. 28 Aug. 1848
  • Barbara Bott, b.15 Mar 1851 (great-grandmother).
  • His family is from Germany (ca 1855-1856)> Fairfax Co., VA (1860-1900).
  • His parents (Casper and Mary Botts) are buried in Alexandria, VA. Have visited their graves many times (I grew up in Alexandria).
  • Note the S was added to their names after Casper Bott(s) became an American citizen in 1859.
  • Peter Bott was married several times-I didn’t know about Caroline Wagner.”

Another message posted by Henry Hill:

Barbara Bott was b.the year 1851, 20 May
Anna Katharina Bott (Gotti), b 1848, 28 August
Peter Bott was b. 1 January 1845
Wilhelm Ruhl, 29 October 1842
Anna Muzeit Ruhl, 21 June 1840
Lil(?) Niarkewather Ruhl, 1 Dec 1837
Katharina Buhlin (Ruhl), 15 August 1835
Johann Veter Ruhl, this book belongs.

Note: Data written in Old German Hymn Book, dated 1786. Book belonged to Barbara Bott, ,my g-grandmother. Her family came (from Germany) to this country ca.1855, and settled in Fairfax Co., VA.”

Henry also reported a conversation he had with Pearl Higgins regarding Barbara Ellen Bott’s death … “I was there with her when she passed. She was in the front room on the couch. Before she passed, she gave me a small bag of gold coins. After she passed, I called Wheatley Funeral Home and waited with her until they arrived”.

Casper, Anna, and Barbara came to the states from Germany, but the only details I have come from Henry Hill … “His family is from Germany (ca 1855-1856)> Fairfax Co., VA (1860-1900).”. More to come.

The Higgins Line
When Barbara married George Higgins, she brought two of her children into the marriage. And they had more children together, which according to family history caused some issues between Fred and the rest. That story is long and can be found here.

  • Thaddeus Higgins m. Elizabeth __
    • George Higgins m. Barbara Bott
      • Mary Ellen Higgins m. William Edward Watkins
        • Etta May Watkins m. Charles L. Snoots
          • C. Preston Snoots
          • Clarice Snoots
          • Catherine E. Snoots
          • James Edward Snoots
          • William F. Snoots
          • Lois R. Snoots
          • Richard Snoots
        • Flossie Virginia Watkins
        • Minnie Althea Watkins
      • Alice Virginia Higgins m. William Fair
      • Maggie Lee Higgins
      • William Lee Higgins m. Mabel Pearl Mercer
        • Clarence William Higgins
        • Melba Dorothy Higgins m. Henry Lewis Hill
          • Henry Lewis Hill Jr. m. Oretha Yvonne Fuller
          • William Arthur Hill
          • Linda Carol Hill
          • Gary Lee Hill

I have done some research into the Higgins family name past where my bloodline ends with Fred Higgins, but it’s a little murky once you travel back a generation or two. I have spoken with several other family researchers who have tried to unwind the branches, but documentation in the area where George came from is limited and certain names seem to be common. It is unclear in many cases where people are related vertically (parent-child) and horizontally (uncle-nephew).

What is clear is that George Higgins was born in Hanover County and spent his younger years in and around Central Virginia. His parents were Thaddeus and Elizabeth, according to his marriage certificate. A federal census record from 1870 shows Thaddeus (age 46) and Elizabeth (age 45) living in the Lower Revenue District of Hanover County, Virginia on August 31st. The post office is listed as Beaver Dam. Also living in the household were Rebecca (11), Elizabeth (7), and George (15). George is shown as being a Farm Laborer, born in Virginia, and having the ability to read and write. Interestingly, neither his parents or siblings are shown as being able to read and write. He was the only one. His father Thaddeus was a Farmer, his mother Elizabeth “kept house”, and the two siblings were “at home”. All were born in Virginia. I find it a little perplexing that Thaddeus and Elizabeth had children so late in life. He would have been 31 and she 30 when the oldest was born and 39/38 respectfully for the youngest. They were a farming family, so children were needed. Why did they only have three children and why so late in life?

I believe that Thaddeus’ father was named Foster, although I have little in the way of proof that this was the case. I do have an undated census record that shows a Foster Higgins in what I believe to be New Kent County, VA. This census is very limited in that it only shows counts of people by age and color, by name of the head of household.

The second page of this document shows additional “Higgins” heads of household in the area. Specifically: Matthew and John who immediately bracket Foster, and Josiah, and then Prosser and William, both who appear about a page away, so they were in the same general vicinity.

I also have what I believe to be an 1820 census extract that shows an “E. Higgins” as what I believe to be head of household, with 13 names beneath it. But to be honest, I’m not sure exactly what this document is. It has three letter references to the right of each name and then a number-letter combination. I believe that this is a census index, but am not absolutely sure. The letter designation could be county, as Foster is Nk (New Kent?).

There are also listings for “Higgins & Moran” and a “Prosser Higgins”. Prosser has two names associated: Richard and William.

Like I said, a very tangled mess.

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