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franklin county times

In search of American roots

By Staff
GENEALOGY SEARCH Clive Boswell is looking for information about his American grandfather, Lambert Lindsay Boswell. Clive recently made a trip to Meridian to visit the Lauderdale County Department of Archives and History in the Raymond P. Davis Courthouse Annex Building in Meridian. Clive, left, is pictured with his father, Bill, Val, a friend who accompanied Bill from England, Carol Neal, Bill's first cousin, and her husband, H.C. Neal of Meridian.
By Penny Randall / staff writer
Dec. 1, 2002
It was an ordinary Friday afternoon and Jan Bunker, the librarian at the Lauderdale County Department of Archives and History, was checking her e-mail before heading home for the day.
As she does on many days, Bunker received an e-mail from someone who was searching for information. But she was intrigued by one particular e-mail because it was from a British diplomat searching for his American grandfather.
News from Britain
The e-mail was from Clive Boswell of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.
Clive said he started researching his American grandfather when he was 18 years old, soon but gave up.
But when Clive, now 32, was posted to the Washington, D.C., office of the British Foreign and Commonwealth in January, he began to think about searching again.
He told himself, "You should grab the opportunity whilst you're living and working in the states."
That was when Clive contacted Bunker at the Lauderdale County Department of Archives and History in Meridian.
Clive knew his grandfather was born in Choctaw County, Ala., and lived in Meridian for many years. He also knew that he has died in January 1982.
Bunker helped him find out that his grandfather's father's name was William Dossy Boswell Sr. and his grandfather's mother's name was Mamie Jane Butler. They are all buried in Center Grove Cemetery in the southeastern part of Lauderdale County.
Where to begin
It was with obituaries that Jan Bunker started.
Clive's grandfather, Lambert Lindsey Boswell, had traveled to England during World War II where he was stationed by the U.S. Army. He married a British woman and they had two sons Clive's father, William "Bill" and Clarence.
A few years after the war, Lambert returned to United States and awaited the arrival of his wife and sons. But, because of family circumstances, his wife never made the trip. The two were divorced years later and family members lost contact.
Lambert remarried in 1975 to Sally Chaney Butler. She was a native of Causeyville and lived most of her life in Meridian before moving to Waycross in 1998.
A discovery
After a lot of searching, Bunker was able to help Clive find his Mississippi relatives.
In May, Clive's father traveled from England to visit him in Washington, D.C. They made the trip to Mobile, Ala., where Clive met his great-uncle and cousins for the first time.
Clive and his family also visited the Lauderdale County Department of Archives and History where they met Lambert's cousin, Carol Neal. They explored Meridian, including the hotel where Lambert worked before he died.
But, Clive said, his dream of finding his American family has only began.
WANT TO HELP?
If you have information about Lambert Lindsay Boswell or his family, you can contact Clive Boswell by e-mail at clive@boswell.net or Jan Bunker at the Lauderdale County Department of Archives and History at 482-9752.

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