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     Miscellaneous material on the Boyd Family 



The  ancient  Celts came from an area in the foothills of the
Ural  Mountains,  which today is part of Russia.  Twenty-five
hundred  years  ago  they started to migrate west. The Romans
knew  them  as Galli,  the Greeks  as Keltoi. There were many
tribes of Celts such as Laii, Libici,  Insubres, (the largest
of the tribes) Cenomani, Boii, Senones,  and many others. The
Celts  routed the  Etruscans  about  400 years B.C.  and they
disappeared from the pages of history. The Celts even marched
into Rome. It was the worst humiliation Rome was to suffer in
her history.*   The  Romans asked for peace and paid the huge
sum  of  one thousand pounds of gold so the Celts would leave
Roman territory.

The Celts  turned from Rome and headed westward to France and
Spain,  known  as  Gaul  to  the  Romans.  They first entered
England  400-350  B.C.  and occupied the whole of the British
Isles except for the far north of the Island.

Caesar  finally  invaded England in 54-55 B.C. and subjugated
most  of  the southern part. The Romans were to stay some 400
years. The  Celts still held Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. In
these  areas  today  over  two million people still speak the
Celtic tongue which today is known as Gaelic.

In  Ireland there were numerous tribes of Celts. One of these
tribes was  known  as  the  Scotti.  In  400  A.D. the Scotti
crossed the Irish sea into what was known as  Caledonia. They
established the kingdom of Dalriada in the 5th century in the
area of Argyll. There  were  two  peoples  already there: the
Picts  and  the  Britons.  There was a third constituent, the
Angles, which had invaded from the continent.

In  843 A.D.  Kenneth MacAlpin united the Scots and the Picts
and fought against the  Angles.  The king of the Britons died
without an heir  and  King Kenneth, as his nearest relative**
assumed kingship  over all the Britons. All four nations were
united under  Malcolm II  and  Duncan I,  son and grandson of
King Kenneth.  It was after this time that the kingdom became
known  as  Scotland.  The  Scots fought with the Norsemen for
many  years  and  finally  in  1263 at the battle of Largs (a
Robert Boyd  fought  in  this battle) Alexander defeated them
and they ceased to be a threat.

In 1066,  William,  Duke of  Normandy, invaded England at the
battle  of  Hastings,  and  became king of England. He fought
many  battles  against the Scots but Scotland was to remain a
separate entity until the Union of the Crowns in 1603. It was
in this year  that  Elizabeth I died and James VI of Scotland
became James I of Great Britain.

*   "The Celts"  Gerhard Herm  page 13
**  "A Short History of Scotland"  P. Hume Brown page 26



James III  came  to  the  Scottish throne at the age of eight
in  1460.  James II  was  killed  at  the  seige  of Roxburgh
castle.  Three nobles  made a bargain they were all to profit
from. These three men were, Lord Gilbert Kennedy, Lord Robert
Fleming,  and  Lord ALEXANDER BOYD.  Kennedy and Boyd were to
have possesion of the king, and Fleming was in some way to be
made rich. As these barons  had  many  powerful friends, they
were quite able to carry out their plans.

Shortly after their bargains had been made, there was a great
meeting  at  Lingithgow,  at  which the king and his officers
were present. Then Boyd and Fleming held a hunting-party, and
during  the  hunt they seized the young king and bore him off
to   Edinburgh  castle  against  his  will.    Now  that  the
conspirators  had  the king in their power, they took care to
enrich themselves. They pretended, however, to act within the
laws.  They  held a  parliament in Edinburgh castle, and Lord
Boyd,  the  head of the Boyd family, fell at the king's feet,
clasped  his  knees,  and asked him if he had been brought to
Edinburgh against his will. What could the poor king say?

And  now  for  a  time the Boyds and their friends had it all
their own  way  in  the  country. Sir Alexander Boyd was made
guardian of the king and  his two brothers, and all the royal
fortresses were put into  his  hand.  A great many lands were
given to his family, and the Boyds became  almost as powerful
as the Douglases had been. But it was Lord Boyd's eldest son,
THOMAS BOYD,  who became their greatest man.  This Thomas was
one  of the cleverest men then living in Scotland; he was one
of  the  best  knights  of the  time, and he knew how to make
himself  pleasant  to  everybody. It is no wonder, therefore,
that he became  so  great  a  person  in the country.  He was
first  made  Earl  of  Arran,  and then he was married to the
king's sister, the princess Mary. But the pride of the Boyd's
was  soon  to  have  a  fall.  They had, of course, made many
enemies who envied their wealth and power. The Boyd's were to
fall as quickly as they had risen.

King  James  was  now  about  eighteen  years  old,  and  his
councillors began to think it was time for him to be married.
They found a queen that brought a handsome gift to  Scotland.
It will be remembered that, when Alexander III  conquered the
Western islands from King Haakon of Norway it was agreed that
Scotland  should pay a huge sum of money every year for them.
Since  the  time  of  James I  the  money  had not been paid,
and  now  Christian,  king  of  Norway, who  was also king of
Sweden,  began  to  grumble and to say that the money must be
paid or the islands given back.

How  did  James  concillors  get out of this difficulty? They
sent  Thomas Boyd  to  Christian to propose that his daughter
Margaret,  who  was  only  twelve years old, should marry the
King of Scots. He was delighted with the proposal.

As  he  had  not enough money to pay his daughter's dowry, he
gave  his  feudal rights over the Orkney islands as a pledge.
He  was  unable  to  find  the money, and in 1472, four years
after  the  marriage,  the  Orkney  and Shetland islands were
annexed  to  the  Scottish  crown. So at last all the islands
around the Scottish coasts had come to be part of the kingdom
of Scotland.

But what has this to do with the family of the Boyds? We have
just  seen  that Thomas Boyd, Earl of Arran, had been sent to
Denmark  to  propose the marriage between James and Margaret.
But he was also sent  there a  second time to bring the bride
to Scotland.  Now,  while he was away in Denmark, the enemies
of the  Boyds  (and  there  were many of them) laid a plot to
have him taken prisoner when he returned and then to have him
and many others of his  family put to death. However, Arran's
wife,  the  princess  Mary,  heard of the plot, and, when the
ship arrived at  Leith,  she  went aboard secretly and warned
him of  his  danger, and both sailed to Denmark, where he was
safe from  his  enemies.  There was two of the Boyds still in
their hands,  Arran's  father,  Lord Boyd, and his uncle, Sir
Alexander Boyd.  Both were charged with being traitors of the
king, and were  condemned  to  death;  but only Alexander was
excuted, as Lord Boyd escaped to England.  As all their lands
were taken from them their greatness lasted only a few years.
This  was  another  lesson  to the nobles that in the end the
king  was  to  strong  for  any of them. Yet the nobles never
defied  the  king's  power  so  much  as  they did during the
remainder of James's III reign.

See "A short History of Scotland" P. Hume Brown 1908

                        Dr. Frederick T. Boyd

The  Boyd family derives its descent from Simon, third son of
Alan, Lord  high  chancellor of Scotland. Simon, a brother of
Walter, 1st high Steward of Scotland, was descended from Alan
of Dol  who  migrated  from  the north coast of France, after
1066 A.D.  In  that  year  William  the  Conqueror,   Duke of
Normandy, was victorious at the battle of Hastings and became
king of England. Simon was the father of Robert  Boidh  whose
son Robert was knighted and given the  original  Boyd coat of
arms in recognition of his services at the battle of Largs at
Goldberry Hill, 1263.

The present Boyd family is descended from both Royal Scot and
Royal English ancestry. King Alfred, Robert Bruce, Robert II,
David I, and many other Scottish and English kings are listed
among  the  royal  ancestry. Kenneth MacAlpin, King of Scots,
united with the Picts to form the kingdom of Scotland.

From  the  earliest  times the Boyd family has been noted for
it's antagonism  toward  the  English.  Robert  Boyd  was  an
associate  of  William  Wallace, and his son, Sir Robert Boyd
fought  against  the  English  with  Robert Bruce. During the
Jacobite  uprising  of  1745,   William  Boyd,   4th  Earl of
Kilmarnock,  joined  the  forces  of Charles Edward Stuart in
his  bid  to regain the English  crown.   He was beheaded for
treason in 1746.

The  coat  of  arms  (see description elsewhere in this book)
of the earlier chiefs  include the word "Goldberry" inscribed
on the  garter  near  the  base.  The  right  hand being in a
benedictory  salute  indicating,  with extended thumb and two
fingers,  the Trinity---Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The word
Goldberry  alludes  to the name of the hill near Largs, where
a  battle  was  fought  in   1263   at   which   Robert  Boyd
distinguished  himself  and for which he was knighted. It was
this  battle  that  broke the back of the Viking marauders in
Scotland. King Haakon IV  of Norway was defeated by Alexander
III of Scotland.

* "History of the Boyd Clan"   Frederick Tilghman Boyd  1962
   and Related Families. Used with permission.


In  the  beginning  of the seventeenth-century, when James VI
of Scotland became James I of England, a concerted effort was
made to settle the province  of Ulster with Scots. While they
were  not  aware of  the fact, many of them were returning to
the home of their  ancestors.   (see page 135 paragraph four)
King  James  thought  of  this  as  one way to cure the Irish

Most  of the  large estates from at this time have long since
passed  into  other hands. Some of the Undertakers (a man who
undertook  to plant the land with settlers) did not adhere to
the  conditions  of  the  grants  and,  therefore, lost their
estates. Others sold the land once they  had  obtained title.
Many more estates were  created  by  land grants between 1641
and 1703, after the 1641  rebellion. The Scottish Undertakers
as part of their land grants undertook to plant the land with
settlers   (or  undertenants)  whom  they  brought  over from
Scotland.   It  was  mainly  these  tennants  who  became the
ancestors  of  the ethic group known today as Scotch-Irish, a
term  virtually  unknown  in  Ireland where they are known as

Very little  documentation  survives on the Undertenants, but
the  Undertakers are a different story. It must be remembered
that, in  those  times land was considered more valuable than
people. Because large  tracts  of  land are involved there is
far more information on the Undertakers.  As the undertenants
were brought to Ireland by the Undertakers it is obvious that
many of them came from the same area in Scotland and were his
near relatives. One such undertaker was:

Sir Thomas Boyd of Bedlay: second son of  the sixth Lord Boyd
of Kilmarnock, Scotland.  He  married  Grizel Cunningham, the
daughter  of  Alexander Cunningham on 22 October 1603. Ulster
patent  dated  29  August  1610:  Shean 1,500 acres, Strabane
Barony, County Tyrone.

Marion,  the  sister  of  Thomas Boyd, married James Hamilton
Earl of Abercorn  and  eventually  acquired Sir Thomas Boyd's
estate. It can be  assumed that Thomas Boyd brought over many
settlers  by  the  name  of  Boyd  since the surname is quite
common  in  Northern Ireland.  Many  of the Boyd's in America
are  descended  from these Ulster-Scots but tracing them down
is another thing altogether. Many records have been destroyed
during the centuries of civil strife in the country.


                     NEW ENGLAND FAMILIES
                      William Richard Cutter  1913

"The  Boyd  family  is  one  of the most distinguished in the
history of Scotland, tracing it' s descent from a younger son
of the illustrious Lord High Steward of Scotland. Robert, son
of Simon and grandson of Alan,  the second Lord High Steward,
was  of  very  light  complexion  and nicknamed Boyt or Boyd,
meaning fair or light in Gaelic.  From  this came the surname
of the family.  This Robert Boyd died in 1240 and from him it
is  said  all  the  Boyds  of Scotland as well as Ireland are
descended,  although  some  genealogists  think  the original
spelling of the name was Boit.

Sir Robert Boyd,  son  of  the first Robert died in 1270, and
his son, Sir Robert de Boyd was one of the barons of Scotland
who were forced to swear  fealty to King Edward of England in
1296.   This  third  Robert  was  associated with Sir William
Wallace  for  a  time.  His  son  Robert  was one of the most
gallant  supporters  of  Robert Bruce,  and  was made Lord of
Kilmarnock by that King.

The  family  formerly  possessed  the  earldoms  of Arran and
Kilmarnock.  Ayrshire  was  the  original  home of the Boyds.
When James III,  a  mere  boy,  succeeded  to  the  throne of
Scotland, Lord Boyd seized him and  assumed  supreme  control
of the kingdom. In  1467  his  eldest son was created earl of
Arran and married  the  king's  sister.   But the rule of the
Boyds was of short  duration.  They  were  tried  for treason
and convicted. The  head  of the family fled to England where
he soon afterward  died.  His  brother Alexander was executed
at Edinburgh. The  earl of  Arran  was forced to flee and was
soon stripped of his royal wife by  divorce and she afterward
married the head of the Hamilton family.

Most  of the  American Boyds are descended from the branch of
the Sottish family in  the  province  of Ulster, Ireland. Sir
Thomas Boyd,  knight, was one of the settlers soon after 1610
in the precinct of  Strabane,  County Tyrone,  and had a wife
and  family  there in  1611. He came from Hedley or Benehawe,
Renfrewshire, Scotland. Before  1620 he transfered a grant of
1800 acres at Strabane to James   Hamilton. Boyd was a son of
Lord Kilmarnock (see pages 500-507 Scotch-Irish in America by
Hanna). In  1653  there  was  a  Thomas Boyd of prominence in
County Antrim.  At  the  present  time there are thousands of
this name living in Counties Down, Antrim, and Londonderry.


Five  heads  of the Boyd family signed the memorial (Petition
of Ulstermen 1718)  to  Governor  Shute, March 6, 1718 asking
encourgement to  obtain  land  in  "that  very  excellant and
renowned  plantation called New England. Captain William Boyd
came  to  this  country   fourteen  times  bringing  Scottish
pioneers  from  the  north of Ireland, and finally located at
Londonderry.  There  is  reason  to  believe that many of the
Scottish Boyds who came between  the years 1718 and 1750 from
Ulster  were  his  near  kin.  A  number  of  them located at
Bristol, Maine.   The Petition begins:

"We whose  names are the  underwritteninhabitants of ye north
of  Ireland  doe  in  our  own names and in the names of many
others,  our neighbors,  gentlemen,  ministers,  farmers, and
tradesmen,  commisionate  and  appoint  our  trusty  and well
beloved  friend the Reverand William Macasky to repair to His
Excellancy the  Right Honorable Colonel Samuel Suitte (Shute)
Governor of New  England, and to insure His Excellancy of our
sincere and hearty  inclinations  to  transport  ourselves to
that  excellant  and  renowned  Plantation upon our obtaining
from  his  Excellancy  suitable  encouragement".........  The
original copy of the Petition of Ulstermen hangs in the rooms
of the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord.

The  petition  is  signed  by three hundred people of which I
list only the Boyds:   John Boyd,  Robert Boyd,  Thomas Boyd,
William Boyd and Thomas Boyd.

John Boyd  (probably not the one listed above) was one of the
Scotch-Irish  pioneers. He was born in 1704 and died June 30,
1789.  He  married   Margaret LONG  who  died  September  30,
1793, aged eighty-six. He and his brother David Boyd settled
in Shelburne, then Hampshire County, Massachusetts.

John Boyd Jr., son of John Boyd, was born in Upton, Mass., in
1733,  and  died  at Shelburne, October 15, 1815. His will is
filed at Franklin County at Greenfield. His wife Mary died at
Shelburne,   August 9, 1825  aged  eighty-eight  years.  More
information  on  this  family  can  be  found in "New England
Families" by William Richard Cutter, 1913.

David Boyd,  son of John Sr., died in Wilmington, Vermont  in
1802.  His  wife's  name  was  Sibel Taylor. David's will was
made 22 Dec 1800. Probate  began 19 January 1802. He had four
sons: David, James, Aaron and Joel. Six daughters were listed
Sally,  Sibel Boyd Fox, Levina, Lovice, Relief, and Triphena.
David had lived in Shelburne


   Chapter 1   Chapter 2    Chapter 3
   Chapter 4    Chapter 5    Chapter 6
   Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9


Clan Boyd Society,  International

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