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Boyd Families

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Alternate Spellings - Boyd, Boyde, Boid, Boyds

Links - Commons, Eli Willits, descendant of Isaac, Harrell, Shoemaker, Smith,Wolfe

Contacts - Nikki Nickell gave us much help with the Boyd family of Millersburg.

Mahlon and Drusilla Harrell Boyd of New Boston The Mahlon Boyd family is found in the 1860 census in New Boston: #1873 Malon Boyd, 32, printer, born Indiana; Drusilla, 25, Indiana; Milton, 2, Il; Ruth 3/12, Il.

Because Mahlon was deceased prior to the 1880 census we do not have any information on the birthplace of his parents and so far have not discovered the names of his parents.

Mahlon and Drusilla also had another child, Rebecca A. Boyd, died August 4, 1857, age 20 months, 23 days. She is buried in New Boston Cemetery not far from Drusilla's father.

Mahlon Boyd married Drusilla Harrell, daughter of Edmund and Rebecca Alyea Harrell (see Harrell link above), supposedly on 7/12/1855 in Mercer County, Illinois, but we actually find the marriage record as 1/12/1855 in Franklin County, Indiana (Book 7, page 142). Since Drusilla was with the Harrell family in Mercer County in 1850 she must have returned to visit someone in Franklin County, Indiana and met Mahlon there. Perhaps the 7/12/1855 in Mercer County carried by Harrell researchers reflects a second ceremony in Mercer that relatives and friends there could attend. We did not find Mahlon in Franklin County in 1850.

Mahlon Boyd enlisted in Company G, 27th Illinois Infantry from New Boston on August 20, 1861 and was mustered in on August 24. He was discharged as disabled on March 3, 1863. The 27th was in Tennessee at the time, having gone into winter quarters in February near Murfreesboro. There had not been a major battle since January 1 so it is quite possible that Mahlon was ill and not wounded. He must have died soon after as his name is listed on the Soldier’s Monument in Aledo. There is a G.A.R. marker for him in New Boston Cemetery but it contains no dates.

There are pension records which those who are further interested can obtain. Drusilla Boyd applied for a widow's pension, Application #151928, Certificate #186966. She also applied as Drusilla Shoemaker, guardian [of minor children], Application #230353, Certificate #186965. This gave us the clue that Drusilla had remarried. We did not find a marriage record for her but found her as the wife of Adam C. Shoemaker in the 1880 census in Conway, Taylor County, Iowa: A. C. Shoemaker, grain merchant, 43, born Indiana, parents born Kentucky; Drusilla Shoemaker, wife, 45, In, father born Oh, mother born In; William M. Shoemaker, son, 18, born Il, father Indiana, mother Ohio; Joseph A. Shoemaker, son 7, Il, parents born Indiana; Charles Benjamin Shoemaker, 5, Iowa; Flora A. Shoemaker, daughter, 2, Iowa; M. H. Boyd, stepson, telegraph operator, 22, born Il, parents born Indiana. The marriages of Taylor County, Iowa are not on line so we don't know if Ruth Boyd survived and married there.

Adam C. Shoemaker was the son of Thomas and Ann Lawrence Shoemaker (see Shoemaker link at the top of the page.) He married first to Sophia Jamison on 12/29/1859 in Henderson County, Illinois. Sophia died 15 May 1866 in Henderson County ( record). William M. Shoemaker in the census would have been her son and the others would have been children of Drusilla Harrell Boyd Shoemaker. Adam and Drusilla married then sometime between 1866 and 1872.

Samuel and Isabella Higgins Boyd of Wayne County, Indiana

Nikki Nickell made the connection for us that some of the Boyds of Mercer County came from Wayne County, Indiana. Many, many of the early families in Wayne County came to Mercer County so it made a lot of sense. The Wayne County Indiana History 1872 contains a wonderful biography of Samuel Boyd and tells us he was son of James Boyd of Virginia. Be warned, however, that county histories often contain inaccurate information. Samuel was ancestor of some of the Boyds who lived in the Millersburg area.

According to the history Samuel Boyd was born in Craven County, South Carolina, May 20, 1763 and was of Scotch descent. He served through the Revolutionary War, having enlisted at age 16 and lost his left eye. He married Isabella Higgins on December 12, 1785. In 1788 they moved to Kentucky where they lived 23 years. To provide for his nine children he removed to the Whitewater Valley in newly formed Wayne County, Indiana. In November, 1811, he built a tent of bark and limbs of trees on Martindale's creek, 2 miles north of Jacksonburgh, where he entered a quarter section of land, on which he lived until his death, November 27, 1835. His wife died October 31, 1852.

Samuel Boyd was a member of the Christian Church known as "New Lights," was a minister and a missionary to the Indians. He and his wife had ten children: James, father of those who came to Mercer County; William; Elizabeth; Samuel K.; Lard (died in infancy); Robert; Martha; Mary; and Isabella. The History tells us that 274 of the descendants of Samuel and Isabella sat down to dinner together in Wayne County in an 1861 reunion (surely that must have been noted in a local newspaper?).

James Boyd and (1) Margaret Mitchell and (2) Hester Ruby of Wayne County, Indiana

James Boyd, son of Samuel and Isabella, was born 12/5/1768 in South Carolina and died 9/29/1863 in Richmond, Wayne County, according to the History of Wayne County. He married first to Margaret Mitchell who died in Wayne County sometime before 1824. Their first child was born in Ohio so the marriage may be recorded there. James and Margaret Mitchell Boyd had children: Caroline; Samuel; Philander; and Abram. Caroline is of further interest to us as she married (2) Eli Willits who was ancestor of some of the Mercer County Willits by his first marriage to Harriet Drury in 1826 (see link to Willits at the top of the page).

James Boyd married (2)Hester Ruby on 7/15/1824 in Wayne County, Indiana. They had children: Joseph; William; Isabel; Amanda; James R.; and Alfred.

James and Hester Boyd are found in Wayne County, Indiana, in 1850 in Harrison Township: #116 James Boyd, 63, farmer, born SC; Hester, 49, born Ky; William E., 22, In; Isabel A., 19, In; Amanda E., 17, In; James R., 15, In; Alfred, 13, In. Next to them was James's son Samuel Boyd: #117 Samuel Boyd, 30, physician, In; Marianna, 26, Oh; Lawson, 4/12, In.

Caroline Boyd O'Neil Willits

With James and Hester in the 1850 census is James and Margaret's daughter Caroline: Caroline O'Neal, 36, born Ohio; Margaret A., 15, In; Iowa, 9, born Ia; William H., 8, Ia; and America, 2, Ia. Caroline had married James O'Neil 3/15/1832 in Wayne County. She was evidently a widow in 1850 and married Eli Willits on 8/21/1851 in Wayne County. Caroline and Eli Willits had two children: Ludiah, born about 1853, and Vie, born about 1855.

Joseph and Ellender Commons Boyd of Millersburg

Joseph Boyd, son of James and Hester Boyd, was born 6/30/1826 in Wayne County and died 10/7/1878 in Millersburg, Mercer County, Illinois. He married Ellender Commons, daughter of William and Sarah Brady Commons, on 1/20/1847 in Wayne County, Indiana (see Commons link at the top of the page). Ellen was born 1/4/1826 in Indiana and died 2/4/1905 in Millersburg, Mercer County, Illinois. Both are buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Millersburg.

It is interesting that Joseph was also a physician as was his half brother Samuel. Another interesting tidbit was that he started teaching school at 16 and then read medicine with Dr. James Ruby of Abington, Indiana. We wonder if there was a connection between Hester Ruby and Dr. James Ruby?

Joseph and Ellen are found in Millersburg in 1860 (with possible errors in transcription?): James P. Boyd, 34, preacher, born In; Ellen, 34, In; William, 13, In; Sarah, 8, In. The 1870 census is more accurate: Joseph P. Boyd, 44, physician, born Indiana; Ellen, 44, In; William C., 22, In; Omer, 5, Il. Daughter Sarah (Sallie) had married Ross A. Turner on 1/27/1870. They are found in Duncan Township in 1870: #81 Ross A. Turner, 25, farmer, born Pa; Sarah, 18, In. They are not far from Ross's probable father: #86 John A. Turner, 52, farmer, born Pa, and his second wife Mary Jane, 39, born Pa. By 1880 they had two daughters: Addie, 8, and Nellie, 4. Sarah Boyd died 4/9/1888 and Ross died 8/15/1915 and both are buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Millersburg.

We do not believe that son Omer married. He died 3/10/1886 and is buried in the Oak Ridge Cemetery, Millersburg. He was with his widowed mother in 1880 in Millersburg and her niece, Huldah Blackleach, 21, of Indiana.

Son William Commons Boyd married Emma R. Longshore, daughter of James and Sarah Longshore on 4/10/1873 in Mercer County. They had at least one daughter, Edna L. Boyd, born 12/31/1881, died 9/15/1906, and buried Oak Ridge Cemetery, Millersburg. They also had a son Archie, age 6 in the 1880 census. Archie married Bell Bryant 2/18/1897 in Mercer County.