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Benijah and Elizabeth Dunn Lloyd Family
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Mercer County Home Page
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Alternate Spellings - Lloyd, Loyd

Links - Cunningham, Scudder, Isaiah Willits, James Willits, Fleming, Lutz

Contacts and Sources - Helen Graves has done much research on this family which she has willingly shared. Paula Nevels is a descendant of Benijah and Aarelda Jane Willits and helped with that family. As usual, if the family is not our own, we generally stick to primary sources for the County, but Helen's help certainly sorted things out for us, and Paula sent us great things that are covered on the Isaiah Willits page. The History of Mercer County, 1882 has information on this family which we have used along with census records, cemetery records, and the Illinois Marriage Index. Also Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois & History of Mercer County, 1903, and Portrait & Biographical Album of Rock Island County, 1885. Note: Tombstone records often give the date of death and the age at death. We have then used a birthdate calculator to arrive at dates of birth, these may conflict with other sources. Also County Histories are notorious for incorrect information so they should only be used for hints about a family and all information should be verified.

The subject of this Web Site is New Boston and Eliza Townships in Mercer County in the 1800's but we have of necessity included families from other townships that intermarried with the New Boston and Eliza Township families and/or spent time briefly in those townships before moving to another location. Also as time permits we include bits of history and pioneer life that may be of interest to other researchers and there is quite a bit of pioneer history about the Loyds.


Benijah Lloyd was born in New York, moved to Erie County, Pennsylvania, with his family, and there married Elizabeth Dunn. The Biographical Album of Rock Island County tells us his father was Aaron Lloyd who married Margaret Lindsey, daughter of an Englishman and a German wife. A biography of one of Benijah and Elizabeth's sons in the Mercer County History gives the Lloyd ancestry as Welsh and the Dunn ancestry as German.


  Benijah Lloyd
born 12/19/1795, New York
died 8/10/1864,Mercer Co,Il
buried Oak Ridge Cem
Elizabeth Dunn
born 12/01/1799, Pa
died 6/9/1880,Mercer Co,Il
buried Oak Ridge Cem
  Married: Erie County, Pennsylvania

Children:
Lucinda Lloyd Helen Graves carries this child, born 1818, died age 3 mos.
David Lloyd born about 1822, Pennsylvania; married (1)Sarah Brady and (2)Catharine Keyser\Keiser
Rachel Lloyd Helen Graves carries this child born 1823 and died 1827 in Pa
Benijah Lloyd born 3/17/1825, Erie County, Pennsylvania; married Arrelda Jane Willits
James Lloyd born 9/3/1827, Erie Co, Pa; married Catharine Burroughs
Marvin Lloydborn about 1829, Erie Co, Pa and died falling off a wagon about 1835.
Lucius Lloyd born 2/5/1832, Pennsylvania; married (1)Emaline Lutz and (2)Mary Cunningham
Alvin Lloyd born abt 1834, Pennsylvania; married Lydia Brison
Marion Lloyd born abt 1838, Mercer Co, Il; married Jane Patterson
Elizabeth Lloyd born about 1839, Mercer Co, Il; married Russell Scudder
Lowell Lloyd born about 1841, Mercer Co, Il; married Sarah Little
Walter Lloyd born about 1843, Mercer Co, Ill; married (1)Lucy Crawford and (2)Hattie Newman Bell

Early Settlement in Mercer County

There are several mentions of Benijah Lloyd in the History of Mercer County, 1882. Some of the information is conflicting which is not surprising in a county history, as information may be given by more than one individual and comes from individual memories. Some of the information is not very flattering as one pioneer remembered "the old Yankee plaintiff" as one who "kept his neighbors warmed up to more than fever heat with vexatious lawsuits, as far as his neighborhood dealings or business transactions. ...Sometimes they were civil, sometimes criminal, and sometimes for a supposed trespass." He purportedly filed the first lawsuit ever instituted in the Sugar Grove precinct. We mention this here, not to malign the family, but to let descendants know that there might be some very interesting family stories buried in the court records.

The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois also has some conflicting information. It tells us that Benijah Lloyd obtained land in Mercer County with warrants earned in the War of 1812 where he had the title of Major. This is a bit bogus - there is no record in Illinois Public Land Records of Benijah obtaining public land at all, so it likely was not with military warrants. He could well have served in the War of 1812 (though there is no record of that either), but he would certainly have been far too young to be a Major. The probable truth lies in another part of the book that tells us Colonel Andrew Myers was commissioned by the Governor in the 1840's to organize a regiment of militia in Mercer county; the only organization of this kind in the county until the Civil War. Col Myers appointed William Nevius as Lieutenant-Colonel and Benijah Lloyd as Major. The regiment met for drill at Millersburg and on parade days hundreds of settlers came to view the drilling. "The companies were well drilled, fully officered, fairly uniformed and armed with such guns as pioneers had for hunting and common protection." The reason for the militia was the constant dread of an Indian uprising. The Lloyds evidently had a good relationship with the Indians, as the history states that Benijah Lloyd frequently acted as interpreter for Black Hawk and that young son Lucious Lloyd was often dandled on Black Hawk's knee.

There is a short biography of Benijah Lloyd, Jr. in the 1882 History of Mercer County, which includes some information about Benijah Lloyd, Sr. It gives us Elizabeth Dunn's name and tells us Benijah and Elizabeth arrived in September 1835. They settled in Millersburg Township where Benijah died in 1864. He (Sr.) was the father of six children, one of whom was killed by falling out of the wagon near Keithsburg while on their way to their pioneer home (this would be Marvin per information furnished by Helen Graves). It will be noted from above that there were quite a few more children than six in the family - we suspect whoever gave the information was not aware of the two girls who died young and that something was left out in the history as there were six children born in Pennsylvania, not counting the two girls, and then more born in Mercer County.

A list of early settlers in Millersburg Township north and south of the Edwards River includes "North of the Edwards the first settler located was Benijah Lloyd, on section 5, in 1834. Two years later the town of Millersburg was laid out by the Miller brothers..." This may not be in conflict with the September 1835 date above as often a man came alone to the county, marked his property and built a rude cabin and then returned East for his family. The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois in a bio of Benijah says he came from Erie Co, Pa in 1832 and then came again with his family in 1834. In the chapter on Millersburg Township in the Mercer History we find the story of the son who died: "The first death that occurred in the township was in 1835. While Benijah Lloyd was on his way to his claim on section 4, his son, nearly seven years old, fell out of the wagon and was run over by the wheels, killing him instantly. There were no neighbors to assist in the funeral except Ebenezer Creswell and his hired man. The remains were interred at the new home on section 4. We have been told by good authority that Benijah Lloyd was the first to settle in Millersburg township, and equally good authority informs us that Hiram Hardy, Albert P. Taylor...and Ebenezer Creswell were here before him." (Note discrepancy re section 4 vs section 5.)

A biography of son James Lloyd in the Mercer County History tells us more of their early life. They moved to Mercer County in 1834. "His father hired a man and team to bring them to Mercer County, but on arriving at the river Nile he became discouraged and would go no farther. Here they took passage on board of a schooner for Chicago, where they happened to meet with some farmers who had brought wheat from Putnam County. With some of those teams they were brought as far as Monmouth, where, after a few days' stay, they engaged a man and team to bring them to Millersburg."

It is a little difficult to figure out this route but it appears they followed Lake Erie from Erie County in Pennsylvania through Northern Ohio by team and wagon and then came up against what is currently the Maumee River at present day Toledo. On Animap there is an old place called Niles Beach at that location and they certainly could have boarded a ship at that point. It would then be Putnam County, Illinois where the farmers who helped them were located and they had to go a long ways past Putnam County to get the family to Monmouth. For those of us who grouse at a five hour plane flight this journey is almost unimaginable. Your Web Master moved by team and wagon to a new home in Wyoming in 1939 and that was a journey of about 40 miles that seemed monstrously long!

The History continues "This was an eventful trip for the whole family. Shortly after leaving Monmouth their younger brother fell from the wagon in which they were riding and was instantly killed. On arriving at Millersburg they found an Indian camp all along Camp creek, which sight did not add much pleasure to their mother's anticipation of the new country. The Indians would come to their house in squads of twenty or more in quest of potatoes and other provisions as they had to spare, never taking anything, however, without paying for it. They were treated kindly by the Lloyds, whom they duly appreciated. Mr. Lloyd's mother [Elizabeth Dunn Lloyd] had been in Mercer county for nearly a year before she saw the face of a white woman."

Census and Cemetery Records

Benijah Lloyd and family are found in Millersburg Township in 1840: 14N4W Benijah Lloyd, males 1 40-50[Benijah, Sr] 1 30-40[?] 1 20-30[?]; 1 15-20[David]; 2 10-15[James and Benijah, Jr]; 2 5-10{Alvin and Lucious]; 1 under 5[Marion]; females 1 40-50[Elizabeth] 1 20-30[?]; 1 under 5[Elizabeth, Jr]. The Mercer County History indicates that Benijah's brother Joseph W. Lloyd was appointed a justice for Millersburg Township in 1841 and there is not a separate listing for Joseph in the 1840 census so we might guess that the male 20-30 was Joseph as he would have been about 22 in 1840. The male 30-40 was another brother, David Lloyd, who was a pioneer teacher in Millersburg.

By 1850 Benijah's brother, David Loyd, is found boarding in Rock Island County as a teacher. On May 18, 1854, Daniel J. Lloyd married Catharine Bruner Fisher, widow of Valentine Fisher, and daughter of Nicholas and Hannah Bruner, in Rock Island County . The name "Daniel" comes from the online Illinois Marriage Index and is probably an error in transcription as there was a Daniel Lloyd in Rock Island County with a wife Ann, so the transcriber may have inadvertently combined two records. That the marriage was to David Lloyd is proven in the 1860 census in Rock Island where David and Catharine are raising her son William Fisher, as well as two children of their own: William Fisher, age 9; Mary Ann Lloyd, age 4; and Catharine Lloyd, age 1. Also with them are Eliza Jane Middleton, 11, and Mary E. Middleton, age 9, daughters of Samuel and Eliza Lloyd Middleton [Eliza was David's sister.] From the 1870 census we find additional children of David and Catherine: Eunice, 10; John C.,4; and James W., 9/12. From the 1880 census there is an additional child Emma, age 8, and Catherine Bruner Fisher Lloyd's mother is living with them: Hannah Bruner, 76, born Ky.

Samuel and Eliza Lloyd Middleton are found in Millersburg Township in 1850: #500 Samuel W. Middleton, 43, wagon maker, Pa; Eliza, 38, Pa; John, 14, Pa; Alvira, 12, Pa; James M.,8, Il; Eliza J., 2, Il (the Eliza Jane found with David Lloyd in 1860). If Alvira's birthplace is correct, Samuel and Eliza came a little later than the other Lloyds. We find no further record of Samuel and Eliza Lloyd Middleton anywhere.

The Portrait and Biographical Album of Rock Island County contains a biography of Benijah's brother, Joseph W. Lloyd, general farmer and stockholder, in Section 16 in Edgington Township. He was born in Erie County, Pa, May 10, 1818 and it is here we learn the parent's names for Benijah Lloyd. It also says he went west at age 21 to Millersburg where he was a tailor from 1838 to 1849 so that would indicate he is one of the extra males with Benijah. There is more in the book about Joseph including a photo and his family information. He married Eunice Beardsley, daughter of Elisha and Caroline Marvin Beardsley on Feb 9, 1824. They had children Emma C., Jasper (dec before 1860), Lavina J., Milo, Asenath, Eunice, Luella, and Walter J. Three of the girls were teachers in Rock Island County before their marriage.

Benijah Lloyd, Sr. and family are found in 1850 14N4W (Millersburg): #489 Benijah Lloyd, farmer, NY; Elizabeth 51, Pa; James 23, farmer, Pa; Lucious, 18, Pa; Catharine, 23, NY; Alvin, 16, Pa; Marion, 13, Il; Elizabeth, 11, Il; Lowell, 9, Il; Walter, 7, Il. Catharine is actually the wife of son James (more below under children).

In 1860 Benijah Lloyd, Sr. and family are still in Millersburg Township: #1444 Benijah Lloyd, 64, farmer, born NY; Elizabeth, 61, born Pa; Marion, 22, laborer, Pa; Lowell, 18, Pa; Walter, 17, Pa; Eliza Crozier, 29, domestic, born Pa. Son Alvin is two doors from them on his own farm: #1446 Alvin Lloyd, 26, farmer, born Pa. Benijah Lloyd died August 10, 1864 according to his tombstone, which gives his age at death as 68 yr 7 mo 22 dy. Wife Elizabeth was living with son Walter in 1870, and passed away on June 9, 1880, age 80 yr 6 mo 8 dy. Both are buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Millersburg Township. Their birthdates above are from the tombstone information as done by Family Tree Maker's birthday calculator but be aware there may be errors made when the tombstones were read and transcribed by the DAR in the 1960s. Also we are a little iffy about using birthday calculators - did the families really keep track of things like leap year, etc. when ordering the tombstones?

More on the Children of Benijah and Elizabeth Dunn Lloyd

David Lloyd

David Lloyd was born in May 1821 in Erie County, Pennsylvania. He is found with his family in Mercer County in 1840, age 15-20. He married Sarah E. Brady on 1/5/1846 in Mercer County, Illinois. There is a Brady family in New Boston Township that might fit as her parents; we will be investigating them more since they resided in New Boston Township. David and Sarah are found next door to Benijah in T14NR4W in the 1850 census: #488 David Lloyd, 28, farmer, born Pa; Sarah E., 22, Ohio; Emma, 1, Il; James Cooley, 20, laborer, born In. David Lloyd was elected Supervisor of Millersberg Township in 1854 and his brother Benijah, Jr. was Assessor. Sarah Brady Lloyd died on October 7, 1854, age 27 yr, 9 mo, 26 dy and is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery. A birthday calculator makes her birthdate 12/11/1826.

There is a short note on page 659 of the Historical Encyclopedia of Ill, "First Fair $5 to best lady equestrian, Kate Keiser, afterward wife of David Lloyd." This was Catharine Keyser whom David married 1/21/1857 in Mercer County. The Fair was likely held in 1854. We have some information on the Mercer County fairs on our Social Life in the 50's and 60's page.

David was listed as a census taker in the 1860 census and indeed he is listed at the top of the sheet as the person taking the census (dare we then hope his family is accurate in this census?!). Since he was a ferry operator by 1870 we would guess that may have been his real occupation by 1860 as well, as there is a William Shaw, hostler, in his household in 1860. A hostler was one who worked on engines. We know at one time the Keithsburg Ferry was pulled across the Mississippi by teams of horses on the bank of the River and we are not sure at what time it may have become motorized, so this is perhaps a bit of speculation. Here is the record in Keithsburg: #930 David, 38, census taker, born Pa; Kate, 33, Pa; Emma, 11, Il; Albert C., 9, Il; John A., 6, Il; Rose Dell, 1, Il; Matilda Middleton, 24, seamstress, Pa; Susan Boyer, 40, domestic, Ohio; Wm Shaw, 35, hostler, Ireland. If Matilda is related to David's aunt Eliza Lloyd Middleton, we do not know the relationship. David and family are still in Keithsburg in 1870: #62 David Lloyd, 49, Ferryman, born Pa; Kate, 44, Pa; Albert, 18, Il; John, 16, Il; Della, 11, Il.

By 1880 David had moved on to Mississippi: 1880 Scooba, Kemper Co, Mississippi: Davie Lloyd, 59, born Pa, father NY, mother, Pa, farmer; Mary C., 45, born Pa, parents born Pa; Della, 20, Il. We are not sure if the wife shown is Mary Catherine Keyser Lloyd who would have been 54 and the numbers got reversed in the census. We think it likely because of the Pennsylvania birthplace. By 1900 David was widowed and living alone in Jones Bluff, Sumter, Alabama: #48 David Loyd, born May 1821, Pa, father NY, mother Pa, age 79, machinist, no months unemployed during the year, own home free and clear. He is living in an almost all black neighborhood, only one other white person found in two pages of census records. A curious odyssey and mostly reversed from the direction of most migration in that time period. According to the History of Mercer County, 1882 David Lloyd had begun a company to fight in the Civil War in 1862 but had not finished it and his recruits joined up with Company G of the 122nd Regiment. David did not then fight in the Civil War, so perhaps felt sympathy for and interest in the south.

Benijah and Aarelda Jane Willits Lloyd

There is a sketch of Benijah Lloyd, Jr. on page 173 of the 1882 History of Mercer County. He "was born in Erie County, Pennsylvania on March 17, 1825 and is the second son of Benijah and Elizabeth (Dunn) Lloyd, who were among the early settlers of Mercer county...". "Benijah, the subject of this notice, thus early became identified with the county and enjoyed only the means of a pioneer school education. December 9, 1847 he was united in marriage with Miss Arrelda J., daughter of Dr. Mark Willits and early settler of Mercer County. They have reared a family of nine children, viz: Omer H., Ella J., Nettie, Charles M., William W., George W., Maurice E., and Maude. After his marriage Mr. Lloyd engaged in farming which he successfully followed till the fall of 1856, when he was elected Sheriff of Mercer. He then located at Keithsburg, then county seat, where he remained till its removal to Aledo. At the expiration of his official term, in 1859, he returned to his farm but in 1860 came to Keithsburg where he has since resided enjoying the respect and esteem of his many friends who have almost continually kept him in some position of trust, as shown by the records of the township." A table of officials of Keithsburg Township shows that Benijah Lloyd served as Supervisor from 1871 to 1881. He had also served as Assessor in Millersburg Township in 1854 at the same time his brother David was Supervisor.

Arelda Jane Willits Lloyd was a descendant of Isaiah and Susannah Boone Willits and there is more on the children of Benijah and Arelda on the Isaiah Willits page (linked at the top of this page and includes a photo of the family.) You will find her listed under the family of Dr. Mark and Harriotte Fox Willits (son of Isaac). Arelda was born 8/4/1828 and died 11/14/1905 per obituary furnished by Paula Nevels. She is buried next to her husband in Greenmound cemetery: Benijah Lloyd 1825-1900.

James and Catharine Burroughs Lloyd

The History of Mercer County, 1882 tells us that James was born in Erie County, Pennsylvania, September 3, 1827, and moved with his parents to Mercer County in 1834. It tells us James bought his first land on S. W. Sec. 32 [Duncan Township], in 1849, of Dr. Samuel West, who had bought the tax title. He did not settle until 1857. This may be true as he married Catharine Burroughs on 2/15/1850, but they are living with James's parents in the 1850 census. "In 1860 Mr. Lloyd made a trip to Pike's Peak, and on this trip he met an old Indian who had many times been at his father's house while they were encamped at Millersburg. They both recognized each other at once. He was quite aged, but still remembered all that had transpired during their encampment at Camp creek, at which time Mr. Lloyd was but a small boy." "He remembers Capt. Kinkade and a party of twelve stopping at his father's house while on their way to Rock Island to make a treaty with Black Hawk." It is from this bio that we learn that Elizabeth Dunn Lloyd's ancestors were German. He remembered her as dieing in 1879 while her tombstone says 1880, but did have her age correct as 81. "She will always be remembered by those who knew her on account of her generous hospitality."

James Lloyd was at home in Duncan Township in 1860: #2527 James Lloyd, 33, farmer, 4500, born Pa; Catharine, born NJ; Oliver, 10, Il; Hannah, 8, Il; Lydia, 5, Il; Emma, 1, Il. In addition they had a daughter Mary C., who died 2/11/1855 age 2 yr, 5 mo. Brother Lucius Lloyd and family lived nearby. In 1870: Jas Lloyd, 43, farmer, Pa; Catharine, 43, NJ; Oliver Jas, 20, assists on farm, Il; Hannah E., 17, Il; Lydia A., 13, Il; Benj B., 9, Il; Emma, 6, Il. This Emma is a second daughter Emma, as the one in the 1860 census was deceased.

Son Oliver James Lloyd married Frankie A. Vernon, daughter of Caleb and Nancy Vernon, on 3 18 1762 in Mercer County. In 1880 they are living in Duncan Township adjacent to James and Catharine: #44 James Loyd, 53, farmer, born Pa, father NY, mother Pa; Catherine, 53, born NJ, parents born NJ; Benjamin, 14, farm laborer, Il; Emma, 16, Il; Thomas Butcher 15, farm laborer, Il, In, In; #45 Oliver Loyd, 29, farmer, Il, father Pa, mother NJ; Frankie, 26., Il, father Ohio, mother, Il; Ray, 7, Il; Earl, 6, Il; Oliver, 1; Dan Watkins, farm laborer.
br>Helen Graves is a descendant of this family and will be glad to share information. Contact the Web Master and she will put you in touch with Helen.

Lucius Lloyd

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