Tuesday, November 30, 2010

52. and 53: Eliza and Evelina Boykin

Two students named Boykin attended the Mordecai school:

Eliza Boykin from Smithfield was at the school for three sessions, mid-1815 to the end of 1816, with Simon Boykin as the adult name attached to the account.

Evelina Boykin, also from Smithfield, was also at the school from mid-1815 to the end of 1816, also with Simon Boykin taking responsibility for her account.

The notation in the ledger page for October 1815 says "Simon Boykin for Eliza and Evelina." Another notation at May 1816 just says "Majr Boykin," and at September 1816 there's "Maj. S. Boykin" making another payment.

I'm going out on a limb and guessing that Eliza and Evelina are kin. ;) Not necessarily sisters; they could be cousins. But first: Smithfield VA or Smithfield NC? Smithfield NC still has a Boykin Motors listed among its major local businesses. But Smithfield VA (home of Smithfield ham) has Fort Boykin Historic Park, on the James River. A Simon Boykin of Virginia seems to have been a Revolutionary War officer, but there were a handful of men named Simon Boykin, all in the same family, including sometimes brothers (who went by Simon Jr. and Simon Sr., and named their sons Simon just to keep things interesting).

One interesting tidbit emerges from the mess of Simons: Major Simon Boykin (of Smithfield VA) had a daughter Louisa Boykin (1791-1850). She married a Daniel Boon (1786-1870--not the Daniel Boone), and they had a number of children, including daughters Eveline and Eliza, both born c. 1815. Were the Boon daughters named for Louisa's sisters, who would have been young teens and soon Mordecai students at the time? To complicate things, this Boon family seems to have lived in Smithfield NC before moving West in 1835.

So, which Smithfield? Which Boykins? Surprising that the rather uncommon name "Evelina Boykin" gets no useful hits, even with various spellings. So she doesn't turn up in marriage records or cemeteries or even family genealogies (not so uncommon for daughters, especially if they don't marry or die young). Or maybe she just used another first name for most of her life? There are several Eliza Boykins who might be the right age to be the Mordecai student, but not much about any of them.

Anyone want to claim the Boykin girls?

Monday, November 1, 2010

48, 49, 50, 51: The Boyds

Four girls named Boyd attended the Mordecai school:

Christian Blair Boyd was there for both sessions in 1811.

Eleanor Boyd of Mecklenburg Co., VA, was there from mid-1815 to the end of 1817; the name Mrs. Elizabeth Boyd is associated with her account.

Jane Boyd was at the school for one session, in the latter half of 1815, with the name William Boyd associated with her account.

Virginia Boyd attended in 1816.

Just as an illustration of how complicated Southern family naming habits could get, the Christian Blair Boyd (1801-1860) above was born in Warren Co., daughter of Panthea Burwell and Col. John Boyd; but she had a double-cousin also named Christian Blair Boyd (1816-1868); his mother was Panthea's sister, and his father was Col. John's brother. (We'll be getting to the Burwell girls soon, but the Boyd and Burwell families are fairly entwined, so hold on tight.) The female Christian Blair Boyd married John T. Garland in 1819, and they lived in Lunenburg VA; they had three children (1821, 1824, and 1826). The youngest died in infancy in 1827; Christian would also bury her only daughter, Panthea Ann Garland, in 1848. Her son John Richard Garland lived to 1899, and became a prominent judge and mill owner in Lunenburg. Christian was widowed young, in 1828, and she remarried in 1832, apparently to a kinsman of her late husband: David S. Garland (c1787-c1865).

Christian Blair Boyd didn't have any sisters, but it looks like the other Boyds were probably her cousins. Eleanor Boyd (1801-1833) of Mecklenburg Co. VA, daughter of David Boyd (1778-1815) and Elizabeth Ott Durell Boyd (1783-1835) seems to have been sent to school in the event of her father's death in the same year, which is why her widowed mother "Mrs. Elizabeth Boyd" is the adult on the account. Eleanor had a sister Virginia (b. 1805), who might well be the Virginia Boyd who attended the school; she married a Richard Pryor in 1821, and moved to Hempstead Co., Arkansas with him. David Boyd's brother was Col John Richard Boyd, so these girls would be first cousins to Christian Blair Boyd.

The Boyd men also had a brother William (1767-1834). He married Frances Bullock in 1791, and their second daughter was.... Jane Boyd (1798-1835). Good chance she's the fourth Boyd. Jane Boyd married Dr. Charles Lewis Read (1794-1869), in 1816, and moved to Granville County, NC. She had ten children before she died at age 37 (in childbirth).

So this is the scenario:

Three Boyd brothers with daughters around the same age; the eldest girl, Christian, went off to the Mordecai school for couple sessions in 1811; a few years later, when brother David Boyd dies, her his daughter Eleanor Boyd and her cousin Jane are also sent to the school, and soon Eleanor's little sister Virginia joins them.