William Boyce Genealogy
The Boyce family is from Scotland originally. It is ordinarily spelled Boyce or Boice. Different lines of the family came to this country, settling in the eastern states and moving west. What follows here is the line beginning in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, and moving to Kentucky.
In 1936, John Carroll Stow of Baltimore wrote of the Boyce family, and anyone who explores this family can profit by using that study as a starting point. He believed his line (and ours) began with Daniel and Margaret Boyce of Worcester County, Maryland. He also assumed that these Boyces were related to the one in the adjoining county of Sussex, in Delaware. More recently, in 1994, Pauline Manning Batchhelder published A Somerset Sampler, Families of Old Somerset County, Maryland. She believes that the Boyce family can be traced back two more generations to Joseph Boyce, who died in Somerset County, Maryland in 1718. What follows here relies heavily on these prior studies.
William Boyce (d. ca 1667), evidently the first Boyce in Somerset County, may have had origins in Northampton/Accomack Counties, Virginia. A William Boyce was on several headwright lists in Accomack County in the 1660s, as was a John Boyce. William Boyce was executor of the estate of Sarah Delamas (Belamas), sister of his wife Mary. The clerk of Northampton County in 1658 was John Boys. William Boyst was recorded with rights to land for himself and his wife Mary in Somerset County on October 3, 1662. He had surveyed for himself the tract Boyces Branch on the north side of a branch of the Annemessex River on April 9, 1664. He served on a jury with Roberet Catlin on November 27, 1666. Torrence describes Boyce's family in Old Somerset. William Boyce wrote his will on January 19, 1665/6, and its probate date is not recorded. In his will William Boyce placed his only daughter Jane, under 15, in the custody of Robert Catlin and Ann his wife until Jane is of age, and makes Catlin his executor. A further suggestion of a relationship between the two families is that William Boyce's tract, Boyce Branch, and Robert Catlin's tract, Cattlyns Lott, each 300 acres, were surveyed the same day and were adjacent to each other. The Catlins came from Accomack County, and the daughter Ann was born in Hungars Parish on October 6, 1661. There is no overt indication found of a relationship between this William Boyce and the Joseph Boyce below.
Joseph Boyce was perhaps the same one listed as transported to Maryland in 1675. No mention of land ownership in Somerset County is to be found. Joseph died about 1718 in Somerset County, and his estate was appraised by John Huffington and John Gilles, and was filed in 1718, with Joseph Boyce (Jr.) and Daniel Boyce listed as next of kin. There are no Boyces on the 1723 tax list for Somerset County. Daniel Boyce appeared on the 1724 tax list in the household of Thomas Huffington, an indication that he was at least 16 years of age by then. However, Batchelder does not believe him to be a son of Joseph Sr. Joseph Jr. and Daniel were listed as next of kin to Joseph Sr., under the law of primogeniture, suggesting that Daniel was the son of Joseph Jr.
Batchelder concludes that Joseph Boyce's children were as follows:
Boyce was born on September 17, 1686.
Joseph Boyce, Jr., was born on June 17, 1688. More later.
Anne Boyce was born on Jun 17, 1690.
William Boyce was born on June 5, 1692. Possibly died before 1718.
Sarah Boyce was born on May 5, 1694.
Boyce, Jr., was born on June 17, 1688. He probably lived out his life in
Somerset County, though little is known of him. His wife is not identified.
He probably died by 1721, for a couple of the children were "bound out" then.
Batchelder believes that their children were as
Daniel Boyce, was born about 1708. More later.
William Boyce was born about 1710. He was bound to Robert Mitchell in November 1721. He was taxed in the household of Robert Mitchell from 1727 to 1731, with William Lane in 1733-34, and with Angelo Atkinson in 1735. He may have died before the 1736 assessment.
Tabitha Boyce was born about 1714. She was bound out in November 1721 to John Matthews.
John Boyce first appeared on the Somerset tax list in 1731. He was assessed as head of the household in 1736. As residents of Worcester County, Daniel and John were associated in 1748 in ownership of land, suggesting a close relationship.
Boyce, probable son of Joseph Boyce, Jr., was born about 1708 in Somerset
County. He married Margaret, last name unknown, about
On May 16, 1734, Daniel Boyce patented 100 acres, a place called Good Luck. On August 14, 1745, he patented 160 acres called Dispute. Then on February 10, 1755, he patented 50 acres, 40 square perches called Long Ridge. (Land Records of Worcester, Md., 1666-1810, by Ruth Dryden) Note: Worcester County was created from Somerset County in 1742.
Daniel wrote his will on February 12, 1755; and it was probated the next month, on March 27, 1755. (Lib. 29 of Wills, folio 413) Here is an abstract:
Debts and funeral charges to be paid and discharged.
To son William Boyce, 50 acres of land, contained and mentioned in patent, dated Feb. 5, 1728, called Johnson's Folly and another tract in Somerset County, the patent bearing date of May 15, 1734, estimated to contain 100 acres of land called Good Luck; also one negro boy...
To son, Joseph Boyce, 40 acres of land, purchased of Spence Hall, being part of a tract, called Green Hill and another tract, called Tyrall, estimated to contain 100 acres, mentioned in a patent, dated Dec. 20, 1741 (taken up by John Boyce); also 50 acres, called Long Ridge, made over to testator, by Jonas Dunstin, on Nov. 5, 1734.
To son Jonathan Boyce, 50 acres of land, next to boundary of a tract of 210 acres, called Disputes, also 100 acres called Boyce's Fancy; also saw and grist mills, belonging to it, when he shall reach the age of 21 years.
son William Boyce
John Houston Sr.
28/1755/6 - Margaret Boyce, widow and relict of the within, Daniel Boyce,
renounces the within or foregoing will and electeth in lieu thereof, to have
her thirds of the deceased's estate, as by law established. - Before Benton
Harris - D. Comry of Worcester Co.
On March 12, 1756, the inventory of the personal estate of Daniel Boyce, deceased, was made and reported by John Gibbons and Philip Wingate. (Vol. LX, Inventories, F. 582) Next of kin were Joseph Boyce and Sarah Collins. Creditors listed were Joseph Raccle and Joseph Collins.
The widow, Margaret Boyce, later married Joshua Caldwell, millwright, perhaps by early 1757, when two of the Boyce sons sold land to him. When Joshua died in 1767, his wife was Betty. (Worcester Co. Wills, JW-2:150-151)
Children of Daniel and Margaret Boyce
|William Boyce, was born about 1732. More later.|
Boyce married Magdalene Burn on November 15, 1769. She was the daughter of
Henry Benson, miller, who in his 1761 will left
her a bequest, "excluding Magdalin's husband." In 1760 and 1761 he was on the Rent Rolls of Worcester County for Green Hill, 50 acres,
and Tryall, 100 acres. Joseph wrote his will in Sussex County, Delaware, on February 15, 1778, and listed the following heirs: Wife Magdalene
; sons Joshua and Eleze Boyce; daughers Leah, Comfort and Writtie Boyce. The executors were the wife Magdalene and brother Jonathan
Boyce. Witnesses were Peter Dolbee; Joseph Boyce, Jr., and John Crockett. His funeral record at Broad Creek indicates that he was buried
on April 19, 1778, "plus a child plus a stranger at once." The will was proved on May 6, 1778. (Archive Vol. A 60, pages 52-53) Reg. of Wills,
Liber C, folios 150-152). On May 9, 1791, Comfort Boyce, daughter of Joseph Boyce, deceased, minor past 14 years of age, prays the court
for admittance to choose for her guardian, Thomas Grace. Court agrees. (Orphans Court, Georgetown, Del., Lib. C, p. 151) Same date came
Jonathan Hill, stating that Joseph Boyce, late of Sussex County, deceased, did not in this life time, dispose of the guardianship of his children,
namely Elsey, and Rita Boyce, minors, under the age of 14 years, and prays the court to appoint proper person to be guardian, until they
become of age. Whereupon the said Jonathan Hill is appointed.
Boyce married Matilda Hazzard on June 20, 1763. Later he married Eleanor
? . He inherited 50 acres, next to a tract called Dispute;
100 acres called Boyce's Fancy; and the saw and grist mill. On March 19, 1757, he resurveyed Saw Mill Supply 360 acres that he assigned to
Joshua Caldwell. He wrote his will in Sussex County, Delaware, on February 3, 1798; and named his wife Eleanor; sons Asher, Thomas and
Elijah Boyce; daughters Polly Boyce and Bathsheba Vickers; grandson James Moor. Executors were sons Asher and Thomas Boyce, and
brother William Boyce. Witnesses were John Benson, William Hobbs and Peter King. The will was probated on February 6, 1798. (Archive
Vol. A60, pages 49-51. Reg of Wills, Liber E, folios 159-160) Archive Vol. A60, page 51, mentions Polly Edger, so presumably this daughter
had married. Another daughter Jinny, was mentioned in the Lewes and Coolspring Presbyterian Church records: (1) The marriage to Josiah
Hobbs in August 1778; and (2) the funeral of Jinny Cony Hobbs, daughter of Jonathan Boyce, 8 Jan. 1779. The above estate was settled by
the brother, William Boyce. He charged the "estate of Jonathan Boyce, deceased, with the supporting of his widow, Eleanor Boyce, who is
insane and not capable of taking care of herself, which is agreeable to the Will and last Testament of the deceased. Amt. 11-12-3 1/2."
Boyce inherited 160 acres, called Disputes, from his father. He died in March
1765 in Worcester County, Maryland. In his will he gave
his wife Meida (or Micada), the use and possession of all estate, real and personal, until the daughter, Comfort was 16 years of age, and then
the wife was to have one third and Comfort two thirds.
|Sarah Boyce was married by the time the father died in 1755. Her husband was Joseph Collins.|
Boyce was not yet of age in 1755, and never married. She wrote her will in
Worcester County on February 9, 1763; and it was
on June 4, 1765. (Liber of Wills, Folio 235, p. 33) She loaned to her brother, Joseph Boyce, her negro boy, Willaye, until her sister, Margaret
Boyce, married and then gave the said boy to her sister Margaret, then to pay Joseph's daughter, Ann Boyce, ten pounds. She gave the residue
of her estate to her brother, Daniel Boyce; and sister, Comfort Boyce. The estate was inventoried on July 31, 1765, and the nearest of kin were
named as William and Jonathan Boyce. (Liber XC of Inventories, Folio 119)
|Margaret Boyce was not yet of age in 1755. She married James Edgar, and was buried in Sussex County on June 21, 1786.|
|Priscilla Boyce was not yet of age in 1755. Later she married Jonathan Dolby.|
Boyce was not yet of age in 1755, and probably was the youngest of the family.
She married (1) Henry Edgar on January 14, 1764;
and (2) William Hobbs. William Hobbs was listed in the 1820 Sussex Census, Little Creek Hundred, as age 45 or over, with one one female
45 or over and one male 10-16.
William Boyce, son of Daniel Boyce, was born about 1730/32. He patented 100 acres, called Boyce's Discovery, on October 5, 1754. In 1755 he inherited 50 acres, called Johnson's Folly; 100 acres called Good Luck, and a negro boy. He married (1) Mary Carter on January 23, 1752, in the Holy Trinity Church, commonly called "Old Swedes Church." She must have died shortly thereafter, for he married (2) Naomi Prettyman by February 6, 1757. On that date William Boyce with his wife Naomi Boyce sold 100 acres, Boyce's Discovery on Broad Neck Creek, to Joshua Caldwell. On April 5, 1757, William Prettyman mentioned his daughter, "Naomi Boyce" in his will. William Boyce was on the 1790 tax list as living in St. George's Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware. William "Sr." and his wife were listed in the 1800 census,, page 330, as age 45 or over, with two males and two females 16-26. He claimed 50 slaves.
William Boyce wrote his will on April 15, 1817; and it was probated on February 5, 1818. He left five shillings to each son: Benjamin (the eldest), Prettyman, Robert and Hosea. Son William was given 160 dollars. Daughter Peggy Benson was given the lands and plantation whereon "William Benson now lives." Also named were grandsons, Noah and Hosea Benson, sons of daughter Peggy Benson; and Francis Tyer Ellingsworth, son of Leah Ellingsworth. Other grandchildren named were Margaret Boyce, daughter of Asa and Polly Boyce, and Asey Boyce, son of Hosea Boyce. Also mentioned was daughter-in-law Polly Boyce, widow of Asey Boyce, deceased. Hosea Boyce was named Executor of the estate. (A 60, Folio 63-69)
Children of William Boyce and his wife or wives
Boyce was on the tax list for Broad Street Hundred, Sussex County, in 1785.
In the reconstructed census of 1790
he was in Nanticoke Hundred.
Boyce was on the tax list of Broad Creek Hundred for 1785-1797. He was listed
in the reconstructed1790 census
of Delaware, and was living in Nanticoke Hundred. In the 1800 census, page 330, he and his wife were listed as age 26-45,
with two boys and two girls age 0-10, and one girl 10-16.
Boyce was born on October 22, 1763, and died on March 13, 1838, according
to a Bible record. He married Nancy Turner,
daughter of William and Elizabeth Turner. Robert wrote his will on April 6, 1837, and it was probated on March 20, 1838. He
mentioned his wife Nancy, daughter Margaret Elliott and Sarah "Sally" Hazzard, and son Silas Boyce. The sons-in-law, Meshack
Elliott and Jacob Hazzard, were named executors. For more on this line, see Stow's history.
|William Boyce, Jr., More below.|
son of William and Naomi Boyce, was baptized on November 7, 1774, in the
Lewes and Coolspring Presbyterian Church,
according to the church records. He was not mentioned in the will of his father, William, which suggests he had died by then.
son of William and Naomi Boyce, was baptized on May 26, 1776, in the same
church. According to Robert Carney, Jr.,
a descendant, Hosea married Mary ?, and they had the following children: Asa, James B., Naomi P., William, David Henry, Patty
, Hosea Hudson, Mary Ann, Margaret Ann, and Elizabeth. Hosea wrote his will in Sussex County on September 7, 1840; and it
was probated on December 22 of that year.
|Peggy Boyce married William Benson. They had a son named Noah, a name that occurs often in this line of the family.|
|Asey or Asa Boyce married Polly ? . Asa predeceased his father.|
|Leah Boyce married an Ellingsworth.|
William Boyce, Jr., son of William Sr., and Naomi Prettyman Boyce, was born between 1765 and 1770 in Sussex County, Delaware. This is surmised by later census records. He married Abby W., last name unknown. They had moved to Scott County, Kentucky, by the time William Boyce, Sr., wrote his will.
William Boyce is mentioned briefly in W.H. Perrin's History of Bourbon, Scott and Nicholas Counties, on page 207. There, Perrin discusses the settlement of Lytle Fork of Eagle Creek:
Among the early settlers may also be mentioned John Harwood, William Boyce (from Delaware), and Obadiah Ellis (from Baltimore), Paris and William Griffith (from Delaware); all of the above came out and settled here not far from the year 1790.
Perhaps the oldest church in this precinct is Salem. It is the property of the Methodist Society of Christians, and was first organized about 1823. Among those who were present and identified with its organization were William Banks and wife, William Boyce, Obadiah Ellis, Squire John Rollins.
1810 Scott County census, page 179, gives this informatoin regarding the
William Boyce family
1 - male - under 10
2 - males - 10-16
1 - male - 26-45
3 - females - under 10
2 - females - 10-16
1 - female 26-45
County census 1820, page 111, William Boyce
1 - male - under 10
1 - male 45 plus
3 - females - under 10
1 - female 45 plus
to William Boyce was Thomas Boyce
1 - male - 16-26
1 - female - 16-26
Scott County cesus, page 184
William Boyce, Sr.
1 - male - 10-15
1 - male - 60-70
2 - females - 15-20
2 - females - 20-30
1 - female - 50-60
1 - male - 15-20
1 - female - 20-30
Boyce, page 183
1 - male - 5-10
1 - male - 15-20
1 - male - 30-40
1 - female - under 5
1 - female - 5-10
1 - female - 30-40
T. Boyce and his brother, Noah, moved to Morgan County, Illinois, by 1835,
for they appear there in the census of that
On April 12, 1839, William and Abby W. Boyce sold their Scott County land to Newton Penn. This was apparently the time that they also moved to Morgan County, Illinois. There they appear in the 1840 census, page 4, as follow: William Boyce 70-80, Abby Boyce 60-70.
Also appearing in 1840 census of Morgan County were T.T. Boyce, Noah Boyce and William Boyce (Jr.)
A William Boyce from Morgan County was involved in a legal case in 1850-1851 over the estate of a son, Peter Boyce. (Probate File 107) This William stated that he was too old to attend the trial, but gave his depostion instead. He indicated that Peter left home in Kentucky for Palmyra, N.Y., where Ezekiel Corydon helped him pay for his medical schooling. William said he had known E.S. Corydon for about 20 years or more, and that he "is a brother-in-law of mine. I married his sister.. P.R. Boyce was my son." Could this be our William Boyce? We think not. William and Abby Boyce had been married since about 1793, far more than the above-mentioned 20 years of acquaintance with Ezekiel Corydon. Meanwhile, there were other William Boyces in Morgan County, and we believe one of them married a Corydon.
Children of William and Abby W. Boyce
Boyce was born on April 16, 1795. She married Joshua Barlow, and died on
July 22, 1849, in Boone County, Kentucky. She is buried
in the Barnard Cemetery of Bulletsville. Their known children are Michael, Christopher, Lavina, William Boyce, and Joshua.
T. Boyce was born on October 12, 1796, in Scott County, Kentucky. He married
Elizabeth Sinclair, daughter of John Sinclair, Jr.,
and Rachel Daniel Sinclair by 1820. He was listed in the above census records. He is mentioned in B.O. Gaines History of Scott County,
page 189, a record of the 1825 County Court:
On motion of Peter Thompson, it is ordered that a summons be served against Thomas T. Boyce, Constable of this county to appear here at
the next term of this Court, to show cause why he shall not be removed from office on the following charges: First, that in a writ case the
Constable against -- Hamilton and James Cummins, wherein they were fined $11, and in case of default ordered to imprisonment; he, the
said Boyce, as Constable, was with a guard conveying them to prison, when he proposed to the guard, being two in number, that they would
give him the said Boyce, 15 shillings, and he, the said Boyce, then approved that the prisoners escape. That one of the said prisoners, Hamilton,
has since labored for said Boyce and paid him the other 15 in work and labor. Second, that he has charged and received from persons illegal
fees in the discharge of his duty as Constable. Third, at a meeting during divine worship, said Boyce then an acting Constable, drew off his coat
and offered to fight one of the members of the church, and abused him by profane swearing in presence of the congregation.
Thomas T. Boyce and his family moved to Morgan County, Illinois. Elizabeth's parents had settled there also. Thomas Boyce died on
September 3, 1845, and is buried in the Hebron Cemetery of Yatesville Township. Elizabeth died in 1875. Their children include Cynthia
Ellen, Noah W., Abby Ann, Mary S., Sarah Marion, and Elizabeth Watson.
Boyce was born on January 15, 1798, in Scott County. He married Matilda
Miles/Toadvine on July 20, 1821, in Harrison County,
Kentucky. She was born there on July 16, 1797. They eventually moved to Harrison County Missouri, where he died on July 29, 1877.
She died on Septmember 25, 1872. Both are buried in the Fairview Cemetery. Noah's son, Daniel is featured in a biographical sketch
in the 1888 History of Harrison County, Missouri. It notes that Noah was the son of William and Abby Boyce. Noah's children were
William, Abby W., Amelia "Millie" R., Margaret Ann, Thomas Taylor, Daniel Durbin, Eveline, Angeline "Anna," and Paris Ann. Four
others died as infants.
Boyce was born on July 21, 1800, in Scott County. He married Catherine Moss,
daughter of Thomas Moss, on November 4, 1824.
He died on August 27, 1867, in Morgan County, Illinois. Catherine was from Culpeper County, Virginia, born on September 7, 1804. Both
are buried in the Jacksonville East Cemetery. Their known children were William Thomas, James R., Henry W., Eliza and George.
"Mattie" Boyce. While we have no definite proof that she was a daughter of
William and Abby, we suspect she was. Perrin's
page 634, notes "...Samuel Parker was born in Maryland Dec. 17, 1792, and died in 1879...Matilda (Boyce) Parker was born in Philadelphia,
April 7, 1798, and is now living in Illinois." Yet, according to Marguerite Emmons, later census records consistently report that Matilda was
born in Kentucky about 1802. Also, the 1880 census notes that her parents were from Delaware. As seen above, Mattie married Samuel Parker,
and they had six known children: William, Sallie Ann, Noah, unknown female, Reuben A., and John Andrew. We wonder if Matilda went to Morgan
County, Illinois, in her latter days, to join the rest of the family.
T. Boyce was born in 1804, according to the 1850 Scott County Census. She
married Seth Sinclair on February 6, 1833, and Rev. H.
minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, officiated. The Scott County marriage bonds were destroyed in a court house fire, but this record is
found in her application for a pension for Seth's service in the War of 1812. Nancy married at age 29, and lived to sometime after the 1880 census.
Seth was older, born in 1788. Their children were William B., Mary E., Annie M., George M., Sarah E., Matilda E. and Eliza Jane. This writer is a
descendant of Annie M. and her husband, Reuben Newman Faulconer.
T.M. Boyce was born on September 17, 1810, in Scott County. On July 6, 1835,
"Bartholomew T.M. Boyce" sold to William Boyce
two wagons, two horses, cattle, hogs one bed and corn. (DB K, p. 278) Bartholomew was listed in the 1850 Scott County Census on page 490:
Bartholomew Boyce, 39, farmer, born KY; Mary Boyce, 47, Margaret Boyce, 20; Granville Boyce, 18; Mary C., 16; William Boyce, 14; Elijah
Boyce, 12; John Boyce, 10; Eveline Boyce, 7; Oscar Boyce, 4. Bartholomew married Mary ? about 1829. She was born March 19, 1800. The family
eventually settled in Brown County, Kansas. Bartholomew died on March 4, 1898, and Mary died on May 22, 1881. Both are buried in the Hiawatha
Thanks go to:
Robert L. Carney, Jr.
Submitted and compiled by: James G. Faulconer
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