Submitted By Eddie Best, Editor White County, Arkansas, Historical Society.

The writer, Peggy Wyatt Wisdom, was an Honorary Lifetime Member of the White County,

Arkansas,  Historical Society, which she served as secretary for many years.


This is an effort to trace the connection between the Boultons who came to America in 1610 and Mary Etta Boulton Smith, who was born at Boulton's Bend, Smith County, TN, in 1874.   This "history" has been compiled by Mary Etta's granddaughter Peggy Wyatt Wisdom, using old records, letters, conversations with family members and accounts written by cousins J.B. Boulton and Margaret Ann Boulton, found in the “Smith County History” published in 1987.

1. Richard Boulton, age 28, arrived at Elizabeth Cittie, Virginia, on the ship Mary and James.  His provisions as stated in the 1964 publication “Adventures of Purse and Person” from “First Families of Virginia”  included "Corne 10 barrles; fish 400 count; goats 1; house 1; pallizdo 1; armpieces of 4; pistole1;  sword  1;  coat of male  1;  powder  14 pounds;  lead  30 pounds."

2.  John Boulton was born c1635 in Virginia.

      3.  Charles Boulton was born c1700 in Edgecombe County, North Carolina.  He married a woman named Judith.

John Boulton, b. ca 1635, Virginia.

      4.  Charles Boulton was born c1735 in North Carolina and served in the Revolutionary War as supply officer for the North Carolina militia and later for South Carolina and Virginia.  He married Elizabeth Chickens (Hichens).  Charles and Elizabeth had several children, including a Charles Boulton who was born in 1767 in Caswell County, North Carolina.

          5.  Charles was reared on a plantation located on the Dan River in North Carolina. On October 7, 1791 he married Elizabeth Farley.  She was born in 1765 in Petersburg, Dinwiddie County, Virginia.  She was the daughter of Moses and Anne Standfield Farley, a family of wealth, which Elizabeth inherited after the death of the parents and her brother Josiah.  They all died while she was quite young, and she was placed under the guardianship of Samuel Jhonston, a government official.

In 1804 Charles and Elizabeth “Betsy” Boulton left Halifax County, Virginia, by wagon train with several other families. Their destination was Smith County, Tennessee, which at this time was a sparsely settled wilderness. They arrived with household goods, livestock and several slaves. They began to turn the wilderness into a home, which later became known as "Boulton's Bend."  The farm covered more than 1,320 acres.

The first six of Charles and Elizabeth's children were born in Halifax County, Virginia – first Charles Lemuel (“Lem”) in 1792, then Moses, Lucy, Frances, Lent and Elizabeth, the latter in 1803. Two more children were born after they arrived in Smith County – Wilson in 1805 and James in 1807.

According to the church minutes of August 1806, Charles Boulton  and his wife Betsy were received into fellowship by the Caney Fork Baptist Church.  In 1808 Charles Boulton was nominated to the office of deacon, but later that same year the minutes show that Charles was excommunicated “for not hearing the church.”

Family records indicate in 1814 Charles fathered a child out-of-wedlock with a woman 22 years younger.  Because of the scandal, Elizabeth was ashamed to be seen in public and stopped attending church services.  The church minutes February 1814 state, "Sisters Linch and Adams to cite Sister Betsy Boulton to March meeting." The March minutes read,"Sister Boulton came to meeting."

By 1820 Charles and Elizabeth were separated, Charles living in one household and Elizabeth in another at Boulton’s Bend, with her children and 30 slaves.  Charles, his mistress and their children moved to Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee. Charles had cousins in Memphis who chose to spell their name Bolton, dropping the "u."   So, with the move he not only took on a new life but also a new name – Charles Bolton.  His new family started using this spelling.

      At age 65, Elizabeth Farley Boulton decided to divorce Charles Boulton (Bolton).  Her son-in-law, Amos Chapman, went to court as her next friend.  The petition of divorce was filed on May 19, 1828, in Carthage, Smith County, Tennessee.   On April 15, 1830, the cause came to be heard. All of Elizabeth's sons-in-law appeared as witnesses for her. The divorce was granted and Elizabeth was restored to all the privileges of a single woman. She never remarried.

On June 6, 1830, Charles married his mistress, Sarah (“Sally”) Campbell. Their eldest son was 16. Charles petitioned the General Assembly of Tennessee to have his second family bear the Boulton name and become his legal heirs; his petition was granted.  They lived on a farm in the Big Creek community of Shelby County.

Charles Boulton (Bolton) died February 19, 1847.  He is buried in the Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis. Charles had retained ownership of Boulton Bend, even though it was still occupied by his former wife, Elizabeth. When his will was read, he left the upper end of the farm to his eldest son, Charles Lemuel (“Lem”) Boulton, the lower end of the farm to James Boulton, his youngest son by Elizabeth; and to the other children by Elizabeth, he left the sum of five dollars.  His estate in Shelby County was left to his second family.

Elizabeth continued to live in Boulton’s Bend, in the home of her son James. All of her children were grown and married; most of them had left Smith County.  Charles Lemuel married Catherine (“Kate”) Boze, Moses Boulton married Gary Rust West; they moved to Memphis.   Lucy Boulton married William Andrew Hallum, Frances Boulton married Amos J. Chapman (the son-in-law who helped Elizabeth obtain her divorce). They relocated to Lonoke, Arkansas. Lent Boulton married Elizabeth Ann Hughes, sister of Governor Simeon Hughes of Arkansas.  Lent and his wife moved to Lonoke.

Elizabeth (“Betty”) Bolton married William Thomas Williams, physician and innkeeper.  They stayed in Carthage. Wilson Boulton married Autha Cockerham.   James Boulton married Martha Dean.  They lived in the old home place at Boulton's Bend. Elizabeth lived with them until her death in 1857 at the age of 92.  She is buried in an unmarked grave in the Boulton Cemetery, which is located at the rear of the garden behind the house where she spent most of her life.

Charles Lemuel (“Lem”) and Catherine (“Kate”) Boze Boulton continued to live on the upper end of the farm in Boulton's Bend.  Catherine was born in Lunenburg County, Virginia, the daughter of Hardy and Margaret Brooks Boze.  She was the granddaughter of John and Katie Wells Boze, who came from Wales and England and settled in Virginia. Hardy and Margaret Boze arrived in Smith County in 1804 from Halifax county.  Most likely, they were on the same wagon train as the Boultons.

Lem and Kate Boulton reared five sons and five daughters: Americus, Decatur, James Buchanan, Araminta Cheek, Charles, Arlisha, Thomas Jefferson, Pernetie, Hanse and Emily.

Charles Lemuel Boulton was born in 1792 and died ca 1857. His portion of the farm was divided among his wife and children. The children sold their shares in the 1860s.  Catherine was living on her dowery. She died before 1870 and her land was sold.

Upon the death of James Boulton, his farm went to his son John Boulton, who sold off parts of it. At his death, he willed the remaining portion of his farm to his two unmarried daughters, Clara and Evie Boulton. They remained at Boulton's Bend until the early 1920s when they sold the place and moved to Lebanon, Tennessee, to be near their brother. The old home place was owned by Boulton kin until it was sold at auction in 1994.


Lem and Kate's son James Buchanan was born in May 1823. His first marrage, c1845, was to Elizabeth F. (“Betty”) Armistead, the daughter of Jesse and Martha Armistead. Their children were Jesse, Darelson, Alonzo Thomas, C. Wade and Elizabeth. (Jesse and Darelson died as infants.) Elizabeth Armistead Boulton died c1856.  The children were reared by their grandmother,  Martha Armistead.  James Buchanan Boulton married twice after Elizabeth died. He and his three wives had a total of 22 children. He died Feburary 28, 1911, in Smith County.


Alonzo Thomas Boulton, born in 1849, son of James Buchanan and Elizabeth Armistead Boulton.  Alonzo Thomas was married February 26, 1873, to Sarah Elizabeth (“Sally”) Petty.  She was born June 13, 1851, the daughter of Henderson B. and Nancy Proyer Grisham Petty.

Alonzo and Sally Boulton were the parents of six children: Mary Etta, born January 10, 1874; James Henderson, born April 19, 1875, died Sept.16, 1965; Andrew Jackson, born l877, died 1931; William Robert, born l879, died 1912; Nancy Elizabeth, born 1883, died 1903; Larkin Crage, born 1877, died 1959.


Alonzo Thomas Boulton died August 1, 1901, at Bluff Creek.  He was buried in the Boze Cemetery, which is completely lost.  Sarah Elizabeth (“Sally”) Petty Boulton died February 20, 1915. She is buried in the Gibbs Cemetery in South Carthage, Tennessee.

Go To The Gibbs Cemetery Pictures








        Richard Boulton

        John Boulton

        Charles and Judith Boulton

        Charles and Elizabeth Farley Boulton

        Charles Lemuel and Catherine Boze Boulton

        James Buchanan and Elizabeth Armistead Boulton

        Alonzo Thomas and Sarah Elizabeth (“Sally”) Petty Boulton

        Mary Etta Boulton who married Daniel Wesley (“Lane”) Smith


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