Berkeley County, West Virginia BOYD Biographies


    Biography of Rev. Andrew H.H. BOYD

         Andrew H.H. BOYD, D.D., was born at Martinsburg, Berkeley County, West Virginia, in 1814, the second son of General Elisha Boyd. He was educated at Martinsburg Academy and, at the age of 14, entered the Junior Class of Jefferson College and graduated from there in 1830. After attending Yale College for two years, he decided to enter the ministry and completed a regular course in theology at Princeton University. In addition he visited Europe and attended lectures by Dr. Chalmers and Sir William Hamilton in Edinburgh, Scotland.

         His first charge was the Presbyterian Church at Leesburg and Middleburg, 1838; then Harrisonburg, Virginia, 1840; and Winchester, 1842.

         During the Civil war, Dr. Boyd lived within the Confederate boundaries and was captured as a hostage. He was held as such in retaliation for the arrest of prominent citizens adhering to the Union. His health was endangered by this confinement and he died after a long illness at Winchester, Virginia, on December 16, 1865.

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    Biography of Elisha BOYD

         General Elisha Boyd was born in Berkeley County, October 6, 1769, a son of John Boyd, one of the early emigrants to the county. He attended the country schools of the time; in 1785 he entered Liberty Hall Academy, which was the nucleus of Washington and Lee University. He studied law in the office of Colonel Philip Pendleton.

         In 1796, Elisha Boyd was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, with William Lamon as his colleague and in 1797 with Richard Baylor. He was chosen attorney for the State by the County Court of Berkeley County and held that position for 40 years.

         Elisha Boyd married Mary Waggoner, daughter of Major Andrew Waggoner of Revolutionary War fame. They had one child, a daughter, Sara Ann Boyd, who married Phili C. Pendleton. Some years after the death of Sara Ann, he married Ann Holmes, daughter of Colonel Joseph Holmes and the sister of Governor Holmes of Virginia and Major Andrew Hunter Holmes. They had the following children: Ann Rebecca Holmes, John E. Boyd, Rev. Andrew H.H. Boyd, and Mary Boyd, who married Charles James Faulkner.

         Elisha served in the War of 1812 with a commission of Colonel of the 4th Regiment of Virginia Militia and was engaged in the second defense of Norfolk and Portsmouth against a British attack of land and naval force. For his services in defense of Virginia, the General Assembly elected him a Brigadier-General. The United States Army was then composed of States Militia.

         He was a member of the Convention of 1830 which amended the constitution of Virginia, elected in 1832 to a seat in the Senate of Virginia, commissioned a magistrate of the county of Berkeley in 1838, was an advocate of a reform of the “Old Constitution” of Virginia, and was elected chairman of the county meeting and a delegate to the State Reform Convention.

         Elisha Boyd helped to establish Martinsburg Academy, and built “Boydville,” which he bequeathed to his daughter Mary, who lived there with her husband Charles Faulkner. Elisha married a third time, to Elizabeth Byrd of the Westover family; she died November 16, 1839. General Boyd died October 21, 1841, and was buried in the family burying ground at Norborne Cemetery.

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    Biography of John BOYD

         John BOYD was born in England and was one of the earliest settlers of Berkeley County, Virginia. He acquired large holdings in the eastern base of the North Mountain near where the county infirmary was later located. John Boyd was the father of Elisha Boyd of the Second War of England and the ancestor of Colonel John E. Boyd, a noted soldier in the Civil war and of Robert H. Boyd, a distinguished attorney of the Berkeley Bar.

         John Boyd left a large family: Charles, Margaret Fulton, John, William, Rachael, Bailey, Elijah, Mary, Munford, and Elisha. The children, with the exception of Elisha, were among the earliest emigrants to Kentucky. The Hon. Lem Boyd of Kentucky, for several years Speaker of the House of Representatives, was a descendant of John Boyd.

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    Biography of Colonel John E. BOYD

         John E. BOYD Jr. was born at Bunker Hill, Berkeley County on February 14, 1840, the son of John E. Boyd Sr. (1811-?) and Jane (Mayburry) Boyd (?-1856). John E. Boyd Jr. enlisted April 16, 1861, in Company B, 1st Virginia Regiment, Confederate service, and was in the army four years and one day. He was captured by Sheridan’s Union troops, near Bunker Hill, in 1864, and sentenced to be hung (note: a second source disagreed and said he was to have been shot). He was so active and cunning in getting information of General Philip Sheridan's movements the General threatened to "hang him as high as Haaman," thus perhaps leading to the conclusion he was to be hung rather than shot.

         It isn't often someone is allowed the opportunity of witnessing the digging of his own grave and the placing of the coffin therein, but this was the case with Col. Boyd. While he was confined at Winchester as a prisoner he watched, through the bars of the back window of his prison cell, a squad of soldiers digging a grave and placing a coffin within. The custom was to dig the grave, fix the coffin, and stand the culprit to be shot so that the body would fall directly into the grave. Colonel Boyd asked the guard what grave they were digging and the guard replied, "Some d---ed rebel spy," neither knowing it was intended for the Colonel. When Colonel Boyd was captured, he had valuable information about the Union forces on him, leading them to believe he was a dangerous spy. He was captured and taken to Winchester where he was confined and sentenced to be shot two days later at sunrise. Through the intercession of Colonel Ward Hill Lamon, who was in command of the Union forces in the Shenandoah Valley and a friend of Colonel Boyd's, with President Lincoln, his death sentence was commuted and changed to solitary confinement in prison. The reprieve was granted about 5 minutes before the time set for his execution. He was sent to Fort McHenry to be kept in solitary confinement, where he was held six weeks and then exchanged.

         On March 24, 1868, at Martinsburg, John E. Boyd Jr. and Mary V. Stuart, daughter of John W. and Mary (Maslin) Stuart, were married. Mary V. Stuart was born at Gerrardstown, Berkeley County, on February 14, 1843; her father was born and died in Berkeley County (1811-1876), and her mother was born in 1815.

         Children of John E. and Mary V. Boyd were: Clarence S. Boyd, April 4, 1869-August 23, 1879; John W.S. Boyd, February 7, 1871-?; Jane Mayburry Boyd, November 26, 1874-?; Thomas M. Boyd, August 26, 1875-August 15, 1879; and twins, Robert H. and Frank S. Boyd, November 19, 1880. Frank S. Boyd died December 12, 1880.

         The Boyds lived in Martinsburg, Arden District, Berkeley County, West Virginia, where Mr. Boyd was in agriculture.


    Submitted by Marilyn Gouge and extracted from West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia, a reprint of Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia Berkeley County, WV, Biographies List, 1884, History of Berkeley County, 1928.

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