Monday, October 16, 2017

Another Week of Amazing Discoveries!!

This past weekend a cousin came to visit.  She brought a large suitcase filled with family treasures to pour over!  And that we did!  We spent over 20 hours reviewing, scanning, problem solving and trying to put the pieces of our Boyd family history together!  Oh how we wished that "grandma" was alive to ask!

I was absolutely in awe of the items she shared on disc (because they were too large or fragile to transport) and all of the amazing new images we studied.  There were some we knew right away, a few we were able to deduce and still many more that we will be researching and trying to identify.

Let me share a few of these things here in hopes that someone might stumble upon them and help us to sort things out.

An image we knew. . . 
John "the second" is pretty easy to pick out in most photos, but it was sure nice that someone took the time to add the information to this photo of him!

An image we think we know after studying it for quite awhile and comparing with other family records we have. . .
We believe this to be younger RC and Sophia (Thornburg) Boyd with her sister and sons.  The inscription on the back says that this is "Aunt Tiney" and her boys.  If we are right, she is Estina 'Tina' (Thornburg) Wilkinson and these are her two oldest sons, Lloyd and Guy.  Would love some verification of this!!

And then there's this great 4 generation photo. . .
We have absolutely no idea who they are!  They are dressed in such lovely attire.  Grandma looks like she would have stories to tell.  

Thanks to cousin Jane for making the trip and bringing these treasures to share with the clan.  Over the next few weeks, I'll work on processing, labeling and posting some of these great photos here in hopes that YOU might be able to help us solve the many photo mysteries in our Boyd treasure chest!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Bucks County Adventure 2017

This past month, I had the chance to walk in the footsteps of my Boyd ancestors.  What a thrill that was!

I didn't solve all of the family mysteries that I'd hoped to, but I did learn some new things and explored what their lives might have been like during the American Revolution.

They were involved in a variety of ways in that history.  Living just down the road from Washington Crossing, they had a first hand look at the action.  Providing feed for the horses of the troops, directly serving in military units, hosting Marquis de Lafayette in their home were just a few of the ways our family got involved.  I'm sure there are many stories yet to discover concerning this chapter of our family history.

We found the estate papers of Captain John Boyd who died in 1805 in Bucks County, PA.  His estate was not vast, as he died at 38 years of age.  In today's $s it equated to about $72,000.  I'd love to own even one of the 9 Windsor chairs that he owned or the silver pocket watch that he no doubt used as he sailed the high seas.

We visited the Friends Meeting House where Thomas and Susanna (Brown) Yardley attended and were laid to rest not far from Yardley, PA.
Still holding services there today!

We visited the Brandywine Battlefield in Chadd's Ford, PA and the winter quarters park at Valley Forge.  These visits gave a new appreciation for the kind of leader Washington had to have been to keep the troops focused on the goal of independence.  Supplies were short, accommodations far from the comforts of home that we enjoy today! 

Did a little exploring of my Loyalist ancestors who ended up in Nova Scotia as a result of the outcome of the Revolution!  Daniel Bessonett must have been quite a guy!  He commanded a group of men that was known as "Bessonett's Coy".  He received a land grant from the crown for his efforts.

We visited Bristol, PA, home of the Boyds, Yardleys, Bessonettes, Cabeens and Bostwicks. 
 It was thrilling to walk down main street and locate the placard on the building that housed the business started by Horatio N. Bostwick and involving Boyd and Cabeen ancestors, too.
It's a tattoo parlor today!  Kinda glad it wasn't open for business while we were visiting downtown. 

We visited St. James' Episcopal Church and cemetery while in Bristol.  Like most cemeteries back east, they are falling into disrepair due to vandalism, families moving away and just the shear cost of upkeep.  We were very grateful that the Priest noticed a couple of gals with cameras in hand and came out to lend a hand!  There were over 1,000 buried in the cemetery and they had a great map in the office to help us make sense of the unusual layout!  We would never have found the grave sites without their help.  Many had illegible or completely removed writing.  

 Robert and Ann (Bessonett Boyd) Cabeen's Stone (We think!)
 Kirkbride family stones.  We tried to reset the one, but it was just too heavy to budge.
 Church established in the 1720s. 
Charles Bessonette's stone.  He was the Loyalist Daniel's father.

We also had a little fun with a living relative on the Schlichting side of the family.  Cousin Jennifer joined us for a day of touring in Philadelphia.  It was great to get to spend the time together.  Looking forward to the next time!
Special "box" seats at the Sunday morning services.
Betsy Ross House

  Ben Franklin's Tomb

 Well this long blog post has made up for my lack of posts in the past year!!  It was an awesome whirlwind trip.  These were only a few of the highlights. . . there were 5 cemetery visits, 10 library/archive/museum tours, 8 states in 10 days!  We needed a vacation to recover from the vacation!

Family discovery is a fascinating experience.  Getting to walk in the paths of great men and our ancestors was thrilling.  Looking forward to reviewing all of the information we captured and seeing where these clues lead us next!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Rest in Peace, Cousin Connie!

Connie Boyd Chester was a cousin, a great friend and my Boyd genealogy research partner.  We met on-line in 2000. She was a tech savvy grandma! 

Connie had posted her Boyd family tree on the web and we connected.  It was exciting to find another cousin wanting to learn more about our Boyd family, finally!  

Over the next 15 years, we shared information, photos and stories.  We put our heads together to try to solve the mystery of Old John Boyd, the sea captain who seemed to fall off the face of the earth in 1805.

Connie had been working on this problem for more than 40 years!  That's persistence!!  I'd really only gotten started a few years before we met, while my Grandpa was still living.  He always told stories about his Boyd grandparents and I wanted to capture those while I could.

When we first corresponded, I lived several states away.  So we kept the postal service and email lines hopping.  After several years, I took a job in Connie's area.  We enjoyed getting together for coffee and would visit for hours about the lives of our ancestors.  We also got together for the Phillipsburg Rodeo each summer. I will miss those visits.  

With the help of Connie's granddaughter, Jodie, we were able to locate and visit Old John Boyd's grave site (above) in the Presbyterian Cemetery in Bensalem, PA.   What a thrill that was!

We were also able to uncover the Cabeen Manuscript that details how John Boyd and Ann Bessonett met in Halifax and married in Philadelphia soon after.  I remember sitting in the cafe in Glade and sharing that document with Connie.  We were both like kids in a candy store!  

Genealogy is quite a journey!  You learn fascinating stories about the life of our ancestors.  But, its the family members you meet along the way that  make life special.

I feel blessed to have gotten to know Connie and her family, my Boyd cousins through this journey. 

 You will be missed, cousin Connie!  Until we meet again!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Minnie Mary Sophia Boyd

MINNIE MARY SOPHIA BOYD was born on 24 Jan 1904 in Columbus, Platte, Nebraska, USA.  She was the first child of Ralph Waldo Emerson Boyd and Minnie Hoge Boyd.  Her mom, Minnie Hoge Boyd, died 19 Feb, 1904.  Minnie Mary Sophia wasn’t a month old.  Her mom’s obit notes that “Besides her husband the young wife leaves the infant daughter who has steadily failed in strength since its birth and no hope is given relatives of its recovery.”  Minnie Mary Sophia did survive and was raised by her grandparents, RC and Sophia Boyd.

She married ALBERT LOUIS SEDGWICK.  They settled in Oklahoma.  She died in July 1984 in Pryor, Oklahoma.     

At the recent reunion, Minnie Mary Sophia’s descendants wanted to share a special remembrance of her with the Boyd cousins.  They brought a box full of beautiful doilies to share with the reunion attendees.  There were grape patterns, flowers and many interesting and intricate patterns and colors.  The one I chose was a dogwood pattern.  It is a beautiful table topper.  She was a talented hand worker.  What a treasure!

Thanks, Ronald and Barbara!  You can see this special doily is right at home at my house! 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Ship Harry

Good Old John Boyd, the Ship Master, was also Master of the Ship Harry.  I'd found several clippings from Philadelphia area newspapers around 1800 that showed this relationship.  At the reunion, there was a shipping certificate listing the cargo from one of the trips across the ocean to Malaga.