I recently I got a query on Robert Boyd and Eleanor Porterfield (which I know is familiar
to me, but I can’t find that Family Chapter)
The details I was given was that Robert Boyd was born in 1720 in County Donegal, Ireland,
died May 1752 in Augusta County, Virginia. While the details for Eleanor Porterfield are
given as born 1722 in County Donegal, Ireland, died 1782 in Augusta County, Virginia.
This query did not list children.
I know that there were two or three Boyd family groups within County Donegal, Ireland in
1720. The first was from Loughros Point in SW Donegal. This family arrived in 1690’s,
and is said to have come from Kilmarnock. The second family group is from Ballymacool,
Letterkenny. While this family starts in the early 1600’s and I do have some known
children from the late 1600’s, I could not find any Robert Boyd who was born in 1720 or
the 1720’s. So I do not think that this is the Boyd family that Eleanor’s husband came
from. There is a third family – said to be from Moville at the mouth of Lough Foyle.
However, some of the names listed in the International Genealogical Index, said to have
come from “Moville, County Donegal” in these private family trees, actually come from
Movilla, Newtownards, County Down, Ireland. [Note the location in County Down has an “A”
on the end and not an “E” as the town in County Donegal. So the person making these trees
may have got the spelling confused when searching for where it was and put the family in
the wrong County.]
One of these families was for a Hugh Boyd, bc 1742, whose wife was Jane Craig. While this
family is known to have come Movilla, Newtownards, County Down but the IGI shows it as
Moville, County Donegal.
So could the family of Robert Boyd, who married Eleanor Porterfield, have come from the
Ards Peninsular, County Down? If data might be found on where both Robert and Eleanor
were actually born, and that proves to be in County Down. Then this family might an
unknown part of Colonel David Boyd’s family which arrived in the Greyabbey Parish area in
Robert Boyd and Eleanor Porterfield were said to have had only two children - Esther (b.
1750) and Robert Patrick BOYD (b 1752). Given that Robert and Eleanor are said to have
been married on 28 June 1749 in Augusta County, Virginia, there might be a third child
born to them in about 1749. And after Robert’s death in 1752, Eleanor took her two
children to Rockingham County, Virginia.
While a number of people think that Andrew Boyd (bc 1745 – dc 1820), who married Mary
Buchanan, and both died in Botetourt County, Virginia was also a son of Robert and
Eleanor. The data on Andrew, while he also appears to have been born in Augusta County,
Virginia, does not seem to fit the known details on this Robert Boyd.
So do you have any data on these families?
Historical Committee, HBS