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THE BOYDS IN IRELAND
In the beginning of the seventeenth-century, when James VI
of Scotland became James I of England, a concerted effort was
made to settle the province of Ulster with Scots. While they
were not aware of the fact, many of them were returning to
the home of their ancestors. King James thought of this as
one way to cure the Irish problem.
Most of the large estates from at this time have long since
passed into other hands. Some of the Undertakers (a man who
undertook to plant the land with settlers) did not adhere to
the conditions of the grants and, therefore, lost their
estates. Others sold the land once they had obtained title.
Many more estates were created by land grants between 1641
and 1703, after the 1641 rebellion. The Scottish Undertakers
as part of their land grants undertook to plant the land with
settlers (or undertenants) whom they brought over from
Scotland. It was mainly these tennants who became the
ancestors of the ethic group known today as Scotch-Irish, a
term virtually unknown in Ireland where they are known as
Very little documentation survives on the Undertenants, but
the Undertakers are a different story. It must be remembered
that, in those times land was considered more valuable than
people. Because large tracts of land are involved there is
far more information on the Undertakers. As the undertenants
were brought to Ireland by the Undertakers it is obvious that
many of them came from the same area in Scotland and were
near relatives. One such undertaker was:
Sir Thomas Boyd of Bedlay: second son of the sixth Lord Boyd
of Kilmarnock, Scotland. He married Grizel Cunningham, the
daughter of Alexander Cunningham on 22 October 1603. Ulster
patent dated 29 August 1610: Shean 1,500 acres, Strabane
Barony, County Tyrone.
Mary or Marion, the sister of Thomas Boyd, married James Hamilton
Earl of Abercorn and eventually acquired Sir Thomas Boyd's
estate. It can be assumed that Thomas Boyd brought over many
settlers by the name of Boyd since the surname is quite
common in Northern Ireland. Many of the Boyd's in America
are descended from these Ulster-Scots but tracing them down
is another thing altogether. Many records have been destroyed
during the centuries of civil strife in the country.
THE PETITION OF ULSTERMEN
Five heads of the Boyd family signed the memorial (Petition
of Ulstermen 1718) to Governor Shute, March 6, 1718 asking
encourgement to obtain land in "that very excellent and
renowned plantation called New England. Captain William Boyd
came to this country fourteen times bringing Scottish
pioneers from the north of Ireland, and finally located at
Londonderry. There is reason to believe that many of the
Scottish Boyds who came between the years 1718 and 1750 from
Ulster were his near kin. A number of them located at
Bristol, Maine. The Petition begins:
"We whose names are the underwritteninhabitants of ye north
of Ireland doe in our own names and in the names of many
others, our neighbors, gentlemen, ministers, farmers, and
tradesmen, commisionate and appoint our trusty and well
beloved friend the Reverand William Macasky to repair to His
Excellancy the Right Honorable Colonel Samuel Suitte (Shute)
Governor of New England, and to insure His Excellancy of our
sincere and hearty inclinations to transport ourselves to
that excellant and renowned Plantation upon our obtaining
from his Excellancy suitable encouragement"......... The
original copy of the Petition of Ulstermen hangs in the rooms
of the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord.
The petition is signed by three hundred people of which I
list only the Boyds: John Boyd, Robert Boyd, Thomas Boyd,
William Boyd and Thomas Boyd.
John Boyd was one of the Scotch-Irish pioneers. He was born in
1704 and died June 30, 1789. He married Margaret LONG 11
April 1731 in Boston who died September 30,1793, aged eighty-six.
He and his brother David Boyd settled in Shelburne Falls, then
Hampshire County, Massachusetts.
John Boyd Jr., son of John Boyd, was born in Upton, Mass., in
1733, and died at Shelburne, October 15, 1815. His will is
filed at Franklin County at Greenfield. His wife Mary (Warren)died at
Shelburne Falls, August 9, 1825 aged eighty-eight years. More
information on this family can be found in "New England
Families" by William Richard Cutter, 1913.
David Boyd, son of John Sr., died in Wilmington, Vermont in
1802. His wife's name was Sibel Taylor. David's will was
made 22 Dec 1800. Probate began 19 January 1802. He had four
sons: David, James, Aaron and Joel. Six daughters were listed
Sally, Sibel Boyd Fox, Levina, Lovice, Relief, and Triphena.
David had lived in Shelburne