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From: Mike Boyd
Sent: Thursday, August 1, 2019 9:30 AM
Subject: Re: [NIR-DOWN] Re: Miss Leavitt's book of "The Blair Family
Sorry for the slowness of my reply, but last Saturday I had a 160th
anniversary re-union for my own Boyd family when four members were drowned
on the Tweed River Bar. And I had to do a paper for it.
I found two version of this book. One that I could not copy or print, but I
found a second that allowed me to both copy and print and which I am using
to build a Family Chapter. However, when it was scanned its text was not
corrected, so there are a number of words that have questionable spelling
It will take me several more days to finally build this Family Chapter.
I was also able to find 10 or so other websites on the Family of James Blair
and Rebecca Boyd of Aghadowey, County Londonderry. Where it is quite clear
that the information prior to the family going in about 1718 to Boston, MA
is in "CONFLICT" and I will have to write several articles of trying to put
these parts together.
At this time, it does not look like that this family is connected directly
to the Blairs of that Ilk at Dalry, Ayrshire. Although they may stem form
one of the younger brothers? I have yet to look at the Blair's of Adamton,
near Prestwick Airport to see if that maybe the connections. But hopefully,
I can get all this done in a weeks time.
After 1718 this Blair family was in Worcester County, MA. And I know that
in the 1790 US Census there were Boyds in this same County and it got me
thinking if the two families came form the same area of County Londonderry,
Ireland. So did your Boyd family have links with this Blair family at a
Historical Committee, HBS
From: Douglas Boyd
Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2019 11:07 AM
Subject: [NIR-DOWN] Re: Miss Leavitt's book of "The Blair Family (1900)."
I’m somewhat familiar with the book
It covers the family and descendants of Robert and Isabella (Rankin) Blair
who immigrated to New England with the 1718 group. The author postulates
that the family was from Aghadowey and that Robert was the son of James and
Rachel (Boyd) Blair. It has a section on the Blairs of Ulster and their
involvement in the siege of Derry.
On Mon, Jul 15, 2019 at 8:33 PM Mike Boyd <mikejboyd(a)bigpond.com> wrote:
> Recently I was sent page 92 of “SCOTCH IRISH PIONEERS IN ULSTER AND
> AMERICA”, BY CHARLES KNOWLES BOLTON, 1910” where it says at the bottom of
> that page
> “^mong the Fasti are William Boyd, 1709, and Adam Boyd,
> 1711. References to the. Boyds may be found in Miss Leavitt's The Blair
> Family (1900). “
> I assume the first word is Among”
I was recently sent a reference of “Miss Leavitt’s book – The Blair Family, 1900” which full title is - The Blairs of New England, by Emily Wilder Leavitt, 1900, as outlined in the website - https://archive.org/details/blairfamilynewe00unkngoog/page/n5 - and it says on pages 21- 22 (?) that Rachel Boyd’s family come from Thomas Boyd of Craigs, whom came from Oxfordshire in 1573. With one of his sons moving to Dungiven, Londonderry, and that Rachel Boyd is this son’s granddaughter who lived in Aghadowey.
And as a result of getting that book, I was told about the family of Rachel Boyd and James Blair of Aghadowey.
When I checked with Dr Google, I found about a dozen websites on this family, including
Chestnut Blue - Person Page
Rachel Boyd married James Blair, son of David Blair. Her married name was Blair. Rachel Boyd was born in 1644 at Her married name was Blair. Rachel Boyd was born in 1644 at Aghadowey, Londonderry, Ireland .
Person Page - 781
Which provided this information -
“Thomas Boyd was born in 1620 at Bordstown, Oxfordshire, England. He married Elizabeth Douglas in 1643 at England. Thomas Boyd died in 1699 at Aghadowey, Londonderry, Ireland.”
Family Elizabeth Douglas b. 1623
o Rachel Boyd+ b. 1644, d. 10 Mar 1700
This date of death of 1699 and location of Aghadowey, would suggest that this “Thomas Boyd” is the same person as Rev Thomas Boyd, the second Minister of Aghadowey, who in took a company of his congregation to assist in defending the City of Londonderry in 1689 and stayed the whole siege.
This is the first time that I have seen a birth date for him, his location of birth, his marriage date and his wife’s name. (At this time, I have nothing to compare if this data is correct or not.
While with this Thomas Boyd, from other websites, he is said to be the grandson of a Thomas Boyd whom came to Craigs, County Antrim in 1573 from Oxfordshire and his ancestry can be trace to Lord Robert Boyd, Regent of Scotland in 1466-1469. (Unfortunately, it does not tell us what this linkage is.) So, the Elizabeth Douglas MIGHT ALSO THE WIFE OF THE GRANDFATHER rather than Rev Thomas Boyd.
I think in this “chestnut-blue.com” website has “confused” Rev Thomas Boyd of Aghadowey’s LOCATION OF BIRTH, with that of this grandfather, but at this time I have no way of proving or disproving this.)
However, if Thomas Boyd, the grandfather, whom came to Craigs in 1573 – WAS BORN IN OXFORDSHIRE – DOES THIS MEAN THAT OTHER PEOPLE FROM OXFORSHIRE MIGHT HAVE ALSO SETTLED IN COUNTY ANTRIM IN THE 1570’S AS WELL?
Do any list members know of any such migration from England in the 1570’s?
Some of these website’s imply that this Blair family came from Ayrshire, rather than Perthshire. But that will require a lot more work to confirm its origins in Scotland and when they may have settled in Ireland and where.
It is also suggested that in about 1718 that this James Blair, his children and grandchildren went to Boston, MA and then settled in Worcester County, MA. I have not yet had time to read this book carefully, but this first impression would suggest that they were mart of Rev James MacGregor’s five ships of 1718. If so, I assume that they are now part of The 1718 Project that Colin Brooks is involved with. And he may be able to confirm this linage or if they sailed for Boston, MA shortly after this migration
Hopefully others can add to this Boyd/Blair/Douglas family?
House of Boyd Society
King James II, eldest daughter, Princess Mary Stewart and her two husbands.
For some decades, many of the Boyd descendants and I have believed that there were two versions as to what happened to Princes Mary Stewart’s marriage to Thomas Boyd, Earl of Arran and eldest surviving son of Lord Robert Boyd.
One version is that Thomas Boyd died in Europe and Mary Stewart returned to Scotland. The second version is that she came back to Scotland to try to get her brother (King James III) to pardon her husband, but the King held her captive and forced her to divorce Thomas Boyd, Earl of Arran, and to marry the elderly James Hamilton.
Both of these version sound quite possible.
In the book A Genealogical History of the Royal and Illustrious Family of the Stewarts, From the year 1034 to year 1710; … to which are prefixed, first, A General Description of The Shire of Renfrew, …, 1710 and on pages 165 and 166, I found this account of these events, after listing her three brothers -
“IV. Mary, married Thomas Master of Boyd, , son and heir of Robert Lord Boyd, Chancellor and Governour of Scotland, in King James III’s minority; a youth of extraordinary endowments, both of body and mind; with her he obtained the Isle of Arran and many other lands, , and was created into the dignity of Earl of Arran, an. 1467. But in 1468, being commissioned ambassador to Denmark, to attend Margaret, daughter of Christian King of Denmark, , King James III’s Queen, home to Scotland, his greatness procured him envy; and, in his absence, his enemies plotted his ruin. Robert Lord Boyd his father, and Sir Alexander Boyd his uncle, were summoned to answer such points as should be exhibited against them in Parliament; , and were declared enemies to the State. Robert Lord Boyd retired to England, an. 1469, where he, in a very short time, ended his days.  Sir Alexander, his brother, was challenged and convicted, , of treasonable carrying his Majesty in person, against his inclination, on his way to the Castle of Callender, to Edinburgh; , which Sir Alexander offering to produce an Act of Parliament for, approving it good service, (and is yet extant,) it was kept, and he condemned to lose his head; which sentence was execute on him. [8.] Thomas Earl of Arran, arriving with the Queen in the Firth, , in July 1469, and preparing himself to come ashore, resolving to throw himself upon the King’s clemency; his lady coming to him disguised, gave him particular information of the circumstances of his family, the weakness of his interest at Court, and the many snares laid by his enemies to cut him off; and, resolving to partake with him in his misfortunes, returned back to Denmark, from thence to France, and thereafter to Antwerp. King James writes to his sister very kindly to return home: the Lady believing her presence might influence the King her brother to restore her husband to his favour, comes for Scotland, leaving him at Antwerp, where, in a very short time, he died; , leaving issue by the said Lady Mary his wife, James, who by the bounty of his uncle was restored to the dignity of Lord Boyd, , and to the lands of Kilmarnock, Dalry, Kilbride, Nodsdale, & in 1482; but he was killed, in a feud, by the Montgomeries, an 1487, and died without succession. . He had likeways a daughter, Margaret, married first unto Alexander Lord Forbes; and surviving him, she remarried with David first Earl of Cassils, but had not any succession.
In the year 1474, some two years after the death of Thomas Earl of Arran, the Lady Mary was, by the King her brother, given in marriage to James Lord Hamilton; by whom she had James Lord Hamilton, and a daughter, Elizabeth, married to Matthew first Earl of Lenox, of whom that illustrious family descended. Which James Lord Hamilton, nephew to King James III. obtained from King James IV. The Isle of Arran, as a gratification to him for his great charge in negeiating the King’ marriage with Margaret, daughter of King Henry VII. and was created by him the dignity of Earl of Arran, the 9th day of January 1503. . James Earl of Arran, his son, was declared Governor of Scotland, upon the death of King James V. during the minority of Queen Mary; and by an Act of Parliament, declared successor to the Throne, if the Queen died without issue. He was honoured with the title of Duke of Chatlerault, by King Henry II. of France, in 1548. He stood firm to the interest of Queen Mary, until his death, which happened the 22d of January 1576.”
Mike Boyd’s Notes/Questions:-
 This Thomas Boyd appears to be the second son and eldest surviving son of Lord Robert Boyd and Mariota (or Janet), daughter of Sir John Maxwell of Calderwood from this comment in History of the County of Ayr, with a Genealogical Account of the Families of Ayrshire, Vol 1I., James Paterson, 1852, page 280 for the Kennedy's, where it says –
"8. Marion, who was contracted to marry John, son of heir of William Wallace of Craigie, by indenture dated 12th April 1459; and was also contracted to marry James, eldest son of Robert Lord Boyd, in 1465."
This would suggest that Lord Boyd had an elder son named, James Boyd, who has died before April 1467, when his second son, Thomas Boyd, married Princess Mary Stewart, and after 14 April 1465.
 On 26 April 1467, Thomas Boyd was created Earl of Arran. (I assume that this is the date of his marriage to Princess Mary Stewart but have no other evidence to that effect.) While in The Scots Peerage Founded on Wood's edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, Containing an Historical and Genealogical Account of the Nobility of that Kingdom, ed Sir James Balfour Paul, Volume V, 1908, pp 147-149, says:-
"THOMAS, Earl of Arran, is first mentioned in 1467, when he was, by his father's influence, married to the Lady Mary, sister of the reigning King, (then a minor), James III., and created Earl of Arran by charter dated 26 April. Though this was the customary method of creating Scottish earldoms at that date, 'the form of the erection of the earldom of Arran was somewhat peculiar,' (See note by R. R. Stodart, Lyon Clerk Depute, The Complete Peerage, i. 132) four charters being simultaneously granted, 26 April 1467, to Thomas, Master of Boyd, the designed Earl, and Mary, his wife. (Reg. Mag. Sig., i. Nos. 912-915.)
The first of these conveyed the isle of Arran, within the sheriffdom of Bute,
the second the lands of Stewartoun, Tarrinzean, Turnberry, and Risedalemure, in Ayrshire, and Meikle Cumrey, in Bute;
the third Cavertoun, in Roxburghshire, Teling in Forfarshire and Polgavy, in Perthshire,
and the last Kilmarnock, Dalry, Kilbride, Nodesdale, Monfudd and Flat, in Ayrshire, and Naristoun, in Lanarkshire, on the resignation of his father.
He sat in Parliament 16 October 1467. …”
There were other Boyd lands that were in the hands of some of the other Cadet Branches of Clan Boyd that are not listed hear, but that will need be another article.
 It is my understanding that Princes Margaret of Denmark, was married in Denmark before she came to Scotland and that Thomas Boyd, Earl of Arran “stood in” for King James III at this first of two weddings.
 What date was this summons? In 1469 – when?
 Some sources say that he died in 1472 at Alnwick, England, which was one of the castles of the Dukes of Northumberland, the Perry’s. However, you will notice below that Thomas and Mary’s son, James Boyd was in 1482 made Lord Boyd by King James III, his uncle – thus suggesting that his grandfather did not die until about that time and not in 1472. (I feel that the Duke of Northumberland put the former Robert Lord Boyd, who was the sole regent of Scotland for 3 years, to work in his employment, but have yet to find any evidence to that effect and might even be buried at Alnwick.)
 What date was he “challenged” and when was he “convicted” of treason? I have been told that he was executed on the fore court before the Gates of Edinburgh Castle, (but I can’t find that source at present). I think that I have seen that date of execution as November 1469. So, this does not link with the Queen’s arrival in June 1469, when this plot to over throw the Boyd’s is said to have taken place.
 I have seen a publication by the East Ayrshire Council, published in the 1980’s, in which an article outlined this “taking” of King James III to Edinburgh Castle and it listed a number of other nobles how were involved. Were any of those people also brought before Parliament at this time in 1469 and also executed?
 What date was this execution? (Mike Boyd think he has seen the date November 1469!)
 I have seen a report that the Earl of Arran stood in for the marriage in Denmark for King James III.
 What date is this? According to The Scots Peerage, Volume V, pp 147-148, 1907, it says -
“A marriage treaty having been arranged with the Princess Margaret of Denmark, he proceeded with a noble train to escort her to Scotland. Returning July 1469, his wife hastened on board to apprise him of the change in the King's feelings, and having landed the Princess, he immediately sailed back to Denmark accompanied by his wife. He was attainted along with his father 22 November 1469. Here all certainty as to his movements ends. Buchanan, (Hist. of Scotland, ii 133), says that he passed through Germany to France and Burgundy, where he sought service with Charles the Bold, and died at Antwerp, where a magnificent monument was erected to his memory. In an undated letter of John Paston, (Paston Letters, iii. 47), to Sir John Paston, he is referred to in terms of the highest eulogy as 'the most courteous, gentlest, wisest, kindest, most companionable, freest, largest, most bounteous knight'; and as 'one of the lightest, deliverst, best spoken, fairest archer, devoutest, most perfect, and truest to his lady, of all the knights that ever' the writer 'was acquainted with.' Fenn conjectures that the letter was written in 1470 or 1472; but the expression 'my Lord the Earl of Arran, which has married the King's sister of Scotland,' coupled with the absence of any reference to the sudden precipitation of the family from supreme power, would seem to argue an earlier date. (Dict. Nat. Biog..) Whatever the actual date may be, he was then in London, lodging at the George in Lombard street, his wife apparently with him. The date of his death is unknown, but is conjectured to have occurred before 1474.”
This date of being “attained” on 22 November 1469 is not consistent with him being “attained” before he returned to Edinburgh with the Queen in July 1469. These dates will require further research to confirm this sequence of events in 1469.
 A number of Scottish historians, say that Princes Mary Stewart was “forced” to marry Thomas Boyd, Earl of Arran. This may be initially true, but despite the date of his arrival back in Scotland with James III’s Queen from Denmark, it is quite clear that Princes Mary advised her husband, Thomas Boyd, not to come ashore and most likely be executed by her brother, but actually “fled” with him to Denmark and then had two children with him before she, herself, returned to Scotland (it is not known if the children came with her or not) to plead her husbands case. This does not sound like a case of forced marriage.
 In about 2008, I was told by Mrs Clarkson of Seamill, Ayrshire, (an Ayrshire local historian), that he had been killed, to stop the Boyds from being Kings of Scotland, in the event that James III’s children might have died without any issue. His death took place at Irvine, Ayrshire, and a number of others on both sides were killed with him. (I have yet to find any known list of those that were killed in this “incident”. The Earl of Eglintoun, was his cousin and not his uncle as is often stated is said to have killed him.
 It is not clear whom held Arran after Thomas Boyd, Earl of Arran forfeited these land sin 1469 and after Princes Mary Stewart was said to have been forced to marry the much older James Hamilton, Lord Hamilton. And it is not clear why it was not until 9 January 1503 that her son by Lord Hamilton was created Earl of Arran. This title seems to have been passed through a number of families.
This account of Princes Mary Stewart’s marriages, given in 1710, seems to say that both versions are true and the events followed each other, with Thomas Boyd, Earl of Arran, have died in Belgium, there was no need for a divorce so that the King could force her to marry James Hamilton, Lord Hamilton..
There are other conflicting claims that Princes Mary Stewart – when she returned to Scotland in either 1472 or 1474 – has held capture in Dean Castle, Kilmarnock. While another version says that she was held at Law Castle, West Kilbride, Ayrshire. It has been said by some sources that this castle was built by the Boyds as a home for Princess Mary Stewart, but as Thomas married her in about April 1467 and the Boyds are said to have been overthrown in late 1469, I do not think that there would be enough time for the Boyds to build this castle in this time gap. (Over a decade ago, I did find "several" dates in the second half of the 1400’s when this castle was built, with one as late as about 1485. However, that will require further research to outline all these various claims of when it was build and by whom.)
If you are on either the Hamilton, Stewart, or Percy rootsbweb.com net list, feel free to post this message to those lists, so that any additional data can be added to this story and to “try” to determine what might be the more creditable story is.
This account of Princess Mary Stewart’s marriages seems to be the best account to date, but that, I assume, will not stop other versions (or data) being found over the next few months by other researchers and it seems that more work still need to be done to get a more complete picture of these events and dates.
Thank you for any additional information that you can find or add to this story. And as set out hear, only one Boyd was ever made “Earl of Arran” – Thomas Boyd – so watch out for those sources say the “Boyds” were “Earls of Arran”. That is not true
House of Boyd Society
Annual Revenues of Hostages given in Security of the Ransom of James I. in 1424, Rymer X 327
For a few decades, I have known that Sir Thomas Boyd, feudal Baron of Kilmarnock, had been a hostage for the ransom of King James I in 1423, but not whom the other Scottish Lords/Nobles were that were with him.
And I have also had a “working” theory, that because these nobles were in captivity together, it was “most likely” that after they returned to Scotland that they married each other’s children, as part of this bond of being in captivity together. (At this time, I do not have enough data to be able to prove or disprove this working theory.)
So, I was quite pleased when I was looking through the book A Genealogical History of the Royal and Illustrious Family of the Stewarts, From the year 1034 to year 1710; … to which are prefixed, first, A General Description of The Shire of Renfrew, …, 1710 and on page 522, when I found this list –
“Annual Revenues of Hostages given in Security of the Ransom of James I. in 1424, Rymer X 327
David, son and heir of the Earl of Athol,
Thomas, Earl of Moray,
Alexander, Earl of Crawford,
Duncan, Lord of Argyle,
William, eldest son and heir to the Lord Dalkeith,
Gilbert, eldest son and heir to William the Constable,
Robert, the Marschal of Scotland,
Robert Lord Erskine,
Walter, Lord Dirleton,
Montgomery of Eglinton,
Thomas Boyd of Kilmarnock
Lord Patrick of Dunbar, Lord Camnok,
Alexander Lord Gordon,
Lord William of Abernethy,
James of Dunbar, Lord Frendraft,
Andrew Gray of Foulis,
Lord Robert of Livingston,
Lord Robert of Lille,
James Lord Calder,
James, Lord of Cadyo,
Lord William of Rothvane,
William Olyfaunt, Lord of Abirdalgie,
George, son and heir of Hugh Campbell,
Robert, son and heir to Lord Robert de Mautelent,
David of Ogilby,
Patrick, son and heir to John Lyon,
Note. It is estimated that each Merk was equal in effect to 10-pound Sterling at present .”
You will note that many of these Nobles do not have any surname given to them, which will have to be added into this table. And the spelling will also have to be “corrected” in a number of cases! While, I would also guess, that some of these titles are no longer in use. And it may be necessary to add a fourth column to show from which areas of Scotland these people came from as well, to so the distribution of these people though out Scotland.
It would also appear that there is a mixture of actual nobles or their heirs that were included in this group.
I am not sure if this is a list of the most prominent families in Scotland in 1424 or if it has some other meaning in Scottish history? And it will bring into question those nobles who are not on this list. And the question as to how this list of people were created?
For me being a Boyd, it is interesting that Sir Thomas Boyd of Kilmarnock is ranked 12th on this list – for what it is worth.
I assume in time, a “second line” will have to be created in this table for the “modern” spelling of these names, titles and surnames.
If you can add any further information on these families, I would be most grateful.
House of Boyd Society