Boyds of London - Links with Canada 1780s
by Martin Wood
I've been working on a Boyd family living in London from around the
1780s on. There were four brothers and I'm fairly certain that they were
the children of John Boyd (of Kilmarnock) and Grace Kerr (m 1747). It
has been suggested that John was the son of Robert Boyd (glover) and
Margaret Thomson of Kilmarnock about whose lineage, as you know, there
has been some dispute! There are connections between this London family
and the Boyds descended from the Rev. W. Boyd of Crimond (who I take to
be the son of William Boyd [the manufacturer?] and Janet Mitchell who
settled in Turriff about 1763). I think these links are worthy pursuing?
The four brothers in London were: William, Errol, Robert and Mathew. (My
wife - nee Boyd-Moss is descended from Mathew.) They were ship's
commanders and subsequently ship owners. On looking at Board of Trade
Records at the PRO in Kew I have made a number of Canadian connections:
The Caladonia, part owned by William Boyd of Prescott (not sure if this
is Prescott, Ontario, but I don't see any links with the Prescotts in
England) (Master - Errol Boyd) 1788
The Valiant built in Newfoundland was commanded by Errol Boyd 1789
The John (built New Brunswick, 1789) was registered to William Boyd and
Errol Boyd both of the Parragon, Southwark, London in Dec 1790 (Master -
The Bell (built Philadelphia, 1774) was registered to William Boyd of
the Parragon, Southwark, London in 1790 (Master - Mathew Boyd) was
endorsed at Quebec 06/08/1791
The Levant was commanded by Errol Boyd in 1793 - this ship was sailed by
Errol to Quebec in 1793 via Jamaica see:
Also: Mary Kearns Trace identifies; BOYD, Errol : Ship Arrival, 1798,
QUE, Abstract, CA006-392:
- no longer valid
URL - but this might be the other Errol, see below?
I have previously seen the following web reference to Mathew Boyd of
22. TÊTU, Félix.- Greffe de 1806. Document rédigé en anglais, non signé,
de l'étude de Maître Têtu, notaire public. Québec, 17 mai 1806. 1f. gr.
in-f° (38cm) 3p. Fendu au pli central, avec perte de qq. lettres à 4
mots, petits trous et fentes marginales aux plis. [Brouillon d'un acte
notarié. Power of Attorney & a Substitution. Procuration par James
Patterson de la paroisse
St-Michael à Québec, un des partenaires de la firme Patterson &
Meggison, pour John Macnider, marchand de Québec, afin de percevoir de
Mathew Boyd de Londres des sommes dues et de vendre toutes propriétés à
l'Ile du Prince-Édouard, Baie de Gaspé, Baie de Richmond et Cascumpac,
pour acquitter des dettes. Substitution en faveur de William Hamilton et
William Buck Cripps (biffé et remplacé au crayon par François Blanchet,
médecin de Québec), le 21 mai 1806. Témoins: F. Têtu et James Tulloh.
DBC VI, p. 74-76: Blanchet, François (1776-1830), auteur, médecin homme
politique, homme d'affaires et seigneur.] (anyone read French?)
It appears that he owned land on Prince Edward Island. If anyone reads
French, perhaps they could cast some light on this?
The links with the Boyds of Crimmond come from several sources. The
first is a notebook that is in the possession of another descendant of
Mathew, Fergus Hinds. This documents the descendants of John Boyd of
Kilmarnock and William Boyd who moved from Kilmarnock to Turriff. His
son, the Rev. William of Crimmond had a son George Hay Boyd who died in
Ceylon in 1836. This George was the commander of at least two of
Mathew's ships - the Mary 1820 and the Almorah, 1826 and he named
Mathew's son, William Smith Boyd as his executor.
I think all of this supports the case that the two families were
connected and probably that the James Boyd of Passamaquoddy was the
brother of William and John of Kilmarnock.
In the process of doing this work I have also looked closely at all
those named Errol Boyd. There were two born around 1760/61 one to
William and Janet (who moved to Turriff, prob Sept 1761, and one to John
and Grace of Kilmarnock, probably May 1760).
The former I think went to Canada and joined the Nova Scotia Fencibles.
The discharge record at the PRO in Kew reads -
Private [which I found surprising] Errol Boyd, born Kilimarnock,
Ayrshire, enlisted at Halifax, 09/05/1793, shoemaker (?). He was
discharged at the age of 63 in 1826 which puts his DOB at 1763 or
thereabouts. As Errol the brother of Mathew and William died in London
in 1822 then this must be the son of William and Janet (of Turriff) -
the notebooks suggest he was a
Government employer in Halifax, Nova Scotia (and that the male branch
was extinct). It would appear from the 1881 Canadian Census that he had
a son in 1795 (born in Nova Scotia from Scottish origins) who was living
in Piers Mills, Halifax, Nova Scotia. An Errol Boyd married a Jane
Gilmour in 1817 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, according to a record submitted
to the IGI after 1991 by a member of the LDS Church, and I would assume
this was a son of his.
An Errol Boyd Lindsey is named in the will of Errol Boyd who died in
London. I take this to be:
"William Lindsay" was the father of the late William Burns Lindsay, for
years Clerk of the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada, and of our
venerable fellow-citizen, Errol Boyd Lindsay, Esq., Notary Public, now
more than four score years of age; he seems to have taken his surname
from Capt. Errol Boyd, in 1798, commander of the well remembered Quebec
and Montreal trader, the "Dunlop."
In 1809 Mathew Boyd, of Camberwell, London, also had a son Errol who
became purser on the Bombay in 1830.
Martin Wood, 39 Fife Road, Darlington, Co Durham, England DL3 7TA