|Birth: ||Mar. 19, 1824|
South Carolina, USA
Caroline’s Babies’ Daddy
By Anita BOYD © December 2009 (updated 2010 & 2015)
James Lawrence BOYD was born March 19, 1824. In 1834, he and his family were one of several hundred Scots-Irish families who had left Fairfield District, South Carolina to settle in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, following the signing of the Dancing Rabbit Treaty of September 1830. This treaty, which removed the Choctaw Nation to Indian Territory, in present-day Oklahoma, became the model for removal of other Indian nations, including: the Cherokee; the Chickasaw; the Creek; and the Seminole from the Southeastern United States.
In March 1839 and in August 1847 respectively, his father, Andrew BOYD, Jr., and his mother, Mary McDOWELL, had both died. His younger siblings (Emeline Jane, Mary Caroline, David G., Amanda Sarah, Louisa Catherine, and Nancy Yongue) lived as one in the family home. As the oldest son, however, he lived with and worked as the overseer on the plantation of John McDOWELL, their maternal grandfather.
Sometime between 1850 and 1861, his sisters (Jane, Caroline, and Louisa) married three brothers: William Henry VICK; Littleberry Fletcher VICK; and, Hartwell D. VICK. The second to the youngest sister, Amanda, the letter writer of the family, remained unmarried all of her life while their youngest sister, Nancy, married William James RICHEY.
Under the 1st Conscription Act of April 1862, Confederate States of America (CSA) President Jefferson DAVIS required that all healthy white men between the ages of 18 and 35 to complete a three year term of service. At 38 years of age, Jim BOYD was beyond the draft age but, in May 1862, he and several townsmen, including two of his younger brothers-in-law, W.J. RICHEY & Hartwell VICK, rode to West Point, Mississippi and voluntarily enlisted in the CSA’s Army.
In late September 1862, in response to President Abraham LINCOLN's admonition of the Emancipation Proclamation, the CSA issued a 2nd Conscription Act that amended the maximum draft age to 45. And then, in October 1862, the CSA’s Congress again amended the conscription law and exempted males in certain professions, including overseers and slave owners of 20 or more slaves. This exemption would have applied to James BOYD.
As foot soldiers in the Second Battalion Mississippi Infantry (, which was later reorganized as the 48th Mississippi Infantry Regiment), he and his brothers-in-law saw action under Robert E. LEE’s command in the Eastern Theatre at several major battles, including: Second Manassas; Sharpsburg; Fredericksburg; Chancellorsville; Gettysburg, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg.
During the final months of the war, they were all described as AWOL on their Compiled Service Records but according to J.L. BOYD’s 1900 pension applications, which was approved, he was on furlough on account of a wartime injury-—a gunshot wound to the right arm sustained, on September 4, 1864, at Petersburg, Virginia. After the war, he resumed a life of farming.
At the time of his death, his maternal grandfather, John McDOWELL, owned 45 slaves. One “family unit” included Harriett, Joe, Margaret and infant, Caroline, Ellnora, Margaret, and Harriet. A comparison of McDOWELL’s 1861 Warrant of Appraisement and the 1870 U.S. Federal Census for Oktibbeha County, Mississippi found an exact match for a Negro family with the surname of BINGHAM.
Toward the end of Reconstruction, Jim BOYD began a long term liaison with Caroline BINGHAM. To this union, I know of four children who were born: Lillie, John (whose name was later changed to George), Garfield, and Robert. According to my cousin, Tommy C. BOYD, his grandfather and my great-grand “Uncle George” spoke fondly of his father.
When he and his brothers saw their dad in town and they asked him for money, the white folks would look at them funny, but he always gave it to them and never denied that they were his children. It was nice to hear the story, but I wanted proof. I found it on the 1900 Federal Census for Oktibbeha County, Mississippi.
In household 123 was Margaret BINGHAM. She was described as a widowed black female and head of household. Living with her were a son, Will; a daughter-in-law, Minnie; a grandson, Robert BOYD; and, a granddaughter, Maggie BROWN.
In household 124 was Dock HENDERSON. He was described as a married black male and head of household. Living with him were his wife (and one of Caroline’s younger sisters), Josephine, and a daughter, Ethel Lee.
In household 125 was Jim L. BOYD. He was described as a widowed white male and head of household. Living with him were three black occupants: a son, Garfield; a daughter-in-law, Mary; and, a grandson, Tom.
In household 126 was George BOYD. He was described as married black male and head of household. Living with him were a wife, Rebecca; and, an infant daughter, Lillie, whom he named after his older sister.
1900 Federal Population Schedule
Oktibbeha County, Mississippi
p. 6-B (s.d.4, e.d.89,
Beat 2, Hickory Grove precinct, 9 June
Bingham , Margaret Head B F __ __ __ Wd
_____ , Will Son B M __ 1875 25 M
_____ , Minnie D-in-law B F __ 1880 20 M
Boyd , Robert G-son B M Dec 1874[sic] 15 S
Brown , Maggie G-daughter B F __ 1887 13 S
Henderson , Dock Head B M Jan 1850 50 M
_____ , Josephine Wife B F __ 1865 35 M
_____ , Ethel Lee Daughter B F Nov 1887 12 S
Boyd , Jim L Head W M Mar 1824 76 Wd
_____ , Garfield Son B M Feb 1883 17 M
_____ , Mary D-in-law B F __ 1882 18 M
_____ , Tom G-son B M __ 1898 2 S
Boyd , George Head B M __ 1881 19 M
_____ , Rebecca Wife B F __ __ __ M
_____ , Lillie Daughter B F Jan 1900 4/12 S
On Thursday, December 22nd, 1898, Uncle Dock HENDERSON performed the rites of marriage for George BOYD and Rebecca DANZY. The following Thursday, December 29th, Uncle Dock was at it again, uniting Garfield BOYD and Mary CAMPBELL. George’s younger brother who was under age at the time, required adult consent. On his marriage bond was the name of Joe BINGHAM, who identified himself as Garfield’s grandfather and guardian.
I have no proof but I have no doubt that great-great Granddaddy was at both of his son's weddings. Further, if he was alive (and, I know that he was), great Uncle Garfield’s guardianship didn’t make sense. I approached a lawyer in Starkville, Mississippi, who explained to me that, by law, illegitimate children were not allowed inherit from the father until a 1980 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. That wasn’t a complete surprise considering the Victorian mores of the time.
Since my first research trip to Oktibbeha County, the library had updated their genealogical holdings. I was surprised to find an alphabetical index of Confederate Pension Applications and more surprised when saw that J. L. BOYD had filed not one but three pension applications! The first one was dated 1895; the second dated in 1898; and the third dated in 1900. On his 1895 and the 1898 applications, he stated that he rented land from Joe BINGHAM.
So, why was a former slave owner renting land from a former slave? I looked at the 1900 census and his lack of land ownership was confirmed on the census. I had the answer to one question but another one soon followed. Why wasn’t Joe Bingham’s name on his 1900 pension application? When I made the connection to the oldest headstone in the BOYD CEMETERY, tears came to my eyes.
SEPT. 10, 1827
NOV. 24, 1899
AGED 72 yrs, 2 mos.
My great-great grandfather, James Lawrence BOYD, was a complex man and I don’t pretend to understand the nature of his relationship with my great-great grandmother, Caroline BINGHAM. I struggle with who he was, a slave owner and a confederate soldier, but through my genealogical research, I also have a better idea of the man he became: a father.
NB: A review of the Oktibbeha County, Mississippi World War I Draft Registrations found 14 Negro men with the surnamed BOYD. Only three of them were listed as "Land Owners" under the Employer’s Name column: George BOYD; Garfield BOYD; and Robert BOYD.
So, did that mean that he and Joe BINGHAM had found a way to pass his land on to his children and circumvent the law? I’m still searching for the answer to that one.
1) Historical Sketches of Oktibbeha
2) Land Records of Andrew BOYD, Jr. & John McDOWELL
3) Odd Fellows Cemetery
4) Marriage Application of Nancy Y. BOYD & William J. RICHEY
5) Letters of Amanda Sarah BOYD & Sarah Amanda McDOWELL
6) RICHEY Family Papers
7) Warrant of Appraisement of the Estate of John McDOWELL
8) 1790 - 1830 U.S. Federal Censuses of Fairfield District, South Carolina
9) 1840 - 1940 U.S. Federal Censuses of Oktibbeha County, Mississippi
10) Compiled Service Records of: James L. BOYD; William James RICHEY; and, Hartwell D. VICK
11) Regimental Histories of the 2nd Battalion Mississippi Infantry & 48th Regiment Mississippi Infantry
12) Southern Claims Commission Petition of James L. BOYD
13) Grierson’s Raid by D. Alexander BROWN
14) Compiled Service Records of Benjamin H. GRIERSON, Edward HATCH, & Edward LOOMIS
15) Confederate Pension Applications of James L. BOYD
16) Conversations with Mrs. Ruby BURNSIDE
17) Conversations with Mr. Tommy C. BOYD
18) Marriage Application of Will BINGHAM & Minnie McNICHOLS
19) Marriage Application of Josephine BINGHAM & Dock HENDERSON
20) Marriage Application of George BOYD & Rebecca DANZY
21) Marriage Application of Garfield BOYD & Mary CAMPBELL
22) Marriage Application of Robert BOYD & Mary Glenn
23) Boyd Family Cemetery
24) Death Certificates of George Boyd, Sr. & Robert Boyd, Sr.
25) SS5 of Garfield Boyd, Sr.
26) Russ Rogers correspondence
27) Sam E. Boyd correspondence
28) Oktibbeha County, MS World War I Draft Registrations: a)George BOYD; b) Garfield BOYD; c) Robert BOYD
29) 1878 Educable Children's List of Oktibbeha County
30) 1885 Educable Children's List of Oktibbeha County
31) BOYD Family Bibles
32) Research trips to Starkville, MS
33) Research trip to Washington, D.C. & Chancellorsville, VA
34) Research trip to Lexington, TX
35) Research trips to Winnsboro, SC
Andrew Boyd (____ - 1839)
Mary McDowell Boyd (1828 - 1847)
Lillie BOYD (1877 - ____)*
Robert BOYD (1885 - 1938)*
James Lawrence Boyd (1824 - 1900)
Emeline Jane Boyd VICK (1826 - 1853)*
Mary Caroline Boyd Vick (1828 - 1873)*
David BOYD (1830 - ____)*
Amanda Sarah Boyd (1833 - 1918)*
Louisa Catherine Boyd VICK (1836 - 1860)*
Nancy Yonge Boyd Richey (1839 - 1930)*
Odd Fellows Cemetery
Plot: Block 1, Old Part (at University Drive & Jarnigan Street)
Created by: Anita BOYD
Record added: Jan 10, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 17379070