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David Boyd
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Birth: Mar. 23, 1743
Northumberland County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Jul. 16, 1831
Washington County
Pennsylvania, USA

Son of John and Nancy Urie Boyd. Married Elizabeth Henderson.

In the early part of the eighteenth century JOHN BOYD, of Scotch-Irish ancestry, emigrated from the north of Ireland, at the age of eighteen and settled in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. There he married NANCY URIE. The Urie family was prominent among the pioneers of that day. They suffered untold hardships from the Indians, being prompt to avenge their injuries, they knew no rights in that race that they were to respect. They became known all over western Pennsylvannia in the forays of those times. Two names, Thomas and
Soloman were very common among the Uries.
DAVID BOYD, the oldest son of John Boyd, was born in Northumberland County, in 1743. Later John Boyd, and a neighbor, JOHN STEWART, moved to Cumberland County, Penn., and settled near where Shippensbury now stands, then an unbroken wilderness or forest. Their cabins stood more than a mile apart.
John Boyd was a farmer, John Stewart a weaver. On the 10th of February, 1756, John Boyd went over to Stewarts to get a web of cloth. After he left the house the mother sent David to "the clearing" as it was called, a short distance from the cabin, to get some dry wood to build a fire in an out-oven. It was a Saturday and that was devoted among the Presbyterians of that day in preparation for the Sabbath, on which no work not strictly necessary could be done.
His brother John, then six years of age, went with him. David took his hatchet with him and, while cutting the brush, heard no sound of approaching footsteps. John being a short distance away, screamed, and David saw a frightful being standing beside his brother. He had heard of ghosts and thought this must be one. There were several of them and he was not long left in doubt. The big one exclaimed "ugh-ugh" caught David by his belt and threw him over his shoulder.
Another Indian took John in the same style, and off they went at a fast trot. A band of Indians had left the main body and surrounded the settler's little home. They soon all came to the rendezvous, bringing the mother, two sisters, Sallie and Rhoda, both older than David, and the youngest brother, who was but two and a half years old. The mother being in a very delicate state of health, was not able to travel, so she sat down on a fallen tree. They took her children except the youngest away from her, one at a time. David looked back and saw her hands lifted toward heaven as she prayed, "O God be merciful to my children going among savages." He said that
prayer was ever present with him; he never spoke a word of it without shedding tears.
As soon as they got the children away the Indians killed the mother and the youngest boy. They told one of their number to execute the deed, and when he returned, with the refinement of cruelty that is almost incredible, he gave the scalps to Sallie and David and forced them to carry them in turn for the entire day. The house was pillaged and burned, but they missed the father on his way back from the weavers. Stewart and his wife were both killed; they had no children.
The savages on these raids went rapidly and stealthily through a settlement. When John Boyd came in sight of his home it was burning slowly. He said he could have easily put it out, but when he found his wife and children gone, he paid no heed to the house, but hurried off to alarm the other settlers, and collect a party for pursuit, and, if possible overtake the marauders and rescue his family. But the Indians moved with great rapidity, traveling day and night until they were far from the settlements.
The pioneers were few and far between, and it took some time to organize a party. After the band started, it was not long until they found pieces of Mrs. Boyd's dress clinging to the bushes, which led them to the ravens, where they found the mutilated bodies. The pursuit was kept up for days, but with no result.
By the time the Indians reached their village the children were almost nude, having neither clothing nor shoes. There was no halting to take food; they ate as they ran. The evening of the third day they stopped, built a fire and roasted some bear meat which they offered to the children while the Indians enjoyed the cheese and other provisions which they had stolen from the settlers. David had no appetite for bear meat and did not take any. He was planning to escape from them that night but was secured between two Indians, and the children were not allowed to speak to each other.
The next morning they arose very early. While preparing to start, the old Indian, by whom David was afterwards adopted, took a sharp stick, put a piece of meat on it, held it in the fire a moment, pushed the piece back, and so on until he had filled the stick, then secretly handed it to David. He ate the cooked edges as he ran along, for he had to run to keep up with them.
This was the beginning of a long series of kindnesses on the part of the old chief during the captivity.
When they reached the Indian's village in Ohio the children were separated, the booty was divided and David saw the money which his father had taken to Stewarts to pay for the web of cloth, counted in the division of the spoils. He supposed for a long time that his father had been killed also, but the old chief told him after he had been adopted that they had missed the father on the way between the two houses.
The raiding party belonged to the Iroquois. The Delawares were a tribe of the Iroquois, and David was claimed by
them, the Delawares. The sisters and the youngest brother were claimed by other tribes. Of John Boyd there is no
further account. Being young he may have succumbed to the hardships of that barbarous life, or, possibly, adopting their customs, he may have lived and died an Indian.
The next year David met his sister Sallie with a party of Indians, but was not allowed to speak to her. He never saw his sisters again until they came home in 1763. They were held as prisoners seven years, and were exchanged at Detroit, but not at the same time. They were never together during their captivity.
When Col. Bouquet was bringing in two hundred white captives from the Indians to Fort Pitt, Rhoda Boyd and Elizabeth STUDEBAKER escaped and ran back to their wigwam friends, but were again gathered up
and taken to Detroit.
David was subjected by his captors to a discipline that was intended to make a great brave of him or a fit subject for their amusement. For some time he had to run the gauntlet, which amusement (for the Indians) consisted in running a prescribed limit between lines made up of vindictive squaws and young savage rogues, armed with sticks and stones or whatever suited their purpose for touching up the paleface young boy.
This amusement David greatly despised. He set his wits about him to devise some plan to stop it. His old friend imparted to him the fact that if he should catch one of the boys separately, where he could have an even chance and succeed in giving him a sound thrashing, the ceremony would be dispensed with in the future. He was determined to try the experiment on one boy who was especially ingenious in inflicting torture on him. He thought that if he died in the attempt, he would feel some satisfaction if only he could repay in part that young rascal what he owed him.
In any event, he expected death in a short time; every morning when he awoke, he thought they would put him to death that day. Every change he noticed in their countenances he thought indicated some determination to torture him. Life in such circumstances, one should think, would have little charm; but to a boy of fourteen, "hope springs eternal." The Indians had gone out to gather haws, nuts, etc., for the winter. David Boyd often said he believed he had eaten the fruit from every haw, hickory, and walnut tree in the state of Ohio.
While they were in the woods this time this boy was very insolent to David, and the latter thought that this was now the time to avenge himself. He sprang upon his tormentor; they had a rough and tumble fight, but at last the pale-face found himself on top and he redressed his wrongs as only an infuriated boy could.
Soon a noise attracted his attention and looking up saw the squaws and braves running toward him with
tomahawks uplifted "It was sure death now" he thought, and as it was his last chance, redoubled his blows. The Indians coming near and seeing his determination, dropped their weapons and patted him on the back saying "Make good Indian, make good Indian." That was the turning point with him; the boys had wholesome regard for him, and he was no longer the target for the squaws vengeance.
The first year of the captivity was drawing to a close. He still belonged to the tribe in common; he must come and go as ordered by anyone. It had been a dreadful year for him.; he had suffered greatly for want of clothing and exposure.
Towards the end of January, 1757, he missed his old friend from camp and was greatly troubled on account of his absence. When the chief had been absent about two weeks one morning two warriors came to David, tricked out in all the finery and paint of the warpath. Commanding him to follow, they took him about two miles to a river. There they stripped him entirely of whatever tatters he had on him and dipped him three times in the water, and saying each time, "Go down white man, come up Indian," then they shaved his head, leaving a small tuft
of hair on the crown. They painted him in the most approved style, put a hunting shirt on him, and fastened the same belt on him that he had worn when he was captured. They then led him to a pool of water to look at himself in nature's mirror.
The two warriors jumped and danced around him, seeming delighted with their handywork. On the contrary, David was struck with horror with his appearance. He looked so much like an Indian that he thought he must really be one, and that was the way they were made.
They next took him back to the village, which was all in commotion. The warriors were all dressed in war costume, painted and in file, ready to march. He was put in front, and with indescribable noise, which they call music, they set out. As often as my grandfather related this to me he would say, " my child I cannot describe my feelings as I marched along; I could not conceive what they were about to do with me, but I supposed
they were going to put me to death, as there was nothing else that they would make such a parade about. I had never seen anything like it among them before, and they gave me no intimation of what they were about to do." They traveled about six miles, in close file, when they reached an open space or natural meadow. There was a great gathering of the tribe formed in a large circle. When the procession came up the circle opened and he was ushered in. There he saw standing in the center an old brave with a knife in his hand,
and looking very stern. David had never seen this man, and of course took him to be the executioner. The man advanced knife in hand, and inserted it under the boy's belt and cut it apart. David was sure he had received his death-blow; he imagined he felt the warm blood trickling to his feet, and expected to see it on the ground. At that moment his old friend took him into his arms, exclaiming in the Indian language, "My son, my son, my son!" David then recognised his friend, who made an oration to the assemblage, saying that he called on them to witness that he took the boy to be his own son in the place of the one that was lost on the war trail.
He then took the belt that had been cut off and divided it into many pieces, giving the largest to his nearest friend.
He gave David an Indian name, and presented him with the hatchet with which he had been cutting brush when he was captured.
This was followed with great feasting and dancing, with plenty of firewater. While they were all engaged with
their amusements the old chief withdrew quietly, and taking David with him sought his own wigwam; he feared that in the drunken carousal some accident might befall the new-made Indian. The old wife welcomed and claimed him for her own, bathed his feet, removed the thorns, applied some healing salve, and made life worth living again. From this time on he could make no complaint of his suroundings.
His Indian father was a man of influence in the tribe, and the son enjoyed the advantages of his position. The chief took him to his heart, and always called him "my son" My grandfather always said that he was a good and noble man. He worshipped the Great Spirit in truth, recognised a "Superior Power" that regarded the actions of man, and whenever he ate his food he invoked the spirit by raising his hand heavenward three times, crying "Ho! Ho! Ho!"
As time passed on David began to be content with his lot in life, or, at least, to be reconciled to his fate. He gave up all hope of getting home, and at his age a boy would be pleased with the desultory life of the savages. He retained his love of hunting during life, and was an expert with the rifle until age dimmed his sight.
One day while hunting haws, which seemed to be a favorite pursuit with him, he came upon a white man sitting on a log looking as if he was in great terror and apprehension. The man said he thought the Indians were going to burn him. On looking around David saw a party of Indians arranging a fire. He was powerless to rescue the man, and hurried away in horror. He never learned what happened to the prisoner.
In the autumn of 1757 a great hunt was organized to procure provisions for the ensuing winter. The squaws were taken along to relieve the men of all the drudgery such as caring for the game, carrying the stores, etc. One old squaw had charge of the ammunition, and one day, as they were camping about noon, she remembered that the powder had been left at the camp of the previous night. There was great consternation as on the powder supply depended the supply of meat for the winter. The braves decided to send two of their fleetest boys for the powder, and, much to David's disgust, he was chosen one of the two. His father positively refused to let him go, as it was a matter of great concern he finally consented. He and a young Indian his own age set out with all speed, but
when they came near the former camp they heard a great explosion. The wind had started up the expiring fire, and the powder was ignited. It was sundown and the boys concluded to stay there that night and rejoin the party the next day.
Seeing a drove of turkeys they secured one, and soon had it roasting before the fire. But the appetizing odor attracted a pack of wolves and the boys had to seize the turkey and run for their lives. They were very hungry and tore off bits of the half-roasted turkey as they ran, but, as, the wolves were gaining on them, they soon had to throw the bird to them to detain them for a time. It did detain them until the boys had time to climb into a tree. Here they were besieged all night by the ravenous brutes that snarled and yelped, gnawed at the trunk of the tree and tried to jump into the branches to capture the young hunters. He said they did not get sleepy; the music was not soothing. When the wolves left they resumed their journey and regained their former camp about noon. Some
of the Indians met them a little way out and were greatly troubled over the disaster. Of course their wrath fell on the
head of the old squaw, who in turn tried to wipe out her indignities on the boys; she sought to kill them saying they
could have reached the place in time to avoid the misfortune. The old chief interposed his authority, but told David to keep out of sight of the infuriated old woman until her anger burned out.
The captive boy, to all appearance, had now cast his lot with the red man. He had no idea that any member of his family was still living. Although in his farthest wanderings, he had never been what would be now more than a few hours ride from his own home, he was more readily separated from it than he could be in the most distance part of the country, if not the world.
The French and the Indians were still at war with the
English. The winter of 1757 and 1758 was spent in hunting, fishing and idling about in the village. In the spring of
1758 there was great commotion in the camp; messengers came and went, war councils were held, orations were made, dancing induldged in, and finally they set out on the war-path.
The end of their journey found them, French and Iroqois together, at Fort Duquesne. During this campaign these united forces utterly defeated Grant, who led an English force against the fort. The story is perpetuated in the street and hill that still bear his name in Pittsburg.
After the defeat of the English the allies quarreled over the division of the spoils. The Indians grew so angry that they withdrew across the river and returned to their villages. The French, abandoned by their allies, evacuated the fort, and when General Forbes came west to retrieve Grant's disaster, he found no enemy.
The Indians now disgusted with the French, made overtures to Forbes for peace. They returned once more
to the fort, then in possession of the English and called Fort Pitt. Then they crossed the river and marched up to the stockade between two lines of bayonets. As David Boyd passed between these lines of soldiers, no one suspected his white parentage. Bronzed by the exposure of years, with dark complexion, black eyes and straight hair, he readily passed for an Indian. The man who adopted him felt he should surrender him, yet such was his love for the boy that he hesitated. He questioned David regarding his wishes, holding out many inducements to him to return to the wildnerness and stay a little while longer, when then he, the chief, would take him
to his father's own door. He now for the first time revealed to David that his father had been missed at the time of the massacre.
The chief then paid an Englishman two dollars to write and forward a letter to Mr. John Boyd, telling him that
his son, David was still living, and assured him that he would be returned in safety to his home. The letter was
delivered according to the contract, but the father was incredulous; he had never, since that fateful morning, heard
one word from any of his children. He believed that the messenger had forged it in order to impose on him in some way, and that surely his son would have availed himself of such an opportunity to return to his own people. It is difficult for us at this time, to understand the limitations of that day.
David's benefactor became anxious to know something of the white man's learning. When the boy was captured he chanced to have two or three leaves of an old psalm book in his pocket. These he carried with him and read daily while he had a pocket, and when the pocket was gone, he put the leaves in the recesses of an old tree. As often as he passed that way he took them out and read them over, until there was no longer a word on them. He read them to his foster father, who became quite interested in the psalm. So the chief asked to be taught, at least, the alphabet. With a small bit of board and a piece of red keel, David set about his task. He had a willing pupil and the alphabet was soon mastered.
About the same time a bible in some way fell into their hands, and then David had the satisfaction of hearing his learner read.
A year had passed since their return from Fort Pitt. The winter had been spent in trapping for furs, and they had been very successful. The furs had been carefully stored, no sale had been made at the usual time. With the taciturnity common to his race, he made no explanation of his plans to David, but it began to be evident to him that the old man was much agitated.
One evening as the sun was about setting, and they were sitting in their wigwam, which was a little distance
from the village the chief said "Do you see how swiftly the sun is going down?" My sun will soon set too; then I shall be in the happy hunting ground where my son is, and I want to restore you to your father before I go." David thought that he wanted, as far as in him lay, to atone for the great wrong that he had done. He was the very Indian that had snatched him from his family; and left his father childless and homeless. But the savage had great misgivings about venturing on the journey; the time had been too short to allay enmity between the two races. He would ask David how he thought his father would receive him when he brought back his long lost son, then walk back and forth, looking very sad. He was attached to the boy, but felt that the red man's future was
waning, and so was anxious for his sons future. The old wife was dead and he had no near kindred; declining years hung heavily upon the old man, and the young captive was loath to leave him.
As spring opened the old man made his preparations slowly but steadily. Selecting the best ponies, they packed the furs on them and started eastward in a different plight from that which they made their forced march
westward in the gloomy winter of 1756. The chief said he would see to their safety while in Indian territory, but he
must look to David when they got among the palefaces.
They traveled with a white cloth borne aloft as a flag of truce. They kept on without incident until they reached Carlisle, arriving in the afternoon. It was soon noised through the place that an Indian had brought in a white boy. Thomas Urie was soon on the spot, anxious to learn whether it might be one of his murdered sister's family, and made a furious attack on the old Indian. But cooler heads intervened and he was prevented from wreaking his fury on the creature standing under his flag of truce.
It was a bitter thought to a Urie that this of all Indians should go unpunished. The chief, in his own dialect, bade David beware of such a man; that he might not be a relative at all; but the boy recognized his uncle.
Refusing to hold any parley with any Indian, except at the muzzle of a rifle, Urie took his nephew home with him.
The old Indian felt it was a cruel return for all his kindness.
When David recounted to his uncle the unvarying kindness of his old friend, he became more reasonable and
consented to his return the next morning to the Indian but, when he wished the Indian to meet his father, Urie utterly refused to allow the chief to go any farther. This was a great disappointment, as it was the Indian's desire to take the boy to his father's own door. Finding the feeling so hostile against him, the old man set out about making preparations for his return. He sold the ponies for a considerable sum, bought clothing for the boy, so he would
be presentable, and gave him the balance of the money, retaining only enough to carry him back to his own people.
From my grandfather's account it was a very sad parting to both; he would look sorrowful whenever he spoke of it. He never saw or heard from him again. It was very possible that the chief reached the happy huntng ground before he crossed the Ohio.
John Boyd still lived near Shippensburg, on the very farm from which David had been taken. Things were greatly changed. The father had married again; neither mother, sister nor brother was there to welcome the returned captive. He had grown fond of his free wild life, and was greatly dissatisfied with his new surroundings. He determined to rejoin his Indian friends, and live and die among the people of his adoption.
He had to be watched for several weeks before he relinquished his scheme. He was in his seventeenth year when
he came back to civilized life.
In 1771 David Boyd married Elizabeth HENDERSON, of a wealthy and influential family. Hon. Jere Black was descended from the same family. My grandmother told me that when she first met my grandfather she was afraid of him because he looked so much like an Indian, for in those days people were very much afraid of them. She also said that the first night that they were under the same roof they erected the family altar, and that worship had never been omitted, morning or night, during all their married years.
Mr. David Boyd was a soldier of the Revolution, serving continously throughout the war, having enlisted three times. He was engaged on the bloody field of the Brandywine, saw the crossing of the Delaware, and the surprise at Trenton. He was at Valley Forge during that terrible winter when the blood from the bare feet of the soldiers marked the frozen ground.
He told of the elation in the army on the arrival of LaFayette, bringing succor from France. He was present in the
army of Gates when Burgoyne surrendered at Saratoga in 1777, and was also with Washington when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown. He had the rank of Lieutenant. Though he could forgive the red race and justify many things that they did on account of the wrongs they suffered, such was his hostility to the British that in 1828, when every son he had voted for John Quincy Adams, he cast his vote for Andrew Jackson, saying that if he whipped the British he could be trusted to govern the United States. His boys, as children will, said "father is growing old".
Grandfather early united with the Presbyterian Church under the ministrations of the Rev. Samuel Waugh, at Silver's Spring, Cumberland County, Pennsylvannia. He was one of the straightest of the sect. He believed in the doctrines and usages of the church; in the Westminster Confessions of faith; though it embodied truths taught in the Old and New Testaments.
Sacramental occasions were times of great
spiritual comfort to him. He observed the fasts neither eating or drinking during the entire twenty-four hours of
Thursday preceding the Communion.
In the County where he was captured ten children were born to him, the five older being daughters, the five younger being sons. On account of his large family he decided to move west, and accordingly, in the
autumn of 1794, came to Washington County. He purchased a farm nine miles west of Washington on the West Middletown road. This farm is now, 1893, owned by Mr. W.W. Dinsmore.
He felt that he was in the "far west". A church of his choice, Upper Buffulo, was soon organized, in whose welfare he was always interested. His house was immediately on one of the chief thoroughfares of the county, and the hospitality of those days abounded. Many old soldiers, crippled by the hardships they had undergone, and many enslaved by the viscious habits they contracted, passed to and fro, eking out, some of them, a precarious living by peddling wooden hay-forks, shovels, ladles, and other specimens of their handicraft. These men he invariable entertained without money and without price. They would enjoy a happy hour, shouldering their crutches and fighting over their battles and when they were ready to pass on he would advise them, adding, according
to their wants, a little money to help them on their way. He was delighted when the government passed a pension act, meager as it was, because it would bring aid to many veterans disabled by age or poverty. He positively refused to make application for aid in his own behalf, as he had been fortunate in escaping the vices which are most inseparable from army life, and had for his simple wants a competance.
He was very lenient towards the failings of his old comrades, his heart and purse being ever open to their wants. He was a great reader and loved books. History, politics and theology were well represented in his library.
His eldest daughter Nancy, married Thomas GILSON, and settled near Carlisle, where some of her descendants still live. The second daughter, Mary married Thomas CHRISTIE, and moved to Ohio. The third girl, Sallie, married William WAUGH, and they came west with her father. Her eldest son Richard Waugh, was born in her father's house before they were established in their own home. The fourth, Nellie married Hugh LYTLE, some
of whose descendants live near Steubenville. The oldest son James, married Mary BUCHANAN, and brought up a large family near Independence, Washington County, where he died in 1881, and in his 99th year. John the second son married Asenath WILLIAMS and settled in West Middletown, Pennsylvannia. He brought up a large family, and died at an advanced age, respected by all who knew him. Thomas Boyd married Ruth SCOTT, inherited the old homestead, but, late in life, settled in Hayesville, Ohio. The fourth son, David, married, but died while still a young man. The youngest son, William, married Mary Patty BARKLEY of Kentucky and settled near Maysville where his posterity may still be found. Elizabeth Boyd married a Mr. BARKLEY, probably a brother to her brother William's wife.
In the year 1831, at age 88, the subject of this sketch, having been preceeded six years by his wife, was laid to rest
in the Cemetary adjoining the church that he had helped to rear and long supported, realizing to the fullest extent the efficacy of the prayer of his mother on that fateful evening in his early life, for "God had been merciful to him".

NOTE: The narative here given is on the authority of Mrs. Hester Boyd Jones, a grandaughter of David Boyd. Mrs. Jones was a very intelligent lady, with an uncommonly good memory, and in her youth she often heard her grandfather relate the story of his adventures and perils. This was first put down on paper in 1893.


1743 Born in Lancaster (what is now Northumberland Co.), Pa. The oldest son of John BOYD.

[Mamie E. Wood Collection, unpublished documents. Hist. Soc. of PA]


Move to Cumberland County near Shippensburg, 20 mi. w. of Carlisle.

10 Feb 1756 Abduction by Delaware (Iroquois) Indians

1759/60 Returned from captivity by the Indians.

1770 After his return from the Indians, he located in of near the town of Carlisle. In 1770 he surveyed land bought by his uncle, Robert URIE (#1141). He acquired land for himself in Newton Twp., Chester Co. and the same year he was paying taxes in East Pennsboro Twp, Cumberland Co.

[Mame E. Wood Collection]

1771 Married Elizabeth HENDERSON, daughter of Thomas and Eleanor Henderson of Toboyne Twp., Cumberland Co. After their marriage they settled near Silver Spring (not far from Carlisle).

United with the Presbyterian Church under the ministrations of the Rev. Samuel WAUGH at Silver Spring. He was an elder of the church and one of the straightest of the sect.


14 Jul 1775 Enlisted as a private in Capt. James Chamber 's Co., Col. William

Thompson 's Battalion of Expert Riflemen; and re-enlisted in Capt. James

Grier 's Co. same Regiment (1 Jul 1776).

This command became in Jan 1776, the First Regiment of the United Colonies, commanded by Gen. George Washington.

[Mamie E. Wood Genealogy]

[see Colonial Records of Penn., Vol. 10, pp.356-7]

[see McCauley's Historical Sketch of Franklin Co., pp.122-3]

[see Stelle history]

1775 Card File in Compiled Military Service Records

Boyd, David

1st Regiment Continental Troops (Pennsylvania). Private

- Appears on a recruiting account of Capt. Grier

- Appears with the rank of ____ on a list of the mens names inlisted

in Capt. Grier's Comp,y for the term of two years from the first

of July next. Listed date, 3 June 1776

- David Boyd, Pvt, Capt. Charles Craig's Company. Appears on Company

pay roll of the organization named above, for the month of Jan, 1776. Amount, L 2 (2 pounds).

["General Index to Compiloed Military Service Records of Rev. War Soldiers",

Boy - - Brown, Joh. National Archives]

1775 Col. William Thompson's Battalion of Riflemen

Roll of Capt. James Chamber's Company


Boyd, David

[Penn. Archives, 2nd Series, Vol. X, p.14-18]

1 Jul 1776 Roll of Captain James Grier's Company

(1st Pennsylvania, Continental Line)


Boyd, David*

*Enlisted for two years from 1 Jul, 1776

[Penn. Archives, 2nd Series, Vol X, p.344-346]

He served continuously throughout the war, having enlisted three times. He was engaged at the bloody field of Brandywine, saw the crossing of the Delaware, and surprise at Trenton. He was at Valley Forge during the terrible winter, when the blood from the bare feet of the soldiers marked the frozen ground. He told of the elation of the army on the arrival of Lafayette, bringing hopes of succes from France. He was in the army of Gates when Burgoyne surrendered at Saratoga in 1777, and was also with Washington when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown. He had the rank of lieutenant.

[Mame E. Wood Collection, Penn. Gen. Soc., FC/BOYD Ireland/PA/MD/NJ/NY.]

* * *


1778 At the close of the war, he returned to Carlisle or East Pennsboro. Here he paid his first tax.

Tax Lists of Cumberland Co., East Pennsboro Twp.

1778 Boyd, David 12@ 2 horses 3 cattle Tax 11 .7 .8

1779 50@ 3 " 6 "

1780 70@ 2 " 3 "

1781 97 1/2@ 3 " 3 "

1782 97@ 2 " 3 "

1785 90@ 2 " 2 "

[Penn. Archives, 3rd Series, Vol.20.]

Mr. Boyd early united with the Presbyterian Church, under the ministrations of the Rev. Samuel Waugh, at Silver Spring, Cumberland Co. He was an elder of the church and one of the straightest of the sect.

7 Jun 1783 Witness to the will of Richard GILSTON (of East Pennsboro.)

[Cumberland Co. Wills: Book D, p.177.]

Jul 1783 Warranted 60@ in Cumberland Co.


29 Aug 1783 Witnessed the will of John GLENDEMRIN, of E. Pennsboro.

1783 He had acquired land in Allegheny Co., Elizabeth township. He also drew up a deed for his son-in-law, Thomas GILSON, which was witnessed by Richard GILSON.

1790 Fed. Census lists a David BOYD, living in the eastern portion of

Cumberland Co., PA with 1 male over 16, 4 males under 16, and 3 females.

Autumn 1794 Went to Washington Co., Pa. and purchased a farm nine miles west of Washington on the West Middleton Rd. (Owned in 1893 by Mr. W. S. Dinsmore). Member of Upper Buffalo Church.

23 Aug 1813 Elected Commisioner (Justice-of-the-Peace) in Hopewell Twp., Washington Co. and was still holding the office at the time of his death.

10 May 1825 Will of David BOYD. Hopewell Twp., Washington Co., PA. Beneficiaries listed as wife Elisabeth, sons Thomas, James, John, David, and William, daughter, Nancy McKee (eldest dauther), Elizabeth Cristy, Sarah Waugh, and Elliner Little.

Executor: Morgan Luse; wife (not named).

Witness: Hugh Forbes (did not appear), John Trimble, James Maxwell.

Probated 22 Aug 1831.

Will Book 4, p.613.

[Abstracts of Washington Co., PA Wills.]

1825 Death of wife, Elizabeth

16 Jul 1831 Buried in Upper Buffalo Cemetery (Washington Co., PA.) adjoining the church that he had helped to rear and long supported.

[from Mamie Wood Collection]

Family links: 
  John Boyd (1719 - 1789)
  Nancy Urie Boyd (1719 - 1756)
  Elizabeth Henderson Boyd (1746 - 1825)*
  John Quincy Adams Boyd (1784 - 1866)*
  David Boyd (1743 - 1831)
  Rhoda Boyd Smiley (1748 - 1823)*
  James Boyd (1756 - 1756)*
*Calculated relationship
Buffalo Cemetery
Washington County
Pennsylvania, USA
Created by: Robert "Rob" Weller
Record added: Feb 10, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 65457461
David Boyd
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Sandman
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- William Franklin Evans
 Added: Sep. 23, 2013
In loving memory of our former member, Genevieve (Waddell) Wilson. She was the Proud Descendant of Revolutionary War Patriot David Boyd. HerFindagraveMemorial#128995834
- Arrowhead Valley Chapter D A R
 Added: Sep. 4, 2014
In loving memory of our former member, Anna (Waddell) Brua. She was the Proud Descendant of Revolutionary War Patriot David Boyd. HerFindAGraveMemorial#128994949
- Arrowhead Valley Chapter D A R
 Added: Sep. 4, 2014
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