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INTRODUCTORY

The following compilation originated in a wish to support, by historic reference, a petition to enter a Social Order founded upon a Revolutionary War basis. The requisite evidence being supplied, a suggestion was made to collect the genealogic data, and show the lines of descent from that common source, and the inquiries began in December, 1905.

It soon transpired that others sought some of the same facts. In April, 1906, I received from Honorable George Du Relle, a prominent member of the Louisville bar, a letter stating that he was preparing a life of John Boyle, late Chief Justice of Kentucky, for publication in a series to be entitled “Great American Lawyers,” and asking the communication of such appropriate facts as I might know. Another letter, received the same day from Mrs. Margaret Oldham Doty, informed me that she was connected through marriage with the Boyle kindred, and contemplating the preparation of a genealogic volume which might include, to some extent, collaterally related families, she wished to know whatever I could impart in that behalf.

I gave to each a narration of the principal facts within my knowledge, and from them derived material assistance in my own researches.

In collecting the facts compiled herein, many contributedMrs. Gay, Mrs. Cornelius, Mrs. Bourne, Mrs. Moss, Mrs. Guitar, Mrs. McGuire, Miss Bacon, Miss Harvey, Messrs. G. W. Adams, Marshall Gordon, Geo. M. Adams, Dr. David Gordon, Benj. G. Webster and others, to a less extent–indeed, nearly all to whom I applied gave me information. To Mrs. Doty I was especially indebted—her diligence and patient perseverance, were most admirable and effective.

The labor of collecting, arranging and verifying the facts, exceeded my early anticipations, and I now thank all who aided in this effort.

A few conflicting dates were found, which, after such a lapse of time, probably can never be wholly, or satisfactorily, explained. Omly one fact as herein alleged, rests upon conjecture in opposition to evidence usually accepted in law as imputing verity. Ellen

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Boyle Banton was buried at the side of her mother. Her tombstone bears an inscription showing her birth in November, 1780. That stone is unlike any other found in the burial lot, or elsewhere in that vicinity. She had lived in Knox county, and I conclude that she died there, and the quality of the monumental stone suggests that it may have been carved there. Her sister, Jane Boyle Gordon, was, according to record evidence, born in November, 1780, while her brother John was born in October, 1774. Ellen died in 1814–Jane survived until 1840.

I presume the inscription was ordered at a point remote from those who could have authoritatively established the date of her birth, which, I believe, occurred in the comparatively long interval between that of her brother John and her sister Jane.

The imperfections of this little volume are numerous. I might have pursued inquiries to a greater extent in some lines—I may have misunderstood the correlation of some facts, or found additional data by greater diligence, and the employment of more time, but what appears now, may, perhaps, aid a future investigator to correct, or to add to the compilation, if such may ever be desired.

In a rare instance, or two, a refusal to impart information, blocked further search in that special line-occasionally, total silence was the response to a courteous inquiry, while once or twice the questions, though explained, were evidently suspected as springing from an unavowed motive.

The facts alleged herein were chiefly collected within the period from 1906 to 1909. The continually occurring incidents of life—the births, marriages and deaths-render it impossible to form a record more than momentarily complete—even under the most favorable conditions. Under all the circumstances, I may fairly claim that this record states the facts as they were thought to exist at some date within that period.

As this little volume is not for the public, I trust those who see it will allow for its imperfections, and regard it as the result of an unaffected effort, pursued with no idea of personal gain (with the direct reverse, indeed), to preserve in collected form some family traditions, anecdotes and data, with no wish to prejudice the views, or to wound the feelings of any.

John Boyle

BOYLE GENEALOGY.

JOHN BOYLE

OF

VIRGINIA AND KENTUCKY.

“The formation of counties of Virginia, unless one be perfectly familiar with the dates of the formation, and of the exact locality of the home * * * makes it difficult, at this day, to state, with exactness, the county in which was located the home of a person one hundred and fifty to seventy-five years ago.”—

Miller, History and Genealogies, 65, Richmond (Ky.), 1907.

In 1634 Virginia was first divided into shires—later called counties—there being eight. One was called Lancaster, and one Charles River. The name of the latter, in 1643, was changed to York, and below the confluence of the Mat-ta-po-ny, the stream thus formed, and bounding its eastern side, was also called York river.

In 1654, New Kent was formed from York. Old Rappahannock county-formed from Lancaster in 1656ceased to exist in 1692, Richmond and Essex counties being then formed from it. It is not to be confounded with the later Rappahannock taken from Culpeper county in 1833.

King and Queen county was taken from New Kent in 1691and King William from King and Queen in 1701. Spottsylvania was taken from Essex, King and Queen, and King William, in 1720; Orange from Spottsylvania, in 1734, and all of it west of the Blue Ridge, was, in 1738, formed into Augusta and Frederick counties.

In 1768 the House of Burgesses divided Augusta, calling the

new county after a popular governor, Lord Botetourt. In 1770, its county town was laid off, and named Fincastle, after the ancestral seat of Lord Botetourt in England.1

In 1772, because of its size, and the increasing population in the remote western part, the new county was likewise divided, and the segregated portion formed into the county of Fincastle, the governor designating the “Lead Mines” now in Wythe county, as its county seat.

December 31, 1776, Fincastle county ceased to exist, its territory being divided into Montgomery, Washington and Kentucky counties. The Revolutionary War was progressing, and the newly established General Assembly of Virginia, thus commemorated the hero who had recently fallen before Quebec, and their illustrious fellow citizen who led the patriot army and signalized their enmity for the last royal governor, then piratically devastating their seacoast, by expunging his name from the roll of counties, the Earl of Dunmore bearing the title of Viscount Fincastle, as the second of his hereditary honors.?

In 1774, the town of Castles Woods, now called Castlewood, on the Clinch river, was in Fincastle county, and by subsequent division, is now in Russell county. It was a frontier settlement, exposed to Indian depredations, and during the succeeding twenty years was the scene of many of their murderous attacks. It was the extreme western point of civilization, where adventurous pioneers began their hardy advance through forest and mountain pass into a savage land.

Five years before, Boone first penetrated the wilderness from that vicinity. He followed the Indian trail known as the “Warriors' Path,” beyond Cumberland Gap, and in 1775 blazed a road from Watauga, now in Tennessee, to Rockcastle river, thence through Boone's Gap in the Big Hill, over to Otter creek, and a mile below its mouth, on the bank of the Kentucky river, erected the fort of Boonesborough. The trail became known as the “Wilderness Road.”

The sparse population of southwest Virginia, included many hardy men, who with their equally courageous wives, resolved to

1Summers, Southwest Virginia, 811. 2Thwaites and Kellogg, Dunmore's War.

face the privations and dangers confronting them in the “Dark and Bloody Ground." Kentucky! The bounties of nature rendered it, in their eyes, but little short of the fabled habitation of the Grecian deities, and it was amply capable of supplying their indispensable wants.

Note-Elder Richard M. Newport was a "Hardshell” Baptist preacher, born in Kentucky, eloquent, earnest and successful, possessing a vivid imagination and abounding in glowing illustration. He migrated to eastern Illinois, and there labored amidst fellow colonists of like faith. Once, in a fervor of religious ecstacy, he depicted to his flock, heaven as it appeared to him: “Not very spacious, but a meadow-like area, fringed with the fragrant locust, and studded with majestic poplars; blossoming with the rarest flowers which diffuse their sweet perfumes and inspiring odors, entrancing the eye with its beauty, and filling the soul with its glory; in short, brethren, a very Kentucky of a place.”

In no age or land, have any savages, however fierce, successfully resisted invasion, where once the covetous gaze of the AngloSaxon has rested upon an alluring spot. And in all history, no savages have been more cruel or bold, than the red men who contested supremacy with the advancing front of civilization, in the dark, bloody and beautiful land of Kentucky.

Be it remembered that Kentucky was not inhabited, or claimed for a home by any tribe. It was a hunting ground, where hostile bands from North and South, disputed a fierce rivalry, but none dwelt there. It was too dangerous for their permanent abode.

In early days in Virginia, the name of Boyle was sometimes written Boyls, Bowles or Boles. Edward Boyls was a soldier with Captain John Buchanan, Augusta county, in 1742. At the May term, 1746, of the County Court, he was sentenced to the stocks for two hours, and fined twelve shillings, for damning the Court !1

Mrs. Boyls was killed by the Indians, on Jackson's river, in 1756.

Five children of Charles Boyle were captured by the savages,

1Waddell, History of Augusta County.

Virginia Historical Magazine, Vol. 2, page 402, Augusta county.

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