Ebenezer Boyd and his Family

You will find details of this family in the book History of the Boyd family and descendants, with historical sketches of the ancient family of Boyd's in Scotland from the year 1200, and those of Ireland from the year 1680, with records of their descendants in Kent, New Windsor, Middletown and Salem, N. Y., Boston, Mass., Northumberland County, Pa., and sketches of those from the southern and western states from 1740 to 1912. By William P. Boyd ... Rochester, N. Y., John P. Smith printing company, 1912, pp 189-321.

One section of this book says:

Ebenezer Boyd may have been a son of the second John Boyd by his second wife. The marriage licence gives him as a tavern keeper of Westchester County (N. Y.?). The marriage was performed by a minister of the Reform Dutch Church of Amsterdam, N. Y. In 1760 he purchased land in Rye about one mile east of White Plains. In 1763 William Haskins Smith conveyed to Ebenezer Boyd of White Plain Tavern, land in North Castle, Westchester County, N. Y. Before the revolution, Ebenezer Boyd and Wm. Hill purchased from Robert Morris six hundred acre's in section five, Fredericktoen (now Kent). In 1781 to 1784, he purchased from the commissioners of forfeiture 2,601 acres in all for 1891 pound 5s 3d. These lands belonging to Rogers Morris, Joseph Merritt and other adherents of the British Crown. In 1781 Joseph Merritt with his father-in-law or his brother-in-law (probably the latter) sold to Ebenezer Boyd through an attorney, 10 January (1781) for 1,200 pound, conveyed 200 acres in Rye. The other 15 March (1781?) for a consideration of 200 pound, conveyed 204 acres in Dutches County, (now Putnam). A part of this land is now still in possession of descendants of Joseph Merritt, although no conveyance from Ebenezer Boyd appears on record, the presumption being that both of their deeds were made to protect the property from forfeiture. Ebenezer Boyd's will dated 12 June and proved 16 July 1792, named his wife and all of his children. ...

There is no further evidence on record that Ebenezer Boyd was a son of John Boyd, but it seems probable that your account is correct, by the two deeds I have referred to in this letter. It is plainly shown he lived in Rye, N. Y., for a time at least and this was his place of residence at the time of his marriage with Sarah Merritt, a daughter of Joseph Merritt and his wife (Polly Theal Merritt), a daughter of Ebenezer Theal, after whom he apparently was named, and in whose will both Joseph (Merritt) and Sarah (Boyd) mentioned in part. pp 195-196

Ebenezer Boyd is supposed to have been born near New Bedford, Westchester County, N. Y., (if not in Scotland) between the year of 1735 and 1740; as to his age, he had maintained a secret never revealing it to his best friends for reasons which he kept to himself, and buried all secrets with him. The earliest account of this remarkable man is taken from his marriage bond; ..

Major Andre The first official record of Ebenezer was his connection with the Revolutionary War. We find his name upon the muster roll of the county, showing that he was mustered in the Continental service 25 June 1778 as Captain of Company B, in the 3rd Regiment of New York Militia. He was under the command of Brigadier General Lewis Morris. ... The breaking out of the Revolutionary War found Ebenezer and family consisting of six children, residing near the center of Westchester County, N. Y., upon what was then called the "Neutral Grounds." These grounds lay between the American and British Army and was several miles in extent. All British subjects who were found within a certain distance of the American lines, if caught by that Army, were considered the same as spys and executed and likewise the same toward all Americans. Between these two lines, a distance of ten or twelve miles, lay this "Neutral Grounds" and all persons belonging to either Army if caught within these grounds were considered as prisoners of war.

It became unsafe for his family to reside here any longer, and being a captain in the American Army, made it more so, they abandoned their home, and he moved his wife and children within the American line for safety. Here she became chief cook at Washington's Headquarters, and it is said her duties were to cook an ox a day.

Bolton 207 While in the service to his country, an event transpired, which has placed his name on record that will never die. This little event is an honor to him for the part he took in the capture of Major John Andre. The sketch of this event is outlined in Bolton's History of Westchester County, N. Y., Volume 1 page 207, published in 1849.

- At the time of Ebenezer's marriage to Miss Sarah Merritt, he was without doubt a tanner by occupation, as is given in his marriage bond.

As soon as the war closed in 1780,. in that fall or in the spring of 1781, Ebenezer moved his family to Kent, Putnam County, N. Y., and settled at a place (which afterwards bore his name, Boyd's Corner), where he built a tavern which he kept, connecting the same (which was custom in those days with a farm carrying both along at the same time). A part of his far, the large meadow part, and also a large part of the farm adjoining it on the north, is now covered by the damned up waters of the Croton Reservoir of New York City. After his death, his property fell into the hands of his eldest son, Ebenezer Boyd (S1), who transferred at the time of his death to two of his sons, Ebenezer and Stillman Boyd (T4), and the latter soon afterwards sold it in 1853 and moved to Jefferson Valley, N. Y.

And when the Water Company took possession of these lands, they pretended to remove all bodies buried there to the new cemetery, which took place in 1835. In this old cemetery were buried Ebenezer and his wife and now rest with several feet of water above their graves.

Mike Boyd
Historical Committee,
House of Boyd society
Brisbane, Aust.