Saturday, January 25, 2014


Fellow geneablogger Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued the 52
Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Basically, we have to post something every week
on a different ancestor, whether a story, picture, or research problem.  This week's
subject is my 9x great grandfather Thomas Boyden. The Boydens are one of the lines
I haven't done too much research on compared to what I've done on some of my other
lines, and i haven;t found much about Thomas so far. Most of what I know comes from
the NEHGS publication The Great Migration, p366-368 in images posted on But when I reread it I realized something I hadn't noticed before.
And just now, after Googling his name, I discovered an amazing coincidence from
my college days.

Thomas Boyden sailed from Ipswich England at age aboard  21 in April, 1634 on the ship
Francis. That would put his birth year as around 1613. There seems to be a theory that
he lived for a time in Scituate here south of Boston but there is mo concrete evidence
of that. What is known is that a Thomas Boyden married a woman named Frances (last name unknown) in Boston sometime around 1639. They then took up living in Boston
for the next eighteen years, where Thomas was listed as a planter. I assume this means
he was a farmer, and it seems so strange to me here in the 21st century that at one time people had farms within the Boston city limits.

Thomas and Frances had five children together, the oldest of whom, Thomas Jr., is my
8x great grandfather. Then Frances died in Boston on 17 Mar 1657/8. Thomas then
remarried on 3Nov 1658, and here is where  I wasn't paying attention the first time I
read the Great Migration entry for Thomas Boyden. The woman he married was Hannah
(Phillips)Morse, the widow of Joseph Morse. Joseph and Hannah are my 10x great grandparents. So my 9x great grandfather Thomas had married my 10x great grandmother!

Sometime shortly after their marriage Thomas and Hannah moved to Medfield, Ma. and
sold their house and land in Boston  on Sudbury Lane to Simeon Lynde. Hannah died in 1676 and Thomas sometime after 15April 1678 when he is recorded as coontributing
one bushel of wheat to help rebuild Harvard College.

Oh, and that coincidence from my college days? Well, I graduated from Bridgewater
State College in Bridgewater, Ma. in 1970. One of the buildings on campus is Boyden Hall, the main administration building built back in 1929. It's named after Albert G Boyden, another descendant of Thomas Boyden. For four years I took courses in a building named after my distant cousin, and never realized it until earlier this evening!


Cathy Osborn said...

Your latest find is one of the reasons genealogy is so much fun. :-)

Karin Hadden said...

Thomas Boyden from Ipswich is also my 9th great grandfather, and his son Thomas is my 8th great grandfather. I did not know about Albert Boyden or the building named after him. Thanks for the interesting post!

Suzanne Hall Eaton said...

This 52 ancestors is a great idea. I got overwhelmed with my blog The Hunt For Henrietta a few years ago and just stopped it. I write another blog but not about genealogy, which is so much fun to write about. But I always felt like I needed to add more detail and the stories grew too cumbersome and time consuming to write. With this suggestion I think I have guidelines that will reign me in! I will give it a try. Thanks along the idea. I may start with my earliest West ancestor in your honor!