John Boyd


According to traditional sources, John Boyd was born in Ulster, Ireland about 1725. He was of Scottish ancestry. This Albany resident often was referred to as "John Boyd, Sr."

About 1757, he is said to have married Agnes or Ann Logan in Ireland. By 1778, the marriage had produced a daughter and eight sons. They were the founders of the prominent Boyd family of Albany.

With his wife and two or three children, he is said to have emigrated to New York in 1762. That same year, he is said to have brought his family to Albany. However, a number of Scottish or Irish natives named "John Boyd" appeared on the rosters of New York militia regiments in 1761 and afterwards.

He is said to have been a merchant in Albany (often connected in business to John Rogers, his brother-in-law) although his name is absent from the Johnson Papers and other likely contemporary sources.

By 1766, his Albany property was accorded a modest assessment. In 1779 and in 1788, his holdings in the third and second wards were valued more substantially.

During the War for Independence, this non native merchant was accused of illegal trading and of possession of contraband goods. He confessed to those offenses, was confined, but was later released. He promised good behavior, contributed to the American cause, and posted bail for a number of others.

Almost sixty at the end of the war, he seems to have survived intact and turned to supporting his sons as they came of age and sought to make their ways in the postwar region. In May 1786, legal papers identified as an Albany merchant.

The first census of 1790 configured his third ward household to include three males over sixteen and two slaves.

At least during the 1780s and 90s, he was a member and elder of the Albany Presbyterian church. Church records for 1793, noted that Boyd had "removed to the country."

In April 1787, he was named co-executor of the estate of newcomer merchant William Gray who died a short while afterwards.

About 1793, he is said to have removed his family to Johnstown where he erected a sawmill.

John Boyd died in Johnstown in July 1799. His widow returned to their daughter's Albany home where she died in 1815. She was buried alongside John Boyd in the Johnstown cemetery.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of John Boyd is CAP biography number 7399. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Family history online; Scottish heritage; St. Nicholas Society bio;

first posted: 1/10/10