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Collection Number: 04577

Collection Title: Boyd Family Papers, 1847-1973

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


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Size 2.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 370 items)
Abstract Boyd family of Warrenton, N.C., and the related Burwell, Massenburg, Norwood, Davis, and other families. Family members include William Henry Burwell (d. 1917); planter John Early Boyd (1812-1883) and his wife, Ann Bignall Jones Boyd (1816-1882); and their son, lawyer Henry Armistead Boyd (1855-1929) and his wife, Elizabeth Massenburg Norwood Boyd (1863-1944). Correspondence, financial and legal materials, genealogical materials, pictures, and other papers of the Boyd and related families. The earliest letters are to and from Burwell family members, relating especially to the academic career of William Henry Burwell at the University of North Carolina, where he earned an A.B. degree in 1856. Burwell materials continue through the 1860s, when they are gradually supplanted by items relating to the Boyd family. Letters from Henry Armistead Boyd, then a student at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., begin in 1875; they chiefly relate to affairs of the heart, with Henry first wooing a woman named Ada, and then switching to Bettie (Elizabeth Massenburg) Norwood, whom he married in 1881. Most letters after 1881 deal with family matters and Henry's law practice. The few letters dated after 1906 deal chiefly with genealogy. Financial and legal materials relate chiefly to Boyd and Norwood family members, and include indentures, bills and receipts, and insurance policies. There are also some estate papers and several items relating to John Early Boyd's 1868 bankruptcy, but there is little relating to plantation or farm matters. Also included are a few items relating to Robert E. Lee, including a lock of his hair and a description of how it was obtained.
Creator Boyd family.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Boyd Family Papers #4577, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Lucy Boyd Mead of Chapel Hill, N.C., in June 1991 (Acc. 91074).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

This collection consists of papers of the Boyd family of Warrenton, N.C., and the related Burwell, Massenburg, Norwood, Davis, and other families. Family members include planter John Early Boyd (1812-1883), who appears to have come to Warrenton from Mecklenburg County, Va., around 1838, and his wife Ann Bignall Jones Boyd (1816-1882); their son, lawyer Henry Armistead Boyd (1855-1929), who, in September 1881, married Elizabeth (Bettie) Massenburg Norwood (1863-1944); Bettie's father William Jordan Norwood (1836-1909) and mother Mariam Stamp Massenburg Norwood (1840-1901) of Woodleaf, near Louisburg, N.C.; and Bettie's grandmother Lucy Henry Davis (1811-1896). Also included are the children of Henry and Bettie: William Norwood (1882-1951), who married Elizabeth Marshall Burwell; Anne Jones, who married William A. Graham; and Mariam (1885-1976), who taught school in Warrenton. The donor is the daughter of William Norwood Boyd and Elizabeth Marshall Burwell Boyd.

The collection includes correspondence, financial and legal materials, genealogical materials, pictures, and other papers of the Boyd and related families. The earliest letters are to and from Burwell family members, relating especially to the academic career of William Henry Burwell (d. 1917) at the University of North Carolina, where he earned an A.B. degree in 1856. Burwell materials continue through the 1860s, when they are gradually supplanted by items relating to the Boyd family. Letters from Henry Armistead Boyd, then a student at Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Va., begin in 1875; they chiefly relate to affairs of the heart, with Henry first wooing a woman named Ada, and then switching to Bettie Norwood, who he married in 1881. Most letters after 1881 deal with family matters and Henry's law practice. The few letters dated after 1906 deal chiefly with genealogy.

Financial and legal materials relate chiefly to Boyd and Norwood family members, and include indentures, bills and receipts, and insurance policies. There are also some estate papers and many items relating to John Early Boyd's 1868 bankruptcy.

There are many handwritten and typed notes relating to the genealogy of the Boyd and other families. There are also family trees, applications to organizations like the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and other items having to do with family history.

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Correspondence, financial and legal materials, genealogical materials, pictures, and other papers of the Boyd and related families. The earliest letters are to and from Burwell family members, relating especially to the academic career of William Henry Burwell at the University of North Carolina, where he earned an A.B. degree in 1856. Burwell materials continue through the 1860s, when they are gradually supplanted by items relating to the Boyd family. Letters from Henry Armistead Boyd, then a student at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., begin in 1875; they chiefly relate to affairs of the heart, with Henry first wooing a woman named Ada, and then switching to Bettie (Elizabeth Massenburg) Norwood, whom he married in 1881. Most letters after 1881 deal with family matters and Henry's law practice. The few letters dated after 1906 deal chiefly with genealogy. Financial and legal materials relate chiefly to Boyd and Norwood family members, and include indentures, bills and receipts, and insurance policies. There are also some estate papers and several items relating to John Early Boyd's 1868 bankruptcy, but there is little relating to plantation or farm matters. Also included are a few items relating to Robert E. Lee, including a lock of his hair and a description of how it was obtained.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1847-1973 and undated.

About 200 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Correspondence relating to members of the Boyd family and other families. Letters in the 1840s and 1850s relate chiefly to William Henry Burwell's academic career, first at school in Shelbyville, Tenn., and then at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where he earned an A.B. degree in 1856. In 1852, there is a phrenological study of Burwell, and, in 1853, a letter from Burwell's mother about the importance of education. There are a few letters in 1859 from Burwell's father, William A. Burwell, to his wife from Hot Springs, Va., where he had gone to take the cure.

Boyd family letters begin in the Civil War years, but there are no letters relating directly to the war. These letters deal chiefly with the settlement of John Early Boyd's father's estate. There are some Norwood and Massenburg letters in the late 1860s, but the volume of correspondence picks up dramatically in 1875 with letters to and from Henry Armistead Boyd at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va. Some of these letters are to and from Henry's parents, but the bulk are courtship letters, first, to and from a Miss Ada, to whom Henry was secretly engaged, and, after the engagement was broken late in 1877, to and from Bettie Massenburg Norwood, who married Henry in 1881.

After 1881, most letters relate to family matters revolving around Henry and Bettie in Warrenton. There are also a few letters about Henry's law career and about activities of other Boyd family members, including the tobacco warehouse run by Walter B., William H., William L., and Richard B. Boyd in Henderson, N.C.

In the late 1880s and 1890s, there are letters from Davis and Massenburg family members, particularly B. B. Massenburg, who was a lawyer and clerk of the Superior Court in Franklin County, N.C. In June and July 1891, there are many letters from Bettie, who was in Richmond, Va., being treated for some unspecified ailment. In 1893, there are items relating to Henry's efforts to raise funds to build a Methodist church in Warrenton, and a few letters relating to Henry's tenure as treasurer of the Warrenton Colored Normal School, which received funds from the Peabody Education Fund. In 1906, there is a letter from Henry granting William A. Graham permission to marry his daughter Annie Jones Boyd.

The few letters dated after 1906 are to or from Annie Jones Boyd Graham and relate chiefly to genealogy. Undated letters are mainly about family affairs and include an appeal to family members to contribute to the John Early Boyd Cemetery Fund.

Folder 1

1820-1853 #04577, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1847-1973 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

1854-1867 #04577, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1847-1973 and undated." Folder 2

Folder 3

1871-1879 #04577, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1847-1973 and undated." Folder 3

Folder 4

1880-1884 #04577, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1847-1973 and undated." Folder 4

Folder 5

1885-1890 #04577, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1847-1973 and undated." Folder 5

Folder 6-7

Folder 6

Folder 7

1891 #04577, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1847-1973 and undated." Folder 6-7

Folder 8

1892-1896 #04577, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1847-1973 and undated." Folder 8

Folder 9

1902-1923 #04577, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1847-1973 and undated." Folder 9

Folder 10

1930-1973 #04577, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1847-1973 and undated." Folder 10

Folder 11

Undated #04577, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1847-1973 and undated." Folder 11

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1825-1958 and undated.

About 100 items.

Arrangement: roughly chronological.

Indentures, bills and receipts, insurance policies, and other financial and legal materials relating to family members.

There is a copy of the deed, 1838, by which John Early Boyd of Mecklenburg County, Va., bought land from William Eaton in Warren County, N.C. Other John Early Boyd papers relate to his role as guardian for Sarah Boyd in the late 1840s and to his bankruptcy in 1868. Beginning in the 1880s, there are notes and other materials of Henry Armistead Boyd, including his 1894 accounts with farm tenants. There are lists, 1957 and 1958, of contributions to and bank statements for the John Early Boyd Cemetery Fund, Mrs. William A. Graham, treasurer.

Folder 12

1825-1869 #04577, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1825-1958 and undated." Folder 12

Folder 13

1871-1889 #04577, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1825-1958 and undated." Folder 13

Folder 14

1890-1900 #04577, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1825-1958 and undated." Folder 14

Folder 15

1902-1958 #04577, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1825-1958 and undated." Folder 15

Folder 16

Undated #04577, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1825-1958 and undated." Folder 16

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Genealogy.

About 350 items.

Arrangement: roughly sorted by type.

Handwritten and typed notes, typed transcriptions and photocopies of wills, handwritten and printed family trees, application forms for the United Daughters of the Confederacy and other organizations, printed and photocopied writings on the Boyd and other families, and clippings relating to family members and to Warrenton, N.C.

Folder 17-26

Folder 17

Folder 18

Folder 19

Folder 20

Folder 21

Folder 22

Folder 23

Folder 24

Folder 25

Folder 26

Notes #04577, Series: "3. Genealogy." Folder 17-26

Folder 27-28

Folder 27

Folder 28

Writings #04577, Series: "3. Genealogy." Folder 27-28

Folder 29

Clippings Boyd family clippings #04577, Series: "3. Genealogy." Folder 29

Folder 30

Clippings Norwood and other family clippings #04577, Series: "3. Genealogy." Folder 30

Folder 31

Clippings Warrenton clippings #04577, Series: "3. Genealogy." Folder 31

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Other Papers, 1875-1973.

About 20 items.

Diary of Annie Jones Boyd, 1902-1903, containing brief entries largely relating to family life; guest book from the 1906 wedding of William A. Graham and Annie Jones Boyd; materials having to do with General Robert E. Lee, including a lock of his hair and a description of how it was obtained, 1903; Henry Armistead Boyd's school notebook for a class in Greek, 1875-1876; and miscellaneous other items, including a few family recipes.

Folder 32

Annie Jones Boyd Diary #04577, Series: "4. Other Papers, 1875-1973." Folder 32

Folder 33

Graham/Boyd Marriage Guest Book #04577, Series: "4. Other Papers, 1875-1973." Folder 33

Folder 34

Robert E. Lee Materials #04577, Series: "4. Other Papers, 1875-1973." Folder 34

Folder 35

Henry Armistead School Notebook #04577, Series: "4. Other Papers, 1875-1973." Folder 35

Folder 36

Miscellaneous #04577, Series: "4. Other Papers, 1875-1973." Folder 36

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Pictures, Undated.

About 20 items.

Photographs, mostly undated, of unidentified family members. Also included is a photograph of a Warrenton Railroad locomotive and two printed photographs, one of a graveyard and one of "The Oaks." There are also two tintypes, one of Annie Norwood, William J. Norwood's daughter who died at the age of eight, and one of an unidentified man.

Image P-4577

Pictures #04577, Series: "5. Pictures, Undated." P-4577

Folder P-4577-SF

Tintypes #04577, Series: "5. Pictures, Undated." Folder P-4577-SF

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Processing Information

Processed by: Amy Mitchell, Roslyn Holdzkom, August 1991

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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