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Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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ROBERT BOYD is the fortunate possessor of a farm located in township 4, range 5, Randolph County. He won considerable distinction as a soldier, having served for two years as a member of the Union army. The parents of our subject, Samuel L. and Jane (Gibson) Boyd, were natives of South Carolina, while his paternal grandfather, Samuel Boyd, Sr., was born in Ireland in 1777. The latter, after emigrating to the United States, was married in South Carolina to Nancy Boyd, and came to Illinois about the year 1825, locating on section 17, township 4, range 5. In that early day the country was very thinly settled, and not an improvement detracted from the primitive charm of his home. With characteristic energy he set about the clearing and improving of his estate, on which he reared his family, and there lived until his decease. Only one son of that family is now living, John S., who makes his home in Kansas.

The maternal grandfather of our subject, Robert Gibson, came to this state in an early day, and made his home in Washington County at a time when the neighbors were few and far between. There he was married and there he made his permanent home. Both himself and wife are now deceased. They reared a family of nine children, of whom John is deceased. Those living are Mary, Robert, Nancy, James, Jane (the mother of our subject), Samuel, William and Margaret.

Our subject was born November 7, 1843, on the section where he is at present residing, and received his education in the district school near his home. In December, 1863, when the Civil War was at its height, he left home and enlisted his services with the Union army, becoming a member of Company K, Fifth Illinois Cavalry. He joined his regiment at Vicksburg, and later fought on the Yazoo River under General Custer, and after that was stationed at Vicksburg until the following summer. Then, with his regiment, he went into Tennessee, where they were engaged in fighting General Forrest, and after routing that officer went to Memphis, and later to Texas, where they were detailed to skirmish. He received his honorable discharge in the fall of 1865, and during his entire period of service was never wounded or taken prisoner.

Returning home from the war, Mr. Boyd in the spring of 1866 was united in marriage with Miss Marion Bicket. The lady is a native of this county and the daughter of John Bicket. She became the mother of six children, and departed this life in 1880. Those of the family who are still living are, Mary J., Maggie B., John H., Samuel L. and Robert E.

Our subject had a brother who was also a soldier in the late war, and who died in 1864, while in the army. Religiously, Mr. Boyd is a member of the United Presbyterian Church. Socially, he is a Grand Army man, and holds membership with the post at Coulterville. In politics he always votes with the Prohibition party. He has been quite active in public affairs in his township, and has been elected School Director of District No. 3.

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This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

View additional Randolph County, Illinois family biographies here: Randolph County, Illinois Biographies

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