Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Sallie Ellsworth VanGilder Boyd

Sallie Ellsworth VanGilder Boyd
Photo circa 1908
Morgantown, West Virginia

     While I was researching Carson Perrie Boyd's life for my last blog, I realized that I had never spent time writing about his mother, my paternal great grand aunt, Sallie Ellsworth Vangilder Boyd.  From all the records I could find her name was primarily written Sallie, although I have seen Sally.  I wonder if Sallie was her given name or if it was a nickname for Sarah.

     Sallie was born on March 11, 1863 in Morgantown, Monongalia County, several months before West Virginia was granted statehood.  Daughter of John Oliphant VanGilder and Mary Louise Hill VanGilder, she joined a family of a sister and three brothers.  One of the reasons I wonder that Sallie's given name might have been Sarah is that both of her parents mothers was named Sarah.  Certainly during the mid to late 1800's it was common to name the older children after their grandparents.

     Sallie was only a baby during the Civil War.  She was probably unaware that her father served as a Captain with C Company 14th West Virginia Militia.  By the time she was seven, her family was living on the old Hill Family farm in a log cabin on Stewart Street in just outside the city limits of Morgantown.  Her father, who had made his living as a chair maker, took up farming and had plenty of family hands to assist with the work.  By 1875 the VanGilders had eleven children.

     On August 4, 1883, the family suffered the loss of the oldest daughter, Anna Bell VanGilder, to heart disease.  Sallie was twenty.

     Almost two years later, Sallie married William Milroy Boyd on June 25, 1885 in Monongalia County, West Virginia.  William was born in November, 1886 to James Boyd and Emily Miller Boyd in Monongalia County, West Virginia.

     Sallie and William raised a family of eleven, one son died as an infant.      

  1. Jessie Mabel Boyd 1886-1996 (spouse Frank Marshall Stewart) 
  2. Arthur Byron Boyd 1887-1918
  3. Edna Lyall Boyd  1890-1989
  4. Mary Jane Boyd 1893-1969 (spouse Raleigh Everette Barker)
  5. Howard Glenn Boyd 1895-1995
  6. Carson Perrie Boyd  1900-1969
  7. Mildred A. Boyd  1898-1985
  8. Clarence Carey Hill Boyd  1900-1969
  9. Carle VanGilder Boyd  1901-1970
  10. Charles E. Boyd  1903-1903
  11. Olga LeMoyne Boyd  1904-1981
  12. Donald Milford Boyd  1905-1971
     The Boyd's lived in various houses in and around the Morgantown area during their marriage.  William was employed in the early 1900's as an oil rig builder and later as a house carpenter.  

     There are numerous photos of family gatherings, primarily VanGilder, although some of Sallie's children also attended as adults. 

     One piece of family memorabilia that we have is the George Ethelbert VanGilder autograph album.  George is Sallie's brother and my paternal great grandfather.  Sallie signed her brother's autograph book in 1888.

     Unfortunately, not much additional personal information can be added to Sallie's blog. The 1930 West Virginia census gives her marital status as divorced.  271 Stewart Street in Morgantown was the family residence for a decade or two and several of her, now adult, children lived with her from time to time.  The house must have been large enough to house numerous people as she also had lodgers. I have no additional information on William M. Boyd.

     Sallie died at home on July 7, 1933 at the age of seventy.  She was buried at Mount Union Cemetery, north of Morgantown, in the same cemetery as her parents, several siblings and two sets of great grandparents--Robert Hill and Rebecca Caldwell Hill; and Purnell Houston and Mary Carey. Also several of the Boyd children are buried around their mother. 

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© 2016, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

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