Log in  | New? Register

211,223 BOYD members around the world

Stay informed about BOYD Family online & offline events!

Keep me informed as to BOYD Family online & offline events

My BOYD family came from?

See our recent family gatherings

BOYD Family History

The usual derivation of Boyd from Gaelic 'Boid', i.e. from the Island of Bute. Bute was populated by the Dal Riada Gaels from the north of Ireland. Also, Stewart Boyds are said to derive their name from 'buidhe' or 'yellow' (haired), which is, of course Scots Gaelic. Boyd is largely a west of Scotland/Ulster name. The 'de' in the first derivation is a Norman-French prefix (?of?), and precedes a genuinely Gaelic name. This does not specify the ethnic origin of the bearers, however.

In the 1659 ?Census?, carried out by Sir William Petty, Boyd is found in the list of ?Principal Irish Names & Scotch? in counties:

Antrim, Barony of Antrim, Boyd (7 families; all figures are for families); Glenarm Barony, Boyd (14); Carrickfergus, Boyd (5).

Down- Thomas Boyde is listed as a?titulado? or landowner in the Barony of Ards.

In view of the name?s spread to adjacent counties by the time of Griffith?s ?Primary Valuation? (1847-64) in some numbers points to the original entry into Ireland?s north-east as a Scottish ?planter? name in the Jacobean Plantation of Ulster in the early 1600s.

So in Griffith we have most Boyds in counties Antrim (337 + 126 Belfast), Down (253), Derry (115), Armagh (74) and Monaghan (69).

In 1890, as recorded in R.E. Matheson?s ?Special Report? (1894), most Boyd birth registrations were in counties Antrim, Down and Derry. The total number in Ireland was 155.

There are two families of Boyd listed in Burke's 'General Armory' (1883), descended from the Boyds of Kilmarnock, Scotland: of Ballymacool, Co Donegal and Roslare, Co Wexford. Their arms are those of the Kilmarnock house: 'azure, a fesse chequy argent and gules; crest: a dexter hand erect, pointing with the thumb & two fingers proper'.

Early Boyds:

Robert de Boyd is listed in Scotland in the Ragman Rolls (1291/92).
Robert de Boyd was awarded the lands of Kilmarnock and Kilbride by Robert 1st of Scotland (Robert de Brus), for his leadership and bravery at the Battle of Bannockburn (1314).

Duncan Boyd was hanged in 1306 for his support of Robert Bruce (Robert de Brus).

*these entries are taken from the wikipedia article, founded on the research of Luke Boyd.



The following, sent us by Boyd researcher Luke Boyd (v. also above), has an interesting bearing on the two Boyd origins given in the opening paragraph..

'Robert de Boyd having "gone native", in modern parlance... sources indicate that he may have been descended from the kingdom of Dal Riada (Ulster Irish).

I have also seen a few interesting assertions of the Stewart and Boyd houses being descended of the Breton house of Dinant (Norman: De Dinan, De Dinham). Supposedly the heraldry substantiates this in some way.'

Who have we missed?

Tell us about any famous BOYD (or surname variant) you think we should add here. We will get our genealogists to check them out and add them to the list. Thanks!


Join the conversation with the BOYD tribe

  • Find your BOYD ancestor
  • Tell us about your BOYD Family
  • Tell us about your BOYD ancestors
  • Ask a question about the BOYD history
  • Leave a message for BOYD family members
Roger L Boyd

Have been unable to locate the parents and siblings of William Boyd born 1752 Antrim and death 1812 in Pennsylvania

Robert Matewsky

My Biological Sure-name is Boyd. I am a. R-U198 Haplo said to be the Noble Boyd line . My Brickwall is John Boyd Born abt 1795 Married to Elizabeth Dungan Born Marion Co Virginia. I suspect a potential connection to the Orr family of Aghadowey, Coleraine .Paul Orr Born 1764 and Married Isabelle Boyd of Townland Rhee. Also seen a dna connection with the Blair family and was thinking there could be a connection to Rev Thomas of siege of Londonderry and Rev William Boyd of the 1718 Ulster Scot Petition to Gov Schute. I have close Y match with someone who has a paper trail to John “Ballymena”Boyd or aka John Buckles Boyd . We share a common ancestor some generations after him. I am honestly not certain where my Boyd ancestors migrated from and always curious to find out how they made there way to the US.


duncan boyd died 1306

Jessica Boyd

Hello, my ancestor Dean Boyd, born around 1831 in Derry emigrated to Sydney, Australia in 1858 with his wife Isabella Ellis on the ship Telegraph. I believe his parents were Alexander (b 1810) and Mary (b 1811). I'm keen to find out more about my Boyd ancestors from Derry!

Leah Boyd

My Boyd family ancestor is Moore Boyd who emigrated on a ship called the Narrison out of Belfast Ireland to New York, New York, US in 1848. I would love to learn more about my Boyd heritage prior to 1848.


Andrew Boyd born ca 1740 d 1795 Jeff. Co., GA head of mess ship Elizabeth 1772-1773 Belfast to Savannah, Georgia. Had child "on his knee" (Andrew Boyd b 1769 Ire-1856 Pike Co, MS) and others in his mess. Settled in Old Queensborough, now present-day Jeff. Co., GA. Andrew b 1769 said to marry Jane Sampson. Some researchers say Andrew descends from Kilmarnock Boyds.

Keri Danette Hassell

My ancestry with the Boyd Clan is directly traced through the lineage of my great grandmother, Clara Bell Boyd Rodgers.


My name is Boyd Simpson, My father has the same name, my grandfather was William Boyd Simpson. I’ve traced it back to a Thomas Boyd (1807-1878) who was a steel worker in King St, Dundee.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 1 of 3) The Boyd name can be found in Scotland, but its origin according to DNA is from the north-west coast of the Emerald Island. The Boyd story [dominated by DNA tribal marker R1b-L513, Subgroup A1] can trace their origins to the Finn Valley in Donegal, Ireland from 50 BCE. Perhaps the journey begins with the Clanna Dedad; Deda, son of Sen or Deda Mac Sin. The Boyd surname origin is from a Northern Ui Neill [R1b-L513] tribe. The Cenél Eoghan and the tribes of Donegal conquered much of Ulster (Derry and Tyrone).

Rob Matewsky

I match the nephew of the last Clan Boyd Chief. Haplo R-R-R1B- R-U106 - R-U198 - R-BY132251. R-U198 is the Noble line. As far as the where the name originated nothing proves it came from anywhere as of now. University of Strathclyde tested the Decleration of Arbroath for Boyd dna . None was found. It was interesting though. Be nice if the could do that with the 1718 Ulster Scot petition to Gov. Shute lol I been wondering if there is a connection with my line but have no clue how my Boyd ancestors came to The US. I also y match the decendants of John Buckles Boyd of Ballymena closely and been seeing a connection to a lot of Boyd’s who trace there line to England.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 2 of 3) Cenél Eoghan will expand across northern Ireland with their cousins Cenél Conaill and the Northern Ui Neill between 500-800 BCE. The clans of Finn Valley have the same DNA as people from Gwened in Brittany. But how could this be? Recent discoveries from DNA testing are unlocking the migration patterns of Celtic tribes as late as 800 CE to 1200 CE. The Boyd story begins in pre-history Ireland then moves to Scotland as they form part of the Dalriada. Descendants of their tribe will then travel to Brittany, France during the Dark Ages.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 3 of 3) Discover their newly found untold story and how forgotten texts bring their story back to life. From the ebook, “The Tribe Within” learn how DNA unfolds this amazing tale and if you look in the right places, how history narrates this evidence. There is another written account of their story, but it is camouflaged in smoke and myth – it will become the tales of King Arthur. Come follow in the footsteps of Deda Mac Sin and visit


Invite more BOYD family members!

Write an email address and click 'Invite' to share this page with more members of the BOYD tribe.

Log in or Register to invite others
Family Coat of Arms Generator

Why not see what your family crest could look like based on your own family characteristics?

Create Crest

Discover where the BOYD Family members live around the world

Explore where tribe members live today!


Show off the BOYD Family Crest…

Wear your crest with pride...plenty of products to choose from