Thursday, 1 April 2021

Boyd of Ballycastle


THE REV WILLIAM BOYD (1650-1720), Vicar of Ramoan, 1679-81, married Rose, great-granddaughter of Hugh McNeil, and had issue,
William (Rev);
Charles (Rev);
Hugh McNeil, who was appointed 1st constable of Dunynie by Randal MacDonnell, 1st Earl of Antrim, was granted lands which formed the basis of the Ballycastle Estate.

The Vicar's eldest son,

HUGH BOYD (1690-1765), born at Drumawillan House, Glentaise, inherited his father's estate in 1711; Lieutenant-Colonel, County Antrim Militia, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1734, who married Anne, daughter of Randal McAllister, of Kinbane Castle, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Margaret; Leonora; Anne.
His eldest son,

COLONEL WILLIAM BOYD, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1740, espoused Mary, daughter of Ezekiel Davys Wilson, and issue,
James (Rev);
Mary; Margaret.
Colonel Boyd's younger son,

EZEKIEL DAVYS BOYD (1740-1801), High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1776, married Ann, daughter of John Frisby, and had issue,
Ezekiel Davys;
Sarah Catherine.
The eldest son,

HUGH BOYD (1765-95), of Ballycastle, County Antrim, MP for County Antrim, 1792, married twice, and by his second wife, Rosetta, and issue,
Amy; Harriet, m, 1818, Sir John Boyd Bt; Anna Maria.
His second son,

ALEXANDER BOYD (1791-1868), Lord of the Manor of Ballycastle, was father of

HUGH BOYD, of Ballycastle (1826-91), who married Marianne, elder daughter of James McKinley, of Carneatly.

The eldest son,

ALEXANDER BOYD JP (1865-1952), of Ballycastle, married, in 1903, Letitia, fifth daughter of John Nicholl, of The Orchard, Ballycastle.

His eldest son,

HUGH ALEXANDER BOYD, of Islandview, Ballycastle, married and had issue, his eldest son,

ALEXANDER JOHN BOYD, born in 1940.

THE MANSION, Ballycastle, County Antrim, is a mid-18th century building.

The Manor House, Ballycastle (Image: Timothy Ferres, 2021)

It had an archway above which was set a statue of an Indian river god, presumably supplied by Major-General Hugh Boyd, of the Bengal Army, at the time of the mutiny,

"Boyd - Major-General Hugh - Bengal Army - died 24th December 1876. Ensign Hugh Boyd, 62nd Native Infantry) served at Bhurtpore 1826 (medal and bar).

Memorial at Ballycastle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland - "In memory of Major General Hugh Boyd. Who died 24th December 1876 aged 76 years. General Boyd (of the Late Bengal Army) served with his regiment and on the General Staff throughout India for a uninterrupted term of 32 years from January 1824, a period of India's history as eventful in military successes and glory as any preceding it, returning to India after a short furlough in 1856.

He closed his military career commanding a brigade throughout the memorable Sepoy Mutiny of 1857-58."

There is a stable block with cut-stone window surrounds.

The Manor House became a Barnardo boys' home.

(Image: Timothy Ferres, 2021)

Little remains of the original house.

(Image: Timothy Ferres, 2021)

First published in April, 2013.


Unknown said...

Was not a Dr Barnardo establishment boys home but a home for all children initially mainly babies and young children. I know because I was a baby in this home.

Nicholas Wrigth said...

Hello Alison,

Causeway Coast and Glens Museum Services are currently researching a statue that once stood above the archway into the yard of the Boyd Manor (yard opened onto Mary St).

I don't suppose you have any memories or photos of the statues?

If you, or anyone else, does remember the statues, it would be great if they could drop us an email at



Unknown said...

Does anyone know the Y Haplogroup of these Boyds? My Boyd line is the A Haplogroup rather than the R.
It seems it is a mystery as to how my A Haplogroup lineage came to have the Boyd name.

Unknown said...

Have no memories or photos sadly. Felt it was such a shame such a beautiful manor house was abused and neglected . Then used for commercial gain. When you see what has been done for the Manor House on rattling ( which is great) Yet I remember the beautiful fireplaces and furnishings ripped out when it was turned into an OAP home. Then neglected when the house and grounds could have been developed into a major tourist attraction but that was the times. A bit like so many original store fronts and many aspects of this lovely little town with incredible lovely genuine local people. The best thing about the children's home was how the local people loved and looked after the children. The sweet shop ( post office)round the corner on pocket money day and the lovely Italian ice cream next door. The loveliest thing catholic and protestant people locally looked out for us even when stealing apples next door or getting a few free fish from the harbour Happy Memories was so sad when they closed it and booted us kids out across the country.Lovely wee town 😃🍹☘🍻🥂☘❤

Unknown said...

Hi Alison that is my family the boyds im from ballycastle my fathers name was Denis my grandfathers name was Hugh my grandmother was philis my family built that town all those years ago its nice people like you still have memories Brendan

Colin Brooks said...

A Grotta and "Unknown". We have a large group working on the genealogy and DNA for the Boyds in northern Antrim. Please contact me at We have separated out the DNA for the Boyds but are working on cleaner connections. Your family line could play a huge role in moving our research further.

Thank you,
Colin Brooks
The 1718 Project

Anonymous said...

My name is Alexandra McTear and I live in Belfast. My Mother was Mary Steen Boyd, daughter of Doctor William Houston Boyd, who I believe was descended from Hugh Boyd of Ballycastle. Her family crest was the same as Hugh Boyd's and she often mentioned the crescent moon motif. She said that Hugh Boyd was descended from the second son of an aristocratic Scottish family. She also said that they came from up North and were involved with coal. She once saw some Boyd portraits in an antique shop but didn't buy them. I have a set of silver cutlery with the family crest on it, which was given to my grandparents by my great Uncle Robert Boyd of Castle Rocklands(Carrickfergus) as a wedding present.

dadunlop said...

Hugh Boyd (1690-1757), married to Anne McAllister, at one stage may have owned and resided in Kenbane Castle; it seems he is my Great x7 Grandfather.

Jonathan Gray said...

Timothy can you tell me where the image of the stain glass armorial is from. I am researching the Boyd family of North Antrim and particularly the Ballycastle Boyd's. I am currently tracing the family back to Scotland and the relevant branch of the Boyd's of Kilmarnock.

Timothy Belmont said...

Jonathan, I try to put subtitles on images now, though unfortunately that article was one of my earliest. I think it was taken in Ballycastle parish church, though I cannot be sure. Sorry.

Colin Brooks said...

I admin a Facebook Boyd page and an email Boyd site. We actively research the Ballycastle Boyds and have found some recent descendants. If you are interested in joining give me a note at I can send the invite links to your email.

How do you connect to the Ballycastle Boyds?

Colin Brooks

Unknown said...

Hi my Boyd family are in the west midlands but my grandparents originate from Antrim. My grandad was Joseph Alexander Francis Boyd and my nan was Mary McCloskey which I here is another big family over there from family stories. Everything I look as deep as I can into our boyd history it always takes me to the big Antrim Boyd family that it says is descendants of the old Scottish Lord Boyd's. I've been wanting to do an actual test of some sort to get factual proof of this rather than just stuff it tells me in books or on web searches etc

Colin Brooks said...

Hi. Colin Brooks with the email group at:
The name of Francis could well be a tie into the Ezekiel Davys BOYD> Francis Turnley Boyd family. Francis was born 1796 and died 1867. This is a large family who spread around the world.
Can you contact me at I can lay out the family genealogy.
As to testing it all is about DNA. Y-DNA via a male descendant of your Grandad- Joseph Alexander Francis Boyd is clearly the best and most accurate. However, at FamilyTreeDNA we can also make autosomal or family finder matches. We have a decent number of autosomal matches to that family so if you are female it is still doable AND extremely helpful.
Hopefully, we can touch base.
Colin Brooks