Boyd of Drum and Woodmiln

I must admit to having known next to nothing about this family until I happened upon a number of their papers within a collection of documents I recently acquired which relate to the lands of Kinloch, near Collessie, in Fife. Although at first inspection their inclusion in that collection may seem to be out of all context, the reason was on account of the marriage, in 1825, of Christina Jane, only child of John Greenshields, Advocate, and his wife Jane Boyd, daughter and eventual heiress of Robert Boyd of Drum, to Charles Kinnear of Kinnear and Kinloch. Christina Jane died at Kinloch on 1 April 1835, aged 34, having had issue which succeeded to Drum and assumed the additional surname of Boyd. She being the heiress, her family's papers mingled with those of husband and until recently, were retained by their descendants.

The Memorial below penned in October 1821 by "Mrs Boyd of Drum" - Jane Boyd, wife of John Greenshields - gives a good but brief overview of her family and apart from only one of two errors, it is consistent with information contained within the wider collection as well as records elsewhere. 

The Memorial aside, those other writs include;

  1. Decreet of Cognition in favour of John Ralston against Anna Charters, relict of the late Robert Boyd in Drum, and Robert, William and Anna Boyd, their children. Dated 18 August 1683.
  2. Marriage contract between WilliamBoyd of Blairshill and Anna, daughter of Daniel Clerk, merchant burgess of Edinburgh. Dated 20 August 1689.
  3.  Tack by William Boyd, Earl of Kilmarnock, to William William Boyd of Woodmiln of the two parts of the lands of Badinheath. 28 May 1705.
  4. Tack by William Boyd, Earl of Kilmarnock, to William Boyd in liferent and Robert Boyd, his eldest son and heir, of the lands of Drum. 28 May 1705.
  5. Discharge by Walter Montgomery, younger of Kirktonhill to William Boyd of Woodmiln. Dated 19 December 1713.
  6. Disposition by Anna Clerk, relict of William Boyd of Woodmiln, in favour of (1) her youngest daughter, Anna Boyd, of her moveable property as well as all money, debts, liferents belonging and due to her at the time of her death (2) Robert Boyd of Drum, her eldest son (3) Mr. William Boyd, Minister of Kilmarnock, and  (4) Daniel Boyd, her youngest son. Dated 16 July 1746. 



The opening statement to the effect that the memorialist's family had been at Drum for about 250 years "when they branched off from the Earl of Kilmarnock family" cannot be corroborated and it is doubtful the degree of relationship between them was so near. It has been suggested that they descend from Robert, 5th Lord Boyd, who died on 3 January 1589-90, via his second son Robert Boyd of Bandeath apparently on the basis that he acquired the lands of Bandeath, in Stirlingshire, and of which the later Boyds of Drum had possession, however, that cannot be correct as Robert, 7th Lord Boyd, had special service to that Robert Boyd, his grandfather's brother (fratris avi) in the half part of Bandeath on 20 March 1617 (NRS C22/6/198) which thereby confirms that person's extinction. Instead, the first Boyd of/in Drum to appear in extant record is:

I. Robert Boyd in Drum, who is included with many others in a respite in favour of Malcolm, Lord Fleming, dated 16 August 1526 (NRS PS1/6/19).

II. Robert Boyd of Drum, succeeded and married Helen Callendar, daughter of Robert Callander of Ballincloich (she survived him and is named in their son Robert's Testament in 1598). He died before October 1589 having had issue;

III. Robert Boyd in Drum, who had married firstly, by 24 October 1589, to Janet, daughter and coheiress of Ninian Bruce, fiar of Kinnaird (NRS C2/37/441) and secondly, to Elizabeth Fleming, who survived him. He died on 8 December 1598 (NRS CC8/8/34/590-592) and had issue;

IV. Robert Boyd of Drum, is styled the eldest son in his father Will of December 1598. He died before December 1645 having married firstly, Katherine Boyd (who died in October 1630) and secondly, to Margaret Boyd (who survived him and died in December 1645). He had issue;

V. Robert Boyd of Drum, succeeded his father and was twice married. He died in April 1674 (NRS CC9/7/40/313-314) having had issue;

VI. Robert Boyd of Drum, was executor to this father in 1674 and died in 1683. He married Anna Charteris who survived him and died in 1710. They had issue, three children: Robert, William (born 1682) and Anna (born 1681) all of whom are named with their mother in a Decreet of Cognition dated 18 August 1683. The two sons appear to have died without issue before May 1705 when their uncle, William Boyd, had title to Drum and Bandeath.

VII. William Boyd of Woodmiln and Drum, succeeded his brother Robert in those lands and for which he had infeftment from William, Earl of Kilmarnock, in 1705. He married in 1689, to Anna, daughter of Daniel Clerk, merchant in Edinburgh, and had issue;

VIII. Robert Boyd of Drum, was baptised on 26 October 1696 and succeeded his father. He married Jane, daughter of James Cleland, merchant in Glasgow, by whom he was father of,

IX. Robert Boyd of Drum, baptised on 14 February 1740 and died at Edinburgh, on 31 October 1821. He married, 13 December 1771, to Christian, daughter of William Armstrong of Carn, in Ireland, (she survived him and died on 29 July 1825) and had issue;

X. Robert Boyd, younger of Drum, the only son, was baptised on 27 October 1775 and was admitted a Writer to the Signet on 19 November 1801. He died unmarried, at Edinburgh on 10 December 1815.

XI. Jane Boyd of Drum, was baptised on 28 March 1774 and succeeded to Drum on her father's death in 1821. She married on 30 September 1799, to John Greenshields, Advocate, (he died at Edinburgh on 6 March 1845) and died at Edinburgh, on 29 December 1850. They had issue;

XII. Christina Jane Greenshields, baptised at Edinburgh, on 11 September 1800, and married there, on 29 September 1825, to Charles Kinnear of Kinnear and Kinloch. She died at Kinloch on 1 April 1835 having had issue which succeeded to Drum.

Once the study of these documents and the gathering of further information from other sources has been completed, a thorough and more complete entry will be added to the Red Book Series.


Should you have have a particular interest in this family and would like to view or obtain copies of the documents in question, please do get in touch.