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Harriet Boyd's Geni Profile

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Harriet Boyd (Johnson)

Birthdate: (69)
Birthplace: Of, Haverhill, Massachusetts, Essex, United States
Death: January 1, 1850 (69)
Green Bay, Brown, WI, USA
Place of Burial: Green Bay, Brown, Wisconsin, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Joshua Johnson and Catherine Johnson
Wife of Colonel George Boyd
Mother of Joshua Johnson Boyd; John Quincy (Lt.) Adams Boyd; Thomas Alexander Brooks Boyd; George Boyd, Jr.; James Madison Boyd (Lt.) and 4 others
Sister of Anne "Nancy" Hellen; Louisa Catherine Adams; Thomas Baker Johnson; Caroline Virginia Marylanda Buchanan; Elizabeth Dorcas Pope and 2 others

Managed by: Karen Marie Nystrom
Last Updated:

About Harriet Boyd

Harriet Johnson Boyd (1781- 1850) came from a family of nine children, one brother, seven exceptional sisters. Her father, Joshua Johnson left Maryland for London as a merchant in1771. With the start of the Revolutionary War, he moved his growing family to the port city of Nantes, France in 1778. Harriet grew up in great luxury and indulgence. In France and after the War while living in London, the Johnson's entertained many Americans, including John Adams and his son, John Quincy. As a girl, she attended a Roman Catholic convent school France. Here she learned to read and write in French. She also learned to play the harp and piano. In London Harriet attended an English girls boarding school. Her education continued with further study in, rudimentary mathematics, philosophy, embroidery, needlework, stitching, drawing.

After a business failure in 1797, Joshua Johnson fled England with his family for the U.S., leaving behind enormous debt to British creditors.

Harriet's paternal great-grandparents immigrated to Maryland from England. Her mother was born in England. One of her maternal grandfathers had been a brewer in London and one of her maternal great-grandmothers had been one of 21 children.

At 24, Harriet married career diplomat Colonel George Boyd in 1805. They lived comfortably in King George County and Col. Boyd traveled extensively on diplomatic missions for the American government. After business reverses, in 1818 Col. Boyd was appointed Indian Agent to Michilimackinac Island (Mackinaw Island). In 1820, he brought Harriet and their four young children to live in the remote Wisconsin Territory. Harriet gave birth to her only daughter, Catherine, shortly after arriving at Mackinaw. She is thought to be the first "American" child born on Mackinaw Island. Harriet and Col. Boyd had nine children, five of them born while living on Macinaw Island.

After 12 years at the Mackinaw Island post, Col. Boyd was transferred to the position as Indian Agent for Green Bay in 1832. He retired from that position in 1840, but lived the rest of his life in Green Bay and died in 1846.

Harriet's sister, Louisa Catherine, married John Quincy Adams. Sister Catherine "Kitty" married Billy Smith in 1809 a nephew of John Quincy Adams, son of Adams' sister Nabby. Sister Eliza Johnson married U.S. Senator John Pope of Kentucky in 1810. Sister Nancy married Walter Hellen. When Nancy died, her widowed husband Walter married her sister Adelaide.

Walter and Nancy Hellen's daughter Mary married John Adams II, Feb. 25, 1828 in the White House. He was the grandson of John Adams, son of John Quincy Adams and Mary was his first cousin. House. Nine months and 7 days later, Mary Louisa Adams was born at the White House. In 1853 she also married one of her cousins who was a descendant of President John Adams.


NOTE: Harriet Boyd may have been buried at Woodlawn, but that is unconfirmed. She is buried in or near Green Bay. Her son James M. Boyd is buried at Woodlawn in Allouez.

  Harriet's parents relocated from London to the port city of Nantes in the spring of 1778 where her father became one of the leading American merchants doing business in France and actied as commercial agent for the State of Maryland and as consul in Nantes for the Congress.  It was during this time that Catherine Nuth Johnson gave birth to daughter Harriet Johnson in Nantes on the 18th of June 1781.  Harriet was baptised the following year on January 13 in the Nantois Protestant Church.
  Harriet was almost 2 years old when her family returned to London in the spring of 1783, where her father served as the first American consul to England during the 1790s.   The family remained in England until the fall of 1797, when  16 year old Harriet's family returned to Maryland.  President Washington appointed her father Superintendent of Stamps after his return to the United States, a position Johnson held until his death in 1802.
  Harriet married about 1804 to George Boyd.  George Boyd was a bearer of dispatches to Ghent at the time of the treaty in 1814 which ended the War of 1812.  He was later a Federal Indian Agent at Mackinac Island, Michigan by 1819. They moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin about 1832 where George Boyd served as an Indian Agent.  Harriet's husband resigned as Indian Agent in 1840 and they lived the remainder of their lives in Green Bay.
     [unfinished Biography by [ Troy S.]]
  "....Miss Harriet Johnson, daughter of Joshua Johnson, a niece of Thomas Johnson, the first governor of Maryland, and a sister of Mrs. John Quincy Adams. Their married life was blest with a large family--eight boys and one girl....."
  [Herbert B. Tanner, Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Vol. 12, Sketch of George and James M. Boyd, pp. 284-316]

Note: Buried in Green Bay, WI

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Harriet Boyd's Timeline

Of, Haverhill, Massachusetts, Essex, United States
January 13, 1782
Age 1
Nantes, Loire-Atlantique, Pays de la Loire, France
Age 24
Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, United States
November 21, 1806
Age 25
Age 32
Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, United States
January 13, 1816
Age 35
Washington, DC, United States
Age 35
Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, United States
Age 38
Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, United States
Age 39
Mackinac Island, Mackinac, Michigan Territory, United States