Daniel Hanson Boyden (24 Jan. 1843-22 Dec. 1871) and Peter Meriwether Boyden (16 May 1852-4 May 1925) were sons of the Rev. Ebenezer Boyden (1803-1891) of “Hopedale” in Cismont, Virginia, and his wife, Mary Sheffey (1813-1881), daughter of U.S. Senator Daniel Sheffey. Rev. E. Boyden was the rector of “Walker’s Church,” now called Grace Episcopal Church, in Keswick, VA. He served that church for forty years, and was a motivating force behind the construction of the church’s first stone building which was dedicated in 1855. His sons Daniel and Peter attended the University of Virginia, Daniel in sessions 37 and 43 (1860-1861 and 1866-1867) and Peter in sessions 49-50 (1872-1874).
Daniel Hanson Boyden served in the Civil War as a corporal in Carrington’s Battery of Charlottesville Artillery, CSA. He fought in the Battle of the Wilderness, and after the war suffered what seems to have been “shell shock.” He was ordained an Episcopal minister in 1870 after graduating from Theological Seminary of Virginia in Richmond, VA, and died in 1871 from stomach cancer.
Peter Meriwether Boyden attended the College of William & Mary during 1870 to 1871, but did not graduate. While there he joined Theta Delta Chi fraternity during a failed revival of the fraternity after the Civil War. However, he was active in the fraternity while at U.Va. He then attended the Theological Seminary of Virginia, graduating in 1877. As an Episcopal minister, he served in churches in Goochland County, VA and in Boydton, VA, as well as in two churches in Maryland: St. Paul’s in Olney and St. Paul’s in Poplar Springs. He married Ella Warren Smith in 1879. Their children were: Mary, Eleanor, Adele, Rosa Rutherford, and Lillian Boyden. Peter Boyden died from being struck by a car in Ridgeville, MD.
Many members of the Boyden family, including Daniel, Peter, and their parents, Ebenezer and Mary, are buried in the cemetery of Grace Episcopal Church.
- Griffing, Edward Stetson, ed. Sixth catalogue of Theta Delta Chi. New York, 1911.
- Historical Data Systems, comp. U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2009.
- Mead, Edward C. Historic homes of the South-West Mountains Virginia. Philadelphia, PA, 1898. http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/edward-c-edward-campbell-mead/historic-homes-of-the-south-west-mountains-virginia-dae/1-historic-homes-of-the-south-west-mountains-virginia-dae.shtml (Accessed 10/19/2011).
- “Just gossip. Theta Delts of Epsilon—Class of 1872.” The Shield, v. 21, no. 2 (June 1905) p. 217-221.
- Tombstones of the Boyden family, Grace Episcopal Church, Keswick, VA. Findagrave.com (Accessed 10/19/2011).