Toy Family of Norfolk, Virginia

Thomas Dallam Toy (1814-1879) of Norfolk, Virginia was a partner in the firm of King & Toy, a wholesale and retail druggists’ supply business. After the Civil War, the business was known as Thomas D. Toy & Sons.  He was also one of the founding members of the Freemason Baptist Church of Norfolk, founded in 1848. Toy and his wife, Amelia Ann Rogers (1816-1873), among other children, had three sons who attended the University of Virginia: Crawford Howell, Robert B., and Walter Dallam Toy. Thomas and Amelia are buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Norfolk, Va. (Findagrave.com)

Crawford Howell Toy (23 Mar. 1836-12 May 1919) received his early education at the Norfolk Academy, at that time a military school. In 1852, he entered the University of Virginia; he attended U.Va. in sessions 29-32 (1852-1856) where he studied Ancient Languages, Law, and, Comparative Anatomy and Surgery. Upon graduation, Toy taught at the Albemarle Female Institute in Charlottesville for three years, and then in 1859, Toy entered the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at Greenville, SC. In 1860, Toy was ordained as a Baptist minister. Though he intended to become a foreign missionary, the outbreak of the Civil War prevented that plan from being put into effect.

In Oct. 1861, Crawford H. Toy enlisted for Confederate service in the Norfolk Light Artillery Blues, where he served as a private and corporal. He later served as a chaplain in the infantry. He was captured at Gettysburg on July 4, 1863, and imprisoned at Fort McHenry, in Maryland. In six months he was exchanged and rejoined the army. In mid-1864 Toy was appointed professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Alabama, where he remained until the end of the war. From 1866-1868, he studied at the University of Berlin.

Toy’s lifelong interest was language and Biblical studies. Among the languages he knew and taught were German, French, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Ethiopic, Sanskrit, Persian, Assyrian, Egyptian, and Russian. After returning from Europe, Toy became a professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, teaching Hebrew and Biblical studies.

In 1879, his increasingly ‘liberal’ views “concerning the historical accuracy of the Old Testament” led to his resignation from the faculty of the Seminary. (Baptist Studies Bulletin, Oct. 2011) In 1881, his religious views are also thought to have contributed to the break-up of his engagement to Charlotte  “Lottie” Moon, a famous Southern Baptist missionary to China, whom he first met at the Albemarle Female Institute in Charlottesville.

In 1880, Dr. Toy was called to Harvard University as Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages, and Dexter Lecturer on Biblical Literature. Toy’s personal religious beliefs changed after his arrival at Harvard, and he joined the Unitarian Church about 1890. He held the professorship until he retired in 1909. (Lyon) Among his many books were Judaism and Christianity, a sketch of the progress of thought from Old Testament to New Testament (1890) and Introduction to the history of religions (1913).

On 24 May, 1888, Toy married Nancy I. Saunders (Jul. 1 1860-after 1930), in Norfolk, Va. (Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940). Toy died in 1919. I have been unable to ascertain his place of burial. A photograph of Mrs. Toy appears in each of her U.S. Passport Applications from 1920 and 1925. (U.S. Passport Applications)

A photograph of Mrs. Nancy Toy.

Mrs. Nancy Toy in 1925. (U.S. Passport Applications)

Robert Boyte Toy (26 Jun. 1848-10 Mar. 1918) was born in Norfolk, VA, and attended the University of Virginia in session 42 (1865-1866). He married Mary Jane Bockover (17 Jan. 1852-28 Jan. 1910) of Edenton, NC on 14 Mar. 1871. (North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, 1901; Atlanta Georgian, 1910) The couple’s children were Rogers Bockover Toy, Mary Ethel Toy, and Bockover Toy. (Macfarland)

The couple moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1878, and lived there for the rest of their lives. Robert B. Toy was employed by the Phillips & Crew Music House, first as a “commercial traveler,” i.e., a salesman, (1880 U.S. Census), and by 1910 he was the Secretary of the firm. (1910 U.S. Census) Robert was buried in Westview Cemetery, Atlanta, GA.

Walter Dallam Toy (13 Nov. 1854-10 Oct. 1933) was born in Norfolk, VA. He attended the University of Virginia in sessions 50-51 and 55 (1873-1875 and 1878-1879). While at U.Va. he was a member of Chi Psi fraternity and of the Washington Society. (Chi Psi) After two years study at U.Va., he accepted the position as Assistant Master in the University School in Petersburg, Va. He held this position for a number of years, then went back to U.Va. in 1878 to earn a Master of Arts degree. Walter D. Toy and his brother Crawford H. Toy were students of Maximilian Schele De Vere who taught literature at U.Va. for over fifty years (1844-1895). (Chandler)

After graduating from U.Va., Toy traveled to Germany, Berlin, and Paris to continue his studies. He attended the University of Leipzig, 1882-1883; the University of Berlin, 1883-1885; and the College de France, 1885. Late in his career (1910-1911) he returned to the University of Berlin as a student. (University of North Carolina, 1919)

From 1885 he was Professor of Modern Languages at the University of North Carolina, and in 1891 was elected professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures in that same institution. (University of North Carolina, 1895) He had served as a professor at UNC for 45 years before his retirement.

On 29 Jun. 1898, Walter D. Toy married Jane Washington Bingham (1868-1950); the couple’s children were Calvert Rogers, Jane Bingham, and Walter Dallam Toy, Jr. (Barringer; U.S. Census; Findagrave.com) Walter Sr. died of pneumonia in 1933, and was bur. in Old Chapel Hill Cemetery, Chapel Hill, NC. (New York Times, 11 Oct. 1933; North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994)

Reference:

  • Chandler, Julian A. C., [et al.] editors. The South in the building of the nation. Richmond, VA, 1909, v. 7, p.120-121.
  • Chi Psi Fraternity. The fourth decennial catalogue of the Chi Psi Fraternity. New York, 1883, p. 220.
  •  “Crawford Toy and the American Civil War.” Baptist Studies Bulletin, v.10, no.8 (Oct. 2011). <http://www.baptisthistory.org/bhhs/bsb/bsb2011_10.html#second%20story>
  • “Dr. Crawford Howell Toy.” New York Times, 13 May 1919, p. 16.
  • “The Edenton Tea Party.” North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, v.2, no.1 (Jan. 1901), p.120-124.
  • Garrett, Franklin M. Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events, 1880s-1930s. Athens, Ga., 1969, v.2, p. 692.
  • Lyon, David G. “Crawford Howell Toy.” Harvard Theological Review, v.13, no.1 (Jan. 1920), p.1-22.
  • “Massachusetts State Vital Records, 1841-1920,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:23T8-X13 : accessed 22 February 2016), Crawford H Toy, 12 May 1919; citing Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States, Death certificate number 713, page 446, State Archives, Boston.
  • “Mrs. Robert B. Toy dies Friday morning.”  The Atlanta Georgian and News, 28 Jan. 1910, p.2. <http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/atlnewspapers/id:aga1910-0404>
  • “New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-21841-8404-22?cc=1923888 : accessed 17 March 2016), 4828 – vol 10467-10468, Sep 16, 1931 > image 518 of 880; citing NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • “North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FPN1-6BJ : accessed 23 February 2016), Thomas Dallan Toy in entry for Walter Dallan Toy, 10 Oct 1933; citing Chapel Hill, Orange, North Carolina, fn 1691 cn 88, State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh; FHL microfilm 1,943,081.
  • “North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 ,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XFSN-NXL : accessed 25 February 2016), Walter D Toy and Jennie W Bingham, 29 Jun 1898; citing Rowan, North Carolina, United States, county courthouses, North Carolina; FHL microfilm 1,760,526.
  • “Prof. Walter D. Toy dies at Chapel Hill.” New York Times, 11 Oct. 1933, p. 23.
  • Toy graves, Norfolk, VA, Atlanta, GA, and Chapel Hill, NC. Findagrave.com
  • U.S. Census, 1850-1940. Familysearch.org
  • “United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QV5B-CT93 : accessed 23 February 2016), Nancy Toy, 1920; citing Passport Application, Massachusetts, United States, source certificate #28999, Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925, 1193, NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,638,465.
  • “United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925,” database with images, <i>FamilySearch</i> (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-37913-29463-34?cc=2185145 : accessed 17 March 2016), (M1490) Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925 &gt; Roll 2709, 1925 Feb, certificate no 513900-514499 &gt; image 71 of 948; citing NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.)
  • University of North Carolina. The University of North Carolina catalogue, 1894-95. Chapel Hill, NC, 1895, p.16.
  • University of North Carolina. The University of North Carolina, abridged catalogue, 1919-1920. Raleigh, NC, 1919, p. 14.
  • University of Virginia Matriculation Books, 1825-1904, Accession #RG-14/4/2.041, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.
  • “Virginia Births and Christenings, 1853-1917,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X5VN-T65 : accessed 23 February 2016), Thos D Toy in entry for Walter Dallam Toy, 13 Nov 1854; citing Norfolk, Virginia, reference p 12; FHL microfilm 2,048,450.
  • “Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XR9M-LNY : accessed 22 February 2016), Crawford H. Toy and Nancy I. Saunders, 24 May 1888; citing Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia, reference p 40 n 137; FHL microfilm 2,048,491.
  • “Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XR9S-89S : accessed 23 February 2016), Thos. D. Toy in entry for Robert B. Toy and Mary J. Bockover, 14 Mar 1871; citing Norfolk, Virginia, reference p 19 n 50; FHL microfilm 2,048,491.
  • “Walter Dallam Toy, 1854- “ in Barringer, Paul. University of Virginia; its history, influence, equipment, and characteristics. v.2. New York, 1904, p.144-145.
  • “William Bailey Lamar,” in MacFarland, Henry B. F., editor. District of Columbia: concise biographies of its prominent and representative contemporary citizens, 1908-1909. Washington, D.C., 1908, p. 272.

 

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