The Boston Family

The founder of the Piney Woods community is generally said to be David Boston (born about 1787), the son of a woman named Da-ke.

According to William James Barber in “Disciple Assemblies of Eastern North Carolina”  Bethany Press, 1966:

 The community dates at least back to the late 1700s or early 1800s.  Its original population was an admixture of Indian and Free Negro.  The Indian heritage is Croatan and possibly Tuscarora, with the latter probably dominating.  One of its early founders was David Boston, probably Tuscarora descent.  This has been handed down by traditional account to his descendants.  Added to this is the fact that the name of David Boston does not show up on the census records until 1860 and then in the column designated mulatto or other…” and that prior to this time, the census records specifically mention two categories for non-whites.  The first of these is “Free Negro” and the second is “Mulatto or other, excepting non-tax paying Indians.”  David Boston resided in Martin County and owned property during this period for county records show that on December 12, 1816, in the County of Martin, there was a certain parcel of land bough from one Francis Ward for “one hundred dollars paid to me in hand by David Boston….”  Between 1816 and 1843, David Boston made about 10 other such transactions.  Yet his name does not appear on the census records*.  This leaves one to assume that tradition is correct in classifying him and his mother as Indian.  It must be stated, however, that the name Boston shows up in 1830 census records both in Bertie and Washington County records — though not the name David Boston (nor that of his brother of which indications are his name was Robert Boston.) (Land transactions were also made during this period by one Robert Boston.)

*However, I believe that David Boston does appear in census records prior to 1860:

The 1830 census shows a David Boston (transcribed as “Barton”, but the actual handwritten record looks like Boston to me) as head of a household of 11 “free colored” people .

The 1850 census shows a 63 year-old David Boston as the head of 27-person household (!!!) full of Bostons, Pierces, and Corden/Cordins.

Please let me know if you have any additional or clarifying  information.


3 thoughts on “The Boston Family

  1. We people in pineywoods are Tuscarora-machapungo-Mattamuskeet Descendants that is a fact JACK! I had my DNA done 13 years ago gues what?? My result came back 23% Tuscarora,11% other native blood,no name and 8% other indian dna 8% European 42% African, so that means that I am almost 1/2 First nation, so if my results come back with these resuls ,then you are First nation people descendants! My name is Josephine ,Beadie Brooks Great Grand Child call me 320-670-6717.

  2. I’m Edwin Ghee, grandson of Sylvania Boston (died April of 2010). I’m blessed to have found a little history of where I come from. I hope to find more.

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