Floyd family descendants have rich heritage here

Published 12:03 am Saturday, August 2, 2014

There were two earlier columns, which focused on the Floyd relatives who settled in Pike and Covington County, Ala. A Floyd descendant made available recently a compiled history of the family, which covers the earlier generations. This will be the basis of today’s column.

The Media Research Bureau, Washington, D.C., compiled pertinent information regarding “The Name and Family of Floyd.” To quote a paragraph, “The surname Floyd is derived from the Welsh baptismal name of Lloyd, being an English or American variant of the original. Lloyd, itself, is taken from the Welsh llwyd, meaning ‘grey’ and was originally a descriptive cognomen. In ancient British and early American records the name appears in the various spellings of Floyde, Flude, Flook, Floodd, Flud, Fludd, Fluid, Floid, Floide, Flode, Flod, Floydd, and Floyd, of which the last is the form most often found in America today.”

Floyd immigrants came from a number of different areas of England. The actual progenitors originated in Wales, and at least one branch of the family settled at a later date in Ireland.

“The Floyds have been described as generally physically vigorous and courageous, serious-minded, intelligent, and purposeful, possessed of ability as leaders and in some instances endowed with a background of wealth and culture. Members of the family have been outstanding lawyers, physicians, soldiers and statesmen.”

There were quite a few members of the Floyd family who came to America during the first half of the 18th century, and there were some men of note. William Floyd (1734-1821) who served as a major general of the New York Militia was a member of the Continental Congress and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Another, John Floyd (1783-1837), was Governor of Virginia, and his grandson, John Buchanan Floyd (1807-1863) served as Secretary of War in President Buchanan’s Cabinet and became a Brigadier General in the Army of the Confederate States.

There were some who immigrated even earlier and in the 17th century. Joseph, John, Richard and wife, Lydia, Floyd/Flood arrived in New England prior to 1653. In 1854, Richard and William Floyd arrived in New York with large families. Many reached Virginia before 1660, and they included Jonathan, Richard, Flug, Newell, Robert, Samuel, David, Melchisadeck, John, John Jr., Arthur, Nicholas, James, Walter, and Nathaniel. In several instances, there was more than one person by the same name. These earliest immigrants seem to have settled largely in the areas presently included in the counties of Isle of Wight, Princess Anne, Surry, James City, Accomac and Northampton.

By the middle of the 18th century, there were many Floyds in the North Carolina Counties of Perquimans, Chowan, Bertie, Edgecombe, Craven, Beaufort and Bladen. As most families did the Floyds became caught up in the great migration just prior to the Revolutionary War and for many years afterward. They moved into the southeastern states and on westward.

The line of John Floyd of Wales is the one to be followed in this writing. His son, Nathaniel Floyd, is the immigrant from which this family being reviewed descends. John Floyd also had the following sons who came to America: Richard, John, and Walter. Richard was born in 1617, and in 1640 he was 24 years old and living in Lower Norfolk County, Va. John Jr. was born in 1601 and came in 1624-1625 aboard the Ship “Bona Vona” and settled on waters from Jamestown. Walter patented 400 acres of land in 1632 in Martin’s Hundred. Another brother, Wales, remained in his home country of England.

In 1623, the immigrant Nathaniel Floyd arrived on the Ship “God’s Gift” and probably settled in Isle of Wight County, Va. and then in Martin’s Hundred. On November 20, 1637, he patented 800 acres of land on Pagan Creek. He died before 1674, because in that year his widow, Mary Floyd, was married to Francis Hobbs Sr. Nathaniel and Mary had several sons including the following three children: John, Francis and Thomas.

His son, John Floyd, is the line being followed. This John left a will in Northampton County, Va., in 1687. In it he named the following sons: William; John, b. 1650, d. 1738; Frederick; Charles; and Morris or Maurice. The son, John, owned large acreage in Accomac County, Va., in 1675. Frederick owned land in the same county circa 1675. Charles was in the same county the same years, but left a will in the adjoining County of Northampton in 1718.

The oldest son, William Floyd, owned large areas of land in Accomac County circa 1675 also. His inventory was recorded in the adjoining County of Northampton in 1738. William had a son named John Floyd who left a will in Northampton County in 1756 naming the following sons: Morrisse, Thomas, Stephen, Jesse, John and William. (It is a challenge to following this line with the use of the same names each generation.)

The second son, John Floyd, appears to have had two sons, Francis who resided in Isle of Wight, and John who moved to Northampton. Francis married Joanna Goodson, daughter of Edward Goodson, and had at least four sons: Francis, Thomas, George and Joseph Floyd. Two daughters were named in another will, Martha and Joanna Floyd. John had three sons: John, Charles and William. Both John and Charles had estates in Northampton County during the late 1700s, but William was located in Accomac County circa 1675 and later moved to Amherst County.

John Floyd died in 1783, about two years after his wife, Ann’s, death. John and his wife, Ann, had at least the following children; Captain John Floyd, b. 1756, d. ca 1834, m. Nancy Anderson (1757-1857); Charles, b. 1740, m. 1762 Sarah Williams, d/o Jacob Williams; Williams; and Morriss. Capt. John and Nancy Floyd reared the following14 children: Stacey, m. John Jones; Charles, b. 1789, d. 1853; Cornelius; Rebecca, m. Charles Jones; Edna, m. James Workman; Naomi, m. William Johnston; John N., m. Louisa ? (1840-1861); Robert; Washington, m. Nancy C. (1813-1856); Andrews; Jefferson, m. (1) ? (2) Elizabeth ?; Joseph, m. Elizabeth ?; William; and Martha, m. ? Pitts. At least four of these sons moved to the State of Alabama: Cornelius, John N., Robert and Joseph.

William Floyd located in Accomac County circa 1675 and was married to Abidiah Davis, great aunt of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. They reared a large family including a son, John Floyd, who was married first to a Miss Burfoot and second to Sallie Buchanan. He became Colonel John Floyd who was a surveyor, teacher, County Lieutenant and Judge.

The next son, Charles Floyd, is the line being followed. He and his wife had at least the following children: William, m. Louise Bowden (1792-1844); Theopholis, m. Elizabeth ?; Charles Jr.; and two or three daughters. Charles Floyd served in the North Carolina Militia from Granville County in 1771 along with his brother, William Floyd. He was a Corporal in Captain Jonathan Kittrell’s Militia Company.

The source for this narrative was a book entitled Early Floyds of Pike County, Alabama, and Some of Their Descendants written and published by James P. Floyd and Dr. Hugh L. Taylor. Appreciation is expressed to Lisa (Patterson) Mollitor for making the book available.

Anyone who should find an error in the above is requested to contact the writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.


The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 7, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. The meeting will be a covered dish dinner with new officers in charge. Guests are welcome.