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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Alexander Boyd

Born: 1826; Died: 1907; Married: Mary Coulton

Alexander Boyd, born in Dundee, joined the army as a young man and was among those detailed for service in the Crimean war. He was wounded in the course of a fierce engagement, resulting in his discharge. He migrated to Australia and settled down at Wallaroo, on the fringe of the Ginninderra district. He accumulated around 550 acres, 150 of which were added in 1881 and 1883.

In 1864 he married Mary Coulton, daughter of Patrick Coulton and Rosa [nee Dixon], who held the neighbouring property to the south, separated by Oakey Creek. The Boyd's neighbour to the east was James Rolfe, while to the north was Jacob Blundell's 'Willow Farm'. These smaller farmers occupied the fringes of the McCarthy's Glenwood Estate. Alexander and Mary were married at St Gregory's church Queanabeyan in July 1864 and then settled on his 'Thistle Hill' grazing and farming property. Yemen's Directory of Landholders of NSW 1900 records that Alexander Boyd 'Thistle Hill' was growing wheat, maize, oats potatoes and other crops.

Inn 1902 the family celebrated the return of son Frank from the Second Boer War:

Banquet – a long talked of banquet to the returned soldiers, Trooper Anthony Rolfe and Frank Boyd, has been fixed for Saturday next (23 August) and the catering has been entrusted to the hostess of the Cricketer's Arms at whose place the function is to be held. Mr Alex Boyd senr, father of the trooper above mentioned and an old Crimean veteran who gained several medals during the campaign of '54 intends gracing the assemblage with his presence. Mr Boyd is as hale and hearty as his son who recently returned and can relate many amusing anecdotes of the battlefield... [Queanbeyan Age (Echoes from Hall) 23.8.1902]

Alexander and Mary had eleven children, and their marriages strengthened ties with some of their close neighbours, such as the Clarkes:

Effie (1865-1954) married George Robert Clarke, son of George and Sarah
John (1867-1942)
Alexander (1868-1914)
Patrick (1870-1913) married Laura Preece
Francis (1871-1878)
David (1872-1942)
William (1875-1949) married Elizabeth ('Dolly') Rule, daughter of David and Agnes
Robert (1876-1954)
James (1878-1966)
Francis (1880-1974) married Rose Hollingsworth, daughter of Malachi and Susan
Mary (1883-1951)

Alexander died at 'Thistle Farm' in 1907. Mary predeceased him in May 1904.

Obituary – Alexander Boyd

Report of the death of Mr Alexander Boyd after a lingering illness extending over some two or three months at his residence 'Thistle Hill', Wallaroo, on Friday week last. The deceased who was born in Scotland joined the army when young and was afterwards amongst those detailed for active service in the Crimean War. Unfortunately however he was during a fierce engagement so severely wounded as to necessitate his discharge from the army on a pension. This he continued to draw until his death. After leaving the army he emigrated to NSW and settled down at Wallaroo where he reared a large family of sons and daughters. His wife, however, predeceased him some two or three years ago. [Wizard's Notes. Post 22.10.1907]

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