Seeking descendants of Alfred Boyette.

I recently shared news of an exciting September event — Joseph McGill’s visit to Boyette slave dwelling, sponsored by Johnston County Museum of History.

Beth Nevarez let me know that Todd Johnson, Executive Director of Johnston County Heritage Center, has researched a connection between the Boyette slave cabin and Alfred Boyette, whom we met here and here. Johnson is seeking descendants of men and women, like Alfred Boyette, who might have inhabited the small, plank-clad house.

George Boyette owned the farm on which the Boyette dwelling was built and the enslaved people who lived there. In 1844, Boyette drafted a will that include a bequest to his son James Boyette of “one negro boy named Alford.”

Other enslaved people named in the will were Silvy, Carolina, and James Henderson, who were bequeathed to George’s son Larkin G. Boyette, and Maryan, who was designated for daughter Martha Brotten [Broughton]. William and Hardy Hinnant were witnesses to Boyette’s signature.

Boyette’s estate entered probate in 1852. A property inventory lists nine enslaved people — Sylva, 37; Caroline, 16; James, 14; Alfred, 12; Maryan, 9; Annylise, 7; Wm. Hardy, 4; Emsly, 3; and Jol, 10 months. Sylvia is likely the mother of the children.

 James Boyette lived in present-day Old Fields township, Wilson County. The 1860 slave schedule lists him with eight enslaved people — a 28 year-old woman; an 8 year-old girl; a 19 year-old man [likely Alfred]; and five boys, aged 12, 9, 7, 4, and 2.

On 20 January 1867, Alfred Boyette and Liza Barnes were married in Wilson County.

In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Alfred Boyette, 26, farm laborer; wife Eliza, 29; and Julius Freeman, 21, carpenter. [Freeman, of course, was the father of O.N. and Julius Freeman Jr., among other. We know he was born in Johnston County, but have no concrete information about his life before 1870, or his relationship, if any, to Alfred or Eliza.]

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Spring Street, Alfred Boyette, 40, working on street; wife Eliza, 45; daughter Sylvia, 9; and boarder Albert Barnes, 22, working at ice house. [Sylvia was apparently named for her father’s mother.]

On 18 November 1897, Alfred Boyette, 55, son of Hady [Hardy] Hinnant, married Mrs. Mary Armstrong, 37, daughter of Raford Dew, at the home of Raford Dew in Wilson township. Missionary Baptist minister M. Strickland performed the ceremony in the presence of Bush Dew, Moses Dew and Henry Melton. [Was Alfred Boyette’s father the white Hardy Hinnant that witnessed George Boyette’s will, or an enslaved man named Hardy, who is listed among people enslaved by Johnston County farmer James Hinnent, or someone else with that name?]

In the 1900 census of “genater” [janitor] Alfred Boyett, 59; wife Mary, 32; and children Alfred, 1, Etna, 9, and Willie, 13.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Alfred Boyette, 75, laborer for court; wife Mary, 40; and children Millian, 21, and Willie, 18, both factory laborers, Edna, 11, and Gincy, 9.

Jincy McBride died 3 November 1925 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 6 September 1901 in Wilson to Alford Boyett and Mary Dew; was married to Harrison McBride; and worked as a tobacco factory day laborer. Informant was Mary Dew, 304 Walnut Street.

Amie Lee, who died 18 December 1928 in Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, was possibly Alfred Boyette’s sister. Per her death certificate, she was 91 years old; was born to Hardy Hinton [Hinnant?] and an unknown mother; was the widow of Henderson Lee [a United States Colored Troops veteran]; and lived at 1296 East Edenton. [In the 1880 census of Wilders township, Johnston County, Amy Lee, 30, is the head of a household that includes Hardy, 15, Octavia, 12, Elizabeth, 3, and Aaron, 1.]

James Boyette Sr. died 4 March 1960 at his home at 504 Stantonsburg Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 18 February 1899 in Wilson County to Alfred B0yette and Mary Magdalene Dew; and worked as a laborer. Informant was James Boyette Jr.


Are you an Alfred Boyette descendant? If so, please reach out to Todd Johnson at

Leave a Reply