Rutherford Exposed: The Story of Berta and Bonnie

by Farkel 739 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Leolaia
    Leolaia

    Merry....Thanks about the reminder about the earlier mentioned link to an Archie Boyd....that makes the existence of a "Bonnie Boyd" in Texas all the more interesting. According to the SSDI, an Archie Boyd was born on June 28, 1891 and died in November 1973 in Sidney, Comanche, Texas. This might be our Archie J./T. Boyd, Jr. (the handwriting makes it hard to tell whether it is a "T" or "J"), except the Texas Death Database lists an Archie E. Boyd, Jr. who died on November 20, 1973 in Brown County, Texas, and according to the draft cards, Archie Ellwood Boyd was born on June 28, 1891 in Alabama and lived in Sidney, Comanche, Texas. It is thus pretty clear that this is not the same Archie Boyd, even though he was born in the same month as the Archie Boyd discussed in my last post.

    The South Carolina native Archie J./T. Boyd, Sr. appears in the 1920 census, now 59 years old and living in Precinct 3, Fisher, Texas, listed with his wife Anna C. Boyd, and daughters Nettie (19 years old) and Margaret (7 years old) and sons Art (?) (15 years old), Leonard (13 years old), and Herman (10 years old). The elder sons and daughters (including Bonnie Boyd) were already living elsewhere. This Archie Boyd however appears to be a different person than the one mentioned in the Watchtower article. I believe I found this Boyd in the 1930 census; at 307 Highland Avenue, Visalia, Tulare, California lived the following individuals:

    • Archie E. Boyd, 38 years old (thus he was born 1891-1892), born in Texas, who worked as a "Salesman - Wholesale Pastry". He was first married 8 years earlier, or around c. 1922.
    • Georgia U. Boyd, wife, 27 years old (thus she was born 1902-1903), born in Kansas. She was married at age 19, or around c. 1922.
    • Donald A. Boyd, son, 3 years and 8 months, born in California. Since Donald was born in California in 1926, the Boyds had been living in California for some time.

    The names seem to fit, as well their location in California and the father's origin in Texas, but this Archie Boyd appears to be different from the one who was brother to the Texan Bonnie Boyd (because of the same middle initial), but he doesn't appear to have been Archie Ellwood Boyd because the latter was born in Alabama, not Texas. But all three were born within the same year and had a connection to Texas. To make things even more complex, according to the California Death Index, there was an Archie Elwood Boyd who died in July 14, 1954 in Los Angeles, California and who was born on November 27, 1890 in Texas. Because of the different birthdate, this is obviously a different "Archie El(l)wood Boyd" than the one mentioned above (who was born within the same year and who lived in Texas in 1917, though he was originally born in Alabama). The same index also lists Donald Archie Boyd who was born on July 18, 1926 in California and who died on June 9, 1992 in Los Angeles. This obviously is the same Donald A. Boyd mentioned in the 1930 census and probably the one mentioned in the Watchtower. If Archie Elwood Boyd was his father, the birthdate of November 27, 1890 would not reconcile with the one listed in the 1900 census for the Archie Boyd that was the brother of the Texan Bonnie Boyd.

    There is thus no obvious link between the Boyd family living in California and the Boyd family that included the Texan Bonnie Boyd, much less the Bonnie Boyd of Watchtower fame who was born in Iowa in 1889-1899.

  • Leolaia
    Leolaia

    I don't know if you guys digested what was in my last message, but it has an several weird coincidences...two different people born in the same month named Archie Boyd who lived in Texas, two different people named Archie El(l)wood Boyd who were born in the same year and who had lived in Texas, and then there was a third person named Archie Boyd born in the same year who lived in Texas who was the brother of a Bonnie Boyd....

    Another piece of information I found was that Archie Boyd's wife Georgia Boyd had "Georgia Stafford" as her maiden name. According to the California Death Index, she was married as Georgia Uberta Boyd and was born on April 3, 1903 in Kansas and died on August 20, 1978 in Los Angeles. I checked the census data for a "Georgia Uberta Stafford" in Kansas, but came up with nothing....

  • MerryMagdalene
    MerryMagdalene

    Yikes! The complexities of genealogical research are beginning to make my brain sizzle. I'm new to all this, so I hope my naive and oversimplified ideas and inability to explain them very well will be forgiven me, but I can't stop now. I'm hooked. And I keep hoping I'll stumble on something genuine and useful one of these days.

    Thanks for sharing your info, Leolaia and Athanasius. The date of Bonnie's mother's leaving Beth-Sarim did help me rule out the candidate I mentioned on an earlier post-- Mrs. Nettie Boyd.

    I found some fascinating info on the owner of the oil company August Balko Jr. worked for in 1910 but as it is unrelated to the rest of our search at this time, I won't run off on a tangent. I was half hoping (in that fantasy world I visit from time to time) that maybe August's sister Patty married one of the owner's sons, thus making it slightly more relevant, but alas! It was not to be. Just imagine my surprise then in discovering that one's wife was actually named Patti... (maiden name Lummis, however) oh well...

  • MerryMagdalene
    MerryMagdalene

    Oh, Leolaia,

    I know where I recently saw an Archie Boyd in connection w/ Comanche, Texas-- there was an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution titled "Ghosts of Sweetwater Creek" which contains a photograph of Synthia Stewart Boyd at home in Comanche, Texas, with her son Archie Boyd seated next to her and her grandson Elwood Boyd interviewing her. Maybe this is the same as the Archie you found in Comanche.

    --Merry

  • Leolaia
    Leolaia

    Merry....Yes, the Mrs. Nettie Boyd of Iowa that you mentioned earlier could not be the Nettie Boyd that was a sister of Archie Boyd Jr. and Bonnie Boyd of Texas, as the former became a Boyd through marriage and the latter was born a Boyd. But here is another coincidence....that the same family would have someone named Nettie that had been previously mentioned in this forum.

    Athanasius is right....I think we're going to need to get Bonnie's marriage license to really sort all this out.

    The newspaper article you cite gives Synthia Stewart Boyd's age as 93 in 1947, so she was born circa 1854. It also says that her mother was Lizzie, or Elizabeth Stewart, and her father was Walter Stewart, living in Atlanta, Georgia. Curious that it mentions Comanche specifically as where she lived in her later years and has Elwood and Archie as grandson and son, while we have in California an "Archie Elwood Boyd" who as born on November 27, 1890 in Texas, while the WWI Draft Cards mention an "Archie Ellwood Boyd" who as born on June 28, 1891 in Alabama and lived in Sidney, Comanche, Texas. It would be the strangest of coincidences if the people mentioned in the article are as yet unrelated to all these people (least of which the Archie Boyd born in the same month as the Comache Boyd but who was born in Texas, not Alabama, and who had a different middle initial). My head is spinning! I checked the 1930 census and found a Cynthia C. Boyd living in Precinct 1, Comanche, Texas who was born in Georgia in circa 1854-1855 (she was 75 years old), living with her daughter Pearl Boyd. Could this be the same person as "Synthia," or do we have here another "coincidence"? I also checked the 1880 census and found a "Walter Stewart," aged 51 (born circa 1829), married to an "Elizabeth Stewart," aged 45 (born circa 1835), living in District 21, Cherokee, Alabama, and both were natives of Georgia. They had three children living with them (James, aged 23, Mary B., aged 13, and Robert, aged 11), and James had his own family. What is interesting in all this is that the Archie Ellwood Boyd of Sidney, Comanche, Texas was born on June 28, 1891 in Alabama. There was no "Synthia Boyd" listed at this household, but it is possible that, being 26 years old, she had married a "Boyd" in Alabama at this time and moved to a separate household and eleven years later gave birth in Alabama to Archie E. Boyd. So I did a search within the same county in the census and found a Cynthia Boyd, native of Georgia, living in District 21, Cherokee, Alabama, who was married to an Ephram D. Boyd, who was also also a native of Georgia. Her age was given as 22 years old -- which unfortunately points to a date of birth of 1857-1858. But the weird "coincidence" is that she was living on the same street as Walter and Elizabeth Stewart, just six homes down from the Stewarts. Very strange.

  • Leolaia
    Leolaia

    I was able to find the following history on Synthia Stewart Boyd that seems to clear up some of the confusion about this person:

    The 1860 Campbell County census records show Walter Stewart with his wife Charlotte Elizabeth Russell (Lizzie married in 1851 at the age of 15), and children - Sarah E. Stewart, Synthia Catherine Stewart, James Buchanan Stewart (Jim), and Linnie Isabella Stewart as living in census Dwelling #804, Family #715. The 1860 census also shows Walters? four sisters - Sarah E. Stewart, Nancy Stewart, Matilda Stewart and Linnie Stewart as being single and living together in census Dwelling #806, Family #717. Also found in the 1860 census is Walters youngest brother James Stewart (Little James) as being single and living in census Dwelling #807, Family #719 - all in Campbell (now Douglas) County. Walter Stewart?s older sister, Catherine Ann Stewart is also living in Campbell County married to James Bunyan Scarborough; they were married in 1849. James B. Scarborough was a Corporal in the Sweetwater Factory State Militia known as the ?Alexander?s Company? in 1863. Walter?s younger sister, Sarah E. Stewart would marry John Reeves, a Sweetwater Factory employee and also a member of the 1863 factory militia. Their marriage took place some time between 1860 and 1863. In 1861, two major events would occur for Walter. Georgia would become a part of the new Confederate States of America. 2nd, and Walter would have a new son born on 9/4/1861. Walter named his son Jefferson Davis Stewart (Jeff), after the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis. On March 4th, 1862, Walter W. Stewart enlisted into the Confederate States Army....Walter, Lizzie and their children appear to have lived in the Atlanta area for a number of years after the Civil War. Family tradition says that they lived on old Peachtree Street in Atlanta. While in the Atlanta area, Walter?s oldest daughter Sarah died of exposure and is thought to be buried somewhere in Atlanta. Walter would later move to Gaylesville, Alabama (Cherokee County) between Gadsden and the Georgia State line. Their oldest surviving daughter, Synthia, married David Boyd there in 1878. She was married in her parent?s home at Gaylesville, Alabama. Later Walter settled at his last home in the nearby Liberty community of the Lookout Mountain area in Dekalb County near Collbran, Alabama. Lizzie died on July 20, 1887 and is buried at Old Mt. Vernon Cemetery five miles from Collinsville, Alabama. After Lizzie?s death, Walter remarried a second time to Martha Alabama Taylor Coffman. Walter died on Feb. 18, 1904. Synthia Stewart Boyd settled at Portersville, Alabama in the Lookout Mountain area in Dekalb County. It was here that Synthia?s nine children were born. In 1903, when their youngest child was seven years old, David and Synthia ?went west? to Texas. They settled in Comanche County in central Texas, 100 miles southwest of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Synthia died on Oct. 2, 1951. David and Synthia are buried at the Pendergrass Cemetery in Sidney, Texas. Synthia outlived her husband by many years and died just days before her 97th birthday.

    http://www.friendsofsweetwatercreek.org/News0701.htm

    I think it is most probable that the "Archie Elwood Boyd" that was born on June 28, 1891 in Alabama and lived in Sidney, Comanche, Texas was the son of this Synthia Boyd. The name "Synthia Catherine Stewart" also explains the middle initial "C." in the 1930 census. Note also that in my last post "Elizabeth Stewart" was 45 years old in the 1880 census so she was born around 1835, and the "Lizzie" Stewart mentioned in the above-quoted article was 15 years old when she was married in 1851, so she was born around 1835-1836 -- within the same year. The above-quoted article however has Synthia marrying David Boyd in 1878 -- whereas the Cynthia Boyd in the census was married to Ephram D. Boyd. Could this have been Ephram David Boyd? The James Stewart son also fits, but there is no evidence of a Jeff Stewart and the other older daughters, who possibly would have been old enough in 1880 to have been married like Synthia and moved to separate addresses.

    Much more research is needed, clearly.

  • MerryMagdalene
    MerryMagdalene

    Leolaia (and any one else researching this whose "names" I don't know)--

    I don't know if these 2 tidbits will help the search or not but...

    1) There was an A.J. Boyd living in Washington County, Iowa sometime between 1902 and 1924 according to the papers of Charles A. Dewey (State of Iowa -vs- A.J. Boyd). www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec_coll/MSC/ToMsc150/MsC103/MsC103-dewey.html

    2) Back to August Balko Jr.-- he would most likely been working as a clerk for the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway in La Grange, Texas 1920 as that was the RR in operation there at the time (the depot is now a video store). It was also known as "the Katy Railroad" and, after 1922, as the M-K-T (Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad).

    I am also trying to trace out a possible Boyd family Iowa to Texas connection through these two names:

    (1) Samuel F Boyd (wife: Caroline) who worked in Davenport, Scott Co., Iowa as Division Passenger Agent in 1910 for the Chicago, Rock Island & Texas Railway Company. It is said that the village of Boyd, Minnesota, La Qui Parie Co., was named for him when he was General Ticket Agent there for Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway System before going to Iowa. He is also said to have had at least one daughter, name(s) as yet unknown, and to have died in Iowa.

    (2) H.S. Boyd, a railway executive with the CRI & T for whom the city of Boyd, Texas, Wise Co., was named around 1894-95. The CRI & T is also known as the Rock Island line. It was controlled by Jay Gould from 1873 - 1888 (when he was "ousted").

    I haven't found any connection between this RR and the M-K-T (as I was half hoping). I don't yet know if these two men were related to each other or if it is just another coincidence that they worked for the same RR company and both had towns named after them. And I also don't yet know whether they were or weren't somehow connected to Bonnie Boyd, but I'm working on it. If anyone wants to join in...welcome !

    -- the more the Merry-er

  • Earnest
    Earnest
    Bonnie also testified that Mrs. Peal came to Bethel in 1938 and took her mother's place as housekeeper. At the time of the trial, May 1943, the mother was living in Texas. She left Beth Sarim sometime in 1938. But I don't know if she went directly to Texas or not.
    The date of Bonnie's mother's leaving Beth-Sarim did help me rule out the candidate I mentioned on an earlier post-- Mrs. Nettie Boyd.

    Just a small correction here - when Rutherford, Bonnie, Heath et al. went to Beth Sarim in the winter of 1937, Bonnie's mother went with them and was likely at the wedding in Las Vegas in January, 1938. However, when the entourage returned to Bethel in the spring her mother remained at Beth Sarim. By the time of the Moyle trial she was living at home in Texas due to her ill health, but when she actually left Beth Sarim is not specified in the court transcript, nor have I seen any evidence on this thread.

    Earnest

  • Leolaia
    Leolaia

    Everyone will be happy to hear that I sent off my request today to the Clark County Office for a copy of the Heath-Boyd marriage certificate. It should arrive in 4-6 weeks. It is not clear however whether the certificate contains the license info relating to the names of parents and so forth...it might just be a record of the nuptials as far as I know....

  • Leolaia
    Leolaia

    Thanks to the article from Friends of Sweetwater Creek, I was able to find Synthia Boyd in the 1900 census. In Portersville, DeKalb County, Alabama, there lived Georgia natives David E. Boyd (born in July 1857) and Cyntha C. Boyd (born in October 1854) and the former was first married at age 22, which points to 1878-1879 as the year Cynthia and David got married. This information matches the data in the article to a tee, as well as the 1930 census from Comanche, Texas which lists a Cynthia C. Boyd who was born in 1854-1855.

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