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William’s age on his death certificate was 64, so if accurate, he was born c 1830. He left a will. Here’s the abstract from the PRONI wills site:
Probate of the Will of William Boyce late of Derrylilliagh County Armagh Farmer who died 28 June 1894 granted at Armagh to Christopher Boyce of Derrylilliagh N.S. Teacher and William J.Boyce of Ballinary County Armagh Blacksmith.
The will itself is on-line and mentions his wife Sarah A., daughters Francis Boyce, Eliza Matchett & sons Christopher & William James who was “now in America” (June 1892).
Family in 1901:
Sarah Ann Boyce died 4.2.1909. Christopher was the informant.
Boyce Christopher of Derrylileagh county Armagh public elementary school teacher died 18 May 1935 Administration W/A (d.b.n.) Belfast 21 April 1952 to William Matchett carpet loom tuner. Unadministered effects £271 10s. Former Grant Belfast 4 October 1935.
Administration of the Estate of James Boyce late of Derrylileagh County Armagh Farmer who died 18 December 1914 granted at Armagh to Mary Ann Boyce the Widow
Boyce Frances of Derrylileagh Birches Portadown county Armagh spinster died 3 March 1956 Probate Belfast 24 April to Leslie Stewart Edgar merchant. Effects £1144 0s. 11d.
Christopher and James both died intestate so there’s no will. Frances apparently did leave a will. All 3 probate files should be in PRONI.
There was a 2nd Boyce family in the townland at the same time:
The above James married Mary Ann Fox. His father was Christopher Boyce.
Griffiths Valuation for 1864 lists William Boyce on plot 6 in Derrylileagh (4 acres).
You can follow through and see subsequent changes by using the Valuation revision records on the PRONI site.
No Boyce farm in Derrylileagh in the 1834 tithes so they appear to have arrived after that.
The Portadown News of 14th April 1956 has a n article about the sale of a 1906 Turner cycle car, “which realised £120 at the sale of effects of the late Christopher Boyce, Derrylileagh on Tuesday. The car was first registered in Armagh in 1918. The late Mr Boyce was the principal in Milltown PS for many years. His sister, Miss S. Boyce died a few weeks ago. The purchasers were the Automart Ltd, Portadown.”
The paper also has a notice from F. Boyce on 15.5.1936 in memory of Christopher: “Until the day break and the shadows flee away.” Ever remembered by his loving sister.
You would need to look at the files in PRONI but I think that when Christopher died in 1935 his estate went unadministered. This only came to light when Frances died, and both estates were then wound up. The “dbn” against Christopher’s abstract indicates the administrator appointed ta the time failed to deal with the estate (perhaps due to being out of the country or incapacity.)
The Portadown Times of 24th May 1935 has a very long obituary for Christopher mentioning his church work, masonic links, his sister, his teaching, and an interest in mechanics which led to him being one of the first motorists in the county. He had been going to emigrate to Australia but the job opportunity there fell through. He took a degree at the Royal University of Ireland and he also qualified as a member of the Royal College of Surgeons (as well as a teacher). Evidently a gifted man. Frances was organist at the local church.
Christopher’s 9 acre farm was advertised for sale in the paper on 7th April 1956.
Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘
Thank you so much, Elwyn!
Thank you so much! This offers leads to pursue for the Boyce clan in America, as well as the Matchetts.