The Family of Landron and Jessie Boney

Landron Clifford Boney’s Ancestors

We can trace our line of the Boney family back to the late 1500’s. In the Baselland of Switzerland, there is a village called Frenkendorf. Frenkendorf’s Parish Register records a Hans Boni, married to Anna Heid, whose son Hans was christened in March of 1597. 1 The younger Hans had a son Jacob, and this name was passed down for two more generations to the Jacob Boni who was christened on 7 March 1680, who married Eva Zeller in about 1704, and who emigrated to America in 1736 2. They brought with them seven of their children.

The Boni family formed part of the large exodus out of Switzerland that had started around 1734. Most of these Swiss emigrants probably stayed in Europe, but many went on to the American colonies. 3 Carolina had just become a royal colony, and was being heavily advertised by land speculators as a sort of paradise, abounding with fish and game, and “producing plenty of Peaches, Plumbs (sic), Apples, Pears and other delicious Fruits and Eatables, without Art or Expense”. 4

The details of the Bonis’ journey are unknown. They certainly would have started by travelling down the river Rhine to Holland. Possibly they stayed there for a while, as suggested by a bit of family lore from one branch of the Boneys, and by the fact that their youngest son, christened Weinbert, was later known as Wimberk (or Wimbrick, and various other spellings), presumably a Dutch name. From Holland, or perhaps from England, they would have taken passage to the Colonies. They may have gone directly to Wilmington, or they may have stopped in Pennsylvania first, as did many immigrants to the Carolinas. 5

Whatever route they took, the family settled on Island Creek, in what is now Duplin County, near present day Wallace. At the time, European settlement of interior North Carolina was still in the early stages, and this would have been essentially frontier country. The Island Creek area was home to many immigrants from Switzerland and Germany. Wimberk (as I will spell his name) married Catherine Teachey, whose family was German. 6 (There have been several Boney–Teachey marriages.) The present-day town of Teachey presumably marks the spot where the Teacheys first settled.

The family was prosperous enough that Wimberk was able to leave about seventeen hundred acres of land to his sons. 7 Daniel Teachey Boney (1761–1848) was the eldest of Wimberk and Catherine’s sons. He was named after his maternal grandfather. Daniel served in the North Carolina Militia during the Revolutionary War, as did several of his brothers. 8 He married Mary Savage, and they had fourteen children.

Over the generations our branch of the Boneys moved north and west into Sampson County. Daniel Teachey Boney’s grandson Daniel Boney (1818–1895, son of Timothy Boney and Sarah Sheffield) lived in Sampson County, in the Taylors Bridge township. 9 This was Landron’s grandfather. (Note that this younger Daniel Boney had a first cousin named Daniel Boney and a second cousin named Daniel Teachey Boney; the three Daniels were born within a few years of each other.)

Daniel’s wife (Landron’s grandmother) was Elizabeth Vann. Elizabeth’s great grandfather William Vann had purchased land in the Taylors Bridge area by 1764. William Vann was a captain in the North Carolina Militia during the Revolutionary War. 10

Landron’s father, Yancy Davis Boney, married Fanny Catherine Peterson. Fanny’s American heritage stretches back to at least 1639, when Edward Rackley moved to Virginia. (Edward Rackley is also one of Jessie’s ancestors.)

Yancy and Fanny had eight children, one of whom died in infancy. Yancy died of pneumonia at the age of 43. About a year earlier, he had broken his leg while floating a raft of logs down to Wilmington, and it is possible that he never fully recovered his health. Landron was eight years old at the time; his little brother, Yancy Jr., was just seventeen months old. 11


1. The Descendants of Jacob Boney and Eva Zeller Boney, “9 August 1987 First Draft Edition”, author(s) not listed. (Horace Fussell, Jr. is the only named contributor in my copy.) This is the only source I have seen that mentions the Frenkendorf Parish Register, so presumably one of the authors actually researched the register or commissioned someone to do so. Descendants is a thorough listing of five generations of the Boney family, starting with the immigrant family of Jacob and Eva and their children.

2. Faust & Brumbaugh, Lists of Swiss Emigrants in the 18th Century to the American Colonies. This work is based on Swiss emigration records. The Bonis’ destination was recorded as “Carolina”, although the book notes that “Carolina” was sometimes used to mean the American Colonies in general.

3. Ibid.

4. North Carolina in Maps, 1585–1896, map labelled “Moseley 1733”. “This country abounds with Elks & Buffaloes at the distance of about 150 miles from the seas. The whole affords plenty of Deer, Swine, Bever (sic) wild Cows & Horses. Also Turkeys, Partridges and all sorts of water-fowl with abundance of Swans. The rivers and sea-coasts are well stored with Fish of all kinds, especially Sturgeon. The soil is naturally fertile, producing plenty of Peaches, Plumbs (sic), Apples, Pears and other delicious fruits and eatables, without Art or Expense. It’s (sic) chief trading produce is Pitch, Tar, Skins, Pork, Indian-Corn, Cedar, Ship-Timber and Bark.”

5. Faust & Brumbaugh, Lists of Swiss Emigrants ...

6. From unconfirmed genealogies posted on the World Wide Web, Catherine’s parents were Daniel Teachey and Anne Wells, who emigrated from Bavaria. (“Teachey” is an Anglicization of “Tetsche”.)

7. From Wimberk’s will, proved in Duplin County, NC, October Term 1801.

8. Bizzell, Oscar & Virginia, Revolutionary War Records of Duplin–Sampson Counties.

9. The 1850 Sampson County census lists Daniel and Elizabeth Boney; the 1870 census notes that they live in Taylors Bridge Township. This is also the point at which the document Boney Family Records, 1765-1961, compiled by Annette Boney Edgerton, picks up this line of the Boneys. This document goes all the way back to Wimberk, but loses the thread between Timothy and his son Daniel. It states that “Research has not established whom the parents of this Daniel Boney were—it seems likely that he was a grandson of Wimberk.” In fact he was Wimberk’s great grandson.

10. This information on the Vann family comes from various World Wide Web postings, some of which seem quite well researched. However, I have not yet explored any primary sources further back than Elizabeth’s father Enoch, whose will was recorded in Sampson County. Also, my great Aunt Lizzie Boney (Landron’s sister-in-law; Matt’s wife) wrote in Sampson County Heritage about Enoch’s parents John Vann and Sarah (Sallie) Shepherd, who lived on Buckhorn Creek in Taylors Bridge Township. This is certainly a reliable source, as Uncle Matt and Aunt Lizzie lived on the old Vann property. They bought the place from Addie and Hugh Vann—Matt’s (and Landron’s) sister and brother-in-law.

11. Dates taken from Boney Family Records, 1765-1961, compiled by Annette Boney Edgerton; story as told by Jessie Lee Cashwell Boney.