Jonathan Boice Family of the Philmont / Hillsdale area of Columbia County, NY.
The following research has been conducted recently in the attempt to confirm and connect the family of Jonathan Boice of
Philmont and our Boice Family. The information provided below is correspondence between the living descendants of this line.

Have we discovered yet another branch of the Boice family tree
who lived in Columbia County New York?

Recently I was contacted by the family members and descendants of Jonathan Boice, who from at least 1840 to 1870, was living in the area of Philmont and Hillsdale in Columbia County. His descendants continued living in the same area, often times appearing as near neighbors to our Boice families, who were living in the same area at the same time.

I believe this Jonathan Boice Jr. is the son of Jonathan Boice, born in 1817, who was the son of Peter Buys and Lena (Eleanor) Smith.

David Stickles connection, Click Here!

First E-mail received, 03-11-2003:

I am the great-granddaughter of Jonathan and Mary Etta Boice.
They lived in Columbia County, NY. The are both buried in the Mellenville cemetery with many of their descendants. Is there a family link to your family line? I have attached a picture of Jonathan and Mary Etta sitting on, what we believe to be, the steps of their farmhouse. Their daughter, Bula Boice, was my grandmother, and she married Grover C. Holdridge. Their daughter, Marietta Holdridge, was my mother. Thank you for any information you can provide.

Deborah K. Persons

Reply Sent: 03-11-2003:

Dear Debbie,
I was excited to get your e-mail with the picture of Jonathan Boice and Mary Etta Stickles. I have no primary source information about your family line or Jonathan, We in fact do have a Jonathan Boice and perhaps could compare notes and make the connection!

Our Jonathan:
Jonathan BOICE, b. 8 April 1817 in Taghkanic, Columbia County, NY.
Parents: Peter Buys and Eleanor (Lena) Smith.

Nothing else is known of this Jonathan or his descendants from our family tree.
My great great grandfathers father, John Boice, who was first cousin to our above mentioned Jonathan Boice, had a claim for his service in the war of 1812, where a man named David Stickles testified to be an "intimate acquaintance" to our John Boice in 1852. There were two testimonies on behalf of our John Boice, both claiming "intimate acquaintance" and the other was his uncle, Thomas Coons. (I believe that at that time the term "intimate acquaintance" referred to direct or indirect family members when testimonies were being taken for land bounty claims.) Both men served in the war of 1812 with our John Boice. While I have not been able to prove how David Stickles was "intimately acquainted" to our John Boice, you may have just provided the one clue that I have been looking for!

Postscript to Debbie, following further research of 03-11-2003:

Furthering our discussion on your Jonathan Boice, I have found who I believe to be your Jonathan Boice Jr. born about 1844, and listed in the census records with his wife Mary E. for the town of Philmont between Hillsdale and Claverack, Columbia County NY., between 1850 to 1880. Mary E. is listed in the 1900 and 1910 living at Philmont, and Jonathan must have died by then. He is listed living near by Jonathan Boice Sr., living in the same locations early on at Philmont (near Hillsdale). The census indicate that this Jonathan Boice Sr. was born around 1817/1818, which would be consistent with our Jonathan born 1817.

Also, a few of "our" family members are found living near each other in the same town as Jonathan Boice Jr. and Mary E. in 1870, leaving me to speculate that they were in fact family! While I have no primary source records that would prove this, I have attached a photo of your Jonathan Boice Jr., and three photo's of who would be his first cousins (If in fact they are related), and the son (Abram) of one of his cousins Eli, pictured on the far right.

There was only one other Boyce/Boice family living in the Hillsdale area at the same time, and only one John who was born sometime around the 1780's, making it clearly impossible for him to be Jonathan Boice Sr. In early records and in later records this family spells there name "Boyes" and I believe they are of English descent. Also, Peter Buys/Boice and wife, Lena Smith, the father of our Jonathan Boice, had their children baptized at the St. Thomas Lutheran Church, in Churchtown, only 3.2 miles from Claverack, 7.8 miles from Mellenville, and 12.6 miles from Hillsdale. The census records may have changed boundaries between decades and while earlier records place your Jonathan Boice Jr. at Hillsdale, Philmont and then later at Claverack, Our Eli Boice (Household 339) is in the same location as your Jonathan Boice Jr. (Household 366) in 1870. I would suspect that the families actually lived somewhere "between" Hillsdale and Claverack (which were only 12.68 miles apart), and possibly at Martindale where Eli Boice's son Jordon was born in 1861.

Also, our Jonathan Boice disappears from his previous location in Columbia County after the 1840 census, and the only other Jonathan Boice in the entire area, is Jonathan Boice Sr. and Jonathan Boice Jr. of the Hillsdale / Philmont / Claverack area in 1850.

You will notice from the photo comparison that I have attached that many of the same features that are prominent with the Columbia County Boice's of my line hold true with your Jonathan Boice. Features such as Hairline, Eyes, Nose, and jaw line. If I had to bet money on it, I'd say that your Jonathan Boice is from our line of Boice's.


This is a photo comparison that I made on 03-19-2003, featuring the Boice's.
Top left to right:
Jonathan Boice Jr., Eli Boice, Eli's brother Jacob Boice, Jacob's brother John Boice.
Bottom left to right:
Stephen V. Boice, Stephen's cousin Abram Boice, Abram's 2nd cousin John Henry Boyce, John Henry's 2nd cousin Jordon Boice.

Second E-mail Received, from NEW family member, 03-11-2003:

Hello. My name is Michelle Schunk. I have just recently met Debbie Persons who had contacted you about the Boice family in Columbia County. Jonathan Boice was my great great great grandfather. My cousin Butch and I have been working on our genealogy and he designed a family web-site. If you are interested in looking at it it is We have put in some of the Boice family, those that we knew of. Debbie mentioned to me that you have a family web-site as well. I would love to see it if I could. I have recently found out that I have several Boice family in the Mellenville Union cemetery (next door to Philmont). Unfortunately with the great amount of snow we have I am unable to get in there. I am hoping to find out some missing information. I was very excited to hear from Debbie that we may have a connection with you. Any new information that we come up with will be shared with you if you would like.


Reply to Michelle, 03-12-2003:

I have looked closer at the records that I have pulled on your Jonathan Boice Jr. family. It appears that they were living at Philmont from what I gather from all of the census records that I have pulled from 1850 to 1930. Also, Our Eli Boice wasn't the only one living in the same area at the same time. In nearby Claverack in 1860, our Jonathan's mother Eleanor (Lena) Smith was living with her daughter Adeline, (Jonathan's sister) and her husband George Shufelt and children were living in the same location at the same time. Also, Eli Boice, who would have been a first cousin to Jonathan, was also living in the same area at the same time with his family.

I believe that this is one and the same family!

E-mail to Debbie and Michelle, 03-16-2003:

Hello Debbie and Michelle!,

With the research that I have done this weekend, I am nearly convinced that your Jonathan Boice Jr. is the son of our Jonathan Boice, the son of Peter Boice and Eleanore (Lena) Smith.

Several exciting things have surfaced since our last correspondence.

1. It is very interesting that Jonathan Boice Jr. had some "BEST" family members living with them as indicated in the 1880 census, as our Jonathan Boice's sister Polly married Samuel Best, and together had 9 children between 1834 and 1859, all born at Livingston Manor, in both the Taghkanic and West Copake areas. These BEST family members living with them are most likely "family."

2. John G. Rossman and wife, Catharine BEST were the parents of Mary Rossman, the wife of Edward Stickel, who were the parents of Mary Etta Stickel who married Jonathan Boice Jr. Once again, we see the BEST / ROSSMAN / BOICE connection.

3. Jonathan Boice Sr's oldest sister Catharine born in 1795, married Nicholas Rossman, born in 1798. They had three "known" children between them between 1819 and 1824, all baptized at Linlithgo Church in Livingston. Nicholas Rossman's parents were Henrich Rossman and Maria Schutt (Scott). This Nicholas was baptized a St. Thomas Lutheran Church at Churchtown.

4. Henrich Rossman and Maria Schutt (Scott) also had an older son named John, born Oct. 19, 1791. The 1850 census of Livingston indicates that John Rossman who married Catharine BEST, (the parents of Mary Etta Rossman) was the age of 58. This has him born in 1791 or 1792 and is the match to the son John born to Henrich Rossman and Maria Schutt (Scott). This John was also baptized a St. Thomas Lutheran Church at Churchtown.

With this information at hand, it is clear that these groupings are more than coincidental! I believe that they are all family!

I believe that this is enough connective information to summarize that we in fact are cousins!
However, a traditional Genealogist would demand primary source records to confirm this lineage.

I am certainly convinced! The photo match, the above connective records and family associations, the coincidental church baptism locations, migrations to the same areas in later years. . .

Need I say more?

Back to Top