From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Boyd County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1860-1880

Boyd County was created in 1860 from portions of Greenup, Carter, and Lawrence Counties. The county seat is Catlettsburg. Boyd County is surrounded by three Kentucky counties and the Ohio and West Virginia state borders.

The county was named for Linn Boyd, who, although born in Tennessee, was a member of the Kentucky Legislature, a U.S. Congressman, and Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky.

There were 5,888 persons counted in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Boyd County, excluding slaves. Below are the figures for the slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and Mulattoes for 1860-1880.

1860 Slave Schedule
  • 197 slave owners
  • 74 Black slaves
  • 54 Mulatto slaves
  • 9 free Blacks
  • 7 free Mulattoes [all with the last name Bolts]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 240 Blacks
  • 116 Mulattoes
  • About 5 U.S. Colored Troops listed Boyd County, KY, as their birth location.
1880 U.S. Federal Census
  • 326 Blacks
  • 193 Mulattoes
For more, see Boyd County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; The Early History of Boyd County Kentucky, by J. L. Smith; and The History of Boyd County, Kentucky [videocassette], by WOWK-TV.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Boyd County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Catlettsburg, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: The Early history of Boyd county Kentucky : a paper read before the Poage chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, February 15, 1944
NKAA Source: The History of Boyd County, Kentucky [videorecording]

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Boyd County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1860-1880,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 12, 2021,

Last modified: 2020-08-04 17:19:12