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

Boyd County (KY) Enslaved, 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 the enslaved. Below are the figures for the slave owners, enslaved, and 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 seven 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. See the "U.S., Colored Troops Military Service Records, 1863-1865" and other military service records in Ancestry for names and additonal information.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Boyd County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Catlettsburg, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Boyd County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1860-1880,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 22, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-06-17 18:10:37