The Case for Neil Toy’s Late Arrival

By | 31 December 2015

Many Toy family researchers, myself included, originally believed that Neil Toy arrived in the US along with the rest of his family in Sept of 1817, but there is a case to be made that Daniel and Rosanna arrived with their youngest child, James, while Neil was left behind in Ireland and arrived much later.  I’ve discussed this with several family members and readers of this blog but thought it was time to write it down.

Passenger List for the Schooner Mary Ann

Daniel Toy Family 3The case for arrival in 1817 is based on a misreading of the passenger manifest from 1817 for the Schooner Mary Ann, which reads “Danl Toy + Family Three”.1  This could be interpreted as Daniel plus a family of three but, given the importance of accounting for and collecting fares, I believe this was identifying the total number of paid passengers as a total of three.

The total of three is further supported by an entry in the 1827 petit ledger2  of the du Pont company, which contains ‘A list of our men for whom we went security for passage money to be repaid if they came.’  Included on that list, shown below, is an entry for Daniel Toy, 2 adults and 1 child.

Daniel Toy Passage Charge

Missing from the Census

Further Support for Neil’s late arrival can be found in the census records for 1820 and 1830. The 1820 census shows only a family of three, which I interpret as: 1 Male under 10 (James); 1 Male 26-44 (Daniel); 1 Female 26-44 (Rosanna). 3 total.3

D Toy 1820 Census

The 1830 census is for a family of 7.  When births from 1820-1830 are considered, I interpreted as: 1 Male under 5 (Daniel); 1 male 10-14 (James); 1 Male 30-39 (Daniel); 1 Female under 5(Mary); 2 Females 5-9 (Ann, Jane); 1 Female 30-39 (Rosanna). 7 total

Plans for Neil’s Passage to Delaware

There is correspondence in the Letterbook of EI du Pont for November 18, 1826 ordering the passage for “William and Bridget Boyle, together with Neil Toy eleven years old”.  Was Neil left in the care of William and Bridget Boyle?

Letterbook 2

It takes some time, but in 1932 there is a document that identfies passengers from Londonderry for Robert Taylor (du Pont agent), which includes passengers William Coyle and Neil Toy, to be charged to the account of Daniel Toy.  “Coyle” this time instead of “Boyle”.  Makes more sense that Neil would have been left in the care of Rosanne’s family.
Neil's Passge Charged to Daniel

Also in July 1932, there is a list of ticketed passengers from Robert Taylor, which again identifies William Coyle and Daniel Toy.  Their passage from Londonderry was $28 (about $750 today).

Neil's Passge Charged to Daniel 2

Passenger List for the Deveron

Given the clue of an arrival in July 1832, I was able to find a passenger list for the Ship Deveron, which arrived in Wilmington on 23 Jul 1832 with Neil on board, having departed from Londonderry.4  William Coyle is not listed as a passenger on this ship.  My assumption is that he was quite young (about 13) when plans for his travel were first initiatied and his parents felt he needed to be accompanied.  He finally came when he was age 19 and able to travel alone.

Deveron 1

Deveron 2

Petit Ledgers for Neil

Not long after his arrival, Neil makes his first appearance in the petit ledgers and an employee of du Pont.  The first entry was made on 29 September 1832 and he had worked for them for 12 days in an entry-level position.  We also see from this entry that his was living with and paying board to his mother.

Neil Toy Ledger

We don’t know the details of what happened between Neil’s arrival and the death of his father on 25 Aug 1832, but in the best case, he was only with his father 33 days after being separated from him for over 15 years.

2 thoughts on “The Case for Neil Toy’s Late Arrival

  1. Nancy Van Dyke-Dickison

    1817, not 1917. Reese, I can’t seem to find your e-mail. If you send it to me, I will send you a photo of Neil Toy I got from one of my cousins. It is very interesting because he is posing in some sort of hunting outfit/military uniform(?).

  2. don archer

    I would like to see that photo. Reese you are amazing. When i look at your research all I can say is wow!! I barely touch the surface of this stuff.


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