Emory L. Hamilton, the well-known Wise County historian, did significant research on his Boggs ancestors. Emory's archives are now the property of Clinch Valley College in Wise, Virginia, and several genealogists are using his work as the basis of an extensive Boggs history. The sources for the information contained here are footnoted where appropriate. My friend, and Boggs cousin, Carol Hurley Ullrich, has researched the Boggs and allied families for many years. Emory gave her access to his Boggs records and Carol graciously shared copies of her notes from Emory's research along with records from her personal research. In his genealogy, [IT:Boggs Family History:IT], Virgil L. Patterson refers to a history of the James L. Boggs which was written by Dr. James Preston Boggs of Hazard, Kentucky, a descendent of James L. Boggs. Dr. Boggs reports that James L. was born in Scotland or Ireland and immigrated to western North Carolina after landing in America. Virgil also reports that his grandfather, Isaac Boggs, grandson of Eli Boggs, actually told him that James L. and his two brothers came to America from Ireland or Scotland. Other Boggs researchers believe James L. was born in 1752 in Anson County, North Carolina, in the area that is presently Ashe County, and which is located near the Virginia-North Carolina state line south of Grayson County, Virginia. Ashe County was formed in 1799 from Wilkes County, which was formed in 1777 from Surry County. Surry was formed from Rowan County in 1770 and Rowan was part of Anson County until 1753. Anson County was formed in 1750. According to [IT:Early Settlers of Lee County, Virginia and Adjacent Counties, Vol. II,:IT] page 1078, James L. Boggs served in the Revolutionary War in Montgomery County, Virginia in Enoch Osborne's Company of Militia, 1781, but does not appear on the roster after that date. The first record of James was in 1773 when he appeared on the Tithable List of old Fincastle County in 1773 on the west bank of the New River, now Grayson County, Virginia. A James Boggs appears on the 1787 State Census in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He appears on the 1790 census as James Bodge, living in the Morgan District of Wilkes County, North Carolina with a household made up of three males and three females. In December 1778 he claimed 100 acres in Wilkes County on the North Fork of the New River adjoining Zachariah Well's claim and paid taxes for 1784-1789 and 1791-1796. He served on a road commission in Wilkes County from 1791 until the spring of 1793, when he resigned. Sometime around 1798 James L. Boggs and his two brothers, James and Ezekiel, decided to move from North Carolina to find their fortunes in Kentucky. The migratory route from North Carolina to Kentucky was through Cumberland Gap, located in the tri-border of Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. This was the route which Daniel Boone established in his first explorations of Kentucky from his base in North Carolina. For whatever reason, James L. dropped out of the journey into Kentucky near Cumberland Gap and settled at the Three Forks of the Powell River in Lee County, Virginia, as did Zachariah Wells, his former neighbor in Wilkes County, North Carolina. This location is near the mountain towns of Big Stone Gap and Appalachia. That area of Wise County was then part of Lee County, which in 1856 became part of Wise County when it was chartered. There is a log home standing in Big Stone Gap which was the homeplace of James L. and in 1997 plans were being discussed to restore the structure as a historical site. Emory Hamilton wrote that James L. Boggs lived in Lee County, Virginia, from 1790 until 1826, when he moved to Lawrence County, Kentucky. James L. Boggs appears in the early Lee County records. In 1804 he purchased a small tract of land lying on Powell River. Then in 1805 he sold land to Jesse Boling. These transactions are recorded in the Lee County Deed Books. In Deed Book 3, page 137, Alexander Henry and James Boggs purchased 300 acres of land from John Fleming. On 24 March 1804, in Deed Book 1, page 330, he purchased 23 acres of land, lying on the headwaters of Powell River, from Nathaniel Taylor for $15. Then, on 9 July 1805, as recorded in Deed Book 2, page 86, he sold 82 acres of land to William Huff for $200. His wife Jane signed the deed. James L. Boggs is listed in the Lee County 1815 Tax Assessment with 104 acres of land on Powell River. His son, Hugh Boggs, is listed with 80 acres on Powell River on 8 August 1821 in the Survey Book, page 297. Later, on 5 October 1825, James and his wife, Lydia, conveyed 80 acres to Robert Wells, and on 15 October 1825. James and Lydia conveyed 70 acres to John Jamison for $300. It appears in 1825 that James L. Boggs was selling his property in Lee County in preparation for his move to Lawrence County, Kentucky, settling near the present town of Blaine. He was clerk of the Old Regular Baptist Church in Blaine, Lawrence County, Kentucky from 1820 until 1825 and his name appears frequently in Lawrence County as a witness to deeds and other legal papers. James became a planter in Lawrence County, Kentucky. He and his wife, Lydia Birchfield Rose, are buried in Lawrence County, Kentucky. The last will and testament of James L. Boggs names Lydia as his beneficiary and was filed in 1832 in Will Book 1, page 15, in Lawrence County Courthouse, Louisa, Kentucky. The will reads: "In the name of God amen. I, James Boggs, Senr. of Lawrence County and the State of Kentucky, Being weak in body, but perfect in memory, Knowing all men must die. For of all I commit my soul in the hand of the allmighty God, that gave it and my body to a decent burial, do now make this my last will and testement. That is to say, One horse, Four head of cottle, and all the hogs that I have except the hound gangue, and all the furniture, I will and bequeath to my beloved wife Lydia Boggs and the plantation that I now live upon, as long as she remains my widow. Together with her two youngest children, or as she is a mind to stay upon the place, and for no other person or persons to meddle with the plantation. Given under my hand this first day of November 1832. Seal in the presence of: William Ison I.O Sparks Jason Fields William Boggs State of Kentucky, Lawrence County Court. This is the last will and testement of Jas. Boggs Sr. Was produced in open cause and proved by the oath of William Ison and I. O. Sparks, two of the witnesses thereunto, to be the last will and testement of said Jas Boggs Sr. Whereupon said will was ordered to record, which is done, June 16, 1835. I. U. Rice, Clerk." James L.Boggs,Sr. is the progenitor of a large branch of the Boggs family that lived in North Carolina, southwestern Virginia and eastern Kentucky. His first wife was Elizabeth Jane Clement; nothing has been found concerning her ancestry or family. He married secondly Jane ...., who died by 1820. Lydia Rose, born 1778, a widow, married him about 1820. Jane is named in deeds and Lydia is named in his will. Some researchers believe there may not have been a Jane and Elizabeth Jane Clement and Jane were the same individual. A grandson stated in 1896 that James L.Boggs,Sr. settled in Lawrence County, Kentucky in 1822. His son, John O.Boggs, and grandsons, James and Hugh, were listed on the first tax list of Lawrence County, Kentucky in 1822. It is said he had served as clerk of the United Baptist Church of Blaine, Kentucky. The old record book kept by James L.Boggs of the church meetings was owned in 1973 by Emma Sparks of Martha, Kentucky. James L.Boggs,Sr is buried in the N.T.Rice Cemetery, across the highway and up a hill from the Ferguson home, Blaine, Kentucky, Lawrence County. His tombstone either weathered away or is only a rock; it could not be found by the year 1986. In 1993 a new marker was erected by his descendants.
More About James Lee Sr Boggs: Burial: Unknown, Nelson Rice Cemetery, Martha, KY.2
More About James Lee Sr Boggs and Elizabeth Jane Clement: Marriage: 17782
Children of James Lee Sr Boggs and Elizabeth Jane Clement are: