Boaz Squires is a rather enigmatic figure. Appropriate, wouldn’t you say, for a man legend says was a wizard? Local stories claim he was a rather lazy fellow who made demons build boats while he lounged beneath the pines smoking his pipe. He even fought the Devil, on occasion, when Satan objected to Boaz’s use of his minions. His end came when his wife opened an old chest he said should never be opened. A couple of black cat-shaped demons leapt out, landing on his chest. Boaz, immediately, dropped dead. So say the stories. But what do the documents say?
The Documented Life of Boaz Squires
The first record I’ve been able to unearth is a patent for 150 acres in Craven County. This land was situated on the north side of the southwest prong of Bay River. Boaz entered this patent 29 Oct 1765 and it was issued 27 Apr 1767. The minimum age to deal in real estate was twenty-one. This means he was born in or before 1744. Further, although his father, Rodger, and brother, Amos, appear on the 1755 Beaufort County tax list, Boaz does not. This means he was not yet sixteen. Thus, he was born after 1739. Rodger purchased 250 acres on the south side of Bay River from Francis Delamar 11 Jun 1739 (Beaufort County Deed Book 2, p. 303). Boaz was, most likely, born there.
On 24 Jun 1769, Boaz sold the land he’d patented to Robert Burney for £14 proclamation money (Craven County Deed Book 18, p. 328). In that year, he was assessed a tax for one white male and 1 black female.
Solomon Tingle sold Boaz 100 acres on the south side of Bay River 2 Feb 1778 for £85 (Craven County Deed Book 24, p. 137). Boaz bought another 100 acres there from John Denny 23 Jan 1779 (Craven County Deed Book 24, p. 133). He paid £100. He then sold half the land he bought from Denny to Amos Squires 3 Apr 1779 (Craven County Deed Book 24, p. 72). Taxes for 1779 must have been assessed before this because Boaz was taxed (District 4) for 200 acres, as well as 115 other property.
Boaz’s father, Rodger, composed his will 27 Feb 1770. Sons Amos and Boaz and daughter, Ruth Herrington, were left a shilling “sterling money of great britain”.
Rodger bequeathed his “non dwelling plantation” to his wife, Jean. However, she was not permitted to sell “any of the timber or other previledges or to dispose of the same” except for “the maintenance of her children under age.” After her death or remarriage, the plantation then went to his youngest daughter, Lydia.
The second youngest was called Thamar. His personal estate was left to Jean during her lifetime, then to be split between Lydia and Thamar. Unless she remarried. Then she was to receive a one third share.
A bequest of 106 acres was made to another daughter, Aliff, wife of Joshua Cuthrell. This land was purchased from James Brinson. Joshua and Jean were appointed Executor and Executrix. If Jean were to remarry, then she would have to resign from this appointment.
Were Thamar and Lydia “her children under age”? An inventory of Rodger’s Estate bears the date 2 Aug 1772.
His “natural daughter”
On 3 Apr 1785, Boaz made out a deed of gift. In this document, he gives his “natural daughter”, Sidney Squires, his remaining 150 acres (Craven County Deed Book 26, p. 55). This land is described as “beginning at a Cypress over against Thomas Clayton’s shipyard….” He also gave her two negro boys, James and Charles. The witnesses were Amos, “Saray”, and Jeremiah Squires. It was proven in Court on the oath of Amos Squires during the June term.
During the December term, Sidney Squires “came into Court and made choice of Amos Squires as her Guardian Ordered that he Enter into Bond with Amos Squires and John Baker his securities….” The guardian bond was set at either £300 or £500. It’s difficult to tell.
Sometime before 1790, Sidney married Lemuel Allcock or Jones County. They, along with one slave, were enumerated there on the census. On 8 Mar of that year, they sold 50 acres to Amos Squires (Craven County Deed Book 27, p. 245). The other 100 was sold to Jacob Lewis 21 Jan 1791 (Craven County Deed Book 29, p. 219). At some unascertained point between 1796 and 1820, the family moved to Washington County, Georgia. This is where I found Siddy Allcock residing in 1820. Lemuel must have, already, been deceased. Sidney was still living in 1850, aged 80. She was enumerated on the census in Dooly County, Georgia in that year.
Wife and Legitimate Children
If Boaz was not already wed to the lady with the Pandora complex by the time he entered his patent in 1765, he probably was by the time it was issued in 1767. Her name was Dinah. She sold a negro boy called Abraham to Henry Tillman for £30 29 Feb 1788 (Craven County Deed Book 43, p. 191). She died before 30 Sep 1791. On that day, Thomas Ives and wife, Hannah, sold “my Right and Title of the Land and negroes that belonged to Dinah Squires” to Pheraby Ives (Craven County Deed Book 29, p. 239).
Thomas Ives purchased a bond to marry Hannah Squires 30 Aug 1784. Thomas Carraway was bondsman. On 3 Nov 1815, Thomas Ives sold “his right in a certain property that I was heir to by the death of David Squires it being a parcel of negroes Tamer, Abram, Joseph, Pat, Sal, Bet, Ben and several names unknown” to Benjamin E. Mallison for $100 (Craven County Deed Book 43, p. 455 and 456) . He then sold “my right title and claim in the estate of Boze Squires in Dinah his wife decd. unto Thomas Leith” 13 Jan 1816 (Craven County Deed Book 42, p. 369 and 370).
“Saborough” Lewis and Isaiah Taylor, 5 Nov 1815, sold Benjamin Tillman “all our right title interest or claim whatsoever in and to a negro woman named Tamer formerly the property of Boaz Squires deceased and to any of her children or descendants, and also all our right title & interest as next of kin of Boaz Squires and David Squires his son, in and to the said negroes…” (Craven County Deed Book 43, p. 192). Jacob Lewis and Benjamin Riden purchased a bond for Jacob to marry Sabra Squires 20 Feb 1784.
From the above evidence, we may conclude that Boaz Squires and Dinah, his wife, had, at least, three children: Hannah, Sabra and David. I’ve yet to discover how Isaiah Taylor fits into this family. Or even if he does. Whatever caused them to marry, I get the impression that Dinah and Boaz did not have a warm relationship. Note that Boaz gave all of his real property to an illegitimate daughter, Sidney. All of the identifiable witnesses for that deed were of his brother’s family, not his own.
It is possible that there was another son, John, who purchased a bond to marry Hannah Gaskins 2 Dec 1796. I would not be surprised to learn that one of the men named Amos Squires was theirs, as well. There were, at least, three. Then there are the Mary Squires who married William Gaskins and Zipporah who wed Joseph Gaskins then Jesse Everington, both of uncertain parentage.