William Louis Boulden and Nancy Ann Patterson
War, Indetured Servitude, and Romance in 19th Century America

William L. Boulden was born in a part of Delaware that is now part of Maryland. It is close to Elkton, Cecil County, Maryland on the modern maps. Supposedly, he was brought up on a farm. We read that he had only one sister named Rachael who married a Robert L. Moody.

We have found evidence that he is related to a Boulden who came from Ireland or England to Virginia, who moved to Pennsylvania and then on to Delaware and Maryland. Other sections of the family moved and settled in Virginia and Kentucky after that.

The family is mostly Protestant and we have found records of many Boulden's attending churches in those areas. They often held high positions in their churches.

It has been passed down in the family that they are of Scotch-Irish ancestry and the family certainly carried the features of the Irish.

William L. Boulden worked as a stage driver between Baltimore and Philadelphia. In 1814, he was detailed by the government to take his team to Fort McHenry, were he was made wagon-master and was there during the bombardment.

He Married Nancy Ann Patterson on 2 March 1813 in the Welsh Baptist Church of East Philadelphia. He first had to buy off her indenture to the Governor of Delaware for 500 pounds, which was a lot of money in those days. Research would point out that Nancy's father died leaving a widow and 5 children. On any army pension, she probably couldn't afford to keep up the family. It was very common in those days to put yourself up as an indentured servant for 7 years for a sum of money. Evidently Nancy did this to put a roof over her mother and siblings heads.

Nancy and William lived in Cecil County, Maryland until 1817. He, his wife, and 4 children went westward over the mountains by wagon to Wheeling, Virginia. There he placed his family on a flat boat for Cincinnati, Ohio. He went overland with the horses to meet them there. They then settled near Piqua, Miami County, Ohio where he bought a tract of heavily timbered land which he cleared and made many improvements on. It was there he made his home until his death on 18 September 1830, leaving his wife Nancy and 5 children. One of his Children, William Henry, is our ancestor.

Nancy Boulden remained in Ohio through 1857. It is not known if she ever remarried. During this time she files several claims for Williams "Bounty Land" that she believed William should have earned from his service during the War of 1812. Ultimately those claims were unsuccessful. By 1860 Nancy is living in Greenfield, Iowa.

Supporting Documents

William Louis Boulden
William Louis Boulden
Courtesy, FamilySearch.org

Shelling of Fort McHenry, September 1814
Shelling of Fort McHenry
September 1814

Marriage license: William Louis Boulden and Nancy Ann Patterson, 02 March 1813
Marriage License
William L. Boulden and Nancy Patterson
02 March 1813