My ancestor this week is from my Mom’s side of the family and is my 5th great-grandfather, Isham Floyd. Isham was born in about 1756 in Virginia possibly in Amherst County, the son of William Floyd and Abadiah Davis. Isham parents, William and Abadiah, had at least thirteen children and Isham was number eight of those thirteen.
Isham’s twelve siblings, all born in Virginia and also possibly in Amherst County, were the following: John Floyd 1745-1783, William M. Floyd 1745-after 1821, Sarah Floyd 1747-after 1824, Elizabeth Floyd 1748-1833, Robert Clark Floyd 1750-1807, Jemima Floyd 1752-????, Nancy Floyd 1754-before 1791, Abadiah Floyd 1758-????, Charles Floyd 1760-1828, Abigail Floyd 1762-1834, Miss Floyd 1764-???? And Nathaniel Floyd 1766-1842.
Isham came from a fairly prominent family, not wealthy, but more than most at that time, with a good size plantation and slaves. I am sure Isham learned at an early age to help with the farming, and the day to day chores around the home place. Isham’s father was a surveyor and Isham may have even helped his father when he was out surveying land for different people.
Isham soon met and married Lydia Hardin on January 28, 1775 in Amherst County, Virginia. There were at least two sons born to this couple, first David Floyd born in the winter of 1775 or early 1776 and then Isham Floyd, Jr. born in about 1781. There may have been other children born after David and before Isham Jr., but at this time I have found no records to say this for a fact. Isham’s wife Lydia ended up in Williamson County, Tennessee where she died in about 1820. My direct line was David Floyd and his line settled in Smith and DeKalb Counties in Tennessee. David Floyd’s son Volentine Floyd left Smith County, Tennessee and came to Crittenden County, Kentucky in 1873 and Crittenden County is the county I was born in.
Isham fought in the Revolutionary War and was with General, George Rogers Clark at Kaskaskia in 1778 and also served as a sergeant in Clark's Illinois Regiment of Artillery, enlisting in this company on November 26, 1779. Isham’s brother, John Floyd was a Colonel in Clark's Illinois Regiment of Artillery as well. Isham was also in Captain, Robert George’s Company of Artillery and was at Fort Nelson on September 1, 1782. Isham is on a pay roll receipt dated up to April 8, 1783 but I have not found any pay rolls for him after that date, nor for his brother John Floyd who was supposed to have been captured at the same time by the Indians.
Isham died young sometime between the ages of 27 to 35, leaving at least two young children. I do not know for certain when Isham died as there has been at least three different years given for his death. Most stories say that he and his brother John Floyd were captured by Indians and that Isham and John were tortured in April of 1783, before being murdered by the Indians. The source I tend to believe the most is from Filson’s Quarterly, Volume 15, No. 1, page 22, which says the following: "The Indians captured Isham Floyd across the Ohio River, north of the Falls in April 1783. They scalped him, cut off his ears, fingers and toes and, after torturing him for three days, cut out his heart and threw it to their dogs." According to some sources he was killed by Indians in Mercer County, Kentucky in 1790, still another source says it was in June 1782 at ‘Crawford's Defeat’. I know Isham was at Fort Nelson in September of 1782 and is on pay roll receipts up to April 8, 1783, so there is no way he was killed at ‘Crawford’s Defeat’. Either way it sounds like Isham met an untimely and possibly excruciating death on the dark and bloody grounds of Kentucky.
As you can see from the stories I have written so far my roots run deep and early in Kentucky, a fact I am very proud of. I know this is a short ancestor story this week, but unfortunately, Isham Floyd did not live long enough to make a longer story possible.