You can read about how I came to know about Dr. Boyd McNairy and his connection to my Sims family here. I updated this page in June 2013 with a chart showing the maternal links among the McNairy, Shelby, Minnick, Hodgekinson and Sims families.
As the end of 2014 approaches, it's time to take stock of the year's accomplishments for the blog and for McNairy research in general.
During 2014, some sixty-eight additional articles were added to the blog. Quite a few of those articles were the result of reviewing published collections of letters and papers of individuals like Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk. As luck would have it, one of the local universities (Oakland University) in my part of Michigan has copies of such published works in their library.
I spent two full days at the Tennessee State Library and Archives in Nashville, Tennessee this summer doing some fact checking before submitting a 500-word biographical sketch of Dr. Boyd McNairy to the editors of a new on-line Encyclopedia of Nashville and Davidson County, which I'm told will launch the first half of 2015. It was difficult to pare down the sketch to five hundred words, so it will be interesting to see how the editors use the material I submitted. At the time I submitted the article, it seemed to me the research on Boyd McNairy was far from complete—but the editors had deadlines writers needed to meet.
Among the many interesting things that came to light this year was a tribute to the life of Dr. Boyd McNairy written by the physicians of Nashville. I had previously found only terse death notices. Also of special interest was the article from an 1824 source describing Boyd McNairy's direct participation in medical education in that part of Tennessee, which predates the beginning of McNairy's trusteeship (1828-1856) of the University of Nashville and his involvement in the Medical Society of the State of Tennessee when it was founded in 1830.
Finding published historical sources describing the role women play in the public lives of their husbands is often difficult. So, I was very happy to find a story that mentions Dr. Boyd McNairy's wife in a 1831 letter President Andrew Jackson wrote to Martin Van Buren. Mrs. McNairy was acting in a manner that supported her husband's very public opposition to Andrew Jackson and his new Democrat party.
At a recent Google Hangout with Professor Eric Foner of Columbia University, I posed the question of who a self-described Ultra Whig, who supported the Democrat Pierce and not the Whig Scott in the presidential election of 1852 and then supported the American Party candidate Fillmore in 1856, would have supported in the election of 1860 had such a person still been alive in 1860. This question referred to Dr. Boyd McNairy who died shortly after the elections of 1856. Professor Foner responds to this question first after the short housekeeping material in this video recording of the Hangout.
Professor Foner is an American historian of the U.S. Civil War. You can read more about his work here.
FILED FEBRUARY 21, 1900, J. R. YOUNG, Clerk. In the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, the 21st day of February, 1900, Henry C. Burch, executor, etc. agt. Irene A. Evans et al. No. 20934. Equity Docket 47.—On motion of the complainant, by Hamilton & Colbert, his solicitors, it is ordered that the defendants, Irene A. Evans, Anna M. Barrow, Fannie Caldwell, Ruffin L. Walker, Fannie Meredith, Eliza W. Gordon, Adele Evans, Anna M. Meredith, Eliza W. Gordon, Adele Mignon Goodrich and Yvonne Goodrich, cause their appearances to be entered herein on or before the first rule day occurring forty days after this day, otherwise the cause will be proceeded with as in case of default. The object of this suit is to obtain a judicial construction of the will of Walter S. McNairy, late of the District of Columbia, deceased, and a decree for the proper distribution of the assets in the hands of the complainant as executor and trustee under the will of said deceased. A copy of this order shall be published in the Washington Law Reporter and in The Evening Star once in each of three successive weeks before said rule day. By the court, A. B. HAGNER, Justice, etc. True copy. Test: J. R. YOUNG, Clerk, etc. by M. A. CLANCY, Assistant Clerk. HAMILTON & COLBERT., 512 F st.n.w fe21-law.3w25
Reference: Evening Star (Washington, D.C.) 21 Feb 1900, p. 4 as indexed at GenealogyBank.com, accessed October 2014