Robert was an enslaved worker who lived and worked at Tuckahoe during the Allen period. He was born sometime around 1848 to Mahala and Spy Boyd. His siblings were Henrietta, Chaney, Armistead, Matilda, Thomas, and Margaret.
Robert is first listed on the 1850 account of Joseph Allen. His father and several of his siblings were listed as field hands but as Robert was only a year and a half old at the time, he may have been left under the care of another enslaved worker or put to relatively simple tasks.
After the Civil War, many of the Boyds stayed in the Goochland area. In September 1876, Robert married Mollie Smith. In the 1880 census, he was recorded as a farm laborer and she was listed as a cook (though it is unclear where exactly they were working). Their children were Thomas, Samuel, Percy, and Mary.
Shortly after Robert and Mollie married, Robert’s brother Thomas married Mollie’s sister (Jannetta) in October 1876.