The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex
Boyd Alexander, explorer and ornithologist, son of Lieut-Col. Boyd Francis Alexander and Mary Alexander [Wilson]
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Boyd Alexander map-making

Boyd Alexander was born at Swifts Place, Cranbrook, Kent on 16th January 1873. He was a twin son with Robert Alexander of Lieut-Colonel Boyd Francis Alexander and his wife Mary Wilson and descended from the Alexanders of Ballochmyle in Ayrshire. Colonel Alexander and his wife had had two daughters born in Canada before giving bith to the twin sons. Three more sons followed, the youngest being Claud born in 1878.

Boyd Alexander was educated from 1888 at St Peters College, Radley, and it was during his school holidays that Boyd developed his enthusiasm for ornithology - making a study of the birds of Kent and Sussex. He enlisted in the army, joining the Rifle Brigade in 1893 and in 1896, Boyd and his friend John Springett, a skilled taxidermist, made a comprehensive study of nesting habits and migrations at Rye, which became the basis of probably the finest and most complex collection of Kent and Sussex birds in existence. In 1897 he led a scientific expedition to the Cape Verde Islands where he made an extensive collection of native bird species and, in 1898, went on his first African journey to the Zambezi and Kafuk rivers. He was appointed to the Gold Coast constabulary in 1900, and took part in the relief of Kumasi. In 1904 he led a scientific expedition to Fernando Po where he discovered various new species of birds. The same year saw the commencement of his most important work - an expedition across Africa from the Niger to the Nile accompanied by his younger brother Captain Claud Alexander, the zoologist Captain G.B. Gosling, P. Amaury Talbot and José Lopes. Later that year on 13th November 1904 Claud died of fever after six weeks of illness and was buried at Maifoni in Northern Nigeria. The expedition continued for three years and during this period Boyd surveyed the shores of Lake Chad and explored a considerable part of eastern Nigeria, returning to England by way of the rivers Ubangi, Shari and Nile. For his various discoveries he received gold medals from the Royal Geographical Societies of London and Antwerp, besides honours from other learned societies. In 1908 he returned to Africa for the last time and, during a local disturbance was killed by natives at Nyeri, in Wadai, on 2nd April 2 1910. His body was later recovered by French soldiers and Boyd was buried next to his brother at Maifoni in Northern Nigeria. A memorial to Claud and Boyd Alexander was placed in St Dunstans Church in Cranbrook.

Boyd Alexander published From the Niger to the Nile (1907), besides many articles and papers in scientific and geographical periodicals. His oustanding collection of Kent and Sussex birds was offered by his brother Herbert Alexander to Cranbrook and resides today at the Cranbrook Museum and his collection of 5,500 African birds resides at the Natural History Museum at Tring, Hertfordshire, as well as five manuscript volumes relating to his travel and bird collecting in Africa between 1898 and 1909.

See also Boyd Alexander's Last Journey with a Memoir by Herbert Alexander.
16th January 1873
At Swifts Place in the Parish of Cranbrook, Kent; registered at Cranbrook District, Kent; ref: 1873 Q1 Vol 2a Page 660; twin
Alexander's Last Journey
Marylebone, London
2nd April 1910
At Nyerie, in Africa; cause of death: killed in a dispute with local tribesmen near Nyeri
ODNB web site
Alexander's Last Journey
After 2nd April 1910
At Maifoni, Northern Nigeria, in Africa; buried with full military honours beside his brother Claud
Alexander's Last Journey

Ancestor's report
No descendent's report
Alexander, Alexandra individual records
The ancestral pedigree of Boyd Alexander, explorer and ornithologist
 Claud Alexanderm: 1788 Ayrshire, ScotlandHelenora Maxwell 
 b: 1752 Ballochmyle, Ayrshire, Scotland  b: c 1755 
Claud  Margaret Stewart Anna Joanna Catharine Maxwell Boyd Helenora Helenora Mary
b: 26th Jan 1789 Ballochmyle, Ayrshire, Scotland
ch: 23rd Feb 1789 Mauchline, Ayrshire
  b: 20th Oct 1791 Ballochmyle, Ayrshire, Scotland
ch: 7th Nov 1791 Mauchline, Ayrshire
 b: 26th Mar 1793 Ballochmyle, Ayrshire, Scotland
ch: 11th Apr 1793 Mauchline, Ayrshire
 b: 1794 Ballochmyle, Ayrshire, Scotland
ch: 16th Sep 1794 Mauchline, Ayrshire
 b: 27th Mar 1796 Ballochmyle, Ayrshire, Scotland
ch: 14th Apr 1796 Mauchline, Ayrshire
 b: 12th Feb 1798 Ballochmyle, Ayrshire, Scotland
ch: 26th Feb 1798 Mauchline, Ayrshire
 b: 17th Aug 1802 Ballochmyle, Ayrshire, Scotland
ch: 2nd Sep 1802 Mauchline, Ayrshire
 b: 20th Oct 1806 Ballochmyle, Ayrshire, Scotland
ch: 6th Nov 1806 Mauchline, Ayrshire
 William Maxwell         
 b: 20th Jul 1790 Ballochmyle, Ayrshire, Scotland
ch: 3rd Aug 1790 Mauchline, Ayrshire
 Boyd Alexanderm: 17th Jan 1828 St Mary the Virgin, Twickenham, MiddlesexSophia Hobhouse 
 b: 27th Mar 1796 Ballochmyle, Ayrshire, Scotland
ch: 14th Apr 1796 Mauchline, Ayrshire
  b: c 1850 
 Claud Lieut-Col. Boyd Francis William Maxwell Helenora Margaret Angela Michael Stewart
 b: 15th Jan 1831 Marylebone, London
ch: 18th Mar 1831
 b: 17th Apr 1834 Marylebone, London
ch: 23rd Jun 1834
d: 19th Aug 1917 Wilsley
 b: 3rd Feb 1836 Marylebone, London
ch: 31st Mar 1836
 b: 6th Dec 1837 Marylebone, London
ch: 18th Apr 1838
 b: 8th Oct 1839 Marylebone, London
ch: 19th Nov 1839
 Lieut-Col. Boyd Francis Alexanderm: 27th Dec 1865 Hove, SussexMary Wilson 
 b: 17th Apr 1834 Marylebone, London
ch: 23rd Jun 1834
d: 19th Aug 1917 Wilsley
  b: 1843 Calcutta, India
d: 30th Jul 1905 Wilsley, Cranbrook, Kent
 Marion Helenor Captain Robert Boyd Herbert David Captain Claud
 b: 1867 Quebec, Canada b: 1869 Ottawa, Canada
d: Jul to Sep 1898
 b: 16th Jan 1873 Swifts Place, Cranbrook, Kent b: 16th Jan 1873 Swifts Place, Cranbrook, Kent
d: 2nd Apr 1910 Nyerie, Africa
bur: After 2nd Apr 1910 Maifoni, Northern Nigeria, Africa
 b: 1875 Kensington, London
ch: 22nd Jan 1875 Hove, Sussex
d: Jan to Mar 1946
 b: Jul to Sep 1876 Swifts Place, Cranbrook, Kent
d: Apr to Jun 1895
 b: Oct to Dec 1878 Swifts Place, Cranbrook, Kent
d: 13th Nov 1904 Maifoni, Northern Nigeria, Africa
bur: After 13th Nov 1904 Maifoni, Northern Nigeria, Africa

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