By: Jonesborough Genealogical Society
Many people in Washington County remember Grace Boring Smith, who played the organ at Munsey Memorial and First Christian churches in Johnson City. Grace was very talented and gave voice and piano lessons, and for many years she taught the sixth grade at Columbus Powell Grade School. The Boring home at the corner of West Walnut and Spring Streets is where Grace lived before her marriage. Grace had information on her line of the Boring family, and the following article is written from her notes.
The Boring (Boreing, Boren) family is of English origin. The first Boring to emigrant to America was John Boring I, who settled in Baltimore, MD. He had three wives; was justice of the peace in 1679; and died in 1690. His son, John II, 1683-1750, rented 250 acres on the northeast branch of Back River and 250 acres on Ferry’s Range on the north side of the Potomac River. John II had a son, John III, 1705- ?, who was father of Absolom, c1750-1816. Absolom migrated to Washington County, Tennessee in the late 1700s when his son Greenberry (Greenbury) was 10 years old. The family settled on Brush Creek where Absolom, who has a master builder, constructed a home. When he died he was probably buried near King Springs Road. Absolom and his wife had five sons and five daughters: John, Joshua, Greenberry, who married Mary Ruble, Jacob, who married Alice Green, Amos, who married Anna Hiles, Dorcas, who married Jacob Laudermilk, Abia, Polly, who married Abraham Tipton and one daughter, name not given.
Greenberry Boring, son of Absolom, was a soldier in the War of 1812. He married Mary Ruble, daughter of Peter II and Catherine Wirt Ruble, Oct 11, 1907, and settled in the Boones’ Creek area. Their children were: Montgomery, b. July 15, 1808, Peter R., b. Nov. 17, 1809, Lorenzo, b. Feb. 14, 1812, Margaret, b. July 24, 1814, Wesley, b. Dec. 2, 1816, Isaac, b. Sept. 27, 1818; George Washington, b. Aug. 27, 1820, Elizabeth, b. Feb. 3, 1823, Emeline, b. April 7, 1825, John, b. Aug. 7, 1828, James M. b. May 27, 1831, and Solomon V., b. Feb. 4, 1833. Four of the sons, Peter, Lorenzo, George Washington and John, were Methodist ministers and Isaac was a physician. Greenberry Boring died in 1874 at the age of 92. His wife Mary went to Dayton, Ohio to live with her daughter, Emeline, who married David Dyer, and Mary’s two sons Wesley and Solomon. Mary died in Dayton in 1881 with Emeline, Wesley and Solomon at her bedside.
Dr. Isaac Boring, son of Greenberry, and Mary Ruble Boring, b. Sept. 27, 1821 [?], married Nancy Yoakley May 24, 1844 in Washington County. Their children were Peter Harris, who married Mary Kitzmiller, Greenbury who settled in Steubenville, Ohio, John, who married Elizabeth White, Isaac Newton, who died in Washington County, Orry, who married Henry Crouch, Effie, who died young and unmarried and William Decatur, father of Grace Boring Smith.
William Decatur Boring married Myrtle Cordelia Crouch of Washington County. Four children were born to William and Myrtle; Grace, b. July 25, 1893, who married William Lewis “Brick” Smith, William Greenbury, b. Dec. 25, 1894, who married Francis Smith, Mary Louise, who married Frederic William Wright and lived in Nashville and Sophia, who never married and was a teacher at Henry Johnson Grade School. Grace and William Lewis Smith had a daughter, who preceded Grace in death, Grace died in 1987 and is buried at Happy Valley Cemetery.
Included in Grace’s notes was information on James Boren, an early settler in Washington County, who died Oct. 14, 1795. It is probably that James was a brother of Absolom, James and his wife Sarah had five sons and five daughters; William, John, Dosser, Abraham, who married Elizabeth Ruble, Chancy, who married Lucinda Lyle, James Rachel, who married Mordecia Price, Abinolda, Temperance, Martha, who married a Ball, and Frances.