Attorney & Criminal Justice Consultant
The Boyers Family History
Thomas Boyers V, is the seventh generation of the Boyers’ family of Gallatin, Sumner County, Tennessee. Matthew, the family’s patriarch, was born in Ireland in 1765 and married Anne Morris in what is now Harrisonburg, VA before moving to York, South Carolina. Matthew and Anne’s son Robert Morris Boyers was born in 1788 and moved to the new Tennessee settlement of Gallatin arriving in 1809. Robert built what was the first commercial building in Gallatin from which he ran a commission business. After having established a home and business Robert brought his mother and father from South Carolina to Gallatin.
Col. Thomas Boyers, son of Anne and Robert M. Boyers was born in March of 1826 in Gallatin. Though Thomas studied the law under Judge Guild he showed an aptitude for journalism. A veteran of the CSA, Col. Boyers returned to Gallatin after the war and resumed publication of The Gallatin Examiner. Thomas and his wife Annie O’Mahony (Brown) Boyers, a native of Ireland, lived in Gallatin’s Octagon House which then was on the Corner of Foster and College Streets. Thomas was the founding president of the Tennessee Press Association and was inducted into that association’s Hall of Fame in 2007. Thomas and Annie’s son, Thomas Jr. continued operation of The Examiner until it’s sale to The Tennessean’s owners; Thomas Boyers Jr. continued working at other papers in Chattanooga and Nashville until his death in 1922 leaving his widow, Sophie Foster Boyers and their children Thomas, Elizabeth (Betsy) and Sara.
Judge Thomas Boyers III, met his bride, Johnnie Mae Harkey while they attended Vanderbilt University; after marrying within days of meeting in 1924 Thomas and Johnnie Mae graduated from VU in 1925. Johnnie Mae’s father, an officer in the Confederacy and prominent Arkansas businessman, left what seemed to the young couple to be a fortune in property, most of which was subsequently nationalized by Mexico. The couple had three children, one in Texas and two in Arkansas. Their middle child and first son, Thomas Boyers IV was born in McAllen, Texas where his father had opened a solo law practice while focused on regaining Johnnie Mae’s ownership interest in her father’s lands in Mexico. Frustrated in their efforts to reclaim the land in “old Mexico” the Boyers family returned to Johnnie Mae’s family home in Dardanelle, Arkansas where Thomas Boyers III practiced law and served in the Arkansas Legislature. With the start of World War II Thomas Boyers III was appointed to a position as a prosecutor in the OPA prosecuting war profiteers and the family moved back to Gallatin. The family’s middle child, Thomas Boyers IV volunteered for service in the United States Army immediately upon his graduation from Gallatin High School in 1945.
Judge Thomas Boyers IV, met my mother, Elizabeth Hope Butler, while serving as a Representative in Tennessee’s General Assembly. Thomas Boyers IV obtained his law degree from The American University in Washington D.C. while working on the staff of Tennessee’s senior United States senator, Kenneth McKellar. My father settled into a law practice with my grandfather and Mr. Harold Howser. My grandfather was appointed to the Circuit Judgeship by Governor Frank Clement in 1965, my father continued in a solo legal practice. My father, Thomas Boyers IV, was appointed to serve as Circuit Judge after my grandfathers death in the winter of 1981, where he served until his death in 1989. My sister, Tracey Elizabeth Boyers, resides in Nashville and is an attorney.
Thomas Boyers V, while working at Donnelley Printing Co. as a Proof Pressman, married Linda Lou Payne in 1983. Linda gave birth to the couple’s daughter and only child, Samantha Brooke Boyers. Subsequently leaving the printing business, Thomas worked in the private sector as an Investigator and security professional before returning to college. With a Bachelor’s Degree from Cumberland University in Criminal Justice Thomas Boyers V began work with the State of Tennessee as an Adult Probation Officer in 1994. Later, while working as Criminal Investigator for the 18th Judicial District’s Public Defender’s office Thomas Boyers V attended the Nashville School of Law at night graduating in 1999. After a short period of time as an Assistant Public Defender, Thomas Boyers V was offered and accepted a partnership with noted Gallatin attorney John Pellegrin. In 2010 Thomas Boyers V opened a solo law practice which he managed until 2021 when Thomas closed his office and began work as a consultant in the area of Criminal Justice. Thomas and Linda Boyers are grandparents to Morgan, Jacob and Thomas.