Joyce is not a particularly common surname, but three families of that name settled in Crittenden County, Kentucky. They all connect back in North Carolina, but probably never knew they were related. All of them descend from two brothers, Thomas and Alexander Joyce, who first appeared in Virginia records in the 1740s. Both brothers acquired land in North Carolina, but only Alexander moved to what is now Rockingham County.
The first Joyce family to arrive in Crittenden County was that of James P. and Lucinda (Hopkins) Joyce, who settled first in Hopkins County and, prior to 1850, in Crittenden County. James P. and Lucinda had a number of children, including the following: Nancy A., James A., Margaret E., Rachael C., Martin Van Buren, Polly, Thomas W., Pleasant E., Lucinda and John. The children intermarried with the Towery, Berry, Asher and Conger families. Lucinda Hopkins Joyce died in 1861 (see tombstone at right) and that same year James P. married Matilda E. Jenkins. James P. Joyce died in 1876 and is buried, along with most of his family, at Shady Grove Cemetery in Crittenden County.
A late comer to Crittenden County was the Joyce family of Dycusburg. Fred Joyce, son of Tandy Joyce, is found on the 1880 Trigg County census. He was in McCracken County by 1920 and, finally, in Crittenden County by 1930. After leaving North Carolina, this family settled in Grainger County, Tennessee before moving on to Trigg County. Some descendants of this family still live in Trigg and McCracken counties.
My family left North Carolina about 1830 and settled in Lawrence County, Tennessee. In the early days of the Civil War, my great-grandfather, also named James P. Joyce, took his family and headed north. He enlisted in the 2nd Regt., Illinois Cavalry and served until he was discharged for health reasons. After his discharge, the family settled in Hardin County, Illinois, just across the Ohio River from Crittenden County. The family remained in Hardin County, but my uncle married a lady from Crittenden County and settled there. This family descends from Thomas Joyce of Lunenburg County, Virginia, through his son, George, a Revolutionary War veteran.