Corrections to The Buckners of Virginia

The Buckners of Virginia and the allied families of Strother and Ashby by William Dickinson Buckner and William Armstrong Crozier, ed. (1907) is the most influential Buckner genealogy. Unfortunately, it contains a number of significant errors which have been propagated throughout genealogical databases everywhere, many of which arise from data that was clearly forged. In particular, I consider everything up to around page 16 to be so tainted that absolutely nothing in it should be trusted without corroboration from original documents. The later parts of the genealogy, after the immigration of the Buckners in America are much more reliable, and most of the errors seem to honest ones, though I have noted a markedly high rate of errors in lines that result in connecting W.D. Buckner to John Buckner the immigrant. I list some of the most significant problems by page and in some cases present some expanded data and comments. The other two widest known Buckner genealogies, Anjou's unpublished "Buckner" manuscript and Buckner Descendant Generations by Jim White, are unsalvageable, so I'm not going to bother with them.

I'm going to start using a notation for the American Buckners that's similar to what W.B. McGroarty preferred. He would use, for example, William Buckner (John2, John1) for William Buckner, son of John Buckner (2nd gen immigrant), son of John Buckner, the immigrant. I'm going to be a little more concise and just say William Buckner (J2-J1). Hopefully, there won't be too many early families with both James and John.

I have prepared a descendant chart for the first 3 generations in America, and this should make it somewhat easier to sort out lines. The book has often been criticized for poor organization. This chart also includes some Buckners which my research and others' have uncovered or more correctly explained. In particular, the Stafford County lines were more numerous than Crozier gave them credit for, though they are not as well documented. The generations previous to the immigration in the book have very little factual content, so there is little point in charting them.

There are still a number of Buckners in or near Virginia in the early 1700s who are conspicuously unexplained:

Just as a quick summary, the Crozier data which I have confirmed to be either altered or entirely invented are: the will of William Buckner (1558), the will of John Buckner (1599), all the "St. Mary's Church" register entries, and the three St. Aldate's parish baptisms at the end of the list, which list children of Hugh Buckner. The St. Aldate's Smith entries appear to be authentic, and the two wills really exist but do not say what Crozier claims that they say.

And finally, if you disagree, let me know. Genealogy is not an exact science, and I guarantee I have some things wrong or partly misunderstood. This document changes frequently as I get new information, and if you have some new evidence or an argument, there's a pretty good chance you can change my view on something.

And Now the Comments

Front Matter

The "coat of arms" given in the front matter is attested in Robson's 1830 The British Herald; Or, Cabinet of Armorial Bearings of the Nobility & Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland, from the Earliest to the Present Time under the Buckner entry, though somewhat oddly the motto from John Buckner, Bishop of Chichester, has been attached to it. The Bishop's arms were quite different (appearing between page 2 and 3), though I've never been able to ascertain who the arms given in Robson were granted to, assuming they're authentic. The blazon (formal description) is "sable three fleurs-de-lis or", i.e. three gold fleurs de lis on a black background. I've inquired about these arms with the College of Arms in the UK, and the fleurs de lis version is not registered to any Buckner. Robson's Buckner crest (not the arms) though is also given in Alexander Deuchar's 1817 British Crests: Containing The Crests And Mottos Of The Families of Great Britain and Ireland Together with Those Of The Principal Cities; And A Glossary of Heraldic Terms.

Page 1

Gloucester Co. VA was formed in 1651, and obviously not all its records were destroyed by fire since Crozier refers to them repeatedly. There's a certain strain of fatalism sometimes with genealogy in Virginia's "burned counties," but it's not that bad. John Buckner is mentioned in dozens of extant contemporary records.

The earliest known record of John Buckner in Virginia is in fact from 1655, when he witnessed a mortgage by Abraham Moone in Lancaster County, VA (Beverley Fleet, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Genealogical Publishing, 2006, Vol 10, p. 103 - from Lanc. Co. Record Book No. 2, p. 15). This is especially important to note in that it makes an equation with any John Buckner in England after 1655 much more dubious. It should also be noted that the area where John Buckner lived on the Rappahannock River was in Lancaster Co. until 1656, when it became Rappahannock Co., then Essex Co. in 1692, and Caroline Co. in 1728. He seems to have divided his time between that area and Gloucester Co. from a fairly early date, though it would appear that the Rappahannock homestead was where he first lived. The Rappahannock homestead apparently descended to either his son Richard or his son John. Note that the Gloucester plantation was not called "Marlfield" until long after the Buckners had sold it off. According to one source it descended to his son Thomas and eventually to George Booth though his mother Mary Buckner (S3-T2-J1), who sold it to William Jones in 1782. The Jones family held onto it until 1904. Other sources say it was sold by a John Buckner, but I think Booth is the correct seller. It is also often remarked that the last house was built in 1732. It is now in ruins.

There is one other early reference dated 27 Feb 1649 which may be John Buckner. The name listed is "John Buckerin", a headright of Richard Croshaw. The reading is clear and unambiguous, but Richard Croshaw of London (d. 1631) was a close friend of Thomas Buckner the Mercer and knew Leonard Bucknor of London. This could be an original miscopying similar to the "John Bucknell" of the 1662 Lee patent. (Polly Cary Mason, Records of Colonial Gloucester County, Virginia: A Collection of Abstracts, (Genealogical Publishing Com, 2009), p. 22, from VPLG Bk. 2 p. 202 - reading confirmed from original image)

That I know of, William Buckner is the next earliest Buckner mentioned in Virginia (1657 - see VA Colonial Abstracts, Vol III, Charles City Co Court Orders 1655-1658, p 116, where Howell Price claimed a headright for both him and John Stith, who figures into the family history later) and then Gerrard Bucknor (1662). William apparently founded an entirely separate Buckner line in America, though Y-DNA testing has revealed that he was distantly related to John Buckner. Gerrard Bucknor never actually made it to America, but his ship did right after he died, which is why there are a a bunch of records about him.

Page 2

Even in Crozier's time, it was generally accepted by historians that the Thomas Buckner on "the Ralegh expedition" (of which Ralegh was merely a sponsor, not a participant) was Thomas Buckner, a mercer of Oxford and London. Crozier exaggerates the originality of his work here.

This reference to Nathaniel Buckner may be related to the name "Natho. Buckner" in "Public Officers in Virginia 1680",The Virginia magazine of history and biography, 1893, v.1.n.1,p. 251. I strongly suspect this is a typo for "Antho. Buckner".

Page 3

I would argue that while Richard Buckner's will does say he was a yeoman, it in no way indicates that he was stout. I do agree with Crozier that no evidence points to a German origin, and we now know that "Bukenores" had been living in the area for nearly 300 years by 1558. For what it's worth, the original Y-DNA haplogroup (based on agreement between the descendants of two remotely related English immigrants) seems to be the very typically British R1b too, specifically the subgroup M269>L21>M222>DF105, which is part of the M222 "Northern Irish/Lowland Scots" modal haplotype. This might indicate that the pre-Buckner ancestor came to Britain with the La Tene culture over 2000 years ago, but at any rate it corroborates documentary evidence that the name originates in Britain. Crozier's conclusion that Berkshire was the home of the Buckners is somewhat in error, though their actual origin was not far off, on the other side of the Thames in Oxfordshire. He has the direction of expansion reversed essentially. Historical records from the 13th and 14th centuries indicate the origin point was probably around South Leigh in Oxfordshire.

Page 4

This transcription of the will is rather abbreviated. The whole will contains much more information. Crozier also has the wrong children inheriting the house at Lechlade. William got that. See http://www.buckbd.com/genea/rychardbwill.html.

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This is the first major genealogical mistake. The Dorothy Buckner that Crozier notes as having her estate administered in 1586 is apparently the widow of William Buckner, not Thomas Buckner. He probably made this mistake because Thomas Buckner was her executor. Her full will is available in the Berks. archives (B.R.O. Wills H.93). Thomas's wife, Dorothy (Anne) Buckner died in 1597 and left a fabulously detailed will (also in the Berkshire record office, B.R.O. Wills J.292) that identifies all of her then-living descendants and named her brother Thomas Anne (whom the herald's visitation designates "lunatic"), giving us a certain indication that she is the Dorothy Anne in the visitation of Oxford. Thomas's 1587 will (B.R.O. Wills H.120) omitted several of his children, an oversight which Dorothy painstakingly and pointedly corrected. The impression one gets from her will is that Thomas's omissions caused a great deal of family strife, an outcome which she was striving to avoid. Crozier's conclusion from Thomas' will, that Dorothy was the only living child of Thomas, is about as wrong as wrong could be. In fact, it names sons Anthony, Edward, Adam, daughter Anne, and son-in-law William Ruffin, and makes his son John and wife Dorothy executors. How the situation could have been so drastically misinterpreted is a mystery, but I suspect that what happened was the researcher found a record of Dorothy executing the estate, assumed incorrectly that the wife Dorothy was already dead from the 1586 admin. record, and so assumed that the executor Dorothy must have been a daughter. Dorothy's will makes the full list of children: Anthony, Philip, John, Anne Goulding, Thomas, Edward, and Adam. A deceased daughter Lettice (Buckner) Ruffin can be assumed from the mention of her husband William Ruffin as a son in law. See the Cumnor Parish Records website. This mistake in particular is so wrong that it completely wrecks almost everything Crozier has to say about the Buckners in Berkshire. It has often been speculated that the infamous Gustave Anjou was doing the legwork for the book in the UK, and the mind-boggling scope of this mix up suggests that the UK researcher was not the most reliable.

For future reference, I call Thomas Buckner, the son of Richard, Thomas Buckner Sr. of Whitley, an appellation that occasionally appears in the records since he was the free holder of the estate at Whitley. His son Thomas inherited the freehold so I call him Thomas Buckner Jr. of Whitley. Incidentally, the freehold seems to have then descended to Thomas Jr.'s eldest son Phillip, and perhaps then to Phillip's eldest son John. John (b. ca. 1612) was a Citizen Clothmaker of London, but actually built clocks, having apprenticed to noted clockmaker Peter Closon, as did one of his nephews (Closon's wife was a Margaret Buckner, perhaps John's sister or aunt). It seems to have gone out of Buckner possession between the time of the survey of 1635 and the lay subsidy of 1643-John was admitted to his freedom of London in 1637.

This page also features the first two bits of data in the book that are clear forgeries. These quotations of the wills of William Buckner and John Buckner seem to have been constructed based on two wills that really do exist in the BRO, John Buckner of Chawley, Cumnor, pr. 1599 (J. 495) and William Buckner of Cumnor, pr. 1558 (D. 188), but the quotations he gives are completely false, and the citations seem to have been deliberately mangled to make them difficult to find.

William's is cited as "William Buckner of Cumnor Co Berks yeoman Dated 12 May 1558 Prob 24 May 1558 E 19 PPC". I have no idea what repository "PPC" might be, but this will certainly doesn't exist in the PCC (Prerogative Court of Canterbury) wills. We do however know that there is a will in the Berkshire Record Office for William Buckner of Cumnor probated in 1558 (BRO D. 188). The Cumnor Parish website kindly abstracted this will, and it in no way agrees with the will supposedly quoted in Crozier. At first, I thought this was just a funny coincidence that two William Buckners died in Cumnor in the same year.

An even funnier coincidence occurs with John's will, which Crozier bizarrely cites as "dated Nov 26 [1599] Proved Dec 30 Book (J.P.C.C.)" As luck would have it, the BRO has the will of John Buckner of Chawley (BRO J. 495), probated in - you guessed it - 1599. Yet again, the Cumnor Parish website comes through and provides an abstract of this will, and yet again it in no way resembles Crozier's quoted will. For a long time, I was willing to accept that coincidences happen, but the mounting list of examples of this kind of thing in the book points overwhelmingly to an the intent to fake up the wills based on index entries of existing wills but to muddle the references in such a way that they couldn't be found.

A further bit of evidence against the supposed will of William Buckner of Cumnor is the reference Crozier gives, "E .19". He says it's a "PPC" will, but E. 19 in the Berks Archdeacon's Court books at the BRO does indeed cover the year 1558 - and what wills appear on that page? The published will index lists three wills there: John Cox of Burton & Shrivenham, 1558, Helen Elgar of Speen, 1558, and Richard Hedges of Shrivenham, 1558; three short wills is about as many as you can fit on a page. This is typical of the style of forgery ascribed to Gustave Anjou, a lot of verifiable records glued together with a couple carefully constructed fakes.

I now have the complete image and a transcription of William Buckner's 1558 will so I'm 100% sure that it does not contain the text quoted by Crozier. I also have an image of the register copy of John Buckner's 1599 will, which agrees with the Cumnor Parish abstract, and it similarly does not contain the text quoted by Crozier. The register copy J 495 (LDS film #88100, which also contains Dorothy Buckner's 1597 Will, J 292) has a lot of ink bleed though, so I would recommend getting the original will (film #1041806).

The ironic thing here is that the forger didn't actually need to invent a fake father for Hugh Buckner, which was the apparent intention in forging William Buckner's will. If he had looked at the 1609 will of John Buckner of Botley in the next register, K 496, he would have found not only the real father of Hugh Buckner of Oxford but of Thomas Buckner the Mercer as well (see page 8).

Crozier's lineage is:

Richard (d. 1548)->William (d. 1558)->Hugh of Oxford->Thomas (1590-1645)->John the immigrant (1631-1695)

This is built off of four forged sources, the two wills, the St. Mary's Church christenings, and the St. Aldate's christenings (which will be discussed presently). Once we throw those out, we firstly no longer know who was the father of John Buckner the immigrant, but the actual lineage of Hugh emerges:

William (d. 1558)->John of Botley (d. 1609)->Hugh of Oxford

Personally, I think John the Immigrant is probably in the line of Richard (d. 1548), but this remains to be proved.

The basic outlines of this forged genealogy appear again in 1908 in Crozier's Virginia Heraldica on pages 108-9. This also gives a "family crest" of similarly doubtful authenticity.

Page 6

It is unclear where this "St Mary's Parish" is supposed to be in Oxford. There are really two in the City, St Mary Magdalen and St Mary the Virgin, though most commonly the phrase "Church of St Mary" seems to refer to SM Virgin, the University Church. Neither of them seems to have these parish register entries. A search is currently underway for this particular St Mary's, though most of the likely suspects, Iffley (St. Mary the Virgin right outside Oxford), Eynsham, Bampton, Combe, Abingdon (Berks), and Reading (Berks), have been eliminated. At this point in time, I consider it likely that these are completely fictitious. Some of the quoted St. Aldate's register entries do exist. We are fortunate that the antiquarian Anthony Wood copied them in his City of Oxford. Nowadays, you can just get a copy of that off of Google, but presumably Crozier did not have a copy that he could check. The St. Aldate's register is here and the two St. Marys registers follow. Wood's transcriptions are not complete, but the three Buckners at the end of Crozier's St. Aldate's list (which are out of chronological order) do not exist in Wood's transcript. Nor do any of the "St. Mary's Church" entries. I have been informed that St. Aldate's baptism registers before 1678 only survive in Wood's transcriptions (see OFHS's register availability graphs), so apparently these three Hugh Buckner entries for St. Aldates are as fake as the St. Mary's christenings. There is however one real parish register baptism known for "Elline Buckner", daughter of Hugh Buckner, in the year 1587 from St. Martin's Parish, Oxford, so the forger was making reasonable guesses about the ages of Hugh's children.

Page 7

In fact, the name Hugh Buckner occurs many times in 16th and 17th century English records; of course, Crozier's "Hugh son of William of Cumnor" is known only from the forged will, so we have to look elsewhere to figure out who Hugh Buckner of Oxford really was. I can name two Hughs known from real Cumnor wills and parish records, one a grandson of the real William Buckner of Cumnor parish (and the village of Botley), who died in 1558, by his son Richard Buckner. The other was the son of John Buckner of Botley, d. 1609 (BRO Wills K. 496). I'm now fairly convinced that John of Botley was Richard's elder brother, so if Crozier's will citation is fake, then the two known Hugh Buckners of the 16th century were first cousins. Of these two Hughs, Richard's Hugh was born about 1589 (from a Cumnor christening record) and thus clearly too young, but John's children with known birthdates were born around the 1560s, so John's Hugh was probably well old enough to have been the bailiff of Oxford.

The elder Hugh's activities in Oxford were quite extensive. He was admitted a free haberdasher in 1585, the same year he married Anne Scaye in Cumnor. Their daughter Elline was christened in St. Martin's, Oxford in 1587, though no other children have been discovered (excepting the fakes listed in Crozier). Hugh was elected to the Common Council of Oxford in 1588, as one of the chamberlains from 1589-1591, and as bailiff every year from 1592-1600. In that last year, his joint tenure of some gardens with Owen Gylney was transferred to someone else. The last record of him I can find in Oxford is from a 1606 rent roll, which notes that his assigns held tenements in the Town Ditch. It seems clear that he left Oxford around 1600 or at least ceased to be engaged in politics. From his father's will, we know he lived at least until 1609 though. A Hugh Buckner married Emma Levens in St. Martin's Ludgate, London in 1614, but it is not clear which of the two Hughs this was. The Levens family was prominent in Oxford, and Emma was undoubtedly related to 5-time mayor William Levens. One or the other of these Hughs was probably the same Hugh Buckner who appears in Surrey in the early 1600s as a manservant and whose estate was administrated in Sussex in 1629. This latter Hugh Buckner's widow was named Anne, which would point toward its being the elder Hugh Buckner if the 1614 marriage is for the younger. I'm fairly sure now that the younger one must have survived to adulthood, since I think it's fairly unlikely that all three of these wives, Anne, Emma, and Anne, again belonged to the same person.

While Crozier was unable to find records of Phillip Buckner in England after 1667, they nonetheless exist. There were apparently four or five Phillip Buckners alive in England in the 1600s, two definitely in the latter part. The first of those was Crozier's supposed and perhaps non-existant Phillip born in Oxford, for whom there are no other certain records that I know of. The second Phillip was born in 1642 to William Buckner of London and his wife Mary Ales and apprenticed as a clockmaker to Peter Closon. He died in London in 1681. Phillip apparently had a son Richard who was also a clockmaker. The other three were Phillip the son of Thomas Buckner Sr. of Whitley (above), Phillip the son of Thomas Buckner Jr. of Whitley (yes, he had one too), and this latter Phillip's son Phillip. Obviously, this profusion of Phillip Buckners makes many of Crozier's conclusions doubtful. I agree with him that the one born in Oxford in 1639 (son of a Thomas) would most likely the immigrant, but then again if the record was forged, it was probably forged to look that way.

Here is the next major error, Crozier's identification of John Buckner, supposedly born in Oxford in 1631, with the one who was married Debora Ferrers (whom I call John Buckner the salter Jr.) He really had no evidence for this, and as it turns out, it's completely and utterly wrong, which can be mostly established from the will of John Buckner the salter Sr. Various records, mostly christenings, show there were at least 15 John Buckners born in England in the right time frame, and the idea that you can just assume one of them is another solely based on their name is pretty ridiculous.

Page 8

It's difficult to explain why Crozier says "West Wickham and Cumnor are but a few miles apart" since there is no such place as "West Wickham" in Buckinghamshire. There is a West Wickham in Kent, but most likely "West Wickham" in the original marriage record is a clerical mistake for the identical-sounding "West Wycombe," which is in Bucks. and, from other records, is where the Ferrers family lived (or more accurately, the Ferrers alias Turner family). Cumnor and West Wycombe are about 30 miles apart by road.

Here Crozier's ignorance of the many Phillip Buckners then living in England causes another major error which has been copied endlessly by credulous researchers. The Phillip Buckner who married Elizabeth Sadler in 1667 in London was almost certainly Phillip Buckner the clockmaker (ca. 1642-1681, probably the son of William Buckner and Mary Ales and grandson of Phillip Buckner of Cumnor, Berks.), who was admitted to the Clockmakers Company in 1667. This Phillip was active in London in 1675 when he took one James Hancorne as an apprentice, so he could not have been Phillip Buckner of Virginia, who immigrated before 1669. Phillip the clockmaker was probably the same Phillip Buckner who was buried at St. Botolphs Aldersgate, London in 1681. His son Richard Buckner (ca. 1668-1720) was admitted to the company in 1701, the same year he married Elizabeth Lewis at St. Giles Cripplegate, London. Anyone who's worked with the life histories of guild tradesmen knows this familiar pattern where the tradesman gets into the guild and straightaway marries. It's not proof, but neither is there any shred of proof that the Phillip in Virginia is the one who married Elizabeth Sadler. An unfortunate tendency in the book is to grab onto any marriage of a Buckner with the same name and to simply assume with no corroborating evidence that the marriage is of that particular Buckner, even with common names like John and William.

The choice of "without doubt" is interesting for the claim that the Thomas Buckner of Ralegh's colony was from Berkshire, since all of the early references to him are in Oxford, and his close friend Thomas Harriot was also from Oxford. In fact, out of more than 30 original records relating to this Thomas Buckner, only one has anything to do with Berks. The earliest "of" I have for him is "Thomas Buckner of Bolshipton [in Oxford]" in 1589 when Thomas Rowe, mayor of Oxford, made him free of the mercer's guild. I've studied this Thomas Buckner extensively, and I've built up a pretty strong case that he was the son of John Buckner of Botley, d. 1609, which you can read here, in which case he probably was born in Botley just on the Berkshire side of the county border, but it seems clear that Oxford was really his home. (Botley officially was transferred to Oxfordshire in 1974.) The reason no one else has worked this out before I think can be attributed to the fact that the forged wills obfuscate some of the most critical information, namely the identity of Hugh Buckner of Oxford.

Page 9

I am aware of no significant error here, other than that I've never seen any indication that Rowland Holt was from Berks. (most sources agree he was from Norwich); however Crozier failed to discover or perhaps mention that the first Rowland Holt was the victim in one of the most notorious murders in London of the early 1600s. The incident is recounted in a 1635 pamphlet by Henry Goodcole called "Heaven's Speedie Hue and Crie Against Lust and Murther". The details have often been recounted elsewhere, but the gist is that a certain "Canberry Bess" would pretend to be a prostitute and lure the victim into a secluded area (Clerkenwell Fields in this case) and then her accomplice "Country Tom" Sherwood would part the victim from his possessions and life. One might speculate that this is what motivated his son to go into law - his grandson became Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, as Crozier notes. The incident was so notorious in its day that it spawned not only Goodcole's broadside but also a ballad called "Murther upon Murther."

"One Master Holt of Winsor towne,/a Norwich Factor he,/Walking abroad to take the ayre,/felt next their buchery,/ For Sherwood with a fatall blow,/ This goodman kill'd, his quean wil so/ (refrain)/ His cloak, hat, ruffe, from him they took/ eleuen groats also,/ And were about his cloathes to stripe/ his shirt, shooes, hose thereto,/ But being scard away they flye,/ he hath confest this villany.

(Samuel Pepys & Hyder Edward Rollins, A Pepysian garland: black-letter broadside ballads of the years 1595-1639, The University Press, 1922, p. 432)

Page 10

This list of the children of Thomas Buckner the mercer is incomplete, but aside from that, the listing of (II) Thomas Buckner is wrong. That Thomas Buckner, a doctor of divinity (DD), left a rather extensive will which combined with numerous Oxford university and church records firmly establishes that he was the son of John Buckner of Abingdon, son of Thomas Buckner of Whitley Sr. and Dorothy (Anne) Buckner. The fact that he named his uncles Edward and Adam, two rare names among the Buckners of this era, firmly cinches the identification. Dorothy (Anne) Buckner even names Thomas as John's son in her will. From parish christenings, it appears that Thomas Buckner the mercer had not one but two sons named Thomas, both of whom died in infancy (based on parish burial records). John, William, and Mary are the only children of Thomas Buckner the Mercer who survived to adulthood and to whom I can ascribe issue with some confidence.

Page 11

William Bucknor of Coolefin, Esq., MP, and John Bucknor of Limerick (an early goldsmith) were probably the sons of John Bucknor of Dromore (presumptive founder of the Irish lines), who was the son of Thomas Buckner of Whitley Jr. The argument for this is rather long; fortunately John's sons, brother Leonard (master of the London apothecaries guild), and nephews were prodigious authors of wills. Others sons of John Bucknor of Dromore were Thomas Bucknor of Youghal and Gerrard Bucknor of London, who has the distinction of being mentioned in Virginia records around 1662, though it does not appear that he was an immigrant.

Page 12

Thomas "de Bocknor" was actually Thomas de Bykenore. The theory that "Buckner" evolved from "Bykenore" (Bicknor) seems to be a contribution of Gustave Anjou which has proved to be fanciful at best. Crozier and Anjou both freely mix the two names, without much justification other than wishful thinking and poor eyesight.

The will of Robert "Bucknore" is read by everyone besides Crozier and Anjou as the will of Robert Byknore. See Calendar of wills proved and enrolled in the Court of Husting, London: Part 2: 1358-1688.

Page 13

For St Mary the Virgin in Reading, I can confirm the existence of the marriage of Thomas Bucknor to Alice Page in 1619 and the burial of John Buckner in 1672. (It's perhaps worth noting that there were many Blagraves in Reading, a name that is often associated with the early Buckners in Virginia and Jamaica.) Note however that the marriage record seems to have escaped the IGI Index. The St. Giles parish register index on the IGI contains christenings for Anne Buckner (1599), Margaret Buckner (1602) (d.o. Thomas), and "Ales" Buckner (1619). The last (buried there in 1636) is fairly obviously the daughter of Thomas and Alice (Page) Buckner. Putting together various records, it appears that Thomas was first married to a Marie who died in 1617 and then married Alice Page a few years later. There are also marriages of Jone Buckner to Christofer Ashlet (1605) and of Eliza Buckner to Rich. Ward (1620), so there was clearly a little colony of Buckners there in the early 1600s. Curiously, Buckner burial records there seem to outnumber christenings, which might indicate some kind of alternative religious leanings. Richard Ward and Elizabeth turn up again in London Commissary Court will (Reg. 26, Folio 498) of John Greene, victualler of St. Mary Whitechapel, Mdx., prob. 1633, with both Elizabeth and John Buckner mentioned as siblings "in law" (step-siblings in modern terms), so clearly one of their parents had married a Greene at some point and they had some connections with London. I have also seen images of the these registers on microfilm (by luck, the Los Angeles FHC has them in their permanent collection), so their existence is certain, but unfortunately there is little information in them beyond what the IGI has.

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I have some skepticism that Richard Buckner was really from Westphalia, but this tradition is still current in their family today. I suspect that his story is complicated and we only know a small part of it. For example, there was a Thomas Buckner living in Westhampnett in 1704, when he died leaving a will, and this village was essentially on the estate of the Duke of Richmond, Richard Buckner's longtime patron and employer. There are a few minor errors in the following pedigree, but generally Crozier's source, T.E. Sharpe, is pretty reliable as her uncle was apparently married to Admiral Charles Buckner's granddaughter. This is the point at which the book starts to become reasonably accurate.

Page 23

As mentioned earlier, the Debora Ferrers marriage is wrong.

Page 24

Essex Co. records show that William, John, and Thomas were the executors of John Buckner's estate. John Jr. seems to have been charged with returning the inventory. When he eventually returned it, the estate was appraised "as followeth": Negro man named Jack; one woman called Judath; and child abt. 15 mths. old, one boy called Harry; one boy Brandee; one girle Mill, one boy Sam, one girle Hannah, old pewter dishes, 2 old pestle, 1 axe, 1 pot and pot hooks, 1 Mare, 1 Bull, 1 Cow, 1 Steer. L 63...02...00

Given that he witnessed the Abraham Moone mortgage in early 1655, John Buckner was probably born before 1641, as it was usually necessary for someone to be at least 14 to witness a legal document.

Page 25

William Buckner of York was so active in business and government that even a short summary of his affairs is a pretty big job. Crozier's coverage is one of the brighter spots in the book. I will add that William had a lot of experience as a will executor, and he must have had a small crowd of wards at one time, with his Uncle Phillip's sons Robert and Andrew Buckner (from 1700) and John Hayly's 8-year old "mulatta boy William" left to William Buckner's care in Hayly's 1703 York will. Hayly, who seems to have had no wife or children (otherwise), notes that he had been given the boy by Maj. Buckner, so probably what we have here is that Hayly fathered the boy with one of Buckner's slaves and Buckner then not only turned the boy over to Hayly but agreed to raise him after Hayly's death. Hayly also provided a 15-pound legacy (which was not chump change) for the boy to leave the colony when he came of age.

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For some reason, Crozier glosses over the contents of the will. An extract of York Co. records in Tyler's Quarterly (V 2, p. 272) has a lot more useful stuff, including the revelation that there was at least one more daughter. Significantly, it confirms that Richard, Thomas, and John were his brothers (and alive in 1716), and one of the witnesses was John Marshall, who was perhaps related to Thomas Marshall, the grandfather of the John Buckner who died in Stafford in 1752. It would probably be good to get a copy of the will and see what else has been abstracted out.

William Jr. (W2-J1) is sometimes associated with the "William Buckner Jr." who was named as an executor the 1706/7 will of Christopher Harman in Stafford Co. as well as one of the main legatees. I'm skeptical that this could be William (W2-J1) though, since I doubt that he was of age by this time, though it's not impossible. I think it's more likely that this is an otherwise unknown William Buckner.

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Evidently, the "missing" will books of King George County have been found since the time this was written. A 1748 will would apparently be in Will Book A-1. George H.S. King edited a version as King George County, Virginia, will book A-1, 1721-1752, and miscellaneous notes in 1978. The funny thing is that this will isn't there. Hmm. My guess is that Crozier misunderstood the reference and that the will wasn't probated in KGCo. but rather that it was entered into the court records to settle some property in KGCo. It's not uncommon to see those in court order books. Whether the KGCo court order books contain a will copy, I cannot yet say. The only Buckner in those wills is a Mr. Richard Buckner who was named as an executor in the will of John Prince (21 Aug 1726). It turns out that the will is actually in Stafford County records, and you can find a transcription in an article by W.B. McGroarty, "William Buckner of Caroline," in Genealogies of Virginia Families from Tyler's Quarterly Historical Genealogical Magazine, Genealogical Publishing Company (1981), p. 281. It doesn't reveal a whole lot more than Crozier had though - it appears that John Buckner had no offspring and left all to his nephews.

The Stafford Co rent rolls and tax lists are a little more informative. In 1742 Capt. Mr. John Buckner owned 800 acres there, paying a quitrent of 16 s. (The size of the property is a fairly sure indication that this was the son of William of York (J1)). Plain old "John Buckner" had 50 acres in the same list. A John Buckner of Col. Carter's District paid a quitrent again in 1776 on 287 acres. The interesting question here is whether Crozier's John Jr. is Mr. Capt. John Buckner or the other John Buckner (assuming they were separate people). The later John Buckner in 1776 can perhaps be associated with the John Buckner who married Elizabeth Washington in 1760.

Crozier notes that William and Elizabeth Buckner died the same day in the St. Paul's registers. Nicklin's transcription contrariwise gives death dates of

If Nicklin's are correct, I think what may be going on here is that the first William was a stillborn or infant son of William, and Elizabeth died a few days after giving birth. Then the second William Buckner is probably the father. But it is far from certain that this transcription is correct, since it follows up in the 1730s with two more deaths:

These duplicate deaths have caused much consternation, but then again most of the later entries jibe with other data such as probate records and marriage bonds. In both cases, we may have deaths of fathers and sons.

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Crozier's book gives the impression that John Buckner Jr. never involved himself in civil affairs, but he did in fact serve in the House of Burgesses in 1715, when both he and Thomas Buckner occupied Gloucester's two seats in the House. He seems to have resided in Gloucester most of his life, though his sons seem to have gravitated toward his extensive land holdings in Essex/Caroline. A 6 May 1713 indenture between Richard Long of St. Mary's Parish in Essex Co. and Nicholas Ware, Jr. involved land in St. Mary's Parish bounding on Samuel Elliott, John Buckner, John Long and William Harrison's land. His son John Buckner III seems to have resided on this same land neighboring the Longs after it became Caroline County, and I believe John III's widow Elizabeth continued on there into at least the early 1750s, since the Longs frequently appeared as witnesses to their legal documents. The parcel seems to have passed thence to William Buckner (J3-J3-J1) and eventually to his son Richard Buckner when William died in 1787. John III's other land in Caroline was in Drysdale parish and was divided among his sons William, Thomas, and George. It bounded on land of Capt. Thomas Buckner (who m. Mary Timson), and it's possible that this Thomas was a son of John Jr. as well (contrary to Crozier's claim that he was the son of Thomas Buckner (J1)), such that the whole Drysdale tract may have come down from John Jr. Crozier's account of John Jr.'s descendants is highly incomplete and frequently places them in totally different branches of the family.

It's not clear what line John Jr.'s Gloucester property was inherited down. Thomas Buckner of Caroline (m. Mary Timson) had several sons who moved to Gloucester in the late 1700s, and it could be that they were occupying tracts that came to their father from John Buckner Jr.

Interesting fact about this guy that almost nobody knows: this William Buckner (J2-J1) was one of the founders of Baltimore, Maryland in 1729. The reason you've probably never heard of this and Crozier hadn't either was that he died 2 years later. Robert Buckner's (T2-J1) role in founding Fredericksburg, Virginia at around the same time met with a similar fate.

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Maryland records show that William (J2-J1) had three daughters with Patience Colgate, Betty (3 Jan 1725-16 Apr 1727), (another) Betty (25 Oct 1727-?), and Violetta (15 Mar 1729-?). From the disposition of the estate, presumably they all died in infancy. (Robert W. Barnes, Baltimore County Families 1659-1759 Genealogical Publishing, 1989, p.81-82) Baltimore County Families also has an entry on his brother Thomas Buckner (J2-J1).

Crozier's conclusion was that William Buckner who died in Stafford in 1729 was William (J3-J2-J1), the son of John Buckner III (J2-J1); this was disputed by W.B. McGroarty in his article "William Buckner of Caroline." McGroarty thought that William (J3-J2-J1) was William Buckner of St Asaph's parish (Bowling Green, Caroline Co.) who died in 1788. He doesn't really say how he figured this out, but I've found a lot of evidence to support it (see below). McGroarty also thought, as we shall soon see, incorrectly that William who died 1729 was instead William Buckner (W2-J1).

A rather critical and troublesome error here is in the statement that John Buckner in the 1727 Essex deed to his son William lived in St. Paul's Parish in Stafford, which is just nonsense. The actual record plainly says "John Buckner of the Parish of St Marys in County of Essex". It's almost as if this was intentionally fudged to connect it to the Stafford death record, which obviously has nothing to do with these people. Once you know that John really lived in Essex/Caroline, then it becomes pretty obvious that this son William (probably no more than an infant at the time) is none other than William Buckner of Caroline who left that same 500 acre tract in St. Mary's parish to his son Richard in his 1783 will. Follow the land.

A further small complication of this issue is that in J.B. Nicklin's transcription of the St. Paul's Parish Register, the only two William Buckner deaths are dated Nov 11 1725 and Aug 3 1727 (as opposed to Crozier's Nov 14 1729 version). William Buckner (W2-J1)'s York Co. will (surviving only as a fragment) was apparently probated in 1722, and I really have no reason to think he either lived or died in Stafford Co., so this St. Paul's parish record is not at all likely to be his. It also clearly isn't William (J2-J1)'s. So who is this? Well, it's obviously someone who Crozier didn't know about, but the poor and unconfirmable condition of the St. Paul's registers makes it hard to speculate. (As best I can tell, the original is in private hands and not in good condition, but it's hard to obtain a straight story about it.) My best guess is that this William is a son of Anthony the immigrant. He obviously couldn't be a son of Phillip the immigrant or John the immigrant. In 1706/7, Christopher Harman of Stafford Co. made William Buckner Jr. one of his executors, so clearly William was an adult by this time, which almost excludes him from being in the 3rd generation. Harman also names Thomas Marshall in his will, who was apparently the grandfather of John Buckner of Stafford (d. 1752), which we can infer from the 1740 Stafford will of Thomas' widow Ann Marshall, so William is clearly closely connected to this otherwise mysterious John Buckner and his sister Sarah (Buckner) Price.

Crozier apparently forgot that he attributed the 1748 probate to another John Buckner on page 28. Most likely, he was right on page 28 and wrong here. See my comments for that page regarding the two John Buckners in Stafford in 1742 - the main question is which one was the rich one and which one was the not-so-rich one? My guess is that the more-landed Mr. Capt. John Buckner was the son of William (J1) of York and died sine prole ca. 1748 (p. 28) (and left his land to his nephew Griffin Stith). St. Paul's parish records show the death of a Major John Buckner on 6 May 1748, which corroborates this if John had been promoted. They also show the birth of Susan Buckner to John and Elizabeth Buckner on 1 Sep 1751, certainly the child Susan mentioned in the 1752 will. This being the case, neither of these is too likely to be the father of John Buckner who married in Stafford in St. Paul's Parish in 1760 and/or the one who was living there in 1776. McGroarty thought that the John Buckner who died in 1752 was actually John Buckner III (J2-J1), but as I will soon explain, neither the 1748 nor the 1752 will belongs to John Buckner III.

The reason John Buckner III was not mentioned in the 1733 suit by John Jr.'s other surviving heirs is that he'd already sold his share of his brother William's estate to their brother Thomas. There is a set of documents from Maryland dated 1 Dec 1732 in which John Buckner of Caroline in Virginia received 150 pounds from Thomas Buckner of the same for his share of the land of William Buckner, "brother to the said John Buckner". (MD State Archives, Provincial Court Land Records, 1731-1737, Volume 698, Page 150-155) Richard Buckner Jr. (probably R2-J1) and Thomas Catlett also witnessed some of the documents. Buckner researchers should note John and Thomas Buckner's location - there were other Buckners in Caroline aside from Richard (J1)'s family, and Crozier had a very poor notion of who they were. Indeed, we find records of a John Buckner in Caroline in this period, for example serving on a jury there on 13 July 1732. There is other evidence against John d. 1752 being John Jr.'s son, which is that after he and his infant daughter Susan (b. 1 Sep 1751, d. 1755) died, his land was claimed by his sister, Sarah Price, wife of Thomas Price in a 12 Dec 1756 sale of the tract to Francis Hooe (St. Paul's parish records show Thomas Price married Sarah Buckner 31 Dec 1734). If Sarah was John (J2-J1)'s sister, she was also oddly absent from the lawsuit by John Jr.'s other heirs, and this leaves open the question why Sarah in particular would have inherited a half part of John's estate if there were several other brothers and sisters, some of whom must have still been alive or at least had heirs. Thus she clearly was not the sister of John Buckner III. Research by Scott Kendall and others offers a possible solution, that John d. 1752 was actually an heir of Phillip Buckner (the immigrant), thus perhaps a cousin of Peyton Buckner. The 50 acres owned by John Buckner in Stafford in 1742 may be half of the 90 acre plot in "Chotank" (St Paul's) parish granted in 1692 to Phillip, the other half of which seems to have been sold by Peyton Buckner (probably R2-P1). His land in 1752 was a 100 acre plot which he bought from Samuel Hayward, so it clearly was not the same 50 acre plot he paid a quitrent on in 1742. Peyton was dead by 1755, but he did have living heirs, so the whole inheritance by sister Sarah argues against Peyton's being a brother of John Buckner from the 1752 will. The only other obvious possibility for them both to be heirs of Phillip but not of each other is that John was a son of Andrew Buckner (P1). As very little is known of Andrew, this is highly speculative, but it does explain the observed data well. The really big mystery here is that both Peyton Buckner and Sarah (Buckner) Price named sons "Anthony," so from that alone you would think that all three, Peyton, John, and Sarah, might be Anthony Buckner's (A1) children, but that doesn't really explain how Peyton and John each ended up with half of Phillip Buckner's land, nor why Peyton wasn't an equal heir of John with Sarah. If I had to bet money, I would say that Peyton and John/Sarah were children of Phillip's two sons and that several of them (probably Peyton and Sarah) were raised largely by Anthony before his 1734 death. My speculation is that Anthony's only surviving child at the time of his death was his bastard Anthony Buckner-Thomas and that that's basically why Anthony Buckner-Thomas had a substantial patrimony. It was certainly not unheard of for illegitimate children to be well taken care of in the absence of other issue. But this is all speculation, and perhaps we may never understand the whole story.

On the whole, I have to reject both Crozier and McGroarty's analyses of the 1752 John Buckner will. I've gone over the Caroline Order books to find all the John Buckners mentioned in the early-mid 1700s, and there's a pretty steady trickle of them from 1732 on. Because John Buckner (R2-J1) and John Buckner (J2-J1) both could have been in Caroline in the 1730s, it's hard to tell them apart, though there is reason to suspect that John (R2-J1) had left Caroline in 1733. Up until 1740, none of the records I've found reveal much. There are a few land transactions - he bought from Thomas Catlett and sold to John Street. There are a few debt suits in 1732. In 1738, Thomas Lantor sued Richard Buckner to get paid for some work he did on some sheds attached to a house that John Buckner was building. Richard was (according to Crozier) John (R2-J1)'s brother, so that would probably be him. On 13 Jun 1740, the probate of the estate of John Buckner was opened by his executor Elizabeth Buckner. On 13 Mar 1740/1 there was an order for the appraisal of the estate, and after a few renewals, this was returned on 8 May 1741. Given that John (J2-J1) already had an adult son in 1727 and that we know the other Caroline Co. John (R2-J1) was at least alive until after 1747 when his son Phillip was born, the decedent here is probably John (J2-J1). Moreover, Elizabeth Buckner was probably his widow. The implication here is that we potentially have not just one widow Elizabeth Buckner in Caroline County in the 1740s, but two: Richard (J1)'s widow and John (J2-J1)'s widow. I've mentioned elsewhere that there are deeds from 1750 and 1752 in which an Elizabeth Buckner gave land to George, William, and Thomas Buckner (explicitly calling George her son). Thus, the Elizabeth there is probably John (J2-J1)'s widow, making him the father of at least these three (and possibly another John Buckner).

In summary, the three John Buckners who died in Virginia from 1740-1752 were:

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I've been slowly accounting for John Jr.'s children.

The reading of the name "Debrois" seems doubtful. I have seen it transcribed as "Debroin" and "Debois"/"Dubois" elsewhere and I haven't been able to locate Charles "Debrois" in any other records from this period. Charles Debnam seems most likely to me, since a Charles Debnam witnessed the 1727 deed from John Buckner (J2-J1) to his son William, and the idea that the witness was his brother in law sits well. Note also the name John Buckner Debnam (1778-1839), who, by one account (see Burke's American Families with British Ancestry p. 2652, "Thomas Hall Debnam"), left England in 1794 and settled in Norfolk, VA and then NC. It's worth noting that "Christiane Buckner" was the name of the wife of Anthony Buckner of Cumnor, Berks. who died in 1642, so this might be a family name. It definitely wasn't very common. No known descendants of Anthony and Christiane Buckner would be consistent with John Buckner of Virginia, though it is possible, albeit unlikely, that their son William who was christened in 1618 in Cumnor was his father. Anthony and Christiane's elder son was named John (1616-1686) and he inherited their farm in Cumnor parish (probably at Chawley), but I have not been able to learn anything further of William (yet).

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I have heard many people express doubts as to the existence of this will of Richard Buckner. So far as I know, the will itself is lost. Crozier does not claim that it still exists, only that it was proven, and I have seen an abstract of the probate from the Caroline Co. Order Books that Crozier is talking about here (J.F. Dorman, Caroline County, Virginia Order Book 1732-1740 Part 1, p. 63 (1965) - original p. 127). It's not all that hard to find. Crozier does mischaracterize the probate a little, in that it was proved by Thomas Catlett, Peter Kerr, and Elizabeth Stichton, the witnesses. Elizabeth Buckner, John Catlett, Thomas Catlett, and Thomas Buckner, gent., acknowledged bond for the administration and Richard Buckner and Elizabeth Buckner were named as two of the executors. The big problem with Richard is that there's very little documentary evidence of his family, and Crozier's writing style makes it difficult to determine how he comes up with family relationships. Of Richard's children, only Richard Jr. is very solidly documented. William is pretty likely based on his connections to "the Neck", and I'm pretty sure there was a son John too (though I should make an oblique reference to the possibility that DNA evidence could show some interesting things here). Phillip Buckner of Louisa Co., well, he certainly could be Richard's - the strongest thing connecting him is that his wife's first husband's family, the Robinsons, were neighbors of the Buckners at the Neck, plus the Ayletts generally seem to have been more closely aligned to Richard's family. I know very little about the alleged daughter Elizabeth. I think we have to accept that Crozier was drawing on some real tradition here, but we should be wary about taking these 5 names and attaching them to documents with the same names. In the case of Phillip I'm always a little hesitant because we do know that Richard's brother John Buckner Jr. (J1) also had a son named Phillip who must have been about the same age, and the situation with John is similar. Richard Buckner's neighbor, Robert Taliferro Jr., married a woman named Margaret around 1711, and in a 1719 Essex deed, she is referred to as "Margaret Buckner", so there is a pretty good chance that she was one of Richard's daughters. She should probably be added to the list with at least as much confidence as most of the others.

On the very next page of the Caroline court order books, 14 Mar 1733/4, the will of Mary Buckner was presented by Thomas Buckner, gent., the executor and proved by the witnesses Richard Buckner and Elizabeth Buckner "the younger." Thomas Catlett, gent., and Thomas Buckner acknowledged bond for the admin. See my comments on the previous page regarding the Thomas Buckner in these two probate records - I think that's the son of John Buckner Jr. who was indicated to be living in Caroline in 1732. What's interesting about this probate is the identity of Mary Buckner - usually only a widow or an heiress would write will during this period, but it's not at all clear who Mary Buckner would be. My best guess is that she's Mary Buckner (J2-J1), the sister of Thomas Buckner and that she left a will because of her known partial interest in the estate of her brother William (J2-J1). Their joint lawsuit dated from the previous year, so the chronology fits.

Earlier in the same book, there are two court cases from 13 July 1732, one in which John Buckner was a juror (Carr v. Conner) and one the same day where he was a defendant (Woodford v. Buckner). I suppose in those days the jury pool was so small that you grabbed anyone who happened to be at court.

The earliest record of Richard I know of is a 1682 land grant in Gloucester that calls him the son of John Buckner. From this, I would guess his birthdate was around 1660, certainly no later than 1665. Several of his children may have been born before 1700. Elizabeth Buckner was identified as Richard's wife in Essex Co. on 15 Sep 1719 when she relinquished her right of dower when Richard sold some land to Robert Dudley. Richard ran an ironworks on his Golden Vale property in the late 1720s, which we know from court records dealing with his request to dam the stream.

The connection of Elizabeth Buckner (R2-J1) to Mordecai Cooke is probably based on a story in the Cooke family that Mordecai Cooke married a "Miss Buckner". This Mordecai Cooke was probably born in the 1660s and their first known child was supposed to have been born in 1707, so she was probably either a younger 2nd generation Buckner or one of the eldest of the 3rd generation Buckners. I'm more inclined to think the former since I don't think many of the 2nd generation Buckners had grown children by around 1706. I've also never seen any good reason to think that Cooke's wife's first name was Elizabeth.

Crozier later (p. 171) and unwisely adds Thomas Buckner "of Mill Hill" to this list of Richard of Essex's children, though see the comments thereto regarding the dubiousness of this idea.

An 8 Nov 1753 Caroline Order Book entry shows an order for Robert Gilchrist, Nicholas Bataille, James Taylor, and William Allcock Gent to divide the estate of Richard Buckner according to his will, per the petition of the widow Eliza. Buckner. At first I thought this must be Richard Jr., but he was still alive in 1755, so this must have been a very delayed probate process. I think Elizabeth was probably nearing the end at this point and probably wanted to make sure it was taken care of while she was still alive. She probably had a life interest in a lot of the property, after all.

A will of Richard Buckner probated in late 1773 (Caroline Co. Order Book 1772-1776, p. 400) was probably Richard Jr.'s, and it was proved John Tennent and Nathaniel Washington, with John Buckner, one of the executors, receiving the probate certificate. Several court orders soon after that date mention that he was a resident of Drysdale Parish and that he had land in Fauquier County. Most likely, the Maj. Richard Buckner in 1777 was a different Richard.

The Fauquier land had previously been in Prince William Co., and Richard has numerous rent roll entries there. The interesting bit is that there was also a "Willis Buckner" usually listed with him. A 1789 Fauquier deed shows that Aylett had succeeded to Willis Buckner's property by that time. However, there are also occasional references in Fauquier to "Buckner & Willis" or "Willis & Buckner" so it may be that "Willis Buckner" is actually an undivided joint Willis-Buckner patent.

Aylett Buckner died in Green County, KY. His 9 May 1809 will names Thornton Buckner, Caty (Buckner) Taylor, Louisa (Buckner) Buckner (who married Horace Buckner, son of Capt. William Buckner of Bowling Green, Caroline Co., VA), and Richard A. Buckner as his married children and John and Elizabeth Buckner as other children, making 6 total.

I should note here the existence of a variant tradition that probably comes down through the Kentucky Buckners, which was published (anonymously) in the Kentucky Explorer Magazine It may be completely off, but who knows. Sharp-eyed readers of both the current corrections and Crozier will note an ongoing problem with the family of Richard Buckner (J1), namely that it seems to be inordinately difficult to distinguish the children of his two sons, Richard Jr. and William Buckner of the Neck. This results partly, as the KEM article notes, from the fact that they were said to have married sisters. KEM inserts William Buckner, son of Richard (J1), as the father of the Aylett-marrying brothers (probably wrongly), but it does give the children of Richard Buckner and Elizabeth Aylett as "A daughter, married Gen. Stephens; a son, Aylett; and a son, Francis." This is noteworthy in omitting Richard. I have no idea who "Gen. Stephens" was though. A similar tradition was also reported in Genealogies of Virginia Families from Tyler's Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine (v. I, p. 329, 1981), making Richard Buckner m. Elizabeth Aylett a son of William Buckner. It also gives James "Upshur" as son of Jeremiah Upshur and a "Miss Buckner". Is this credible? Well, Aylett and Francis's birth years are given as 1745 and 1747 by Crozier (note that Richard's is not, suggesting to me that he might not really belong here), so their father was probably born not much later than 1720, so I'm not sure that gives us a lot of room to squeeze in an extra generation. Richard of Essex's (J1) children seem to be coming of age in the 1710-1720 time frame, so it's easy to see Richard Buckner m. E. Aylett as being Richard (J1)'s son, but grandson, not so much. On the other hand, Richard (J1)'s chronology has long been noted as having his family appear fairly late relative to his expected age.

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This Francis Buckner is a bit of a problem. For one thing, his wife's name was "Upshaw" not "Upshur". The main problem though is the chronology. A Francis Buckner was an administrator for the estate of James Upshaw in 1807 during a lawsuit by the Millers in Spots. Co. (Miller vs Upshaws Admrs. / 1807 / CR-DC-V / 571-50), so this is clearly the one who married James Upshaw's daughter Martha. He was in fact still alive in 1817 during a suit Upshaw v. Alexander. Their marriage was also recorded in Essex Co. VA in 1807 (Book O 39, p. 138), which clearly questions Crozier's chronology. On the other hand, there seem to be a lot of family records that are pretty sure that Francis' children were born from 1780 to 1795, including a Richard Upshaw Buckner (1789). Something is really screwed up here, but I haven't yet figured out what and how. My inclination is to think that there's been a confusion between James Upshaw the Rev. War officer and his son James Upshaw Jr., but it doesn't quite explain who Francis Buckner is. I might suggest that he married Martha when he was middle aged, and that she was not the mother of his earlier children. He supposedly traveled to KY with his daughter Elizabeth Aylett Buckner Garnett (b. ca. 1785) around 1816. Her middle name would corroborate the identification of her father with Francis Buckner (R3-R2-J1) so it may be that the big problem here is that over the years the lineage has gotten fudged make it look like they were descended from James Upshaw's daughter, when in fact James Upshaw's granddaughter was their ancestors' stepmother. However, it does appear that Francis Buckner had some children with Martha Upshaw, see this Christian Co. KY biography, Frank W. Buckner "born in Virginia in 1809, came when a child to Christian County, with his Revolutionary father, Francis Buckner, who died in this county." A final, though improbable, possibility is that Francis' first wife really was Martha, the daughter of James Upshaw Sr. and that he married her niece Martha after her death. Wait, wait, I know you're thinking "that's ridiculous" but if you look at Martha Jr.'s marriage record in 1807, you'll also find her sister Polly married Churchill Anderson at the same time, right after their father's death. Now, Churchill Anderson was in the same generation as Francis Buckner, that is, he was not a young man by any means, which probably means that these were desperation marriages. You have to remember that these large families diluted their resources pretty rapidly, and it was not uncommon for orphaned teenage daughters to be rather unceremoniously disposed of in this manner. I know of one contemporaneous Buckner family in Kentucky that lied about their 13 year old daughter's age to get her married off ASAP when her father died, so it's not unprecedented.

Francis Buckner probably died between 1817 and 1820, when his apparent widow Martha Buckner appears alone in the 1820 census of Christian Co., KY, with a very substantial estate. A biography in a Christian Co. history notes that his daughter Mary Ann (Buckner) Leavell was born in Virginia in 1812 and orphaned as a child, whereafter she was raised by her Aunt Sarah Buckner (who was perhaps really her much older sister).

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This information for Richard Buckner is for Richard Buckner (W4-J3-J2-J1). I don't know anything about Richard (R3-R2-J1), but it's obvious that isn't him if you read the Caroline court records. I would hazard a guess that the real Richard (R3-R2-J1) was the one who married Jenny Riding in King George Co. in 1770, but that's a very hazardous guess. It might also be Richard Buckner of Westmoreland (d. ca. 1793), and indeed they could be the same person if Jenny Riding died young and Richard later married Elizabeth Ariss (that seems to have been around 1771). One argument for Richard of Westmoreland is that both he and James Upshaw (see above) were signatories of the Westmoreland Resolves in 1766, but if the transcription of Richard of W.'s will is correct (see p. 126 and comments), then his brother Francis was already dead by 1793 and couldn't be the one who was still kicking in 1817. This may be an (admittedly weak) argument for assigning Jenny Riding to Richard (R3-R2-J1), Elizabeth Ariss to Richard of Westmoreland (W3-R2-R1), and Judith Edmonds to Richard (W4-J3-J2-J1). These three closely related Richard Buckners all married between 1770 and 1772, which is one reason they're hard to tell apart, and that scenario would add on the complication that all three of them also had brothers named Francis.

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See 1799 Caroline Co. chancery case, Richard Buckner et al. v. William Buckner et al. Apparently, Maj. Richard Buckner died recently leaving infant children Richard, Frances, Judith, Ann, Sally, Thomas, and Elias, under guardianship of their "next friend" Francis Buckner (presumably the uncle), while his will only provided for William Buckner, Elizabeth Jones, Lucy Kay, and his widow Judith. (Caroline County, Virginia court records 1742-1833 and marriages, 1787-1810, p. 15).

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See Phillip Buckner's will and Jane Buckner's will. Phillip put an advertisement in the Virginia Gazette to sell his King William County property on 11 Apr 1751, so that's probably about the time they left. On 15 Feb 1745/6 Caroline County court records referred to Phillip as a church warden of St. David's parish (in King William Co. at the time). There is also a Caroline Co. VA court record from 10 Apr 1747 in which a Phillip Buckner proved a power of attorney from Mordecai Booth to Thomas Wild, which is particularly interesting since Mordecai Booth was closely associated with Thomas Buckner's (J1) family, being the son of Anne (Buckner) Booth (T2-J1). As discussed earlier, there's little direct evidence that Phillip of Louisa was the son of Richard (J1) and we know that John (J1) had an at least near-adult son named Phillip alive in 1732, so I think it's still unsettled as to whether he's the son of Richard or John. Unfortunately, King William County had one of Virginia's many tinderbox court houses, and most of the old court records were destroyed in 1885, so there's not much there to work with. Probably the most compelling bit of evidence in favor of his being John's son is a 1759 indenture from Orange Co. in which "Philip Buckner of Gloster and Jane, his wife" (Orange Co. Deed Book 13, pp 107 - 110) sold some land to Benjamin Grymes. It's clear that John Buckner Jr. lived in Gloucester and his children probably grew up there before some of them moved to Essex/Caroline, whereas Richard's family lived in Essex/Caroline Co. Jane Robinson renounced the will of her husband Christopher Robinson in 1742 in Caroline (witnessed by Benjamin Hubbard and Richard Buckner), which is probably about the time that she married Phillip.

It should be noted that Jane's will is rather complicated, and most oddly it names a child Judith who was not named in Phillip's will. Unless something strange is going on, like the last son in Phillip's will, Aylett, who's absent from Jane's was intersexed or something, Judith was probably born between the writing of Phillip's will in 1761 and the probate in 1762, or perhaps even posthumously. The terms of Jane's will make it clear that Judith was a full-blood sister of the others, so she wasn't just a half or step daughter. This may explain why Phillip's estate was put into administration (under their son William) in 1772. Under English law of the period, omission of a child from a will invalidated it, so perhaps the error was not discovered by the court until 1772. I give a short list of children with the latest info about them:

  1. William of Orange Co. (b. ca. 1744)
  2. Ann
  3. Thomas (moved to Halifax Co. VA, probably died around 1810)
  4. Mary
  5. Phillip (1753-1819, moved to KY)
  6. Jane
  7. Elizabeth
  8. Aylett (probably died in infancy)
  9. Judith (b.ca. 1762, probably married Madison Breedlove in Orange Co. 1784)

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I'm not totally prepared to pass judgement on the idea that Thomas Buckner (m. Hannah Burton)'s father William was William (P3-R2-J1), but the circumstantial evidence for it is fairly reassuring. William Buckner (P3-R2-J1) left a pretty good trail of records in Orange Co. VA (see A History of Orange County), and the 1782 census reveals a household of 11 whites and 11 slaves, which would be consistent with the great multitude of Thomas' siblings. William Sr. was a lieutenant and then captain in the Orange Co. Militia in the Revolutionary War. Also note that Prettyman Merry (the executor of Jane Buckner's will and some sort of in-law of William Buckner Jr. of Sumner Co. TN) was a neighbor of William's in 1782.

Page 87

"Lake Farm" is essentially right across the road from "Mill Hill". Given the sketchy nature of Crozier's information on this Thomas Buckner, I would be hesitant to accept the idea that Thomas of Lake Farm was Phillip (R2-J1)'s grandson without considering other possibilities. The Buckners living in this neighborhood seem to be either from John Buckner (J2-J1) or Thomas Buckner (T2-J1). Other evidence (below) suggests that Thomas of Lake Farm was probably the son of William Buckner (J3-J2-J1).

There is a case in the Caroline Co. chancery records, Robert Wade v. William S. Burrus et al. (1845), concerning the estate of Jane Thornton, who indicated she was the sister of Thomas Buckner, naming his children as Matilda Buckner, wife of William T. Buckner, Frances Wade, w. of Robert Wade, Jane R. Dickinson, w. of William J. Dickinson, Mary M. Thomley, w. of Aaron Thomley, Elizabeth J. Peake, late wife of William B. Peake, William H. Buckner, and John B. Buckner. She also named a niece Jane Buckner and nephew Horace Johnston, and her husband was John Thorton, who had recently deceased. One executor of her will was George Buckner, late of Braynefield, who was also then deceased. Thus we can add Jane (Buckner) Thornton to the list of Thomas Buckner's siblings. The fact that she's involved with the Thorntons and made George Buckner her executor also makes me think that her father Thomas was in the John Buckner III line rather than Phillip Buckner's (R2-J1). One crucial clue here is the nephew Horace Johnston, who was probably Richard Horace Johnston, son of William Waller Johnston and Ann Buckner. This Ann Buckner was the daughter of William Buckner (J3-J2-J1) who also had a daughter named Jane. Since William's son Thomas lived in Caroline around 1800 and is otherwise unaccounted for, Thomas Buckner of Lake Farm is almost certainly Thomas Buckner (W4-J3-J2-J1) rather than Thomas Buckner (T4-P3-R2-J1). This fact has apparently been recognized by other researchers for a while, but this is the evidence for it. It might also be noted that this is another family in W.D. Buckner's line; there seems to be strong tendency to err whenever his direct ancestry is involved. As for Thomas Buckner (P3-R2-J1), I do have some suspicions about what happened to him, but he certainly had nothing to do with the Buckners at Lake Farm. An additional observation: Lake Farm might originally have been William Buckner (J3-J2-J1)'s property. It borders on both the land of Thomas Buckner of Mill Hill (J3-J2-J1) on the north and the Thornton lands to the west. Of William's 6 sons, only 2 were remaining in Caroline Co. by 1800, Thomas and Frances, and William explicitly divided the "Home Plantation" among his 4 youngest sons - the other three seem to have sold their interests to Thomas, based on records in KY. Judging from William's will, Frances had already been set up with property bounding on his father's, so his farm was probably close by. It was said to be called "McPhersons," probably former property of Archibald McPherson.

The 1810 census of Caroline Co. is consistent with the 1771 birthdate, and we can probably assume that he was not the Thomas Buckner who was active in the county militia during the Revolution. I think he died between 1810 and 1820.

After throwing Thomas of Lake Farm out of Phillip Buckner's line, we might then ask what did happen to Phillip and Jane's son Thomas? Well, it's a long story, like usual. If one reads Jane's will carefully, it's clear that Thomas' total inheritance amounted to 1 slave he got from his father in 1762 and 1/7 of an undetermined number of the "increase" of their slave named "Fuller" left after his siblings had picked 5 of them, which aside from being a rather chillingly objectifying way to talk about human beings, probably amounts to no more than 1/7 of a few slaves. As it happens, there is a relatively poor Thomas Buckner who shows up in Halifax Co. VA around 1784. This Thomas Buckner (judging from tax records) had sons named Phillip and Aylett (and probably Thomas Jr.) who were born in the 1770s or 80s, so I think it's pretty likely that this Thomas (probably died around 1810) is the actual son of Phillip and Jane. He probably does have modern descendants too.

Page 91

There are in fact volumes upon volumes of Caroline County Court records surviving from the 1730s on, with hundreds and hundreds of references to Buckners. The problem with the Caroline County Buckners isn't that there's too little data; the problem is that there's too much! Positive proof that John was Phillip's father can be found in the Caroline Order Books, dated 13 Sep 1764; a deed from John Buckner to his son Phillip was proved by Reuben Samuel and Henry Ware Jr. This deed also shows that John (R2-J1) was alive at least to 1764, since deeds had to be recorded within 8 months at this time. Another deed from John and Margaret Buckner to Phillip was proved by Robert Ware and Thomas Buckner in 1774, noting that another witness, Henry Ware, had gone to "Carolina." It's not clear if this latter one is the remarried father or another unknown son, but I think more likely the latter. There are several other references to John Buckner which are possibly this John, but it's difficult to prove. During the time while he was alive, the other John Buckners in Caroline included (J1), (J2-J1), (T2-J1), and the unidentified John Buckner who married Elizabeth Washington in 1760. The earliest record I can confidently ascribe to him an Essex Co. deed to John Holloway from Nov 1727 which mentions his wife Sarah. Thus he was certainly born before 1710. The inventory and appraisal of a John Buckner's estate was returned on 12 Mar 1778 in the Caroline Court, so that might pin down John's death.

A compelling piece of evidence for a second (and really elder) son named Thomas is a tombstone inscription reportedly published in the Caroline Co. VA Sentinel of Oct. 1, 1884, which indicates that Thomas Buckner was a son of John and Sarah Buckner, born 19 Mar 1739/40 in "Cuttarock" Co. NC (probably Currituck) and died 5 Jan 1777. (Lyon Gardiner Tyler et al., "Historical and Genealogical Notes", William and Mary quarterly, Vol. 7 (1899), p. 59). Other transcriptions of this give the year of death as 1779 though, which is more consistent with court records. This has the interesting implication that John and Sarah were in Currituck in the 1740s. John and Sarah have long been a popular "dump family" for people trying to trying to connect to the Caroline County Buckners, so if you're trying to place a Thomas Buckner who was alive after 1779, this ain't him. On 11 Feb 1779, Phillip Buckner and an Elizabeth Buckner (?) were granted the administration of Thomas' nuncupative will in Caroline Co. Thomas Allcock and Robert Ware were the witnesses. Apparently he had an estate worth inventorying, including slaves, so it's possible he had children, and perhaps Elizabeth was his wife. I'm kind of curious about the circumstances of Thomas' death. Given that it was a nuncupative will, it was probably unexpected, and since it was in the middle of the Revolutionary War, you have to wonder if he was wounded in battle. A strange sequel to this administration is that a "Bauldwin Buckner" is recorded in a fragmentary 1780 Caroline Co. VA court order in which he had turned 21 and for some reason was petitioning for some letters of administration, which apparently were being opposed by Phillip and Elizabeth Buckner. This really has to be part of Thomas' estate affairs, but since all the Baldwin Buckner were in an entirely different line, it's difficult to explain. Obviously, this "Bauldwin" was an heir of some sort, probably born around 1759, but how and why I don't know. It would make a lot more sense if his name were "Haley."

I now place one other son in this family, William Buckner who died in Green Co. KY around 1822. Unfortunately, most of the evidence relies on confidential DNA data, so if you need to know the details, I would suggest joining the Buckner YDNA study group. I've seen literally dozens of other Buckners placed in this family by various researchers, but Thomas, Phillip, and William are the only three that I can really confirm. Additionally, Presley Buckner (1769-1836) belonged to this line, but it is not clear if he was a son of one of the three confirmed brothers or the son of a fourth poorly documented brother. Some researchers think Presley and his brothers Haley (1759-1819) and William Buckner (ca 1760-ca 1835) were the sons of William Buckner (J3*R2-J1), but due to William's young age (probably around 14 or 15 when Haley was born) I think they were the sons of another brother, probably the mysterious John Buckner of the 1774 deed or less likely Thomas (J3*R2-J1). A possible clue is that a daughter of Mary (Buckner) Sullivan, probably a sister of Presley et al., claimed that "one of her grandfathers, a man by the name of Buckner, with his son, served under Washington in the Revolutionary War." (See the biography of William Crow in Benton, Warren, Pulaski, Tippecanoe, White, Jasper and Newton Counties, Indiana, Portrait and Biographical Record, v. 1, p. 81, (Lewis Publishing Co.,1899)) So, according to family tradition the mysterious father had served in the Revolution; we know that at least one of the sons, William Buckner (ca. 1760-ca. 1836), did based on his pension application so the story is at least partly confirmable. If true, this would tend to rule out William Buckner as their father, since he was both impoverished and lived to 1822 and thus probably would have claimed a Revolutionary War pension under the pension act of 1818.

Note also an entry from the Currituck Co. Deed Book 3, pgs. 1-2: John BUCKNER to William HARDING. April 2, 1739. £10 current money of Virginia. 50 acres commonly known by the name of the Reedy Island Neck. /s/ John BUCKNER, Sarah BUCKNER. Wit: Thos. DAVIS, Saml. BAKER, Edwd. (x) COX. Acknowledged by John BUCKNER and his wife Sarah April 13, 1739. Registered June 21, 1739.

John Buckner also appears in the list of jurymen for Currituck in Feb 1739/40. (Colonial and State Records of North Carolina v. 4, p. 520).

This may be the same John Buckner who witnessed the will of William Corbell in neighboring Princess Anne Co. VA on July 4th, 1733. It's worth noting that Richard Buckner of Essex (Crozier's choice for his father) must have died in early 1733 or late 1732, based on the probate of his estate. A number of other Princess Anne Co records refer to him, including one that mentions his wife Sarah in 1743 (Deed Book 6, p. 189), which makes it fairly certain that this is the same John Buckner. The pattern of records suggests that they had moved back to PA Co. in the early 1740s.

An Essex Co. deed to John Holloway from Nov 1727 mentions John and his wife Sarah, so, unless there were two John and Sarahs (not entirely out of the question though), they probably married sometime in the late 1720s.

If it is true, as Crozier claims (and he does not note his source), that Sarah was a Buckner by birth, one might consider the possibility that she was the daughter of Robert Buckner, NC clerk of court 1710-1712, who I think was the son of Phillip Buckner, the immigrant (making John and Sarah ostensible 2nd cousins). It is sometimes claimed that she was an otherwise unknown daughter of Thomas Buckner (John's uncle) and Sarah Morgan, which would make them 1st cousins, but I'm skeptical of this. If we are correct in interpreting these records as meaning that they went from Caroline to PA Co. in the early 1730s, spent a few years in Currituck, and then returned to PA Co. around 1743, this might suggest that Currituck was Sarah's home. I have a vague suspicion that Sarah being a Buckner relates somehow to the genetic non-paternity of John relative to his alleged father Richard Buckner (J1) (all of John's descendants appear to belong to YDNA halpogroup J2 rather than the R1b of Richard's family). It may be that he adopted her name upon marriage for some reason. Usually, this would occur with an heiress, though it was always a fairly rare phenomenon in English culture. If Sarah was from Robert Buckner (sometime of North Carolina) and Phillip Buckner's line, an heiress status could possibly be explained by the extinction of Phillip's male line, though since we don't really know for sure if she was a Buckner and we don't really know whether Phillip's male line survived, that is entirely speculative. The situation with Phillip's descendants is especially unclear and unresolved, though a special alliance with his branch of the family might be consistent with the appearance of the name Phillip among Richard (J1) and John's (R2-J1) children.

It would appear that John and Sarah Buckner left NC fairly early and returned to Caroline Co. VA in the 1740s, but this early sojourn into NC is probably why Crozier had so much difficulty locating information on them.

In summary, known children:

And one of these, other than Phillip, and who probably lived in Washington or Pittsylvania County, VA, was probably the father of Haley (1759-1819), William (ca. 1760-ca. 1836), Mary (ca 1762-?, m. Henry Sullivan), and Presley (1769-1836) Buckner. There was also a Lewis Buckner (ca. 1765-1801) of Chesterfield Co., VA, who had some circumstantial connections with Phillip Buckner through a business partner of Phillip's, Reuben Coutts. I would suggest that he may be another orphan nephew of Phillip. Col. Nicholas Buckner (ca. 1765-aft. 1840) of Jefferson Co. KY is in this category too from circumstantial connections to Phillip. Nicholas though was fairly prominent-his son Alexander was a US Senator-so it's possible that the startling lack of surviving information about his parentage may arise from other circumstances.

Probable children of one of John Buckner's (R2-J1) sons, who were born or raised in southwestern VA (note the pronounced preference for surname-based given names, Haley, Presley, Lewis):

Page 112

In case you were wondering where "the Neck" is, it's just off the Rappahannock River several miles north west of Port Royal. It's farther from Bowling Green than Port Royal. See Google maps. The Old Mount Church was nearby, and the Buckners helped convert it into the Rappahannock Academy in the early 1800s. A Richard Buckner purchased this "600 and odd" acre plot, then called "Church Neck", from Robert Taliaferro for 600 pounds on 22 Apr 1726. It was originally part of Robert Taliaferro's patent (probably the deceased father of the then-owner) and included rights to the adjoining swampland. I'm not sure if this is Richard Buckner Sr. or Richard Buckner Jr., which is a pretty significant question with regard to figuring out the later Buckners who lived there.

Crozier's account of this family is pretty screwed up. I think it merges information from several distinct people, chiefly two different William Buckners, William Buckner of the Neck (R2-J1) and William Buckner (J3-J2-J1). Most of the biographical information, such as it is, is for William (R2-J1), who appears to have died before 1751. His early death is probably the reason so little is known of him. The list of the children is where the other William (J3-J2-J1) starts getting mixed up in it.

William (J3-J2-J1) left a will written in St. Asaph's Parish 1783 (prob. 1788). The will indicates children (by a first wife, probably Lucy Thornton):

  1. Richard (d.ca. 1799)
  2. Francis (d.ca. 1806, see p. 122 and comments)
  3. Mary Slaughter
  4. Lucy Upshur

And by a second wife, Mary Madison:

  1. William (ca. 1760-1843, see p. 294 and comments)
  2. Elizabeth Jones
  3. John (bef. 1765-ca. 1823 Green Co. KY)
  4. Ann (m. William Waller Johnston)
  5. Jane (m. John Thornton)
  6. Thomas (probably Thomas Buckner of Lake Farm, 1771-? , see comments for p. 87)
  7. Matilda
  8. Horace (d.ca. 1810 Green Co. KY)

George Buckner was not a son in this family (see my comments on page 130 regarding his true parentage), and William (J3-J2-J1) was not married to Judith (Aylett) Hawes. According to the will, William tasked his son William: "I likewise expect as I am a partner in the Loyal Company [a Virginia land speculation partnership] that I have a right to a considerable quantity of back lands and my son William having a number of land warrants to locate for me on the Kentucky, my will is that all of these lands be divided between my sons William, John, Thomas and Horace."

Thus, his son William went to Kentucky and settled in the area that became Greensburg (of which he was a founder). John and Horace followed him later, though Thomas seems to have remained in Caroline. This was clearly not William Buckner who married Dolly Roy, as Crozier has it. Since William Buckner lived in St. Asaph's Parish, he was also clearly not William Buckner of "the Neck", since St. Asaph's was one of the two southern parishes of Caroline at the time.

At this time, I think the parents of this William Buckner in the will were John Buckner III (J2-J1) and his wife Elizabeth, and that he was a brother of George Buckner Sr., along with a Thomas Buckner, perhaps he "of Mill Hill."

I do however think that there probably was another William Buckner who married a Judith, because a tombstone of Judith Buckner (d. 19 June 1757) has been reported at the site of the Neck (by G.H.S. King), along with a tombstone of a Susannah Morton, daughter of Richard Buckner (9 July 1739, in her 18th year). These details, plus the fact that William Buckner who married Dolly Roy lived at the Neck, lead me to believe that William Buckner of the Neck was the real son of Richard Buckner who married Judith Buckner and was the father of William Buckner who married Dolly Roy. So far, the only child I can ascribe to him is this son William. Essentially, we have three contemporary William Buckners in Caroline, one who lived at the Neck, his son, and one who lived at Bowling Green, and Crozier's account has conflated them as well as wrongly adding in George Buckner as one of the children. The main way to tell them apart in Caroline records is that the Neck was in St. Mary's parish on on the south bank of the Rappahannock, while William Buckner (J3-J2-J1) lived near the branches of the Mattaponi, just east of where Guinea, Virginia is today. There is some evidence that William (R2-J1) died around or before 1751. There is a petition in the Caroline Order Books by John Smith "administrator of Wm. Buckner" against John Ford dated 11 July 1751, and presumably William Buckner would not have had an administrator if he weren't dead. His son William Buckner (W3-R2-J1) probably came of age in the late 1750s or early 1760s, and as he was younger than William (J3-J2-J1), he's probably the William Buckner Jr. in records of the 1760s.

Of 5 the children Crozier listed for William (R2-J1), the information for at least 3 of them is wrong. He did not have anything to say about the last one, Thomas, as far as I can tell, so I can't say much about the correctness thereof.

  1. William (married Dolly Roy - probably correct)
  2. Francis - The information in Crozier is clearly for the son of William (J3-J2-J1). It appears that there were two Francis Buckners, one W4-J3-J2-J1 and the other ?3-R2-J1. The other Francis (W4-J3-J2-J1) is the one who died around 1806 and for whom we have the most information. Francis (?3-R2-J1) would have died before 1793 and is poorly known. There was a Francis Buckner in Spotsylvania Co. tax lists up until 1791, who was a fairly substantial slaveowner, and he might be our guy. If he died around 1791, his estate could easily still have been in probate when his brother Richard wrote his will.
  3. Richard - The information in Crozier is equivocal. If there were two different Richards, as it appears, Richard (W4-J3-J2-J1) was the one who lived in St. Mary's Parish in Caroline (probably d.ca. 1799) and Richard (?3-R2-J1) was the one who lived in Westmoreland Co.
  4. George - probably the brother of William (J3-J2-J1) and thus son of John Buckner III (J2-J1). This one is most likely to be erroneously placed in the families of either William Buckner.
  5. Thomas - nothing known, though William (J3-J2-J1) had a son named Thomas who lived in Caroline as well as a brother, Thomas Buckner of Mill Hill (J2-J1), so Crozier could be talking about either one of them or neither

The story of Judith Buckner, wife of William Buckner of the Neck (R2-J1), is recounted elsewhere and somewhat differently by Elizabeth Hawes Ryland (1942). Ryland's version gives her nickname as "Madam Buckner" and repeats the story of the burial behind the church. The added interesting bit is the tale that Judith's skeleton was dug up after the church was dissolved and turned into the Rappahannock Academy. It was identified by a silver plate in the skull which had been used in the trepanning of Madam Buckner. Ryland tells that this was applied as a therapy for her high temper - presumably, if doctors had resorted to trepanning, the behavior must have approached a pathological degree. She also recounts that it had the desired effect, attributing to it the change in behavior before Judith Buckner's death. It is also noted that the body was not reinterred. (Elizabeth Hawes Ryland, "A Nineteenth Century Schoolboy's Plaint," The William and Mary Quarterly, Second Series, Vol. 22, No. 4 (Oct., 1942), pp. 415-417) If the tombstone reported by King is of this Judith Buckner though, she died fairly young. It's probably not going out on a limb to say the trepanning probably had something to do with that.

Page 113

There is a rather long lawsuit recorded in the Caroline order books for the year 1758 which goes a long way toward explaining the Roys, since it deals with the estate of the first Dolly Roy. From this, we can gather that John and Dolly Roy had at least two sons, Reuben and Thomas (various others are known to genealogists). Their mother died before 1757, and John predeceased her. This Thomas Roy later gave some land to William Buckner and Dorothea (a.k.a. Dolly) Buckner (proved in 1765), so presumably Thomas Roy was her father. Roy had a deed of gift to Elizabeth Lightfoot Buckner proved in 1766 - she is said to be a daughter of William and Dolly Buckner, though she would have been quite young in 1766. If Crozier is correct about the dates, she would have to have been one their first children. I would thus put the younger Dolly Roy in the generation born around the 1730s or 1740s. A Caroline deed recorded 9 Apr 1772 from William Buckner Jr., "Doratha" Buckner, and James Dunlop to "Dunlop & Crosse" shows that William Buckner (W3-R2-J1) was indeed the younger of the two adult William Buckners, so he is probably correctly identified by Crozier as the justice of the peace in 1768. Unfortunately, the use of the senior-junior distinction is not very consistent, so he can be hard to distinguish from his 2nd cousin, William Buckner (J3-J2-J1), as I have noted.

Page 119

Robert Gaines Beverley, a notorious gambler, apparently was compelled by circumstances in the late 1780s to hand his estate over to trustees, including ahis father-in-law William Buckner (W3-R2-J1). Court records mention that he owned the Hazelwood estate and his wife owned Pop Castle. Contemporary newspaper accounts show the sale of Hazelwood, which is perhaps when John Taylor of Caroline bought it. William Buckner seems not to have acted in the name of the trust after around 1790, which is probably around when he died. The last surviving trustee, William Miller, apparently abused it quite badly and there was a long lawsuit (Beverleys v. Miller) about it that drew out until 1818, long after the principals were all dead. Both the graves of Judith Buckner and Susannah (Buckner) Morton were found there in the now rather decrepit Hazelwood cemetery.

Page 122

This Francis was really the son of Capt. William Buckner (J3-J2-J1) of Bowling Green, Caroline Co., VA, as evidenced by William's 1783 will (prob. 1788), which names 11 other offspring as well (W.B. McGroarty, "William Buckner of Caroline," in Genealogies of Virginia Families from Tyler's Quarterly Historical Genealogical Magazine, Genealogical Publishing Company (1981), p. 281). This is corroborated by several Caroline Co. chancery suits that name the 6 children Crozier has listed here. They also show that Francis died intestate in 1806. The traditions Crozier is drawing from are a little confused. Francis' mother is known to be a Thornton because Reuben Thornton called him "nephew" in his will. Two theories have been proposed about her first name. W.B. McGroarty thought it was Eliza, while R.T. Head argued that it was probably Lucy (Robert Thornton Head, "Notes and Queries: Thornton-Buckner Notes," The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 44, No. 1 (Jan., 1936), pp. 57-58 - http://www.jstor.org/stable/4244696). I'm more convinced by the argument that it was Lucy Thornton. William's second wife was named Mary Madison (incidentally, her father Thomas Madison seems to have been a great uncle of President James Madison). Capt. William Buckner was a veteran of the Virginia militia in the Revolutionary War. The best evidence for this is the pension application of George Thornton, which I'm just going to copy here since the source seems to move around a lot and it's very informative. Note that it's Greene Co., VA, not "Green".

State of Va, Green Co Court...13th day June 1845 George THORNTON, a resident...aged 93 years next Nov.being duly sworn...That during the Rev he was a resident of Caroline Co Va adjoining Spotslyvania Co. That he was a militia private for 22 months and 2 months in the regular service; That in the month of June 1775 a call for men was made in his county by his brother, Captain Anthony THORNTON for a 3 months tour duty; That in the said Anthony THORNTON'S company he was draughted and one William BUCKNER a neighbor to him was Lt. of that company; That all hands marched to the lower country and stationed near Wiliamsburg then the capitol of Va and headquarters for the State Militia; That his company together with several others were ordered into Wiliamsburg with expectation of the enemy. The enemy failing to make their appearance,all hands were discharged and he returned home on 12th or 15th of Sept 75, being 7 days over his time; That on his way home from lower country he passed through Louisa, Hanover, and Prince George Counties.That he received from said service a written discharge, which owing to the length of time, is lost...This Company marched up the Potomac to Westmoreland county to a house that the enemy was burning, a Mr BRECOTS house, which they could not save. When his company reached Port Royal, a village in Caroline Co, news arrived that decending the river was British Man of War `ROE BUCK` and it had struck a sand bar & might be easily captured; That all hands immediately put out for the spot and just as they reached the banks of the river the vessel hoisted two flags and `made Off `.That the circumstances he impressed on his mind because he was one of this company and that this trip was performed in a short time and that the distance was 30 miles to the `ROE BUCK` and the soldiers traveled it in 10 hours. That fearing the enemy still proposed invasions, his company, with others, pursued them to the Bay and ascertaining that the had gone off and now his term of service having expired, he was dscharged and went home. That on the way home he passed thru King William Co, Charles City Co and King and Queen Co. After this tour he remained home when in 1779 Sept 10th another call for men was made and he again served 4 months under Capt Wm BUCKNER...Spring 1781 he joined the regulars and was 2nd Lt in Col THORNTON'S Compay...That as such he served 10 months but was never commissioned by the commander Col MATTHEWS or MATHIS, who said the office of 2nd Lt had been abolished. Received discharge and went home. At the time of joining the regulars he learned forces were collecting to meet CORNWALLIS then approching or in Virginia. That Marquis LAFAYETTE and General WAYNE were likewise in the neighborhood preparing for MILLES army that the Gagettes Troops were there...
So, whichever William was the neighbor of Anthony Thornton is the one this is, and Anthony Thornton lived at Ormesby, which is right next to Mill Hill. William (J3-J2-J1) and his brother Thomas both married Thorntons as their first wives (Lucy and Judith). Seems pretty conclusive. One might suspect that it was William's son William, but the son was only about 15 in 1775, so it seems a bit unlikely he would have been commissioned as a lieutenant.

There was a lawsuit in Fredericksburg, Miller v. Beverly (1818), in which Richard Buckner and Francis Buckner were identified as the father and uncle of William E. Buckner, Richard having died around 1799 and Francis around 1806, who can't really be anyone other than William Buckner's (J3-J2-J1) two eldest sons and finally gives us an approximate date for Richard's death.

Oddly there was another William Buckner (T3-T2-J1) who was in the Virginia Navy at the same time (some sources describe him as a captain, but it appears that he was just a sailing master, roughly equal to a lieutenant), and still another Capt. William Buckner (P3-R2-J1) in the Orange Co. VA militia. The fourth William Buckner (J3-R2-J1) in the Revolution (so far - maybe there were more!) fortunately was just a private (VA Line 7th Regiment), so confusion does not completely reign.

Reuben Thornton, incidentally, occurs several times in the Caroline Order books in the context of road maintenance with William Buckner in the 1760s, once with Mary Buckner, probably the widow of Thomas (T2-J1). This tends to confirm my suspicion that Reuben Thornton was William's neighbor but also suggests that Thomas (T2-J1) and Mary (Timson) Buckner lived fairly close to them as well. Thomas Buckner and Anthony Thornton are found with William in these same contexts. This is probably Thomas Buckner "of Mill Hill", William's likely brother.

Francis' wife's name has not emerged so far in primary sources, but tradition (apparently) and circumstantial evidence suggest that it might have been Lucy Madison. I'm not so sure about "Lucy" but "Madison" seems likely to have been her last name.

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My best guess is that "Robert Giterest" in the will is a horrible misreading of "Robert Gilchrist," a prominent Caroline County man who was named as a friend in the will of Capt. William Buckner (W4-J3-J2-J1) of St. Asaph's Parish in Caroline. This Richard may actually be the son of that William Buckner, since William of St. Asaph's (near Bowling Green) is known to have had two sons named Francis and Richard by his first wife. Efforts to figure out what was really going on are continuing. If he is the son of William (W4-J3-J2-J1), I'm also not sure what to make of the reference to Francis Buckner's "estate". Francis the son of William (J3-J2-J1) didn't die until around 1806. It's possible though that this is another misreading, perhaps for "interest", as their father William had only recently died and chancery court records show Francis piddling around with matters of William's estate well into the 1790s. It may also mean "Francis Buckner's [portion of our father's] estate". One argument against this being the son of William (J3-J2-J1) is that that Richard was said to be "of St. Mary's Parish" in 1783 when the will was written. Richard Buckner of the present will was living in Westmoreland at least as early as 1766 (when he subscribed to a portrait of Lord Camden in thanks for supporting the colonists politically) and St. Mary's parish was entirely within Caroline County. Richard is quite well documented in Westmoreland, having been sheriff, a justice, and a member of the Committee of Safety. However, it is possible that he had two residences, one in Port Royal, which was in St. Mary's. It would be a very confusing coincidence if the two William Buckners of about the same age in Caroline had two sons of about the same ages named Richard and Francis, wouldn't it? On the whole, it appears that these are separate Richard Buckners though, so presumably there were two Francises as well.

A Francis and Richard Buckner also appear together as witnesses summoned by the Caroline Co. Committee of Safety meeting on 13 Dec 1775, along with Rodham Kenner, William Murrah, Turner Dixon, Joseph Cooper, John Cooper, and William Roe. This is fairly consistent with the idea that these were the two eldest sons of William Buckner (J3-J2-J1) by his first wife.

My inclination is to say that this Francis Buckner was the one who was a captain in the Caroline Co. Militia. See the pension app. of William Reynolds The other contemporary Francis Buckner (d. 1806) doesn't seem to get the "Capt." title that I've seen.

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George H.S. King wrote an extremely useful article called "Further Notes on Captain George Buckner (1760-1828) and the Caroline County Buckners" (The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 64, No. 3 (Jul., 1956), pp. 358-372), which argues that this George Buckner married Elizabeth ("Betty") Walker, daughter of Benjamin Walker (ca. 1698-1738) and Anne Aylett.

King adds Dr. Horace Buckner (see Crozier, p. 297) to the list of children and subtracts Richard Henry Buckner. He assigned Richard Henry Buckner instead to John Buckner of Stafford Co. and Elizabeth Washington, who married in St. Paul's Parish in 1760. The revised list of George Buckner Sr.'s children is supported by a statement from a chancery suit over Capt. George Buckner (Jr.)'s estate, so that correction appears to be absolutely conclusive. King's article is generally an excellent piece of work that fixes a lot of the problems with Crozier's Caroline County inferences.

King agreed with Crozier that George Sr.'s parents were probably William (R2-J1) and Judith Buckner; however, a Caroline Co, Order Book entry dated 10 July 1752 records that a deed of gift from Eliza. Buckner to her "son" George Buckner was proved by Nich. and Jemeh. Long. This seems to conflict with both King's and Crozier's version of things. The Elizabeth who deeded land to George Buckner is probably the same Elizabeth Buckner whose deed to William and Thomas Buckner was proved by Joseph Robinson, Benja. Robinson Jr., and Jeremiah Long in court in 1750. In the entry after that, a division of land between William and Thomas was returned. This probably indicates that George, William, and Thomas were all brothers, and indeed Capt. William Buckner of Bowling Green, Thomas Buckner of Mill Hill, and George Buckner all owned land in the same area along the northern branch of the Mattaponi River in Drysdale (later St. Asaph's) parish. In each case, the properties amounted to a little over 1000 acres, suggesting a roughly equal division. A suit against Elizabeth Buckner, widow, by William Long was dismissed on 10 July 1741. The Longs seem to tie these all together, probably being neighbors, and then we find in the Caroline Co. order books that an Elizabeth Buckner was the executrix of the estate of John Buckner in July 1740. As she was the executrix, it makes sense that the 1741 suit by William Long was part of the estate settlement, which further connects these records. This John Buckner who died in 1740 appears to have been John Buckner III (J2-J1), who was said to be living in Caroline Co. in 1732. As the eldest son of John Buckner Jr., he inherited most of John Buckner Jr.'s land. John Jr. had a 3500 acre patent on the Pamunkey Neck. At the time of the grant, this was in King and Queen County, but part of the Pamunkey Neck actually became Caroline Co. when it was formed in 1728. However, this seems to be 10 miles too far south to be the land that John III's sons had in the mid-1700s, so it is possible that some of the known land transactions of John III were the sale of that tract and the purchase of the land on the Mattaponi branches.

Capt. George Buckner and his heirs disposed of property at lots 27-28 in Fredericksburg (see Embrey's Grantor index for Fredericksburg), which had once been allocated to Robert Buckner (see comments for p. 153, following). Capt. George Buckner does not seem to have inherited the lot though, but rather he purchased the lots or at least parts of them by Garrett Minor in 1823 (Minor was George Buckner Jr.s stepson), but then it still seems like a pretty funny coincidence if he randomly happened to buy one of the lots that was reserved to Robert Buckner. One other link between the George Buckners and Fredericksburg is the 1764 will of Robert Jackson of F-burg, which indicates that he bought lot number 5 (originally Henry Willis') from George Buckner (Spotsylvania County Will Book D 1761-1772).

George's estate, Braynefield, still exists and is located a bit northwest of Bowling Green, south of the Mattaponi River. It's fairly close to Mill Hill, Thomas Buckner's estate, and probably close to where William Buckner lived. Either George Sr. or George Jr., or perhaps both, was a blacksmith. Some of his ledgers survive and are held at the Library of Virginia (Accession numbers 20057 and 20058). The first ledger ends in 1794, so that's probably George Sr.'s.

Amusingly, this Richard Henry Buckner also happens to have been the ancestor of William Dickinson Buckner, Crozier's patron and the gatherer of much of the book's information. After all this development, it would seem that W.D. Buckner really belongs to one of these other lines that gets such sparse treatment in the book. From his 1760 marriage date, I would guess that John Buckner who married Elizabeth Washington was either in the 4th generation from the immigrant or was one of the last of the 3rd. In either case, he isn't consistent with any of the descendants of Richard Buckner of Essex who were known to Crozier. Thus he is probably from John Buckner Jr., Thomas Buckner (both 2nd gen.), or one of the poorly understood Stafford Co. lines that probably descend from Phillip or Anthony (1st gen.) The fact that he married in Stafford points in that direction, but then again that's where a lot of the Washingtons lived. From records in Caroline Co., it's clear that he was closely associated with the three sons of John Buckner III (J2-J1), William, Thomas, and George, so my best guess at present is that he was their youngest brother, but this is still just a guess based on very circumstantial evidence.

A further clue about John Buckner m. Eliz. Washington is that in the 1748 will of Henry Washington of St. Paul's parish, Stafford Co., a John Buckner is listed as a witness. One of Henry's sons was Baily Washington-Bailey was also the name of one of Richard Henry Buckner's sons. I think John Washington of Caroline County who married Elizabeth Buckner and Elizabeth (Washington) Buckner may have been Henry' Washington's nephew and niece through his brother John Washington Sr.. John Washington Jr. was perhaps the posthumous child mentioned in the father's will.

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There's a Caroline Co. court record (undated, though probably ca. 1796) which shows the estate called "Mt. Pleasant" of 160 acres being divided among Mary Buckner, Bailey Buckner, G.J. Stuart, Richard Buckner, Ann Buckner, and David Stuart. Adjoining "W. Buckner's dower land" and Col. John Taylor. Clearly, these are R.H. Buckner's children and/or their husbands (Richard Buckner is Catherine's husband). Now why, praytell, was Mt. Pleasant part of Richard Henry Buckner's estate? Crozier elsewhere thinks that this was the residence of Thomas Buckner, previously of Mill Hill. If R.H. Buckner was the son of John Buckner who married Elizabeth Washington (per G.H.S. King's theory), how did he get it? John married Elizabeth in 1760, so he clearly wasn't a son of Thomas Buckner of Mill Hill, though he would certainly be in the right age range to be a brother. Crozier's incorrect notion that R.H. Buckner was a son of George Buckner doesn't explain it very well either, though it does point to a connection to this troika of George, Thomas, and William Buckner down on the Mattaponi in Drysdale/St. Asaph's parish.

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Sarah Morgan's father was not Capt. Francis Morgan himself but rather Capt. Francis' son and namesake, Francis Morgan. For more information on the Morgans and extensive transcriptions of original sources, see Annie Frank (Noble) Sims & William Owen Nixon Scott, Francis Morgan, an early Virginia Burgess: and some of his descendants, Savannah, GA: Braid and Hutton, 1920. It's also worth pointing out that this is not the Captain Morgan, though they were roughly contemporaries.

Crozier apparently missed at least one son of Thomas Buckner (J1), named Robert. Fredericksburg, Virginia was first laid out by John Royston and Robert Buckner on land they owned in the late 1720s. In the end, Royston and Buckner's land was essentially expropriated by the House of Burgesses (with compensation), except for 2 lots each. Lots #26 and #28 went to Robert (see the map at the Library of Virginia), while #25 and #27 went to Royston. Identifying Robert Buckner who owned the land in Fredericksburg has a few complications. There was a Robert Buckner who was the son of Phillip Buckner of Stafford Co., mentioned in Phillip's 1699 will. However, a Spotsylvania deed record (Spots. Land Patents Book 15, p. 281) indicates that the Robert Buckner who owned the F-burg property was the grandson of John Buckner ("the immigrant"), the land being part of John's 2000 acre land grant with Thomas Royston. Since most evidence suggests Phillip was John's brother and there is a 1718 death record of Robert Buckner in Stafford Co., these are presumably different Robert Buckners. It is not immediately clear which of John's four known sons was Robert's father, though records of the House of Burgesses say that Robert was "of Gloucester." Another clue is that in 1722, the Fredericksburg plot was referred to as the "leased land of Thomas Buckner and John Royston", so presumably it changed hands from Thomas Buckner to Robert Bucknerin the 1720s sometime. These two facts would argue for Thomas Buckner of Gloucester as his father. As the last known record of Thomas (J1) otherwise is from 1720 (21 Feb, from a Gloucester land grant to William Miller adjoining Capt. Thomas Buckner), this would be consistent with Thomas' dying not long after 1722, the land thus passing to Robert by the late 1720s. It's interesting to note that the person who took over Thomas Buckner's seat for Gloucester in the House of Burgesses in 1718 was none other than Henry Willis, who essentially took over the Fredericksburg project from Robert Buckner and John Royston a decade later. Willis' first wife was Anne Alexander, the daughter of David Alexander and Anne Morgan, the latter being the sister of Thomas Buckner's wife Sara Morgan. Thus, Willis married Robert Buckner's first cousin.

This conundrum about Samuel Buckner puzzled me for a while. Other than Crozier's statement that the first Samuel died in 1744, the presence of Samuel in Gloucester Co. records seems quite constant through that date. The Journals of the House of Burgesses make no mention of his death, only that he was requested to be removed from the House of Burgesses by an act of 20 Feb 1745/6 for "accepting a place of profit" (i.e. a conflict of interest, from taking position in the colonial administration, apparently). Thus Crozier's claim of his death seems to be "greatly exaggerated," and it seems fairly certain that this is all one single Samuel Buckner (T2-J1). Kingston Parish became part of Matthews Co. in the 1790s, by the way.

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Prof. Stubbs is of the opinion that the immigrants John and Philip Buckner had a brother Thomas who settled in Gloucester County where he patented 1,000 acres of land in Petsworth parish in 1669 in conjunction with Thomas Royston...

It turns out that this is completely wrong. It was John Buckner who patented that land in 1669, not Thomas Buckner. The Library of Virginia notes this misreading in their index, though they have corrected it. Without this spurious "fact", the whole case for Thomas Buckner as an immigrant brother of John Buckner evaporates. It should have been fairly clear anyway how dubious that whole story was: Two Thomas Buckners, one married Sarah Morgan and one married Anne Morgan, both may or may not have had a son Samuel. I'm not sure what other data Stubbs was working with, but the whole theory is befuddled.

When the estate of Thomas Buckner was probated in Caroline Co. on 13 Nov 1755, the executors were his widow Mary and son John. The estate was appraised by Anthony Thornton, William Buckner, Thomas Buckner, gent., and James Trice. This would suggest that Thomas' estate was near or contiguous with Mill Hill, Lake Farm, and Ormesby in Drysdale Parish, since these are almost certainly the brothers Thomas and William Buckner (J3-J2-J1) and their brother-in-law Anthony Thornton.

There is a fairly major problem with Capt. Thomas Buckner who died in 1755. We know from the proceedings of John Buckner Jr.'s estate and related documents that he had a son Thomas living in Caroline around 1731. Crozier clearly thought that Capt. Thomas Buckner living in Caroline was Thomas (T2-J1), who, like John Buckner, spent a lot of time in both Gloucester and Caroline. He raised this issue that Samuel (T2-J1) married Thomas of Caroline's widow, Mary (Timson) Buckner, which violated canon law. I humbly suggest that what's going on here is that the first husband of Mary Timson was really Thomas Buckner (J2-J1), which eliminates the canon-law problem and explains why he lived right next to Thomas and William, the sons of John Buckner (J2-J1). The cluster of Buckner properties in Drysdale almost certainly goes back to John Buckner Jr. (J1). Further evidence that Thomas was John's (J1) son and not Thomas' (J1) is that in the 1730 chancery suit Thornton v. Buckner, Thomas Buckner was said to be the heir of the John Buckner who purchased part of the Prosser-Pannel patent in question in 1707. Richard Buckner purchased another part of it, which is why they were co-defendants. (General Court of Virginia, Sir John Randolph, and Edward Barradall, Virginia Colonial Decisions: The Reports, Volume 1, Mass., The Boston book Company, p. R32, 1909) It's really hard to see these as any others than Richard and Thomas Buckner of Caroline Co. ca. 1730, and that Thomas Buckner is the one who married Mary Timson.

I don't know very much about this Thomas Buckner who was said to be a vestryman of Petsworth in Gloucester though. The vestry book of Petsworth seems to be disturbingly unaware of him as well. So far, I don't actually have any evidence of a Thomas Buckner in Gloucester after the death of Thomas (J1) in the 1720s (Samuel and Francis are well in evidence though), so I'm not entirely sure he existed. The puzzle about this scenario is that the sons of Thomas Buckner of Caroline clearly had land in Gloucester at some point. I propose what happened here is that the three sons of Thomas Buckner (J1), Francis, Robert, and finally Samuel, died without male heirs. Samuel married the widow of his 1st cousin Thomas (J2-J1), and it was from him that his stepsons, Baldwin Matthews Buckner and John Buckner came into the Gloucester property from the line of Thomas Buckner (J1). Samuel's eldest daughter Dorothy also married Baldwin Matthews Buckner (Samuel's marriage to Mary (Timson) Buckner was after Dorothy's death), so it's clear that there was ample opportunity for his property to devolve into Thomas' line without his being Thomas' brother. This is not yet proven, but I think it explains the evidence fairly well.

Note that Baldwin Matthews Buckner was identified as a nephew by Ann Cary in her 1768 York Co. will; Crozier has her as Samuel's sister. Since it appears that Crozier's account of Samuel is wrong, we have to decide whether Ann Cary was the sister of (A) step-father/wife's father Samuel (T2-J1), (B) father Thomas (J2-J1), (C) mother Mary Timson, or even (D) wife's mother (unknown, but said by some to be Anne Alexander). If Anne (Buckner) Booth was really Samuel's sister, that rules her out, so I think there's a good chance that this Ann Cary is Thomas' sister Ann Buckner (J2-J1), named in the famous 1733 lawsuit (see Crozier p. 33). The fact that Ann Cary also named John Chisman, who was Baldwin's brother in law by his half sister Mary, just before Baldwin probably puts Ann Cary on the father's side, which tends to confirm the idea that she was very simply Mary and Baldwin's paternal aunt and not some weird half step in-law by marriage.

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Baldwin Matthews Buckner Jr. may be the same "Bauldwin Buckner" who is recorded in a fragmentary 1780 Caroline Co. VA court order in which he had turned 21 and for some reason petitioned for some letters of administration, which apparently were being opposed by Phillip and Elizabeth Buckner. The fragmentary nature makes it difficult to conclude much, though since Phillip Buckner and Elizabeth Buckner were admins. of the estate of Thomas Buckner (d. 1779), I guess it would have to be them. Why one of the Baldwin Buckners would be involved, I don't know.

I suspect that this Samuel Buckner is the same Samuel Buckner who wrote American Sailor: a Treatise on practical Seamanship, which was published in Newport, RI in 1790. It's an interesting little incident - the book was quite well received, but modern scholars have discovered that it was essentially plagiarized from William Hutchinson's 1777 Treatise on Practical Seamanship. The fact that his father mentioned his choosing to be a ships carpenter in his 1774 will is a likely clue - this family generally seems to have been inclined towards seafaring. See L.C. Wroth, "Some American Contributions to the Art of Navigation 1519-1802" in Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Third Series, Vol. 68 (Oct., 1944 -May, 1947), pp. 72-112. (http://www.jstor.org/stable/25080376)

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He's also almost certainly the same Samuel Buckner who was a cadet and later ensign in the 6th Regiment of the Continental Army. The pension application of Larkin Stanard (S7607) claims that he was passed over for promotion in favor of Col. [Mordecai] Buckner's nephew, which would have to be Samuel. Samuel also appears in the 1784 Kingston Parish Tax list, as does his brother William. (Stanard though was hardly an impartial witness, as Mordecai Buckner was his stepfather as well as commanding officer.)

A 1784 Tax List for Ware Parish, Gloucester Co lists a John Buckner Sr. (probably the one who died in 1790) and then a cluster of Frances Buckner, John Buckner Jr., and Thomas Buckner. These last three seem to be the family of Baldwin Matthews Buckner (T3-T2-J1). Presumably, Frances was the widow of Robert Buckner who was supposed to have died the same year.

Baldwin Buckner (Jr.) was the only Buckner listed in Petsworth Parish in 1784. He had three "white souls" in his household, so he probably did have a family.

I think there was another John Buckner alive in Gloucester up until 1780. There was an estate of a John Buckner "of Gloucester" administrated in Gloucester Co. VA by Joseph Chapman in 1780 (per an advertisement in the Virginia Gazette, March 25, 1780), and a John Buckner witnessed a deed of Jacob Hackney of Kingston Parish, Glos. Co. and Benjamin Hackney to William Hackney of Middlesex Co. in 1766. Possibly the same guy. Maybe Samuel or Robert's son? We should note that the d. 1780 John could not be John (T3-J2-J1) himself, since he was still alive when his mother's will was written in 1787. There was an inventory of a John Buckner's estate in Caroline Co. in 1778, and 2 years wouldn't be an exceptional interval for the advertisement before closing out the accounts.

It's also possible that the John Buckner who married Dorothy Scrosby in 1785 was in the next generation somehow. If you think about it, John (T3-J2-J1) would not exactly have been a young man in 1785. His supposedly younger brothers William and Mordecai married in 1773 and 1767, and despite Crozier's impression, I think John was probably the eldest son (having been his father's executor). I can see the possibility of a skipped generation here. There's probably some evidence in the 1787 lawsuit against the John Buckner who died in 1790 by John Wiatt. Jr., who was probably a son of Elizabeth (Buckner) Wyatt (J2-J1) (http://www.jstor.org/stable/1915893).

Possibly relevant is a pair of Buckners listed as holding land in the Gloucester land tax list of 1782 but apparently not residing there. Unfortunately, the two transcriptions I have are not very consistent with each other, and the original is hard to come by. Going by the one on Genweb we have Henry (87 acres) and "???iam" (88 acres) listed next to each other. These are clearly from the division of a larger portion of about 175 acres at some point. I find it highly unlikely that this Henry has anything to do with Henry Buckner, son of Edward Buckner of Sussex Co. (see p. 295 and comments), which many speculative people have assumed, but he could be the Henry Buckner who is mentioned once in a Caroline Co. suit by Thomas Johnson in 1749. They could also be heirs of this John Buckner whose estate in Gloucester was admin'ed in 1780. I don't think it's Richard Henry Buckner of Caroline, even though his father John did die a bit before 1780, mainly because none of his known brothers were named William. We also see "the property" of Lucy Buckner in Petsworth on the personal property tax list with two slaves, two cows, and a horse. She seems to be associated with Baldwin Buckner (Jr.) somehow but has no taxed land, so I think her personal property must have been on Baldwin's land, which itself was pretty tiny (55 acres). I would hazard a guess that Lucy Buckner is the widow/second wife of Baldwin M. Buckner Sr. whose name is unknown to Crozier. After them, every Buckner in the 1782 tax lists seems to be accountable except Judith Buckner, who owned two separate lots of 30 and 40 acres but apparently had no personal property. Perhaps Judith (Edmonds) Buckner, wife of Richard Buckner of Fauqier? She seems to be associated with Baldwin though, so that doesn't fit very well though.

William Buckner (T3-T2-J1) had a notable experience in the Revolutionary War as a sailing master and pilot in the Virginia Navy. (See Encyclopedia of Virginia biography - see also his survivors' land warrant claim). Crozier's facts are a little confused and incomplete. William Buckner's known children, putting together the pension records and a family bible that can be found on ancestry.com (also in J.F. Inman, "Buckner Bible Records: Gloucester County", Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly Vol. 13 (3), p. 70, 1975) which has some added notes:

  1. Thomas Smith a.k.a. William Buckner, who was born 3 Aug 1773, a month before William married Elizabeth Smith (oops - secret's out!) - he went to sea in 1800 and was never heard from again.
  2. Baldwin Buckner, 15 Jan 1778-29 Feb 1778 (which is a bit odd since 1778 wasn't a leap year)
  3. Mary, b. 24 April 1775, m. Thomas Norman
  4. Elizabeth, 28 Apr 1779, m. Francis Armistead
  5. John Buckner, b. & d. 13 Nov 1784
  6. Dorothy, 28 Feb 1784 (presumably OS), m. Bartlett Gayle
  7. Susan, m. Ephraim Beazley
  8. Martha 13 Dec 1791, m. Bartlett Gayle as first wife - had issue

The old William Buckner Bible belonged to Mrs. O. M. Walker, of Mobjack, Mathews Co., VA and was copied by Mrs. Bernard F. White in 1937. It was later said to belong to the family of Sally Bet Walker (granddaughter of the above Mrs. Walker) in Mathews Co., VA, and recopied by Gayle Weiss.

I would also tentatively identify the William Buckner of Gloucester who attended William and Mary in 1755 with this William Buckner. He was probably an adolescent at this time, though it appears that he attended as a young adult again in 1759-60. There's also a record of of William Buckner of Gloucester in 1770 as well, though it's less clear to me that this was the same William Buckner. I would guess his birth year was in the early 1740s.

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The story of Mordecai Buckner is missing a rather important point, which requires an extreme act of charity for us to believe that Crozier was unaware of it. The reason Mordecai's descendants had so much difficulty prosecuting his land claims is that he was stripped of his command and expelled from the Continental Army for cowardice and desertion early in 1777 (see Fauquier County in the Revolution for a good summary of the affair). Contemporary accounts suggest that Gen. Washington only barely dissuaded himself from having Col. Buckner shot. The fact that they were already well acquainted seems to have made it all the more bitter to Washington - his response to Buckner's plea to avoid a court martial veritably seethes with rage. What puzzles me about this whole section is that it goes on for so long with such a glaring omission. Why spend a whole page reciting his glorious accomplishments while ignoring an incident so infamous that over 60 years later, it was brought up in a congressional speech mocking the abuses of Revolutionary War bounty claims? OK, maybe it is a bit shameful, but it's a pretty compelling bit of history.

For his faults though, Mordecai is a fairly interesting character. He was quite active in the colonial militia for many years, and the impression I get of him is that he was both markedly ambitious and of markedly unsound judgement. Of all the Buckners in the Revolution he had both the highest rank and the most ignominious fate. Of many records of his service, one particularly telling one comes from a Virginia Gazette article (Page: 6, Column: 2, 1776-08-10). It seems that Col. Buckner arrested one of his lieutenants over a rather minor and questionable breach in protocol, just 6 months before his fall from grace. The court martial found poor Lieut. Jones to be innocent and released him. Mordecai comes off from the whole incident as being rather imperious and quarrelsome, not exactly qualities that endeared him to his men, one would suppose.

One other curious note - Mordecai Buckner was not the only Buckner in the 6th Virginia Regiment. There was another, Pvt. Edmund Buckner, the son of Edward Buckner of Surry County, VA. Edmund was born in 1757. At around the age of 19, he joined the Continental Army and marched with his regiment to New England. He is recorded as having died on Dec. 28th, 1776, just days after the decisive Battle of Trenton on Dec. 26th. Edmund's line appears to be from a separate immigration from the Buckners in The Buckners of Virginia. Most likely, he was a descendant of William Buckner who was on a headrights list in Charles City County, VA in 1657.

I suspect Mordecai was named after one of the various Mordecai Cookes of Gloucester Co., one of whom was said to have married a 2nd or 3rd generation Buckner daughter.

Mordecai probably had two daughters as well, Mary and Catherine, who were named in an 1818 lawsuit between Mordecai's estate and various heirs.

I've seen comments around about Mordecai's having lost his wealth later in life, but you wouldn't know it from Spotsylvania tax lists. He was one of the county's largest slaveowners up to his death.

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See comments for p. 154. This Thomas Buckner "of the Dragon" is a confused reflection of some data that really pertains to Thomas Royston, John Buckner, and Thomas Buckner the son of John Buckner. Both the cited 1000-acre 1669 and 2000 acre patents (the latter actually dated 2 May 1672) belonged to John. The Library of Virginia has the 1669 patent image on line. The 2000 acre patent can be found in E.W. Fleming, Historic periods of Fredericksburg, 1608-1861, Richmond, Va.: W. C. Hill Print. Co. (1921), p. 5.

Crozier's arguments for Samuel Buckner Sr. as the son of this Thomas are perhaps correctly transferred to the real Thomas Buckner, but I would not rule out that he was the son or grandson of Anthony the immigrant or son of Robert Buckner (P1). I would put Samuel Sr.'s most likely birthdate around 1700, which should put him in the 3rd generation though.

The statute cited here is from February 1745, after Crozier claimed that the elder Samuel had died. See comments on page 153 for why I think that idea is wrong. It's not clear to me that Samuel's position as a trustee should be taken to indicate any special familial relationship to the other trustees, beyond the extent to which all of these families were tied together. Crozier's claim that Samuel was married to Anne Alexander, David Alexander's sister (and thus daughter of Anne Morgan Alexander, Samuel's aunt), seems implausible. It's well known that this Anne Alexander was the first wife of Henry Willis Sr., and all indications are that she died around 1725/6 after the birth of her last child and not long before Willis married his second wife, per the old tale about Willis declaring that he would marry both of them, as well as a third Gloucester belle. Note also that the Henry Willis in the statute is Henry Willis Jr., son of Henry Willis Sr. and Anne Alexander.

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See comments for Page 8. Elizabeth Sadler was not the wife of this Phillip Buckner (immigrant). A complaint Phillip and Ann Buckner filed against William Fitzhugh in Oct. 1692 would suggest that his wife's name was Ann (Buckner family. Suit papers, 1692-1707. Accession 22391. Personal papers collection. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. 23219.) There is also a "daughter Buckner" named as a daughter in the will of Andrew Gillson of Stafford Co. VA in 1697, so perhaps she was Ann Gillson (Adventurers of Purse and Person, 4th edition, vol. 1 (2004), p. 220-221). The other possibilities are that she was the wife of John, Anthony, or Andrew Buckner, but since Gillson mentions his "son and daughter Buckner" in 1697 and those three were all dead by then, Phillip is the most logical choice. In that case, Phillip's son Andrew was almost certainly named after his grandfather. Crozier also somewhat misstates the situation with the 1669 land patent. Phillip didn't have a headright; he was a headright. John Buckner and Thomas Vickers paid for his passage.

Crozier missed what is probably an important piece of information on Phillip's son Robert, which is that a Robert Buckner was clerk of court for North Carolina from around 1710-1712. Given that he was probably educated by his lawyer cousins after Phillip died, it is difficult to see this as anyone but Phillip's son. There are other records of a Robert in NC (e.g. a Currituck Co. tax list entry for 1714) and VA in this period, including a St. Pauls Parish (Stafford Co.) record of the death of a Robert Buckner in 1718. He could also be the same Robert Buckner who laid out the original plans for Fredericksburg with John Royston in the 1720s, but see my comments for page 130 as to why I think that was a different Robert Buckner (T2-J1). There are subsequent records of Buckners in coastal North Carolina after Robert through the 1700s, and it's quite possible that they're Robert's descendants, though if he did die in 1718, it's probably not all that likely. It's also a little tempting to connect Robert somehow to John Buckner who was in Currituck in the 1740s, but I'm not sure what that connection would be.

Even less is known of Andrew Buckner (P1) than Robert. The sole record of him I know of outside Phillip's will is the will of Adam Curtis, a friend of William Buckner of York (J1), which he witnessed in York co. VA on 11 Oct 1713 (York Co. Wills Liber 14, p. 308). This does at least show that he lived to adulthood and that William Buckner (J1) probably did accept the responsibility of raising his cousins.

Page 171

One might note that Thomas Buckner of Mill Hill does not appear on the list of Richard Buckner and Elizabeth Cooke's children given on page 35. There is much reason to doubt that he was their son, as Thomas' birthdate is quite late in Richard's life. Richard was certainly well over 50 by 1728, and I'd say probably over 60. I think it's fair to say that almost all Buckner researchers have long since rejected the idea that Thomas of Mill Hill was the son of Richard (J1). I have also heard it proposed, rather unconvincingly, that Thomas was the son of William Buckner "of the Neck" (R2-J1), see page 112. If you're like me, you're also very curious as to where that birthdate listed in Crozier came from, though it is plausible. Mill Hill was located roughly where Daltons, VA is today. Based on its location, and arguments I've discussed elsewhere, I think Thomas of Mill Hill was the son of John Buckner III (J2-J1).

A Virginia Gazette advertisement from 1766 indicates that Capt. Thomas Buckner had lost the 1000-odd-acre mill property by foreclosure to Humphrey Hill and John Robinson (then deceased) "some time ago". As John Taylor was born there in 1754, I think Thomas had probably lost the Mill Hill estate by the mid 1750s, and this article reveals how that happened. Presumably, "Mount Pleasant" is the post-foreclosure residence. It appears to have been somewhat north of Bowling Green and bounded on property of John Taylor in the late 1700s, so it was probably part of John Buckner Jr.'s massive glob of property on south side of the Mattaponi, though I have not been able to locate it exactly yet. The Caroline Order Books indicate that Thomas Buckner took out a mortgage to "James & Robert Berries, merchants in Glasgow" in 1753, and an Elizabeth Buckner made some kind of payment to Thomas Landrum in 1761. Landrum was a lawyer and was a witness to the mortgage, he was perhaps the Berries' agent. I would think that what this indicates is that Thomas took out the mortgage after the foreclosure on Mill Hill, either to buy a new property (Mt. Pleasant?) or to retain some of his former property. At any rate, 1753 is pretty likely to be the year they left Mill Hill.

A 1772 Caroline Co. court record notes that two minor Buckner children of a deceased Thomas Buckner, William and Elizabeth, chose guardians and that an Elizabeth Buckner was his widow. Land on the Mattaponi is also mentioned, so this is probably Thomas Buckner of Mill Hill, putting the date of his death some time around 1772. It's notable that William and Elizabeth chose George (J3-J2-J1) and John Buckner as their guardians. George was certainly a neighbor, but this would also tend to corroborate the idea that he and Thomas were brothers. I'm not 100% sure which John Buckner this is, but I've elsewhere speculated that John who married Elizabeth Washington in 1760 was a 4th brother of George, Thomas, and William, and this fits with that view, though he doesn't seem to have inherited as much property as George, Thomas, and William did. It's possible that John was actually their first cousin, a son of Thomas Buckner (J2-J1), who lived in Caroline in 1732 but concrete evidence has so far otherwise evaded my investigations. It's also worth noting that John Buckner's son Richard Henry Buckner ended up with possession of Mt. Pleasant some years later, which reinforces the idea that they were close relatives of the Mill Hill Buckners.

The list of children of Thomas Buckner and Judith Thornton is also given with the same dates in Reminiscences of Eastern Oregon p. 230 (1903), which somewhat predates BoV. The second marriage is not mentioned. I have seen other sources that confirm some of the children in the first family though.

Crozier uncharacteristically misses the opportunity to point out that Elizabeth Monroe was the sister of President James Monroe; they seem to have been particularly close. She died in 1802.

In the Caroline Co. Order Books, there is a chancery suit recorded on 12 May 1759 in which Thomas and Elizabeth Buckner sued a minor Henry Taliaferro via his guardian Mary Taliferro, widow of Kemp Taliferro, regarding his estate apparently. Earlier on 9 Mar 1749, Richard (R2-J1) and Elizabeth Buckner acknowledged a deed to Kemp Taliaferro (deceased) and his widow Mary, who in turn acknowleded a deed to them - apparenly from a land exchange.

Page 172

Elizabeth (Taliaferro) Buckner's will (Dec. 1786, prob. Jan. 1787) is in the Buckner Personal Papers in the Library of Virginia Archives. It names daughters Judith and Ann Buckner. Sons Robert and Harry and daughter Charlotte Stevens. It also mentions her cousin Francis Buckner, son of William Buckner and her brother Harry Taliaferro. Whether this is Francis Buckner (?3-R2-J1) the son of William and Judith Buckner of "the Neck" or Francis Buckner the son of Capt. William Buckner (W4-J3-J2-J1) and [?] Thornton is unclear. I lean toward the latter. The fact that Elizabeth calls her daughter "Judith Buckner" clears up an old Crozier error. In 1784 in Orange Co. VA, Madison Breedlove married a Judith Buckner, who Crozier takes to be Elizabeth's daughter, but why is she still a Buckner in 1786 in her mothers will? Well, the reason is that Madison Breedlove married a different Judith Buckner, who happened to be almost the same age. The two crucial clues are that they had a son named Aylett and that they married in Orange County - Jane (Aylett) Buckner's youngest daughter was named Judith, and her will was probated in 1789 in Orange Co. See page 41 and comments.

Page 206

I'm not sure how this is significant, but I should point out again that when Howell Price claimed headrights in 1657 in Charles City County, two of the heads were William Buckner and John Stith. (B. Fleet, VA Colonial Abstracts, Vol III, Charles City Co Court Orders 1655-1658, p 116).

Page 282

Crozier's list of Aylett Buckner's children is incomplete, but it's more correct than Stanard's or McGroarty's. To reiterate, his 9 May 1809 will from Green Co KY names Thornton Buckner, Caty (Buckner) Taylor, Louisa (Buckner) Buckner (who married Horace Buckner(W4-J3-J2-J1)), and Richard A. Buckner as his married children and John and Elizabeth Buckner as other children, making 6 total living in 1809. I would not be surprised if several predeceased him though. For information on the Anthony Buckner of whom Crozier writes, see Anthony Buckner's will.

Page 289

Peter Ballard Buckner was one of the sons of John Buckner and Elizabeth Washington and a brother of John Washington Buckner (see p. 293 and comments thereto).

Page 290

Maj. William Buckner Jr. left a will in Sumner Co. TN probated in 1811, (Record Book 2, Page 113). The children weren't named, but his wife Polly was, as well as slaves Winney, Nelly, Austin, and Grace. Conventional wisdom holds that he was the son of William Buckner (P3-R2-J1) (see p. 41). In that case, he would be the son who "went to Nashville" (see p. 78). Since Sumner Co. borders on Davidson Co., where Nashville is, that sounds about right. Also corroborating this, note that Prettyman Merry was named in the will of William Sr.'s mother, Jane (Aylett) Buckner.

Page 293

The way this is written, it's a little unclear. John Washington Buckner died around 1800 (see Clark Co. KY Will Book 1 p. 177) - his widow is the one who lived to 1853. It's often thought that he was the son of John Buckner and Elizabeth Washington, who married in St. Paul's Parish of King George County (formerly Stafford), Virginia on December 21, 1760. This is quite credible to me, as John Washington Buckner was probably born before George Washington's rise to fame, so it seems reasonable that he was named after his mother's family. George H.S. King thought that Richard Henry Buckner was a member of that family as well. To my mind, the main candidate lines are from John Buckner Jr. (the son of John Buckner "the immigrant"), Phillip Buckner the immigrant (through his son Robert), or Anthony Buckner the immigrant (through his son Anthony), but due to close associations with the sons of John Buckner III, I think he's in John Buckner Jr.'s line.

I should add another possible descent of John Buckner-John Washington Buckner though. On June 2, 1776. Gawin Corbin, Jr., of Spotsylvania Co. leased 652 acres in Caroline Co. to John Buckner, Richard Buckner, and John Buckner Jr. This Richard Buckner was perhaps Richard Buckner (R3-R2-J1). Richard (R2-J1) had died in 1773, when John Buckner, Gent., was an executor and Gawin Corbin an appraiser. Richard Buckner, Gawin Corbin and a John Buckner were all vestrymen of Mount Church in Caroline during this period, and since John (R2-J1) is known to have lived by Richard, I think these could be nephew, uncle, and cousin. Another Caroline land record suggests that John Sr. had a son named John, so it might be that this John Buckner Jr. is John Sr.'s son and the same person as John Buckner who married Elizabeth Washington. However, it's also possible that the lease is referring to John's sons Richard Henry and John Washington Buckner, so it's not a clear-cut reference. Interestingly, that's one relationship that could be resolved by DNA testing, since the John Buckner II and John Buckner (R2-J1) lines actually have different haplotypes (why is a long story). This would explain why John Washington Buckner was in Caroline but doesn't seem to have been a co-inheritor with John Buckner II's sons.

A further clue that seems to have eluded most people is a Caroline Co. Order Book entry (9 Aug 1781) which lists the orphans of "John Buckner Gent.", viz. Richard, John, & Catherine, along with Peter (see Peter Ballard Buckner, p. 289) and Margaret (Margaret Storke Buckner) who were infants. John Washington (Elizabeth's brother) was made their guardian, which seems pretty conclusive as to their identities. In 1782 and 1783 Spotsylvania tax lists, there is a John Buckner's estate, which is succeeded by an entry for Elizabeth Buckner in 1785, which is presumably this John's. It was a fairly substantial plantation, from the looks of it.

People occasionally wonder how many John Buckners there were in a row from John Buckner the immigrant. If John Buckner who married Elizabeth Washington really was the son of John Buckner III (J2-J1)-and recall that this is still an open question-then there was an unbroken chain of John Buckners down to at least John Washington Buckner III (b. 1832), who could also reasonably be called John Buckner VII (middle names really didn't come into common use until the late 1700s). Whether he had any sons is unknown to me.

Page 294

This William Buckner is another one of the sons of Capt. William Buckner (J3-J2-J1) in Caroline Co. as evidenced by William's 1783 will (prob. 1788), which names 11 other offspring as well (W.B. McGroarty, "William Buckner of Caroline," in Genealogies of Virginia Families from Tyler's Quarterly Historical Genealogical Magazine, Genealogical Publishing Company (1981), p. 281). There are numerous records in Green Co. KY and Caroline Co. VA that corroborate this, but chiefly we have the evidence of the wills of three sons of Capt. William Buckner, William Buckner Jr. (the surveyor), Horace Buckner, and John Buckner who moved to Green Co. and raised families there. See the Green Co. KY GenWeb Archives, which thanks to the industry of transcriber Molly Daniel has a series of 13 Buckner wills, including the three mentioned.

Page 295

Henry Buckner appears to have been the son of Edward Buckner of Surry/Sussex Co. VA. See Edward Buckner's will and my comments thereon. Also see Missouri Baptist Biography, a biography of Daniel Buckner, and a biography of Burrow Buckner, but note that these do not all agree and must be interpreted with some critical eye. The main thing we have to unravel with this family is the order of Henry's marriages. Thanks to a letter written by Daniel Buckner himself, it is known for sure that Burrow and Daniel Buckner were full brothers by Henry's second wife, along with another brother George and a sister Mary. Unfortunately Daniel does not give their mother's name. Missouri Baptist Biography says that Burrow's mother was "Katharine Koons Buckner of Virginia". However, Crozier says that Daniel's mother was named Susanna. Normally, I'd be inclined to dismiss Crozier, but the information on Daniel's family is otherwise quite detailed, so such a mistake would be a little surprising. However, there is a lot of independent primary data on Katherine Koons. Most importantly, Henry Buckner Sr. and his wife Catherine sold some land in Rowan Co. NC in 1798, so since Burrow was born in 1796 and Daniel in 1801, Catherine Koons is certainly their mother. Complicating that story, there is a lot of confusion over the frequent occurrence of the name "Catherine Leagle" with Henry in those same records, which has led some to conclude that she was Henry's wife. However, if you look at enough of them, it becomes clear that Catherine Leagle was probably Catherine Koons' mother, which is confirmed by the fact that a widow Catherine Koons married Michael Leagle in 1772. Obviously Catherine Leagle is the mother and Catherine (Koons) Buckner the daughter. Catherine Leagle was also named as a daughter in the 1772 Rowan Co. NC will of John Getchey, providing her maiden name as well.

Possibly, Crozier's "Susanna" was the name of the first wife-some say that Susannah was a McSpadden, but the original source of that assertion is unknown to me. Another thing people often say, for no particular good reason, is that Henry Buckner was born in Caroline County VA, which seems highly unlikely.

One well known source, Heritage of Old Buncombe County (1981) gives the name of Henry's first wife as Mary Foster. Unfortunately, while the book is full of information about Henry, it seldom indicates how this information was obtained. In the case of Mary Foster, I'm pretty sure that it's a researcher's mistake based on records in Charlotte Co. VA, where a Mary Buckner can be found in the late 1700s who was indeed the widow of George Foster. However, it turns out that her husband's name was actually Thomas Buckner, based on a deed she made to transfer her dower rights from the first marriage to some of her grandchildren in Charlotte Co. in 1797. I see how they made the connection-Henry Buckner lived in Charlotte County in 1767 (per the Lunenburg Co. VA Order Books), so when they saw Mary Foster Buckner in the same county 10 years later, they no doubt concluded that she had to be Henry's wife. As it turns out, that Thomas Buckner was probably Henry Buckner's brother who died in the Revolutionary War in 1777. It's possible she married Henry after that, but I've seen nothing to suggest that that was the case. There were lots of Fosters in Charlotte Co. though, so it could have been a different Mary Foster, but since there appear to be no other records of this Foster-Buckner marriage, I still think it's a mistake.

One positive thing about Heritage is that it reprints the relevant passage of Daniel Buckner's famous letter: "My father Henry Buckner was born and raised in Virginia more than a hundred years ago, had a numerous family when he moved to Roan County, N.C. There his wife died and he married my mother, after which he moved to Laurens County, So. Car. There brother George was born, and then my sister Mary was born and died when about four years old. Then your father was born, five years after this, I was born. So I was the youngest of the family. I have seen of my half brothers, Jessee, Philip and James, and my half sister Lucy. They all had families before I was born. There are two or three others that I have never seen. I believe that since your father's death I am the only remaining member of the family. I now think of another half brother John. I went once to see him in Buncombe Co., N.C. They had 19 children and when I was at his house there was twelve of them living at home and the youngest was grown, the other 7 had set up for themselves. This was the most romantick family I have ever seen." (David C. Reece, "The Henry Buckner Family 251-I", in Heritage of Old Buncombe County, V1, p. 261, 1981)

Page 297

Dr. Horace Buckner of Culpepper Co. was the son of George Buckner (J3-J2-J1) of Caroline Co. See comments for page 130. He's also notable in that he studied medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland and was apparently stranded there for a time by the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. He was a student of and corresponded with the noted Scottish schoolmaster Donald Robertson in Virginia, who perhaps inspired him to study in Scotland. Francis Thornton appears to have been his second wife, as he first married Janet "Jannie" Ritchie (a contemporary letter says he was "of Port Royal" at the time).(Archibald McCall, George McCall and Joseph S. Ewing, "The Correspondence of Archibald McCall and George McCall, 1777-1783," The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography Vol. 73, No. 3 (Jul., 1965), pp. 312-353).

Page 299

William Goelet Bucknor's father was named William C. Bucknor, and perhaps Cornelius was his middle name. They're well documented from William Bucknor, since the family was quite wealthy and William's wife Elizabeth Goelet came from an old and prominent NY family. They definitely have living descendants today, as well. The story related in Walter Barrett a.k.a. J.A. Scoville's The Old Merchants of New York City (second series) about William Bucknor is that he was visiting New York from the West Indies before the Revolution and met Elizabeth Goelet, which motivated him to settle in New York. As there were plenty of Bucknors in Jamaica and "William" was one of their standard family names, it seems fairly certain that he's one of them, though I haven't been able to figure out which. Given his age, he's probably in the 4th generation from the apparent Jamaica immigrant, John Bucknor. I would guess he's a grandson of William Bucknor of Hanover Parish, Jamaica (ca 1702-1757), who had at least 4 sons.

The male line from William C. Bucknor, the New York immigrant, appears to be extinct, so there probably won't be any YDNA testing.

Page 301

Charles Buckner of New Hampshire and later Boston (ca. 1629-1684) left quite a few more records beyond this (see my PhpGed tree). There was perhaps also a Samuel Buckner who married Mary Bille in Boston in 1692, though the reading of "Buckner" is questionable (I think it's more likely to have been "Bucknel"). Charles Buckner's wife Mary, nee Hunting, also had a daughter Mary who married a White, though some genealogists working on the Huntings have attributed this daughter to a previous husband of Mary Hunting. I'm not really sure myself. The occasional popping up of the name Samuel Buckner in New England sort of vaguely suggests that the line might have survived, but the connections are tenuous. Charles was probably the son of John Buckner (ca. 1595-?)and grandson of Thomas Buckner the mercer (ca. 1562-aft. 1633).

The Author

I'm Ben Buckner. If you have comments about this page or have something to be added, you can contact me at my Spambot-proof mail link (won't work if you're paranoid enough to have turned off your JavaScript.)