Buckner Immigrants to America
This is an incomplete list to be sure, but it gives an idea what the
name's immigration history is like. I had previously estimated that there have been less than 10 such immigrations of Buckners to the US before 1900 (counting sets of related individuals rather than each Buckner). Since then, I've been able to access more immigration data from the 19th century, and the numbers of Buckners listed is enormous, especially from Germany. This presents a certain logical problem, as the present number of Buckners in Germany is estimated to be approximately 88. Not 88,000 - eighty-eight, which is approximately 1 per million. Ancestry.Com identifies 38 Buckners immigrating to the US from Germany from 1851 to 1890, which would essentially imply that every single Buckner then living in Germany came to the US, and then some. I find this somewhat improbable. My guess as to the explanation for this is that many Bu/üchners (several hundred times more common) were either recorded as Buckners or adopted a more Americanized spelling upon arrival. Whether they usually kept the Americanized spelling is unclear. Also, my examination of some of the original images in Ancestry.com's database shows that at least some of the "Buckners" were actually written down as "Buchners" in the manuscript only to be mistranscribed into the Ancestry data base index (e.g. George Buchner & family arriving from Bremen in New Orleans on the Arabella in 1846.)
It's also worth noting how few of these immigrants can be confidently identified in their home countries.
- 1585: Thomas "Bookener"
- Accompanied Sir Walter Ralegh's
settlement venture at Roanoke in Virginia, the first attempt at an English colony in the New World. I and most historians of the expedition tend to identify him with Thomas Buckner (1562-aft. 1634), a mercer of London. He was probably the son of John Buckner of Botley (then in Berkshire, now in Oxfordshire) and grandson of William Buckner of Botley.
- Before 1657: Charles Buckner
- Settled in New Hampshire and later Boston, Massachusetts. W.A. Crozier thought that this line died out, but there is some evidence of a daughter named Mary and some scant evidence of a Samuel Buckner in the next generation. It's worth pointing out that "Charles" was a politically charged name in England - Charles Buckner's parents were quite likely royalists and he was almost certainly born after the accession of Charles I in 1625. Charles also has the distinction of being one of the few Buckner immigrants who can be identified in England with some certainty, as the son of John Buckner of London christened in St. Christopher Le Stocks on 16 Feb 1628/9, and he was probably the grandson of Thomas Buckner the mercer, above, who visited America in 1585.
- bef 1655 John Buckner, bef 1667 Phillip Buckner, bef 1672 Anthony Buckner, bef 1673 Andrew Buckner
- Small group of apparently related Buckners who came from England to Virginia and settled around the Rappahannock River. Early works on their genealogy identified John Buckner as the original immigrant, but most genealogists who've worked on them tend to argue that several members of the same family immigrated within a few decades, certainly his brother Phillip. The earliest mention of a Buckner I can find in 17th century Virginia is John Buckner in 1655 (as a witness of a mortgage by Abraham Moone). Given their death dates (1687-1700) and dates of earliest appearance, it's virtually certain that they were all brothers or cousins rather than some fathers and some sons. Andrew appears to have died without issue, but the other three seem to have had adult offspring. In my opinion, there are surviving descendants of all three of their lines. Their origin in England is unclear, and much previous research to that end seems to be very wrong. This Rappahannock-based line is one of the two largest in terms of modern American population. Anthony Buckner the immigrant may have been the same Anthony Buckner who was christened in Salisbury, England on 5 July 1644, the son of Archdeacon William Buckner (1605-1657) and his wife Elizabeth. Like Charles Buckner (above), Anthony was probably a grandson of Thomas Buckner the Mercer. Mostly likely, John and Phillip Buckner were cousins of his.
- ca. 1657: William Buckner
- Imported by Howell Price. Seems to have settled in Charles City County, VA near the upper James River. Recent research suggests that he had at least one son named Lawrence, who was probably the ancestor of a number of 18th century Buckners in central Virginia around Prince George, Sussex, Surry, and Lunenburg Counties. I have tentatively proposed that this William Buckner was the son of William Buckner, yeoman of St. Sepulchre's in London, who was the son of Lawrence Buckner of Soulbury, Buckinghamshire. This James-River line is the other of the two largest American Buckner lines. Together, the Rappahannock and James River lines (which are distantly related) probably comprise more than half of the Buckners in America.
- Before 1737: Thomas Buckner
- Irish immigrant, probably arrived in the
late 1730s. Settled in South Carolina, many modern descendants.
- Before 1772: Benjamin, Jesse, and John Buckner
- According to a few sources (most authoritatively R.S. Duncan, A history of the Baptists in Missouri: embracing an account of the organization and growth of Baptist churches and associations; biographical sketches of ministers of the gospel and other prominent members of the denomination; the founding of Baptist institutions, periodicals, &C., Scammell & Company, Publishers, 1882, p. 441. ) these three brothers immigrated from England, probably in the mid-1700s, and after arriving in Virginia moved south to found a major Buckner line in the Carolinas and Georgia. This story is almost certainly false, but given that it names a source (H.F. Buckner), I think I have to note it. Many researchers have also attempted, unconvincingly, to connect them to the Buckners of the Rapahannock Virginia immigration. DNA and documentary evidence show that they're almost certainly descendants of the James River immigrant, William Buckner and his putative son Lawrence (above).
- Before 1776: William (Cornelius?) Bucknor
- Said to have been visiting New York from the West Indies before the Revolution where he met and married Elizabeth Goelet, daughter of prominent merchant Peter Goelet. Probably one of the Jamaican Bucknors. The male line appears to have died out in the 1920s, but there is a decent number of known descendants.
- Before 1777: Patrick [Mc]Buckner
- Irish immigrant, probably arrived in the
1760s-1770s (a possible 1769 importation record exists). Descendants concentrated in Eastern KY and Southwestern VA.
- ca.1847: Johann Buckner
- Immigrated from Germany, settled in Indiana
- ca. 1855: James and Thomas Buckner
- Immigrated from Scotland, settled in Massachusetts (see queries for Nov. 22, 1997.)