This is the transcribed will of Will of Thomas Bucknor of St Mary's Parish, Jamaica, 1733 (RGO/SpTw Liber 19, p. 160 1733-1734 - File #1995/2010).

Thomas appears to have been born in Clarendon Parish around 1703, according to a 13 Sep 1703 christening record. William his brother was christened in 1702, by the same source. The Clarendon Parish christenings name their parents as John and Frances Buckner, and a Clarendon marriage from 1695 of "John and Francis Bucknell" stands a good chance of being theirs (the early Clarendon marriages unfortunately seem to omit the bride's maiden name). Clarendon was quite thinly populated at this time and there seems to be no other evidence of Bucknells in the area, so it is likely to be a misreading or miscopying.

There is no obvious evidence of his son Thomas after this will, but the extreme sparsity of early Jamaica records makes it difficult to tell what might have happened to him. His brother William had several children though, who have living descendants today. This will is quite important in establishing what was probably the first two generations of Bucknors in Jamaica. Little else is currently known of them. The name Frances crops up repeatedly in later generations. Burke's genealogical and heraldic history of the landed gentry (Vol. 1, p. 77) notes that Ballard Beckford (Jr., d. 1764) married Frances Bucknor, daughter of John Bucknor, Esq., so John and Frances apparently had at least three children, William, Thomas, and Frances. However, I suspect the chronology of the Ballard Beckfords is a little confused somehow, since Ballard Beckford Jr. would have to have been much younger than Frances Bucknor. It's also possible that Beckford's wife was the daughter of another otherwise unknown John Bucknor. A nearly contemporary John Buckner in Virginia (ca. 1670-ca. 1727) married an Ann Ballard and his brother William Buckner of York Co. VA married her sister Katherine. It's also worth noting that their father John Buckner founded an early tobacco warehouse (around 1680) in Port Royal, Virginia, which was apparently named both for the Jamaica city and, punningly, the local Roy family, who intermarried with the Buckners and later took over the warehouse. It's hard to imagine that these connections are a random coincidence.

Elizabeth Boone is probably Catherine's daughter by a previous marriage, given her young age and Thomas' provisions for her. There is a baptism record of Elizabeth Boone (b. 28 May 1725) from Kingston Parish, daughter of Samuel Boone of St. George's Parish, deceased, and Katherine Boone. This seems likely to be the same Elizabeth Boone. If Catherine Boone/Bucknor was the mother of both Elizabeth Boone and Thomas Buckner Jr., it stands to reason that Thomas was younger, putting his birthdate between 1725 and 1733.

The son "in law" Samuel Edwards is harder to figure out, but it seems unlikely Thomas had a natural daughter who had already married. Perhaps Catherine had been widowed twice before, but the question remains open.

The list of slaves is particularly interesting. The special references to the "mulatto" Frank and her quadroon daughter Mary lead an inquisitive reader to wonder who Mary's father might have been, as he obviously must have been white.

Thomas Sr.'s friend Andrew Orgill was probably a son or grandson of Andrew Orgill of Port Royal, Jamaica who left a will written in 1680 (probated 1686).

Given that Thomas was still paying off his father's estate's debts, I would think that John had not died too many years before, probably no earlier than the mid 1720s. A 1727 anti-Spanish pamphlet notes that the Spanish had made off with 48 slaves of John Buckner's, so he probably died circa 1730. Along with his children's birthdates, I would estimate John Bucknor of Jamaica lived ca. 1670-ca. 1730. Given the similarities in age to John Buckner Jr. of Virginia, the repeated connections to the Ballards, and the fact that both families were colonial planters, I think John Bucknor of Jamaica must have been either a nephew or first cousin once removed of John Buckner of Virginia (ca. 1630-1695).

It's not clear if Ryo Novo is the name of the plantation or the plantation is in Rio Nuevo. Rio Nuevo Bay is also known as Bucknor's Bay (in St. Mary's parish), so the plantation could have been quite substantial. The mention of William Bucknor in Hanover Parish is also useful, as Hanover is quite some distance from St.Mary's. This helps locate William's properties, which were the subject of an extended lawsuit in the early 1800s, White v. Parnther. This suit identifies many William's descendants up into the 19th century. It's also worth noting that another Bucknor-named geographic feature in Jamaica is just north of Hanover Parish, Buckner Reef.

This family of Bucknors probably gives rise to the substantial population of Bucknors still living in Jamaica, and they most likely are the ancestors of William Bucknor from "the West Indies" who settled in New York just before the American Revolution. It also seems likely that the Bucknor families of West Africa could trace their ancestry back to Jamaican Maroons who were transported to Nova Scotia and then to Liberia. The name of one of Thomas Bucknor's slaves, Cudjoe, perhaps suggests some Maroon connections, as Cudjoe was also the name of Captain Cudjoe, a renowned Maroon leader and Jamaican national hero who lived at that time. The name is certainly Coromantee at least. The origin of the Jamaica Bucknors is unclear at present, but their preferred spelling of the name was prevalent among one particular branch of Bucknors who lived in London and Ireland in the 1600s and 1700s. One of these was Capt. Thomas Bucknor, Esq., an extremely wealthy merchant who had friends involved in the West India trade, so it seems likely that John Bucknor was a member of this family.

I've tried to preserve the line arrangement so anyone who wants can compare this to the original image. I don't claim perfection, and there are some things that can be interpreted different ways. (Thanks are due to Gail Black as well, who obtained the will and provided most of the transcription.)

Date of will: 1 Mar 1732/3

Probate: 9 Apr 1734

People named in the will:

Jamaica Is    |      In the name of God Amen I Thomas Bucknor of the 
Bucknor Thos  |Parish of St. Maries and Island aforesaid planter being of sound 
9th April     | mind and perfect health  praised be God for the same  but consider
1734          |  ing the uncertainly of Health and many accidents to which it is 
              |     liable every day Do make and declare this my Last Will and 
______________|      Testament in manner and form following that is to say my 
Soul I recommend into the hands of Almighty God who gave it and my body I desire 
may be decently buried at the discretion of my Executrix hereafter named And as 
to such Worldly fortune as it hath pleased Almighty God to bless me with I give 
and dispose thereof - as followeth Imprimis Item I give and bequeath unto my 
daughter in Law Elizabeth Boone Two Cowes called Frank and Molley and their 
increase after the Expiration of the Lease that I have made to Henry Pasely of 
my land and Cattle and also one mulatto named Frank and a Quarteroon Girle 
daughter to the aforesaid Frank named Mary when the aforesaid Elizabeth Boone 
shall attain to the age of Sixteen years on day of Marriage to her and her Heirs 
of her body Lawfully begotten forever And it is my Will that in Case the said 
Elizabeth Boone should die before she arrives at the age of Sixteen years or day 
of Marriage that then the aforesaid Legacy of the above named Mulatto Frank her 
Quarteroon Daughter named Mary with the above two Cowes Frank and Molly and 
their increase shall return to my Heir hereafter named.  But in case my Executrix 
of this my Last Will and Testament-should die before the said Elizabeth Boone shall 
attain unto the age of Sixteen years or Day of Marriage then it is my Will that 
the said Mulatto Woman named Frank and her said Quarterron Girle named 
Mary shall wait and attend upon my aforesaid Daughter in Law Elizabeth Boone 

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until she arrives at the age of sixteen years or day of Marriage.  Item I give 
and bequeath unto my beloved Wife Catherine Bucknor two Cowes for her and her heirs forever
Item I give and bequeath unto my beloved Brother William Bucknor of the parish of 
Hannover and Island aforesaid planter his choice of one of my rideing Horses for 
him and his Heirs forever Item  I give and bequeath unto my beloved Son in Law 
Samuel Edwards one young cowe to be delivered unto him immediately after my decease
for him and his heirs forever And my Will and pleasure is that after my decease 
that twelve of my Negroe slaves Vizl. Cudjoe , Joe , Dick , Sam , Hecter, Haney Richmond
Mary Moll Sabbinah Cuttelina and Jenny shall remain on Ryo Novo Estate for the 
term of Five years towards Exchanging my deceased Father Mr John Buckner's debts which 
Entitles me to one half of the said Ryo Novo's Estate both real and person And in Case
as I am to receive no other benefitt from the said Estate untill the debts are paid 
that if any of my aforesaid twelve Negros should happen to dye during the aforesaid Term of 
Five years that then and there shall be immediately after him or hers decease another 
Negro shall be put in the room of the aforesaid Negro in Negros so dying by my aforesaid 
brother William Bucknor to be purchased out of the product of the said Ryo Nova 
Estate for the use of my heirs for ever And in case there should be any neglect in my 
brothers not putting another slave in the room of any my aforementioned slave or slaves 
that then my Execurtix hereafter shall immediately Draw and take off all the 
remainder of any aforesaid Twelve negroes Slaves aforementioned As as touching my 
[??]en at St Georges parish in the aforesaid Island my Will and pleasure is that the 
whole product and other profitts from thence arising shall go to the improvemt 
of it for the use of my Son Thomas Bucknor Item I give devise and bequeath all 
the rest of my Estates both real and personall either in this island or in my other 
stetpart of the World of what nature and kind ^whatsoever unto my beloved Son Thomas Bucknor 
when he shall attain the age of Sixteen years But ^ifin case my said Son should 
happen to die before he attain to the age of Sixteen years that then it is my Will 
and pleasure that all my Estates both real and personall I give and devise and bequeath 
unto my aforesaid Loveing Wife Catherine Bucknor for her during her naturall Life 
and no longer And then I will and bequeath all my estates both real and personall unto 
my beloved Brother William Bucknor for him and His Heirs for Ever Item I constitute 
and appoint my well beloved Wife Catherine Bucknor Sole Executrix of this my last 
Will and Testament And it is my intent and meaning that of this my said Will 
that if my aforesaid Wife Catherine Bucknor shall intermarry after my decease 
then I appoint my loveing Brother William Bucknor and my good friend Andrew 
Orgill Esqre of the parish of St Maries and Island aforesaid to be Extors of this my 
Last Will and Testament discharging my aforesaid wife from being and remain
ing an Executrix to all intents and purposes whatsoever.  And I do hereby 
Revoke disanull and disallow all other former Wills and bequests by me at 

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any time heretofore made and do acknowledge this and no other to be my Last and Will 
and Testament In witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and Seal this 
first day of March in the year of Our Lord God One thousand seven hundred thirty 
and two and three-----Thomas X Buckner {}
Signed sealed and deliverd in the presences Of Dommick D Plunketts mark
John J Evers  Sebas Pennicott
Memto this 9i day of Aprill 1734 personally came and appeared before me John Ewers 
and made oath upon the Holy Evangelists that he was present and did see Thomas 
Bucknor the Testator within mentioned being then of sound mind and memory 
Sign Seal publish and declare the within written Instrument to be his Last Will 
and Testament And that at the same time Dommick Plunck oto and Sebastian 
Pennicott were also present and together with him subscribed their names as 
Witnesses to the same in the presence of the said Testator And further that he knows 
not of any other Will or Testament since made by the said Testator which may 
tend to the disadvantage of the Will within written & Jur J Ayscough [Ex LS?] (stet)