Friday, November 9, 2007

Buck Cemetery

The Buck Cemetery is sometimes described as being in Waterlick, sometimes in Buckton and sometimes near Front Royal. This cemetery dates to the late 1700’s and is located on land originally owned by Charles Buck I. It may include the grave of Charles Buck I. The cemetery is actually easy to find although I was very confused the first time I attempted to find it.

The cemetery is located on SR-610 which turns off of Hwy 55 at Waterlick (near a small, old store) as "Buck's Mill Rd". Shortly after getting on SR-610, SR-678 "Richardson Road" joins it from the left. Keep to the right on SR-610. You'll be sort of following the railroad which will be on your left. When SR-610 crosses the railroad and turns sharply to the right (otherwise running into the river), find a place to park on the side of the road. Then go back to the railroad tracks and follow the tracks up the hill. The cemetery is between the tracks and the river. (Alternatively, you can walk up the hill between the tracks and the river.) It is a beautiful old cemetery surrounded by a stone fence.

Going back to the directions, the house on the left just before crossing the railroad tracks is supposed to be the site of the Charles Buck II house. The chimney is said to be the original chimney but I've not seen any documentation of that fact.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Family of Charles Buck I

Charles Buck I had three sons: John, Charles II and Thomas V. A daughter, Mary, probably died shortly after birth.

John Buck, born December 27, 1748, was the first child of Charles Buck I and Anna Sorrell Earle, daughter of Major Samuel Earle III and Anna Sorrell. He married Miriam Richardson in 1774. He moved to Ohio where he died in 1815.

Mary Buck was born and died in 1749. Her mother, Anna, died that same year. The exact dates and details are unknown but it is probably a good assumption that both died during childbirth.

After the death of Anna Sorrell Earle, Charles Buck I married Letitia Sorrell in 1749. Their first child, Charles II, was born Oct 28, 1750. Charles Buck II married Mary Richardson, sister of Miriam, on April 3, 1774. They lived in Buckton their entire lives. Charles Buck II died in 1823.

The second child of Charles Buck I and Letitia Sorrell (third son of Charles Buck I) was named Thomas. By convention, this Thomas Buck is usually called Thomas V in modern genealogy listings. Thomas V was born June 10, 1756; he also married one of the Richardson sisters, Anne, on December 14, 1774. They lived their entire lives in the Front Royal area. Thomas V died in 1842.

Charles Buck I died in 1771; his will is dated February 4, 1771. His gravesite is unknown; however, a monument to Charles Buck I was placed at Buckton Cemetery by Walter Hooper Buck.

In 1740, Charles Buck I purchased land along the south side of the north branch of the Shenandoah River. This land included the farms called “Clover Hill” and “Cedar Hill”. In his will he gave 780 acres of this land to his son, Charles II. This land became known as Buckton and the Buckton Cemetery, a private cemetery for those family members, is located on the bank of the river.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Politics of Charles Buck I

When Charles Buck I moved to the Shenandoah Valley (about 1735), it was a colony of England. Although considerably different than today, politics were part of normal life – especially for landowners such as Charles Buck.

William P. Buck wrote that "In July, 1758, he voted for Colonel Martin and Mr. West as representatives from Frederick County to the House of Burgesses. He, therefore, voted against Colonel George Washington (they voted for two of the three). Washington won the election."

To put his vote in proper perspective, it is important to realize that Charles Buck (probably) knew George Washington personally and certainly knew him or of him on a different basis than as the “Father of his Country”. When George Washington famously surveyed the wilderness of the Virginia Valley in 1748, Charles Buck had already lived there for some thirteen years! During the French and Indian Wars, Washington had built Fort Loudoun at nearby Winchester to be his headquarters from about 1755 to 1758. Washington bought land in Frederick county and a lot in Winchester. It was the ownership of this land that enabled Washington to be elected to the House of Burgesses from 1758 to 1765; however, Washington did not actually live there.

Charles Buck held a number of appointed and therefore somewhat political positions during his life: vestryman, lieutenant in the militia, overseer of roads, trustee of the town of Strausburg. He just didn’t vote for the future first President of the United States.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Charles Buck I -- a Sportsman

In a letter written by his son, Thomas, Charles Buck I was said to be “a great sportsman and used carry me off to the horse races of which I became very fond and in all probability should have followed his example had not the Lord arrested both him and myself in our mad career.”

The race track referenced by Thomas Buck is said to have been located in present day Front Royal. Typically such tracks were about a quarter mile around. The better horses were smaller and their descendants are known as quarter horses today.

Horse racing in colonial Virginia was considered an immoral and sinful activity. Not only were the races rough on the horses, races were often brutal for the jockeys. Horse races were also accompanied by wagering and alcoholic beverages. At the same time, horse racing was reserved for gentlemen only!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Charles Buck I (1710 - 1771)

Charles Buck I was born about 1710 in York County and died in 1771 in the Shenandoah Valley. He first moved from York County into Westmoreland County, but after a short stay there he received a bequest from his uncle Joseph which he used to buy land in the Shenandoah Valley about 1735. Charles prospered there, and became a large landowner near what is now Front Royal, VA. He was a Vestryman of Frederick Parish, Lieutenant of Militia, Trustee for the town of Strasburg, Overseer of Roads, and otherwise active and influential in county affairs.

Charles Buck I married Ann Sorrell Earle in 1747 in Earle Family Chapel, Muddy Run, VA. Ann Sorrell Earle was born in 1728 and died in 1749 shortly after the birth of her daughter Mary who also died. She was the daughter of Major Samuel Earle, a pioneer leader in the valley who was the first delegate from Frederick County to the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1744. Charles and Ann had two children: John and Mary.

After the death of his first wife, Ann Sorrell Earle, Charles BUCK I married Letitia Sorrell in 1749. Letitia was the widow of (1) Ambrose Callis and (2) John Wilcox. She was also the aunt of Ann Sorrell Earle, the first wife of Charles Buck I. Her son Thomas wrote of her "She was a strict moralist, and instilled into my mind a great reverence for the Supreme Being". She had children by her previous marriages; perhaps as many as three sons and five daughters. Charles Buck I and Letitia Sorrell had two sons: Charles (II) and Thomas (V).

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Thomas Buck IV (ca 1715 – ?)

Before moving on to Charles Buck, whom we now begin to call Charles Buck I, a few notes about his brother, Thomas Buck IV, are appropriate. Once again, we know little of this Thomas Buck except that he was born in York County, Virginia. We do not know the name of his wife or even if he married.

It has been speculated that, when Charles Buck left York County for the Shenandoah Valley, his brothers Thomas IV and John were with him. This would have been about 1735. My grand-uncle, Hubert Nelson Buck, believed that Thomas IV eventually settled into North Carolina; however, there is no data to support this.

Here is an interesting advertisement from 1739:

Virginia Gazette, July 27 - Aug. 3 1739: "Advertisements - Stol'n or Stray'd, from the Subscriber, in Williamsburg, about the 16th Day of June last, a young dark grey Horse, branded on the near Buttock with a Hook, has a long Switch Tail, and a long Mane hanging to the left Side, with a white Streak in his Forehead. Whoever will bring the said Horse to the Subscriber living near the Capitol, shall have Ten Shillings Reward. Thomas Buck"

According to my data, this particular Thomas Buck was probably the one now called Thomas Buck IV. If so, he was still living in Williamsburg in 1739.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Thomas Buck III (ca 1682 – 1727)

Thomas Buck III, son of Thomas II and grandson of the emigrant, was born in 1682; he died in 1727, about two years before his father, at the age of 45. Like his father, he was born in York County, Virginia and died there as well. Again like his father and grandfather, we have very few facts and details about the life of Thomas Buck III.

The wives of Thomas Buck I, II and III are unknown. Some three hundred years later, there must be several hundred thousand unknown Buck family relatives from their families!

Thomas Buck III had ten children: Ann, Charles, Nathaniel, Mary, Francis, James, Elizabeth, Thomas IV, John and Benjamin. Of his children, little is known except for Charles. Charles Buck, perhaps accompanied by his brothers John and Thomas IV, left York County for the Shenandoah Valley. It is with this Charles Buck that the history of the Buck family of Virginia becomes better defined.

Thomas Buck III was present at the deathbed of his brother Benjamin in 1727 and gave a deposition which became Benjamin's will. According to his deposition, Benjamin had been very ill and "had something to say before he went out of this world." Benjamin then dictated his will to Thomas and asked that it be put in writing. Since Thomas could not write, he had their brother, Nathaniel, come to Benjamin's house to write the will. By the time Nathaniel arrived, Benjamin was almost speechless; he died the next day. Thomas repeated Benjamin's dictation to Nathaniel who wrote it down. Thomas then took the paper written by Nathaniel to "Mr. William Barber and desired him to put the said words in form of a will".

Thomas's own will was probated June 17, 1728, and is recorded in York County general records book No. 16, Folio 532.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Dorothy Buck (1654 - ?)

The younger sister of Thomas Buck II, Dorothy, was born in June of 1654 according to later court documents. At the unbelievably young age of eleven (correct: 11), Dorothy married Robert Tallant in 1665. To my knowledge, nothing else is known about Dorothy or, for that matter, Robert Tallant. If there is more information available, I’d sure like to know about it.

In his will, Dorothy Buck’s father, Thomas Bucke I, gave his house and land to his son, Thomas II. The rest of his estate was to be shared equally between Thomas II and Dorothy. Their guardians were Richard Smith and Nicholas Bond.

There is some speculation that perhaps Dorothy’s early marriage was a legal ruse to obtain her inheritance; however, there is no evidence to support this speculation.

Given the tendency to name children after spouses and siblings, it seems strange that the name “Dorothy” does not appear in the Buck family line again for many generations. Perhaps this is an indication of the number of missing branches from that tree or perhaps a very interesting story that has yet to be told!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Thomas Buck II (ca 1652 – 1729)

There were many Thomas Buck’s in the early days of Virginia. The convention that is usually employed to distinguish between them is to begin numbering with the emigrant; thus Thomas Buck I (1618 – 1659) was the father of Thomas Buck II (ca 1652 – 1729). In their direct line are III, IV, V and VI. Thomas Buck VI died at the age of thirteen.

Thomas Buck II was certainly a minor, probably about six to eight years old when his mother and father died. His younger sister, Dorothy, was born in 1654 according to later court documents but his own birthdate is unknown. Richard Smith and Nicholas Bond became their guardians. In 1662, Thomas Buck II was still a minor and Richard Smith must have been the principal guardian although he was described as “one of the overseers”.

Thomas II married twice. His first wife is unknown but they had six children: Matthew, Mary, Thomas (III), Joseph, Benjamin and Nathaniel. Matthew was probably their first child and born about 1676; Joseph was probably born last, about 1684. Thomas Buck II outlived his first wife and all his children except for Joseph and Nathaniel.

Elizabeth Cosby was the second wife of Thomas Buck II. She was the widow of John Wooding, a skilled carpenter. Elizabeth Cosby Wooding Buck was named administrix of John Wooding's estate but John Wooding did not leave a will. Elizabeth married Thomas Buck II in 1698 after the death of John Wooding. Thomas Buck II then became co-administrator.

Since no children are mentioned in the will of John Wooding, he and Elizabeth probably had no children; she and Thomas Buck II had no children.

The will of Thomas Buck II, dated May 19, 1729, and probated less than a month later (June 16, 1729) is recorded in York County general records book No. 16, Part 2, Folio 60. The extant will was described as being very mutilated but does name his children and some grandchildren.

My thanks to a cousin, Barbara Murray, who clarified old assumptions about Thomas Buck II through careful research of the Williamsburg and Yorktown records.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Could Thomas Bucke Read and Wright?

In his will, Thomas Bucke asked that his children, Thomas and Dorothy, “be brought upp to learning, Read and Wright” but could Thomas himself “read and wright” -- spelling apparently being a different subject!

Thomas Bucke almost certainly did not write his will in his own hand. He was very ill and may have dictated his will from his deathbed. Even so, the will closes with “with my hand and Seale”. Two of the witnesses, Gregory Rue and Henry Russ apparently signed their names; the third witness, Elizabeth W. Frie, made her mark. (I’ve not seen the original will of Thomas Bucke. The original was said to be in very poor condition with several sections completely unreadable. )

The very first item listed in the inventory of Thomas Bucke’s estate was “One Byble”. The presence of the Bible is a significant indication that Thomas, or perhaps his wife, was literate. No other books were included in the inventory but most households did not have books. The inventory also includes four “bills” and one “account” of others. From these bits and pieces, I conclude that Thomas Bucke could “read and wright”.

Unfortunately, despite the instructions of his father, Thomas Buck II apparently was illiterate. His will of May 19, 1729 shows “Thomas Buck, his mark”.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Comments are now allowed but will be moderated.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Furniture of Thomas Buck I

After his death in 1659, the estate of Thomas Buck was inventoried and that list has survived. The furniture of Thomas Buck is referred to (actually only mentioned) in the book “The Furniture of our Forefathers” by Esther Singleton, published in 1916 by Doubleday, Page and Company.

Of sufficient interest to be included in the book were
- 4 lined back chairs
- 3 wainscot chairs
- 1 hide couch
- 1 wainscot couch
- 1 frame table
- 2 joint stools
- 1 little stool.

Not mentioned in the book but interesting furnishings include
- one looking glass
- one carpet

A looking glass was said to be somewhat unusual and expensive, even in England, before about 1660.

A carpet was not a floor covering; it was a rough cloth for covering a table or cupboard.

The estate of Thomas Buck also included two beds: one was described as a feather bed with bolster and two pillows; the other as a flock bed with bolster. Various bed linen and sheets were included. Some of the bed linen was described as being for a child’s bed.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Associates of Thomas Buck I

In the few records that exist, the following names are somehow associated with Thomas Buck I.

In 1635, William Neesun is listed on the passenger list of the ship George just before Thomas Buck; George Smith is listed just after Thomas Buck.

In the court case of 1658, Robert Goffe is described as the indentured servant of Thomas Buck. Alexander Sanderson testified on behalf of Robert Goffe. Edward Pierce, John Cooper, Henry Walton and Henry Towson testified on behalf of Thomas Buck.

In the will of Thomas Buck, 1659, Richard Smith and Nicholas Bond were listed as overseers of the estate and guardian of his children, Thomas and Dorothy Buck. The bills of Thomas Packman, Randolph Rhoades, George Falkner and Mr. Pansdale are included in the inventory of the estate of Thomas Buck. Gregory Rue, Henry Russ and Elizabeth W. Frie were witnesses to the will.

After his death, the court ordered payments to Jeffrey Moore and Edward Wade from the estate of Thomas Buck for their appraisal of his estate. John Overstreet was paid for treatments to the wife of Thomas Buck.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Will of Thomas Buck I

This is the will of Thomas Buck I (1618 ‑ 1659), the progenitor of the Buck Family of Virginia. Apparently, he and his wife died about the same time leaving their two children, Thomas and Dorothy, both minors, to be raised by guardians. At the time the will was transcribed, it was said to be in poor conditions with some sections unreadable. I assume some of his will, as written below, may have been filled in by using the standard forms of the day; however, I don't know if that was actually done.

The last will and TESTAMENT of mee Thomas Bucke, being very sicke and weake in body but in perfect memory:

First, I bequeath my Soule to God that gave itt, trusting in ye meritts of Jesus Christ that itt shall be everlastingly saved, and my body to be burryed.


It: I give unto Thomas Bucke, my sonne, the Land and housing and further I give to my sonne Thomas Bucke, and Daughter Dorothy Bucke my cattle and hoggs, and household stuffe to be equally divided between them, with the servants and all other of my estate to be divided between my Sonne and Daughter when they come to age.

It: I give to my Sonne Thomas Bucke and my Daughter Dorothy Bucke my horse and mare and coult and their increase.

And further I appoint Richard Smith and Nicholas Bond overseers and guardians of my children and their estate and I leave Richard Smith and Nicholas Bond full and whole Executors of ye Estate for my children, and I do appoint that my children be brought upp to learning, Read and Wright, and in Ye fear of God, and this I doe order my debts and funeral charges being paid -- confirming this my last will and Testament, with my hand and Seale this 23rd. of October 1659.

My cattle not to be transferred off ye ground.

Thomas Bucke (Seale)

Testes -- Gregory Rue
Henry Russ
Elizabeth W. Frie (Mark)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Thomas Buck I in Virginia

In some Buck family histories and commentaries, Thomas Buck I is described as a well-to-do gentleman leaving England with his two servants for the New World. I suspect this is not the case but was derived from his eventual prosperity in Virginia. By the time of his death, Thomas owned 250 acres of land in York County and actually did have two indentured servants. Unfortunately, almost nothing is known about his path to prosperity.

There is very little mention of Thomas Buck in the extant records. He left England in 1635 and the next reference to him is in the York County court record of June 25, 1658. There appears to be no extant record of the twenty-three year interval in the life of Thomas Buck.

The York County Patents do not include any land patented to Thomas Buck. Therefore, he must have purchased or inherited it; however, there are no records of such transactions.
In 1658, just a year before his death, there was a significant dispute involving Thomas Buck and his indentured servant, Robert Goffe. Apparently, Robert Goffe claimed that his period of indenture had been completed but Thomas Buck was able to prove that Goffe’s period of indenture was a full seven years and had not yet been completed. Judging from the will of Thomas Buck, the remaining period of indenture must have been about four more years.
Essentially nothing is known about the wife of Thomas Buck – not even her name. Apparently his wife died shortly before Thomas because she is not mentioned in his will and guardians were appointed for their children. York county records do include a bill to be paid for the medical treatment of “the wife of Thomas Buck, deceased”.

After his death, Thomas Buck’s name appears occasionally. Sometimes his land is referenced in a survey or will of other colonists. His shipments, payments and debts can be found in various lists. The estate of Thomas Buck must have been relatively valuable because the York County court records include several references to it and the guardians of Thomas Buck’s children.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Various Blogs and Links

Time to promote some sites and blogs that I'm tinkering with. is, or will become, the main site that Jean and I work through. For the most part, it is a photography website. is a photography blog that I'm working on. is an older "personal web page" that needs updating but contains both genealogy and photography that is not in any other website at this time.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Thomas Buck (1618 – 1659)

What was on the mind of young Thomas Buck as he boarded the ship George on his way to the New World? A sense of adventure? The relief of escape? Fear of the unknown? Did he expect to return to England or remain in Virginia?

On August 21, 1635, Thomas Buck, age 17, boarded the ship George at Gravesend, England. On the ship’s passenger list, “Tho: Buck, 17” is number 112 of 151 passengers. No other Bucks are on the list. Was Thomas alone on this journey? If the names were written in order of boarding, then Thomas boarded just after William Neesun, age 21, and just before George Smith, age 20. Did Thomas know these young men?

A study of the passenger list shows the diversity of the group. The oldest person on the passenger list was John Hutchinson, age 47. The youngest was Elizabeth Banks, age 9 months along with (apparently) her brother Thomas, age 4 years. The list included a James Bankes but no female Bank or Bankes. Other apparent families included Gilliam (2 people), Higginson (2), Greene (2) and James (2). In addition to Thomas, there were 44 other teenagers – mostly in their late teens. Judging from the names, there were 22 women. There was a minister, Richard James and his wife (?) Ursula. “Theis under written names to be transported to Virginea imbarqued in the George Jo: Severne Master bound thither pr. examination of the Minister of Gravesend etc.“

September was considered the ideal time to leave England for the New World. The voyage typically required about six to eight weeks. By arriving in October or November, a shipmaster could readily trade his goods for a cargo of recently harvested tobacco.

Of those on the passenger list of the George, there is some additional information to be found about William Neesun at According to Larry Newsome, the George arrived in Virginia on October 15, 1635.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Reverend Richard Bucke

The Reverend Richard Bucke was the second minister of the Jamestown colony having arrived there in May of 1610 and serving until his death about 1623. He is probably best remembered for performing the ceremony at the wedding of John Rolfe and Pocahontas. Reverend Bucke offered the opening prayers at the general assembly which convened in the church at Jamestown on July 30, 1619. He owned valuable property in and around Jamestown.

The Reverend Richard Bucke is probably not related to my family, the Buck Family of Virginia.

Although some references note that Richard Bucke was a graduate of Oxford, he is probably the Richard Bucke listed in the Alumni Cantabrigienses as being admitted at age eighteen to Caius College on April 26, 1600.

Richard Bucke married at least (and probably) twice. Although the names of his wives are given in a number of documents, it turns out that they are actually unknown.

Richard Bucke had five children: Elizabeth, Mara, Gershon, Benomi and Peleg. Elizabeth was born in England, the others in Virginia.

In June of 1609, Richard and his wife left Plymouth, Devon, England for Virginia on the Sea Venture. Apparently, their daughter, Elizabeth, remained in England. The Sea Venture was the flagship of a supply fleet of seven ships and two pinnaces under command of Admiral Sir George Somers. The fleet encountered a hurricane off the Azores on July 25th which scattered the ships. The Sea Venture was wrecked off the coast of Bermuda on July 28th; the other ships eventually struggled into Jamestown but the Sea Venture was presumed lost. Actually, everyone on board the Sea Venture survived the shipwreck but the bottom of the ship was torn out by a reef. It took nine months to build two pinnaces which they named the “Deliverence” and the “Patience”. Leaving two men behind to keep Bermuda as a new British colonial possession, they sailed for Jamestown in May, 1610. William Shakespeare’s drama, “The Tempest”, is based in part on the events in Bermuda. Possibly because of the connection between “The Tempest” and the voyage, the Reverend Richard Bucke is sometimes described as a close friend of Shakespeare.

About April 5, 1614, the Reverend Richard Bucke officiated at the wedding of John Rolfe and Pocahontas. John Rolfe had been previously married but the name of his first wife is not known. With his first wife, John Rolfe had a daughter, Bermuda, who was born in Bermuda and was christened by the Reverend Richard Bucke on February 21, 1610. Bermuda Rolfe is assumed to have died in Bermuda; her mother is assumed to have died shortly after the two ships reached Jamestown. The Reverend Richard Buck must have been a close friend of John Rolfe. In addition to the shipwreck, the christening of the baby Bermuda and the wedding to Pocahontas, Richard Bucke was a witness to the will of John Rolfe.

Reverend Bucke opened the first general assembly that ever met in Virginia saying that “it would please God to guard and sanctifie all our proceedings to his owne glory and the good of the Plantation.”

Richard Bucke died ca 1623, probably in Jamestown, Virginia. One assumption is that he was killed in the massacre of 1622; however, since he was not listed among the victims, another possibility is that he died later of injuries or complications. Of course, his death may not be related to the massacre in any way.

Apparently, the Bucke children had mental or physical disorders that resulted in their being incapable of managing their own affairs. Consequently, the Bucke land was the focus of several legal battles and is well documented.

In July, 1996, news releases by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA) indicated that the graves of the Reverend Richard Bucke, his wife and some of his family had been discovered near land believed to have been owned by him. This news initially created quite a bit of interest but it now appears to have been incorrect. It is more likely that the grave of the Reverend Richard Bucke is in the churchyard of the Jamestown chapel. The churchyard is intact although many gravesites are no longer identifiable. The site being studied is still identified by the APVA as the Reverend Richard Bucke site even though it is unlikely that the Reverend Richard Bucke lived there.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Sir Peter Buck (1550 – 1624)

In the genealogy game, extra points are awarded for links to royalty. For the Buck family of Virginia, one of those hoped-for links is to Sir Peter Buck of Rochester, England.

The Visitation of Kent, 1592, indicates that Peter Buck was "Clarke of the Checks to the Queenes Majesties Navye"; that is, he was in charge of finances for the navy. In some documents, Sir Peter Buck is described as being in charge of the dockyards at Medway.
The Visitation of Kent, 1619, shows that Sir Peter Buck, Knight, was an Alderman for the "Cittie of Rochester"; previously, he had "borne the office of Major". Sir Peter Buck was an important man in and about the Rochester area.

Sir Peter Buck first married Margaret Haviland, probably about 1576; he married Mary Creswell about three years later.

The known ancestor of the Buck family of Virginia is Thomas Buck who left Gravesend, England in 1635. Since Gravesend is near Rochester, it is easy to assume a relationship between Thomas Buck and Sir Peter Buck. Unfortunately, there is no proof that such a relationship exists. On the other hand, both the father and a son of Sir Peter Buck were named Thomas although neither would be the age of the Thomas Buck who left England for Virginia.

Still highly visible and prominent in Rochester is the house of Sir Peter Buck. This house, built for Sir Peter Buck during 1590-91, was owned and expanded through five generations of the Buck family. It was known as the Eastgate House. The noted English novelist, Charles Dickens, used Eastgate House as the model for “Westgate House” in his novel “The Pickwick Papers”. Eastgate House was also used as the “Nun’s House” in “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”. Eastgate House served as the Charles Dickens Centre and museum from sometime in the 1980s until 2005.

While in Rochester in 1999, I photographed these plaques and coat-of-arms. The coat-of-arms of Sir Peter Buck is on the left hand side; that of his wife, Mary Creswell, is on the right hand side.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Pocahontas: The Buck Connection

Pocahontas (1595 – 1617) was the famous princess of the Algonquin Nation who supposedly saved the life of Captain John Smith in 1607. In 1614, having been converted to Christianity by the Reverend Alexander Whitaker and given the name Rebecca, Pocahontas married John Rolfe, a prominent Jamestown planter. The Reverend Richard Bucke (1582-1624) was a close friend of John Rolfe and is generally believed to have performed the marriage ceremony of John Rolfe and Pocahontas.

In 1616, John Rolfe and Pocahontas went to England where she was celebrated as an Indian princess. In 1617, Pocahontas became ill, perhaps from pneumonia or even tuberculosis. She died in Gravesend on the River Thames and is buried in St. George’s church. In 1999, during a visit to England, I took this snapshot of her life-size bronze statue at St. George’s Church.

Pocahontas and John Rolfe had one child, Thomas. After being educated in England, Thomas returned to Virginia. The multitude of people claiming to be descendents of Pocahontas are descendents of this Thomas Rolfe. As far as I can tell, the Buck family of Virginia has no early connections to Thomas Rolfe.

By 1619, John Rolfe had returned to Jamestown and married Jane Pierce, daughter of Captain William Pierce. The Buck family of Virginia has connections to the William Pierce family through the Bayly family.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Thomas Buck I (1618 - 1659)

The first member of the BUCK family to come to the New World was the Reverend Richard Bucke who sailed from England on June 2, 1609 for Jamestown on the Seaventure. He was the second minister of the Virginia colony and is probably best known for performing the marriage ceremony of John ROLFE and Pocahontas in 1614. The Rev. Richard Bucke died about 1623 leaving three sons and two daughters. Of his children, only Elizabeth, who married Thomas Crump, had any offspring.

The progenitor of the Buck family of Virginia was Thomas BUCK (1618 - 1659) who left Gravesend, England for Virginia on August 21, 1635 onboard the ship George when he was seventeen years old. Because Gravesend is near Rochester, it is sometimes assumed that Thomas BUCK was related to Sir Peter Buck of Rochester. However, there is no proof of any such relationship.

There is also no known relationship between Thomas Buck and the Rev. Richard Bucke but there are several interesting, if perhaps circumstantial, similarities. They were from the same general area in England and settled into the same area in Virginia. It seems highly likely that Thomas would have known the children of Richard Bucke.

In addition to Thomas, emigration records show that there were six Bucks leaving England in 1635. This hardly seems coincidental. A William Buck and his son Roger went to Massachusetts on the ship INCREASE in that year and it is sometimes assumed that Thomas may have been a member of this family. If so, he must have taken the wrong ship!

In Virginia, Thomas Buck settled into York county. Little is known about him until 1658 when he is mentioned in the York county records of 1658 in a dispute over the time of service for his two indentured servants. Thomas Buck I died when he was 41; his wife is assumed to have died before him. Their two children, Thomas and Dorothy, were named in his will. The will states that Richard Smith and Nicholas Bond were "overseers and guardians of my children" as well as "full and whole Executors of ye estate for my children and I do appoint that my children be brought upp to learning, Read and Wright, and in Ye fear of God" also noted was "My cattle not to be transferred off ye ground". His will includes an inventory of his household goods which includes, among other things, a Bible and 8000 nails.

Dorothy BUCK was probably born about 1647 or later as she was a minor when Thomas I died in 1659. She married a Robert TALLANT but no other details are available about her life.

Thomas BUCK II married Elizabeth Wooding sometime before 1682, probably around 1670 and most likely in York Co., VA. His will, dated May 19, 1729, and probated June 16, 1729 is recorded in York Country general records book No. 16, Part 2, Folio 605. He had six children but there is little information on them except for his son Thomas BUCK III.

First Posting

A new year is a good time to learn something new so I'm starting this blog to learn the fine art of blogging. From time to time I'll post information on my family genealogy -- the Buck Family of Virginia -- as well as what I'm learning about blogging.