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.