Select Buck Surname Genealogy

Here are some Buck stories and accounts over the years:

Walter le Buc and His Descendants

Walter le Buc arrived in England from Flanders in the early 13th century as a mercenary to help King John in his battles with the barons.  He was said to have been present at Runnymede at the signing of Magna Carta.  As a reward for his services and as an inducement for him to stay in England, John gave Walter large tracts of land in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.  Walter made his home at Bucktown in Yorkshire.  Later le Bucs were donors and patrons of the nearby convent and priory at Bridlington. 

By 1273 his descendants were numerous and included, according to a list compiled at that time: Roger and Henry le Buc in Yorkshire; John le Buc in Suffolk; Arnicia de Buc and others in Huntingtonshire; Hugh le Buc and others in Wiltshire; Castro le Buc in Buckinghamshire; and Edric le Buc in Norfolk.

Zechariah Buck of Norwich

John Buck settled at Benston, Norfolk around 1453 and became rector of the church there four years later. One of his sons was assistant vicar at nearby Hawgley and a later John Buck was master of the free school in Norwich in 1547. 

A 19th century descendant was Zechariah Buck, the well-known organist and choir master at Norwich Cathedral.  He began his lifetime of service at the age of 21 in 1819.  It was said that Dr. Buck's talent for training boys' voices was simply outstanding.  Jenny Lind, visiting Norwich in 1847, said she "had never heard children sing so well." 

Buck had his strong likes and dislikes.  Annoyed that a family by the name of Waters invariably arrived late, He arranged that they were met on one occasion by the choir singing: "Save me, O God, for the waters are come in."

He continued in his postion until 1877 when he was in his 79th year.

Bucks in America

Bucks in America are more likely to be of German than of English origin.

Bucks in America by Country of Origin

Thomas Buck of Bel Air in Happy Creek

In 1735 Charles Buck moved westward into the Shenandoah valley which his son Thomas later called "this wild and savage country."  He prospered there and became a large landowner near what is now Front Royal, Virginia.  He was a keen sportsman and his jockey Dick was said to have been the first slave carried across the Blue Ridge mountains. 

His son Thomas was one of the original trustees of the town of Front Royal and a leading citizen for many years.  In 1797 he built his home Bel Air in Happy Creek nearby, a building which still stands. 

A letter written in 1918 from Lucy Rebecca Buck noted: 

"The two wings of the house were erected several years before the main brick one was made and I have heard our old aunt Calmes, who died in her ninety second year, say that as a little girl she had played in the space between the wings.  The brass knocker on the front door - one of my earliest recollections of the house - bears the inscription ‘Thomas Buck, 1800.’" 

Lucy was born in Bel Air and some say her ghost still haunts it.  Her brother Irving had been forced to sell the house.

Johannes Buck in Pennsylvania

Johannes Buck and his wife Elizabeth were among the Mennonites who left the Palatinate in Germany for religious freedom in America in the early 18th century.  Leaving Rotterdam they arrived in Philadelphia on October 13, 1747 on The Two Brothers, swearing allegiance to the English King on the same day.  They eventually settled in what was then called Londonderry township in Lancaster county.  Early spellings of their name in America were Bock and Bok. 

Johannes bought land and farmed.  He lived through the Revolutionary War, but died soon after.  Three of his sons - Johannes, Christian and Frederick - fought in different capacities in that war.  Christian served in the Lancaster militia and he and his wife Catherine raised seven children.  Edith Fisher’s 1958 book Johannes Buck: 1747-1790 covered the lineage of the family through this second son Christian.

Philip Buck, Empire Loyalist

The story of Philip Buck is an example of what Loyalists suffered, endured and overcame and their fortitude as founders of Canada.  It was written by a descendant Grace Austin, American born, who happened to stumble on this Loyalist fact while researching her American ancestry. 

In 1776 Philip Buck had joined Butler's Rangers as a private.  During the war he was captured and held prisoner in Philadelphia.  He lost everything he had - land, house, barn, livestock, furniture, utensils etc - all of which was taken by the rebels or plundered by Indians. 

The families of these imprisoned men were destitute and in desperate straits.  The wives decided to take their children and seek refuge in Canada hoping, that by some miracle, they could get here.  Their escape to Canada was a true tragedy. 

The party consisted of five wives and 31 children and only one pair of shoes among them.  It was winter-time and they were completely destitute.  At one place they would have perished, but for the kindness of some Indians.  After weeks on the road, the commander of the British forces heard of their unhappy plight and sent soldiers and Indian guides to take charge of them.  After they reached Canada, Margaret Buck gave birth to her seventh child. 

The Government of Canada assumed responsibility for the refugees until, by an exchange of prisoners, some of the soldiers were once more united with their families. 
In 1778 Buck was exchanged as a prisoner to New York and came thence to Niagara and his family.  Because of his loyalty, the Crown granted Buck land on the Niagara peninsula in Bertie township.

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