Friday, April 24, 2015

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 69: #78 Isaac Buck (1757-1846)

Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post Challenge:  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I am extending this theme in 2015 to 104 Ancestors in 104 Weeks. Here is my ancestor biography for week #69:

Isaac Buck (1757-1846) is #78 on my Ahnentafel list, my 4th great-grandfather. He married in 1780 to #79 Martha Phillips (1757 to after 1820).

I am descended through:

*  their daughter #39 Sophia Buck  (1797-1882) who married #38 Thomas Newton (about 1795 to about 1840) in about 1834.  

*  their daughter, #19 Sophia Newton (1834-1923) who married #18 Edward Hildreth (1831-1899), in 1852.  
*  their daughter #9 Hattie Louise Hildreth (1847-1920), who married #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) in 1874. 
*  their son, #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942), who married #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962) in 1900.
* their son, #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983), who married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002) in 1942.
*  their son, #1 Randall J. Seaver (1943-....)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Name:                      Isaac Buck[1–14]   
*  Sex:                         Male   

*  Father:                     Isaac Buck (1732-    )   
*  Mother:                   Mary Richards (1733-    )   
2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Birth:                      27 September 1757, Southborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[1,12]
*  Military:                 1775–1783 (about age 18–about 26), Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[5]
*  Census:                  1 June 1790 (age 32), Sterling, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[3]
*  Census:                  1 June 1810 (age 52), Sterling, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[4]
*  Pension:                 8 April 1818 (age 60), Revolutionary War Pension File; Sterling, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[5]   
*  Census:                 1 June 1820 (age 62), Sterling, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[6]   
*  Census:                 1 June 1830 (age 72), Sterling, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[7]
*  Census:                 1 June 1840 (age 82), Sterling, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[8]
*  Death:                   7 February 1846 (age 88), Sterling, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[9,13]   
*  Burial:                  10 February 1846 (age 88), Legg Cemetery, Sterling, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[10–11]
3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Spouse 1:              Martha "Patty" Phillips (1757-1820)   
*  Marriage:              18 May 1780 (age 22), Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[2,14]   

*  Child 1:                Polly Buck (1782-    )   
*  Child 2:                Silas Buck (1784-1863)   
*  Child 3:                Pliny Buck (1790-1874)   
*  Child 4:                Martha Buck (1791-    )   
*  Child 5:                Sally Buck (1794-    )   
*  Child 6:                Sophia Buck (1797-1882)   
*  Child 7:                Dennis Buck (1802-1873)   
*  Child 8:                Isaac Buck (1808-1871)   
*  Child 9:                Leander Howe Buck (1810-    )   
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):   

The circumstances of the birth of Isaac Buck are interesting.  The printed Southborough VR book says[1]:

"BUCK, Isaac, s. Isaac Buck and Mary Richards, Sept 27, 1757"

The handwritten Southborough town record book says[13]:

"Born to Mary Richards, a son named Isaac Buck reputed by her to be a
son of Isaac Buck on Sepr 27, 1757."

There's a big difference in these two records.  The first implies that Isaac Buck and Mary Richards were married, the second is pretty explicit that they were not married.  The latter record is on the same page, and just below, the list of children born to Joseph and Mary Richards, including their daughter Mary in 1733.

As described in the Richards research, Mary Richards married widower John Phillips, of Shrewsbury,  in 1774 in Southborough, MassacHusetts;  presumably, Mary's son Isaac Buck went to live with his mother in Shrewsbury. John Phillips had four children by his first wife, Hannah Brown, including Martha/Patty Phillips.  

The book by Henry S. Nourse, The Military Annals of Lancaster Mass. 1740-1865, published in Lancaster MA, 1889, notes on page 128 that:   "Isaac Buck, in Captain Benjamin Hastings' Company of Bolton, etc.;" and on page 191:  "Isaac Buck in Captain Zebedee Redding's Company, 14th regiment, Bolton Continental Soldiers, 1777-9"

During the Revolutionary War in 1775[5], young Isaac Buck was in Captain Benjamin Hastings company of Bolton, Colonel Asa Whitcomb's regiment. He was a matross in Captain James Swan's company, Colonel James Craft's regiment, in 1776.  A "matross" was a private in the army who aided the artillery gunners to load, fire and sponge the guns.  He was also in Captain Philip Marett's company in 1776-1777.  He was in the Continental Army in Captain John Houghton's company, Colonel Josiah Whitney's regiment in 1778, and was in Captain Redding's company, Colonel Gamaliel Bradford's regiment in 1777.  In 1780 and 1781, he was in Captain Thomas Jackson's company, Colonel John Crane's Third Artillery regiment.

Isaac Buck and Patty Phillips married:  the Lancaster, Massachusetts town records show[2,14]:

  "May 18 1780, marriage of Isaac Buck and Patty Phillips, both of Lancaster, consummated by Rev. Reuben Holcomb." 

Isaac and Martha (Phillips) Buck had nine children born between 1782 and 1810;  they resided in Sterling, Massachusetts between 1780 and about 1796, in Holden between 1786 and about 1800, and in Sterling after 1800.

Isaac Buck was listed in Sterling, Worcester County, Massachusetts in the 1790 US census[3].  There was one male over age 16, 3 males under age 16, and 3 females in the household. 

In the 1810 U.S. Census for  Worcester County MA, Isaac Buck headed a household in Sterling which included[4]:

*  two males aged 0-10,
*  one male aged 10 to 16, 
*   one male aged over 45, 
*  one female age 10-16,
*  one female aged 16 to 26 
*  one female aged over 45. 

The Revolutionary War Pension Abstract for Isaac Buck reads:

"BUCK, Isaac, S34136, Cont & MA Line, appl 8 Apr 1818  Worcester Cty MA aged 60 a res of Sterling MA, in 1820 sol had a wife Patty aged 60 and a son Isaac 14 his only child living at home" (Virgil White, Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pensions, Vol. 1;  p. 450).

The Revolutionary War Pension file for Isaac Buck indicates that for his service, he was awarded a pension of $8 per month commencing 8 April 1818[5].  Isaac Buck's affidavit says:

"I, Isaac Buck, a citizen of the United States, now resident at Sterling in the County of Worcester in the State aforesaid, do on oath testify and declare that in the War of the revolution in the month of December in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy nine, I entered and engaged in the land service of the United States on the continental establishment, and served accordingly from that time to the end of the war as a private against the common enemy without any interruption or absence, that I belonged to Captain Jackson's company of Artillery in Colonel Crane's Regiment under the command of General Knox, and that I left the service in the month of June 1783 at West Point when the Army was disbanded, and that by reason of my reduced circumstances in life and poverty, I stand in need of assistance from my country and support being now of the age of sixty years - and I hereby relinquish all claims to every pension heretofore allowed me by the laws of the United States if any may be or hath been allowed.  My discharge was lost from my pocket many years since and is not in existence."
/signed/ Isaac Buck.

A schedule of the property belonging to Isaac Buck of Sterling, as of May 1, 1820, included:

"one cow - one clock - one table - one looking glass - one chest - one shovel - one tongs - crockery - glass stemware - one old axe - one hoe - one old plough - one old wagon - one pot - one kettle - one pair of dogs - three old chairs - six knives and forks - $30.25"

The schedule also says, apparently written for Isaac Buck:

"The said applicant is a farmer, but wholly unable to labour the present season on account of a wound in his shoulder in May last - and never expects to perform much labour hereafter.  His wife named Patty Buck is aged 60 years - is barely able to do the work of her house.  I have but one child at home named Isaac Buck aged 14 years and performs as much labour as other farmer's boys at his age, but does nothing toward my support.  This is the whole of my family.  /signed/ Isaac Buck."

In the 1820 US Census, the Isaac Buck family resided in Sterling, Worcester County, Massachusetts[6].  The household included:

*   one male age 10-16, 
*  one male age 16-26, 
*  one male over age 45, 
*  two females over age 45.

In the 1830 US Census, the Isaac Buck family resided in Sterling, Worcester County, Massachusetts[7].  The household included:

*   one male age 30-40, 
*  one male age 70-80, 
*  one female age 5-10, 
*  one female age 10-15, 
*  one female age 30-40.

In the 1840 US Census, Isaac Buck does not appear as a named entry in the household listings.  However, he does appear in the list of names of Revolutionary War Veterans as "Isaac Buck, age 83" in Sterling, Worcester County, Massachusetts[8].

The death record in the Sterling vital record book reads[9,13]:

"Registered Feby 10 1846; Isaac Buck, male, widower; age 93y 11m 20d; Revolutionary Pensioner; died February 7th 1846; died of old age; born in Southborough;  Illegitimate."

No parents are listed for him - only the sad note "Illegitimate".  The age at death given in this record does not agree with the published birth date of Isaac Buck.

He was buried in Legg Cemetery in Sterling[10,11], and has a Sons of the American Revolution placard on his grave, which is under a tree in the left front of the graveyard.  

The inscription on the Isaac Buck gravestone in Legg Cemetery in Sterling, Worcester County, Massachusetts says[11]:

Isaac Buck
12 Mass 

Rev. War

There is no gravestone for his wife.  

After visiting the Sterling town library, I wrote the Sterling Historical Society.  I received a letter in response from Robert Waters of Sterling MA, who is also a descendant of Isaac Buck, through his son Silas Buck, a farmer, carpenter and millwright in West Sterling.   Mr. Waters provided a substantial list of descendants of Isaac and Patty (Phillips) Buck, plus published and unpublished documents.

A search of the Worcester County Probate Record Index revealed no probate records for Isaac or Martha Buck.


1. Systematic Historic Fund, Vital Records of Southborough, Massachusetts to the end of the Year 1849 (Worcester, Mass.: Franklin P. Rice, 1903), Births, page 23, Isaac Buck entry.

2. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, digital images, (, Lancaster Births, Marriages, and Deaths, Page 204, on Image 127, Isaac Buck and Patty Phillips marriage entry.

3. 1790 United States Federal Census, Population Schedule, Worcester County, Massachusetts, Sterling town; Page 551, Isaac Buck household; digital image, (, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M637, Roll 4, .

4. 1810 United States Federal Census, Population Schedule, Worcester County, Massachusetts, Sterling town, page 693, Isaac Buck household; online database, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M292, Roll 22.

5. "Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Applkication Files,"  online database with digital images, ( : 2011), original records in National Archives Publication M804, Pension File S34136, Cont & MA Line, Isaac Buck of Sterling, Mass.

6. 1820 United States Federal Census, Population Schedule, Worcester County, Massachusetts, Sterling town, online database, (, Page 67, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M33, Roll 54.

7. 1830 United States Federal Census, Population Schedule, Worcester County, Massachusetts, Sterling town; online database, (,  Page 51, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M19, Roll 68.

8. 1840 United States Federal Census, Worcester County, Massachusetts, population schedule, Sterling town; Page 14, Isaac Buck household; online database, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M704, Roll 199.

9. "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1915," indexed database and digital images,  New England Historic Genealogical Society, American Ancestors (, Deaths, 1846, Worcester County, Sterling town, Volume 21, Page 121.

10. Jim Tipton, indexed database, Find A Grave (, Legg Cemetery (Sterling, Mass.), Isaac Buck memorial # 9033752.

11. Esther K. Whitcomb, editor, Inscriptions from Burial Grounds of the Nashaway Towns (Bowie, Md. :  Heritage Books, 1989), page 176, "Isaac Buck b 27 Sept 1757 d (?), REV. in Leg Cemetery, W. Sterling".

12. Massachusetts, Town Records, 1620-1988, digital images,, Southborough, Births, Marriages and Deaths, page 66, image 114 of 1007, Isaac Buck birth entry.

13. Frances Pratt Tapley, Vital Records of Sterling, Massachusetts (Sterling, Mass.: Sterling, Mass. Historical Commission, 1976).

14. Henry S. Nourse (editor), The Birth, Marriage and Death Register, Church Records and Epitaphs of Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1643-1850 ( Lancaster, Mass. : n.p., 1890), 126.


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