Sunday, January 7, 2007

Isaac Buck in the Woodpile - Post 2

The earlier post about the paternity of Isaac Buck (1757-1846) is here.

The question is "Was his father the Isaac Buck (1706-1780), husband of Ruth Graves, or another Isaac Buck, perhaps younger, and more the age of Mary Richards (b. 1733)?"

The book "Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts," edited by Ellery Bickell Crane, The Lewis Publishing company, New York, 1907, Volume 2, pg. 363, says:

"(V) Isaac Buck, son of Ephraim Buck (IV) was born about 1705 in Woburn Mass or vicinity. He was living at Woburn when he married at Reading Mass, Dec 3 1729, Ruth Graves. Isaac Buck moved to Southboro and with his wife Ruth sold their rights in the estate of her father, Joseph Graves, late of Southboro, Mass, October 19 1757. Among their children were: Isaac, born about 1730; Esther, married at Southboro, May 4 1762, Elisha Bruce Jr.; probably others.

"(VI) Isaac Buck, son of Isaac Buck (V), was born about 1730. He removed to Southboro with his father, and married Mary Richards about 1755. His children: Isaac, born in Southboro, Sept 27 1757, see forward; Susanna, married November 14 1793 Elisha Bemis. The family removed to Bolton, Mass."

It goes on to tell about Isaac Buck's (born 1757) family (he settled finally in Sterling, which was created in 1791 from Lancaster), had a big family with Patty Phillips, and provides several more generations in one line.

The question arises: Did the Isaac Buck, born 1730, really exist? There are no vital records for birth, marriage or death, and no land or probate records in Worcester or Middlesex Counties for him. Just because a memoir book says he existed doesn't make it true. The memoir book entry may have been from an earlier family history book or unpublished research efforts.

There are no other Buck records in Southborough town records other than the ones noted above.

The index and abstracts of all Buck probate records in Worcester and Middlesex Counties were reviewed, and do not reveal records for the elder, middle or younger Isaac Buck. Land index records for Worcester County were reviewed, and do not reveal any land bought or sold by any Isaac Buck (except the husband of Ruth) before 1800. There are many listings for other Buck families, including Isaac Buck's (1757-1846) descendants around Sterling MA.

Isaac and Ruth Buck granted land in Southborough to Joseph Graves in 1765. This record was dated 19 October 1757 and registered by the court 29 October 1765. Isaac and Ruth Buck "of Southborough" deeded the property received from their "honoured father Thomas Graves" to Joseph Graves, Ruth (Graves) Buck's brother. Their parents Thomas and Ruth (Collins) Graves had died in February 1756, and this was why the Bucks had come to Southboro. For the purposes of this study, there is a very important statement in the deed:

"...In witness thereof we the said Isaac Buck and Ruth his wife have hereunto put our hands and seals this thirtieth day of December Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and fifty six and in ye thirtieth year of his majestie's reign, Isaac Buck [seal] and Ruth Buck [seal] signed, sealed and delivered in presence of Isaac Buck Jr [mark] & Ebenr Buck. " [Worcester County Land Records vol. 65, page 61]

This is the first and only direct evidence of the existence of an Isaac Buck Jr. The senior Isaac Buck is the only Isaac Buck found in the Southborough records in that time period (except for the baby Isaac born in 1757). Why was the deed signed in the presence of Isaac Buck Jr and Ebenezer Buck? My hypothesis is that they were sons of age 18 or more and heirs of Isaac and Ruth Buck. Their other known son, Joseph Buck, was baptized in 1748 and was probably not of age in 1756 when the deed was signed.

If I apply the Genealogical Proof Standard, the best piece of evidence I have is this deed, and the information in the deed is primary (Isaac Buck Jr. was a witness to the deed), the source is derivative (but is a microfilm copy of a deed transcription in an official county record book) and the evidence is direct (requires no supporting evidence). There is no other piece of evidence except for the memoir book (which corroborates the deed information), after an exhaustive search for other evidence.

The only conflicting evidence at hand is that there was another Isaac Buck (born 1706) in Southboro at the time, residing, with his wife Ruth, with Joseph Richards, the brother of Mary Richards. Could this older Isaac Buck have been the father of Isaac Buck, born 1757 to Mary Richards? It is possible but, in my opinion, not very probable. If there was a younger Isaac Buck, an unrecorded son of the older Isaac Buck, then he is almost surely the father of the baby by Mary Richards.

My conclusion is that Isaac and Ruth (Graves) Buck had a son named Isaac Buck, born around 1730, not recorded in any town record or church record, who fathered Isaac Buck (born 1757) by Mary Richards.

Now I wonder what happened to the middle Isaac Buck, born about 1730? The memoir book says he removed to Bolton MA (at least one Isaac Buck entered the Rev War from Bolton - I've always thought it was the Isaac born 1757). But there are no other records to my knowledge.

Your comments on the research problem and my hypothesis and conclusion are welcome! What have I missed?


Anonymous said...

Whoops! Please see my comment about Isaac Buck which I inadvertently posted after the "Odd Names" musing above....

Randy Seaver said...


I saw it - thanks. It looks like Fred in LA didn't find the deed that names Isaac Buck Jr.

Cheers -- Randy said... has a group of original Civil War letters written by Joseph Buck, who I believe is in this family. Please write