Monday, November 19, 2012

Pruning the Tree - a Wrong Buck Family

Occasionally I run across something really wrong in my family tree.  When I do, I try to make it right, and also find out why I had it wrong.

Over the weekend, I was working in my tree in RootsMagic, adding sources and content using original ans derivative sources, and found this Joseph Buck family in Killingly, Windham County, Connecticut (I'm showing my Ancestry Member Tree because I've modified my RootsMagic database):

The data I had said that Joseph Buck (1761-1861) married Dorcas Fairbanks (????-1851) in 1794 and had four children, Aaron, Amy, Richard and Barney (born in 1784).  Hmmm, red alert!  Problem here... either the birth date for Barney is wrong, or Dorcas wasn't his mother, or the marriage date is wrong.  1784 is a bit early for a baby to be born to a man born in 1767.

Where did I get this information?  Well, years ago while "mining" books and databases for Buck family data, I found this book:

Ellery Bicknell Crane, Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts, Volume 1 (New York : The Lewis Publishing Company, 1907), page 388. 

It is now on Google Books:

The sketch for Joseph Buck says:

"(VII) Joseph Buck, son of Samuel Buck (VI), was born in Putnam or Killingly, Connecticut, in 1766, baptized June I, 1766. He is mentioned as prominent in 1793 among the early Methodists of Thompson, Connecticut, and vicinity. He was blind for many years. He settled at Thompson, Connecticut, where his four children were born, as follows: Richard, who was a soldier in the war of 1812, was in Captain Solomon Sikes' company stationed at New London; Amy; Barney and Aaron (twins); Barney married Amy Sprague, of Thompson, Connecticut."

The sketch for Barney Buck says:

"(VIII) Barney Buck, son of Joseph Buck (7), was born at Thompson, Connecticut, about 1790. He was in Captain John Joslin's company at New London in the war of 1812. He married Amy Sprague, of Thompson. The children of Barney and Amy (Sprague) Buck were: Warren, married Sophia, went to Michigan to live; Hiram, married Cynthia Brown; Henry, married Sophronia Sheldon, married (second) Sophia Anderson; Aaron, married Emiline Randall; Barney, married Almeda Coman; William L., married Martha Maddox; Abbie, married Sidney Bolton ; Caroline, married Liberty Brown."

I looked for the Killingly and Thompson, Connecticut Vital Records online (Ancestry has them in the Connecticut Town Birth Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) and found a list of children for Joseph Buck and Dorcas Fairbanks born from 1793 to 1813, with no indication of Aaron, Barney, Amy or Richard.  

Here are the first two pages of the Killingly Town Records for Buck records:

And the page for Thompson:

Barney Buck, his wives Amy Sprague and Ruth Lewis, and one of his children are buried in the North Grosvenor Cemetery in Grosvenor Dale, Windham county, Connecticut, near Thompson:

Samuel Joseph Buck and his wife, Dorcas Fairbanks, and several of their children are buried in Grove Street Cemetery in Putnam, along with members of the David and Anna (Russell) Buck family (including an Aaron Buck (1769-1830)) who are in the Killingly vital records.  

Between the Barbour Collection and Find-A-Grave resources, I've been able to add sourced information to my database for several Buck families.  

However, the parentage of Aaron and Barney Buck, perhaps twins, Amy and Richard is still conjectural in my mind.  What I do know is that they are not children of Joseph and Dorcas (Fairbanks) Buck or David and Anna (Russell) Buck.  There are some online family trees at Ancestry that say their parents may be Aaron and Amy (Horton) Buck, who resided in Pomfret, Windham County, Connecticut, who may have been from Rehoboth, Bristol, Massachusetts, or not!

I'm glad that I found some well-sourced information about these families, and have been able to sort them out.  It is apparent to me that the Worcester County memoir Book with the Buck families is wrong, at least as far as Barney Buck's parents is concerned, but that the information about Barney's children is correct.  The information about the ancestry of Samuel Joseph Buck who married Dorcas Fairbanks also seems correct when compared to Massachusetts town vital records.

These changes will go into my big Ancestry Member Tree the next time I update it.

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Updated:  My thanks to Geolover for noting that I had Samuel Buck in place of Joseph Buck in two places.  The Joseph Buck who married Dorcas Fairbanks was the son of Samuel Buck and Martha Bloss.  However, the children attributed to Joseph and Dorcas Buck in the memoir book were incorrect.  The correct children are listed in the Killingly, Connecticut vital records in the Barbour Collection.


Cormac said...

Seventeen isn't too young for someone born in 1767 to be a father in 1784. He wouldn't have been the first man that age to have fathered a child. Btw, you actually use Find A Grave as a source? Maybe as a starting point or a clue, but NEVER as a source. I don't consider it to be very reliable.

Geolover said...

Randy, thanks for the pointer regarding published genealogical mistakes. It would still be of interest to know where you found the material first listed in your post, which appears to be from yet another erroneous source.

Not to be too picky, but your post seems to alternate between a Joseph Buck and Samuel Buck who married Dorcas (Fairbanks). Perhaps some retro editing would smooth out the presentation.

Lanette said...

I'm a descendant of Barney via daughter Caroline. I had come to the same conclusion about his parents, because Dorcas and Joseph were married 4 years after Barney was born, and she would have been 13 when giving birth. Possible, but not probable. I am currently hoping DNA clues will point the way to correct parentage.