Family of William Hay Bucknam (1815-1862)

William Hay Bucknam was born on 4 January 1815 in Mason, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, the last of eleven children born to Joses Bucknam, a Revolutionary War soldier, and his wife, Abigail Hay. William was named after his maternal grandfather, William Hay, also a soldier of the American Revolution.

While most of the Bucknam family had lived in Massachusetts from its earliest colonial days, several members had begun to venture north to Maine and New Hampshire after the war.

William Hay Bucknam seemed to have a bit more wanderlust in him, as he married Susan Willis Henry on 26 December 1836 in Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia. His visit there was no short stopover, as sons James H. and William were born in Virginia in 1838 and 1843.

However, by 1845, the family was living near other Bucknam relatives in Glenburn, Penobscot County, Maine, where their next three children were born.

William decided to move once again and his brother Caleb also made the trip, this time westward. (Caleb Bucknam and his wife are also buried in Cascade Protestant Cemetery with other Bucknams, but his gravestone says born 16 Nov 1783. Caleb’s birth date was 16 Nov, but he was born in 1795. The family really made him a lot older if this is the same person.)

By 1860, the growing young family had made a major move to Cascade, Dubuque County, Iowa. Back in Maine, William had been a farmer, but in Iowa, he was enumerated as a butcher. When the Civil War broke out, William Jr. enlisted in the Union Army in the 12th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, but I have found no evidence that William the father served in any capacity.

Unfortunately, little else is known about him, as he died on 17 March 1862. There is a gravestone for William, which looks to be original to the 1862 date, in Cascade Protestant Cemetery, so it appears he is buried in Iowa.

William and Susan had a large family of eleven children. I would love to make contact with cousins in this branch of the family so I will follow the lines forward for several generations:


James Hay, born 7 March 1838, Norfolk, VA; died 1909
William Hay, born 27 Sept 1840, Norfolk, VA; died 1909
Augusta Susan, born 1841, VA; died 10 Mar 1847, Glenburn, ME
Joseph, born Nov 1844, Glenburn, ME; died 1917
Mary E., born 3 Apr 1847, Glenburn, ME; died 1927
John Hay, born 26 Apr 1849, Glenburn, ME; died 1920
Elizabeth Simons, born 17 Mar 1852, Glenburn, ME; died 1932
Abigail H., born 6 Dec 1853, Glenburn, ME; died 1906
Caleb, born 14 June 1855; died 27 Oct 1858, both Cascade, IA
Nathaniel, born 16 June 1857, Cascade, IA; died 28 Aug 1858, both Cascade, IA
Lucretia, born 26 Feb 1860, Cascade, IA; died 1950

Susan married (2) Charles W. Pitsor on 8 August 1868 in Dubuque County, Iowa. He was born 11 May 1824 in Kentucky. and died in 1900. Charles had been married previously; he and Susan had no children together.

Of William and Susan’s eleven children, son William married three times, but has no known children; Augusta, Caleb and Nathaniel died in childhood, so there are seven surviving children who have descendants, James, Joses/Joseph, Mary E., John, Elizabeth, Abigail and Lucretia.

Here is some bare bones data about these 7 children:

  1. James Hay Bucknam married Mary Fletcher Coleman on 7 October 1860 in Dubuque County, Iowa. At some point before 1900, this couple divorced. They had four children:

George Lawrence, born 24 August 1861, Dubuque County, IA; died 4 March 1923 in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, IA. He married Suzann Catherine Breneman on 21 Oct 1900 in Carnforth, Dubuque, IA

Effie, born 25 Sept 1864; died 27 Oct 1865, Dubuque County, IA

Frederick, born 24 Nov 1867, Dubuque County, IA; died 2 Apr 1939, Sac City, Sac County, IA. He married Marie Clara Betke, 24 July 1907, Denison, Crawford County, IA

Edith Mary (first named Ida), born 15 Mar 1872, Dubuque County, IA; died 2 July 1936, Sioux City, Woodbury County, IA. She married James Delap, 3 Feb 1900, Sac County, IA

James Hay’s children and grandchildren:

George and Suzann (Breneman) Bucknam had four children

Fredrick James (1902-1991)

Marjorie Louise (1905-1985), who married a cousin, James Herbert Alexander

Edith Barbara (1908-1937), who married Hugh Reedy Alexander

Bruce L. (1911-1999).

I have only found evidence of one child for any of these four siblings, a daughter Barbara, born to Fred. There may be others, but because there is a possibility that they are living, no further information is included here.

Frederick and Maria Clara (Betke) Bucknam had three children-

Mary Lorraine (1911-1990)

Harold Eugene (1912-1961)

Bernice Maxine (1916-2011). No evidence of children has been found for Mary or Harold. Bernice married and had two daughters, one of whom is still living today.

James and Edith Mary DeLapp had six children

Gerald Arthur (1901- 1949) married Inge Steen and had two sons, James Arthur and John Fletcher. John died in 1992 in Big Bear City, San Bernardino County, CA. I have found no marriage or descendant records for them, but it is possible that they had surviving children.

George Harold (c1903 – 1943), married at least three times to Lillian M. Van Vick in 1921, Florence Mary Vernon in 1930 and Verna Engle in 1937. He apparently had two sons, George Forest and Robert Arthur with Lillian. Robert passed away in 2015, leaving five children.

Frederick Charles (c1905- after 1940 census) married Edith Miller in 1923 in South Dakota. They had seven children born between 1924-1935 – Shirley, died 1945; Dorothy, died 1930-1940; Charles, died 1940; Richard, died 1974; Beverly Ann, died 2000; Gloria June, died 1997 and one child who might still be living.

There could be many descendants in this branch of the family.

Harry E. (1907-1971) married Ruth Schweikert. They had at least one daughter, Constance (1930-2006).

Edith M. (1909-after 1940) married Joseph Wilshire in 1924. They had son Robert, who died in 2005 and daughter Betty, who died in 1994. I don’t know if either married or had children.

Glenn Rathford (1910-1970) married Florence Fleischer in 1935 in Iowa. They have not been found in the 1940 census and it is unknown whether they had any children.

If you are related to or know any of these families, who were mostly based in Iowa, please contact me.

Tomorrow, we will take a look at William and Susan (Henry) Bucknam’s other children- Joses/Joseph, Mary E., John, Elizabeth, Abigail and Lucretia.


One thought on “Family of William Hay Bucknam (1815-1862)”

  1. I can only imagine what daily life was like for these large families. Although they were a source of help on the farms and in the household, they also created a lot of work. I can only imagine what it took to keep them fed and clothed and what part they each played in that effort. I always wish I knew more about the children’s interaction with each other too. Oh for a diary!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.