Category Archives: Bucknam

William Bucknam, His Two Wives, Family & 1679 Will

William Bucknam, my 10X great grandfather, was the immigrant ancestor in this branch of my family tree. By trade, William was a joiner, or carpenter, and apparently arrived in Massachusetts sometime in the 1630s.

The names of his wives are somewhat open to discussion. It is certain that William Bucknam’s first wife was a daughter of widow Prudence Wilkinson, who settled in Massachusetts in 1630. William then would have married Miss Wilkinson on this side of the pond, probably no later than 1638, as his son, John, was born about 1639.

Others have stated that Miss Wilkinson was named Sarah, but I have seen no proof of that. Nor have I seen any documentation as to the given name of Prudence Wilkinson.

The reason that John’s mother is known to be a Wilkinson is that Prudence took it upon herself to care for infant John after her daughter died, to the extent that, in June 1641, William Bucknam went to court to request that his son be returned to his home.

The rancor between William and his mother-in-law lasted past both their deaths. Prudence Wilkinson left a bequest to John Bucknam instead of William in the right of his deceased wife. William, in turn, left John a smaller bequest than that given to his other children, citing the bequest given by his maternal grandmother, which William felt should have gone to him.

William Bucknam next married Sarah – at least she was his second wife if no other undocumented wives happened in the interim. I need to clarify this Sarah because she has been given the surname of Knower. That is because William, in his will, named his “brother George Knore.”

Because Sarah survived her husband and William called George Knower his brother, it has been deduced (probably correctly) that his second wife was Sarah Knower. They married about 1640, based on the July 1641 birth date of their eldest child, Joses.

Before outlining the children and their spouses, one other detail needs to be addressed. There was a Rev. Jose Glover, a Puritan who left England for New England, but who died during the voyage. He left a (second) wife and five children and was a prosperous man, thanks to the dowry brought to his first marriage.

I have seen mention online, again with no documentation, that William and Sarah (Knower) Bucknam named their first son after the deceased minister because Sarah has been one of his servants.

I can’t state whether or not Joses Bucknam was named for the deceased minister, but the Knowers were already in New England by 1631, so Sarah probably wasn’t among the extended entourage of family members and servants of Rev. Jose Glover.

Next, William Bucknam’s year of birth isn’t known. Many, again unsourced, give a date of 1602, which is possible, but then if Miss Wilkinson was his first wife, William married a bit later than the typical age (for the time) of about 25.

Last, there is a William Boeckram (Bucknam?) who married Elizabeth Neal in Leyden, Netherlands on 17 December 1611. Some have written that William Bucknam of Malden was their son. I have no evidence supporting or rejecting that claim. However, I do have to say that if William was their son and was born about 1612 and not in 1602, he would hit the typical age of marriage (25) right on the mark, marrying about 1637.


1. John, born c1639, probably Massachusetts; died 14 June 1705, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts, if his death record description as “the son of William” refers to immigrant William Bucknam.

2. Joses, born 3 July 1641, Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts; died 24 August 1694, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married (1) Hannah Knower, c1665 (2) Judith Worth, 1 May 1673, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
3. Elizabeth, born c1644, probably Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts; died 18 July 1726, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts, surviving her husband by just two days; married Benjamin Whittemore, c1666. Her age at death was 82 and Benjamin’s as 86 years of age.
4. Samuel, born maybe 1646; died 13 September 1658, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
4. Mercy, born February 1647/48, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married Benjamin Webb, 7 December 1669, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts; no further record.
5. Sarah, born July 1650, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married Samuel Shattuck, 24 July 1676, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. No further information, but one Samuel Shattuck, aged 17 and the son of Samuel and Sarah, died on 14 December 1695 in Salem.
6. William, born August 1652, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts; died 16/17 September 1693, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married Hannah Waite, 11 October 1676, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
7. Mehitable, born August 1654, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts; died 17 September 1734, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married Samuel Waite, before 1679. She is identified as aged 80, the widow of Samuel.
8. Edward, born September 1657, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts; no further record.
9. Samuel, born January 1659/60, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts; died 8 October 1747, Tewksbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married Martha Barnard, c1685.

Will of William Bucknam, 1694
Middlesex County Court, Probate File 3406
Source: American Ancestors

IN THE NAME OF GOD, through his Assistance; And According to his Will; As I Trust; I William Bucknam of Maldon in the Countie of Midlsex; Considering my Age, And decays of natural strength, And not knowing how Soone or Sudden, my Change may Come, And now through Mercie, sound in Mind and Memory; doe Make and Ordayn this my last Will And Testament, in Manner As hereafter is Expressed. First I comit my Soule to God that gave it through the Alone righteousnes of Jesus Christ, my Onely Savioure. My Body, to the Earth, from whence it was taken, to be decently buried by my Executrix hereafter Named; And After my funeral Charges, and just debts satisfied, my Will;

And Mind is; that All my Estate, both real and personal whatsoever, be disposed And Setled in Maner Following; (which before I proceed to the distribucon of, Least I shold be supposed by Any, to be unnatural or injurious unto my Son John as being my firstborne, I hereby declare, the true grounds and just Reasons for the Several gifts and legacies, disposed unto my wife and Children, as hereafter Stated, And why no more is Setled or otherwise Stated, on my Son, John, though my first-born.

First because the Estate, wherby I purchased All my lands: (And for that Allso by the improvement thereof through the blessing of God on my labours, I have built my housing and brought up my Children hitherunto, And have in my measure been helpfull, in Church, Town and Country Affayres.) Came unto mee by my wife Sara, that is now, And from her Kinred, who in A special Maner, intended it, for the benefit of her Children.

2dly. by means of much weaknes of his mother my first wife, And Expenses for him in his infancie, I was much run in debt, to sundry persons; the which were allso payed out of this woomans porcon.

3dly this my Son John, was After by his Grandmother taken from mee before he Came to Abilitie, to doe Any thing for mee, And on her desire bound As Apprentice to her till he should be 21 years and, So that I had no Service or help of his; to the raysing of my Estate.

4thly he Allso with my Consent, Enjoyeth A right of his Mother, to about twentie pounds value; These things thus premised)

I give and bequeth, unto my beloved wife Sara Bucknam, my dwellinghouse and outhouses, with the foure Acres of Land on which the housing standeth, Allso the twentie Acre Lott; somtime mr Francis Willoughbes. the five Acre Lott by the old housplatt, And All my Meadow ground, to have And Injoy of her own use, till Six Months After my decease:

And At the End of the Six Months Aforesayd, my Will is: that my wife resigne of yeild up one half part of the Sayd twentie Acre Lott:, half the Sayd five Acre Lott; and half the Meadow ground, unto my Sone Jose her Eldest Son, to be thenceforth Enjoyed And Improved by him or his Assignes to his own use and benefit: My foresayd house, housing; the foure Acres of Land it standeth on And the other half part of the foresayd divided land and Meadow, I give and bequeath unto my Sayd wife, during her natural (life?) After her decease, My Will and Mind is, that All my foresayd, housing, lands And Meadow grounds, with their Appurtenances, shall be; And remayn; to my Sayd Son Jose, And the Heirs Male of his body lawfully begotten;

And for want of Such Issue, to my Son William; his Heirs And Assignes for ever he paying to the Children of my Son Jose if Any shall be; ten pounds A peece, within twelve months After their Fathers decease And to his widow if then living the Sum of fourtie pounds: All my Land partable betwixt my brother George Knore and myself, purchased of Capt. Edward Jonson and others, Conteyning fiftiefive Acres in the whole; I give unto my Son William, his Heirs And Assignes For Ever, to be, by him injoyed at his Age of twentie one years Compleate; To my Son John Bucknam I give five pounds, to be payd in twelve Months next After my decease.

To my other Children: Namely Edward, Samuel, Mercie; Sara And Mehetabel I Give ten pounds A peece, to be payd them respectively; the Sons at twentie one years; the Daughters at Eighteeen years of Age Compleate; Allso I give my Son Samuel, being A weakly Child, toward his Educacon ten pounds.

To my daughter Elizabeth, (to whom I have given a porcon in Marriage.) I give, ten Shillings to buie her A Bible.

The Lands first As Above disposed to my Son Jose; Namely on half part of the twentie Acre Lott, half the five Acre Lott, And half the Meadow, at the End of Six Months After my decease I Give unto him my Sayd Son Jose, his Heirs And Assignes For Ever. And in Case my Son William, shall die before he come to the possession of the Land, or houses bequeathed him, my Will And Mind is that my Son Edward shall Succeed him therin As Heire therunto.

And if Any of my Children Namely Edward; Samuel, Mercie; Sara; or Mehetabel shall die before their receipt, or respective times of the Legacies Given them, My Will is, that Such Legacie be Apporconed Equally Among the Survivours of them. And my Will is; that my Son John be payd at my house in Catle and Corne of either of them at price Currant by my Executrix; And the Legacies to Edward; Samuel, Mercie; Sara And Mehetabel my Will is, that they be payd One half by my wife, And the other half by my Son Jose.

All the rest of my Estate, not formerly hereby disposed of; I Give to my Beloved wife Sara Bucknam, to whom and whose Christian Care; under God, I Comit the Educacon of my Children, And I doe Make and Constitute her, the Sole Executrix of this my last Will and Testament;

And for the better performance therof, I Make my beloved friends mr Joseph Hills and Capt. John Wayte my Overseers; And if Any Difference of Difficultie, shall Arise, about the true understanding of this my will or anything therin Conteined, I wholly Submit the Same to be determined by my Sayd overseers or the Survivour of them, for whose Care and payne therin, due recompence shall be Made, by my Executrix.

IN WITNES of All the premises And perticulers Aforemenconed, I the Sayd William Bucknam; have hearunto Set my hand And Seale the Third day of the fourth Month Called June, One thousand Six hundred Sixtie Seaven.

Signed Sealed Declared in the presence of us: Tho. Danforth, John Wayte, William Bucknam. [seal]

Codicil, 5 February 1678

I William Bucknam within name being sound in my understanding and memory doo upon moving make this alteration and addition to my last will and Testament on the other side whereon therin I did give my daughter Mehitabal ten pounds and my daughter Elizabeth ten shillings I doo make void and null both those gifts: — instead therof my wish is and I hereby give unto my sd daughter Mehetabal all my household goods except one flock bed. And to my daughter Elizabeth I doo give ten pounds. And unto my Sonne Edward‘s portion therin given my will is and I doo hereby give to him ten pounds more. And my will is that my Sonne Jose shall pay my sonnes Edward and Samuel and my daughters those portions — within a year after my decease and their other half within a year after my wife’s decease. And in case my wife dye before me then my sonne Jose to pay the one half of sd legacys within a year after my decease and the other half within two years after my decease and sayd legacies to be paid in good merchantable corne and meat cattle. only my daughter Mehetable’s portion to be pd her after myne and my wife’s decease.

In witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seale this fifthe day of February one thousand six hundred Seaventy eight.

William (X) Bucknam

In presence of John Wayte, Jos Sprague.

Descendants of William Hay Bucknam and Susan Willis Henry, cont’d

A couple of days ago, I started to share the lineage of William Hay Bucknam, who died in 1862, of causes apparently not related to the Civil War. The family of his son, James Hay Bucknam (born 1840) was highlighted in that post.

Today, we will take a look at descendants of several of his other children. I am hoping to make contact with some new Bucknam cousins!

Joses/Joseph Bucknam (1844-after 1910) married Marie Bridget Kelly. They had four children, but little is known about them:

Elizabeth Belle (1870-1959) apparently married three times, but had only one son, Frank W. Clark, son of first husband William O. Clark, who she married in 1886. In 1910, Frank lived in Denver, CO with his grandparents, Joseph and Bridget Bucknam.

Joses/Joseph (c1872-after 1918) married twice, to Ellen, c1895, born in Norway and Minnie, who he married between 1900-1917. He was living in Denver, Colorado in 1900 with wife Ellen, but no children. He hasn’t been found in the 1910, but lived in Los Angeles, California in 1920 with Minnie. No children were in the household.

Maude (c1882-reportedly 1902), unmarried.

Eva (c1883-1943) was single in 1940 in California, but the S.S. Death Index claims shows her surname as Collins in 1943 when she died. It appears she had no children.

Mary E. Bucknam (1847 – 1927) married Augustus Cheney Thomas, 24 August 1862, Dubuque County, Iowa. They had four children:

Effie (1867-after 1892) married H.E. Stuart and lived in Cedar Bluffs, Saunders County, Nebraska. They had two children, Margaret (no further information) and Augustus Louis, who married and had one daughter, Nancy.

Alice (1869- after 1880) – No further information has been found on her.

Temperance Birdie (1872-after 1940) married George Raymond Lyons in 1892. They had two children, George Raymond Jr., who died in 1968 and Clifford, who died in 1989.

Nora (1879-1908) married F.W. Smith, but died soon after and apparently had no children.

John Hay (1849-1920) married Sadie Mendall Boomer (1855-1919), c1875. They had six children:

Clarence W. (1875-1947) married Elizabeth/Frances L. between 1920 and 1930, possibly in Montana. It appears they had no children.

Herbert George (1876-after 1940) married Orlinda B. (MNU) (1886- after 1940) and they had one daughter, who could still be living today. In 1940, they lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Mae Pauline (c1880-1965) married Edward W. Cooper (1877-1930), on 5 Nov 1902, Black Hawk County, Iowa. They had one daughter Mildred, born about 1906 and living in 1920. No further record has been found for their daughter.

Abbie Melinda (c1886-1972) – apparently never married and had no children.

Harry John (1890-1915) married Hazel Lucile Roach (1890-1985) on 2 April 1912. They apparently had no children and Hazel never remarried.

Howard Mendall (1896-1975) married Julia K. Atwater (1896-1992) on 2 Aug 1919, Buchanan County, Iowa. They had three children. It is not known whether there were any grandchildren:

Edwin Harry (1922-2006) married Cleo Jane (MNU) (1921-1999)

Mae Louise (1924-2000) married James F. Kahler (1925-1985)

Sally Verda (1926-1995) married Donald E. McLarnan (1920-2000)

Eliza Simons (1852-1932) married (1) James Gibson (1841-1913), 2 July 1868, Dubuque County, Iowa and (2) Marvin Haraden, 3 Nov 1919, Woodbury County, Iowa. Eliza and James are buried together in Minnehaha County, South Dakota. Eliza had no children with Marvin. James and Eliza had at least four children, but the family hasn’t been located in 1900, which would fill in the family picture. In 1910, Eliza reported that she had given birth to two children, both living, but it appears she had at least four children:

Myrtle (1874-after 1930), unmarried and had no children
Abbie (1881-between 1885-1910)
Arthur (1884-between 1885-1910)
Susan W. (1889-1959) married Charles Gage, c1908, probably Minnehaha County, South Dakota. They had four children – Leona, George Allen, Neil L. and Robert Charles, but no further information has been found on the children.

Susan’s children appear to be James and Eliza Simons (Bucknam) Gibson’s only grandchildren.

Abigail H. (1855-1906) married (1) Charles R. Dingman (1847-1888), on 7 Apr 1871, Butler County, Iowa and (2) William A. Ellis, probably in South Dakota. She and Charles had four sons:

Waldo H. (1872-1956 in Ventura, CA) who married Mary Jeanette McGaffee on 13 June 1893, Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa. They had three children: Vera, Waldo and Robert.

Orrin W. (1874-1982 in Long Beach, CA) who married Margaret E. (MNU) before 1898. They had two children: Neva M. and Ormond.

Harry Clyde (1876-1967 in Grants Pass, OR) married Mabel Florence Hollenback. They had one daughter, Vera Mae.

Raymond Earl (1885-1962 in Ventura, CA) married Matilda Christine Bettinger (1899-1951), on 27 Nov 1919, Salt Lake City, Utah. They were divorced before 1940. They had one daughter.

Lucretia (1860-1950) married (1) William F. Moyer (1851-1905) about 1880 and (2) John Robert Kelly (1854-1936), but had no children with John. William and Lucretia had four children:

Alice Edna (1882-1895); died young.

Earl William (1883-1948) married Abbie M. (MNU) about 1906. They had one son, Glenn.

Leroy Grant (1885-1886); died young.

Guy Frances (1887-1953) married Mayme Herlinde Woestman (1892-1988), 16 Nov 1920, Dubuque County, Iowa. They had one daughter, who could still be living.

That completes the children and known grandchildren of William Hay Bucknam (1815-1862) and Susan Willis Henry (1818-1901).

Please contact me if you are part of this branch of my family tree.



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.