David Buchanan I

David Dale Buchanan I (1817 - 1874)

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David Dale Buchanan I
Born in Lanark, Glasgow, Scotlandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married (to ) in Cape Town, South Africamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Church Square, Cape Town, South Africamap
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Profile last modified | Created 22 Oct 2011
This page has been accessed 1,670 times.

Categories: Buchanan Name Study.

This profile is part of the Buchanan Name Study.



"A strong proponent of public education he became secretary of the Book Society and within three years had persuaded his fellow committee members to convert it into Pietermaritzburg's first Public Library in 1849. ... In May 1851 the Natal and East African Society was launched, later shortened to the Natal Society, with a mission "to tell the truth" about conditions in the colonies. ... In 1851 the Society also organized the first in a series of annual agricultural shows and the Agricultural Society was born, becoming the Royal Agricultural Society in 1905. ... By 1865 the Natal Society had absorbed the Book Society and had decided on a new purpose - the "acquisition and preservation of information of local value and interest". These activities are pursued to this day with the annual publication of the Journal Natalia. Source: http://natalia.org.za/nsf_history.html See more below


Name: David Dale /Buchanan/ [1]


Date: The year 1819 is confirmed on his death notice. Most likely case is the birth record is lost. The best match is to a mother other than Anderson.


Date: Dec 1829, arrived in Cape Town with "With his eldest brother Uncle David landed in Cape Town in December, 1829." Source ~ Pioneer days in Natal. Page 128 by Barbara Buchanan niece daughter of Ebenezer Buchanan


Death details are confirmed by the Cape Town Archive Death Notice as well as the gravestone detail. Date: 04 SEP 1874 Place: Cape Town at the house of William Bell which is the house of William Buchanan, his nephew or half-brother or both. Cause of death is a fever which was probably picked up in Kimberley.


His death notice lists Parents as James and Isabella Buchanan.

There is notice birth record in Scotland of a David Buchanan to James Buchanan and Isabella in Ancestry.com or Scotlandspeople.org.

No record - Any Buchanan son to Isabella Anderson 1800-1821

No record of david - Buchanan son to Isabella Buchanan 1800-1821

best match = Buchanan David son to James Buchanan mother Moncreif Burnet in Glasgow 31 May 1819

1819 Thomas Drysdale Buchanan to father Simpson


Husband: David Dale Buchanan
Wife: Mary Amm
Date: 29 Aug BEF 1839
Place: Cape Town, South Africa


David Dale Buchanan founded the Natal Witness newspaper in Feb 1846. The masthead of the paper read "THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH" He was the Editor for 14 years.

He was an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Natal. He had also been a member of the Legislative Council and for a short time acted as Attorney-General.

He also was Council for the Basuto people and made himself very unpopular with the Colony Government. See -->History of South Africa Since September 1795.

David Dale Buchanan was one of the wealthiest men of his time in Pietermaritzburg. His wealth came from his founding of the Natal Witness Newspaper and his successful legal practice. He did not shy away from criticizing and confronting injustice as he saw it and in particular the Politicians and rulers. These same people worked hard to engineer his downfall. In 1865 he suffered large financial losses in various investments that were suffering in the general economic woes of the 1860's. In 1869 he went on a mission on behalf of Chief Moshoesh to London to appeal the terms of a British treaty with the Basuto people. The mission was a failure and to his misfortune the Chief died at the same time. His poltical enemies worked hard to ensure he was not paid for the mission and his work and he found himself in financial ruin. Soon thereafter he joined his 2 sons in the Kimberley diamond fields. He rebuilt his legal practice over 4 years till he succumbed to a fever blamed on the legendary unsanitary condition of the mining town and died in the house of his half brother in Cape Town.


  1. Source: #S2333 Page: RUNCIMAN mailing list resources, (http://www.guernsey.net/~sgibbs/runciman/) pdf file on brothers John and William RUNCIMAN in Sth Africa, written by Mrs Mary RUNCIMAN, extracted Sep 2005
  • WikiTree profile Buchanan-432 created through the import of RUNCIMANDavidBROWNMargaretLineage1a4MyHeritageWikiTree.ged on Oct 22, 2011 by L Henderson. See the Changes page for the details of edits by L and others.
  • Source: S2333 Title: Rootsweb Msge Board, Url: http://boards.rootsweb.com Abbreviation: Rootsweb Msge Board
  • Source: S2446 Title: RUNCIMAN/AITHCESON Corres., Recipient: Lorna Henderson , Address: Cape Schanck, VIC, AUS, Author E-mail: Abbreviation: RUNCIMAN/AITHCESON Corres. ex Sally H Author: Sally HAW

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with David by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with David:

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Images: 7
David Dale Buchanan Image 1
David Dale Buchanan Image 1

David Dale Buchanan Death Notice 1874
David Dale Buchanan Death Notice 1874

Natal Witness first edition
Natal Witness first edition

David Dale Buchanan timeline
David Dale Buchanan timeline

Gravestone - David Dale Buchanan
Gravestone - David Dale Buchanan

view all


On 29 Jun 2018 at 19:42 GMT R Wade wrote:


28 Mar 1846 Mrs D.D. Buchanan, of a daughter

14 Feb 1848 Mrs D.D. Buchanan, of a son

30 Aug 1849 Mrs D.D. Buchanan, of a son

6 Dec 1850 Mrs D.D. Buchanan, of a son

On 29 Jun 2018 at 19:19 GMT R Wade wrote:

Timeline of Pietermaritzburg From Wikipedia

1846 Natal Witness newspaper begins publication. Book Society founded.

1847 Natal Independent newspaper begins publication.

1851 Natal and East African Society and Agricultural Society founded. In vicinity of Pietermaritzburg, development of Edendale begins.

1856 Pietermaritzburg incorporated. D. D. Buchanan becomes mayor.

On 29 Jun 2018 at 19:14 GMT R Wade wrote:


It started life as the Book Society of Pietermaritzburg with a reading room, small library and beginnings of a museum in 1846. Earlier that year an outspoken young journalist from the Cape, David Dale Buchanan, arrived by ox wagon with a battered second hand printing press to found what would become the country's oldest surviving newspaper, the Natal Witness. A strong proponent of public education he became secretary of the Book Society and within three years had persuaded his fellow committee members to convert it into Pietermaritzburg's first Public Library in 1849.

David is 19 degrees from Elinor Glyn, 25 degrees from Frances Weidman and 18 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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