James  Buchanan Jr.

James Buchanan Jr. (1791 - 1868)

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President James Buchanan Jr.
Born in Cove Gap, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Died in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United Statesmap
Buchanan-787 created 25 Sep 2012 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 11,484 times.

Categories: US Presidents | Franklin County, Pennsylvania | US Ambassadors to the United Kingdom | US Secretaries of State | US Ambassadors to Russia | US Senators from Pennsylvania | US Representatives from Pennsylvania | Democratic Political Party | Federalist Political Party | Mercersburg, Pennsylvania | Lancaster, Pennsylvania | This Day In History April 23 | This Day In History June 01 | Woodward Hill Cemetery, Lancaster, Pennsylvania | Namesakes US Counties | Notables | Clan Buchanan.

James Buchanan Jr. is notable.
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The Presidential Seal.
James Buchanan Jr. was the President of the United States.
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Preceded by
14th President
Franklin Pierce

Preceded by
16th Secretary
John C. Calhoun

Preceded by
William Wilkins
James Buchanan
15th President
of the United States
Presidential Seal

17th United States
Secretary of State
State Dept

US Senator (Class 3)
from Pennsylvania
Seal of of the US Senate
Succeeded by
16th President
Abraham Lincoln

Succeeded by
18th Secretary

John M. Clayton

Succeeded by
Simon Cameron



James Buchanan, Jr.,[1] is the only president from Pennsylvania, the only one who never got married[2], and the last to be born in the 18th century.

Early Life

Born on 23 April 1791 in Cove Gap[3], he was the son of businessman and farmer James Buchanan, Sr. (1761–1821) and Elizabeth Speer.

Clan Buchanan tartan.
James Buchanan Jr. is a member of Clan Buchanan.
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The Buchanans were Scotch-Irish.[4] In 1783, James, Sr. emigrated from Donegal, Ireland.[5] He and his wife had 5 sons, and six daughters.[6].

In 1797, the family moved nearby to Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, where their home was later converted into the James Buchanan Hotel.[7]


Buchanan attended the village academy (Old Stone Academy) and later Dickinson College. Although expelled for behavior, he eventually graduated with honors on September 19, 1809. Later that year he moved to Lancaster, and studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1812.


A Federalist, James initially opposed the War of 1812, but when the British invaded Maryland, he joined a volunteer light dragoon unit to defend Baltimore.


Called "doughface," Buchanan was "a Northerner with Southern sympathies," which caused problems when it came to slavery. He could not maintain peace between the North and South, so the South succeeded, heralding a looming civil war.[8]

  • Democrat
  • Minister to the UK (Aug 23, 1853 – Mar 15, 1856)
  • 17th Secretary of State (Mar 10, 1845 – Mar 7, 1849)
  • Senator: PA (Dec 6, 1834 – Mar 5, 1845}
  • Minister to Russia (Jan 4, 1832 – Aug 5, 1833)
  • Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary (Mar 4, 1829 – Mar 4, 1831)
  • House of Reps: PA 4th district (Mar 4, 1823 – Mar 4, 1831)
  • House of Reps: PA 3rd district (Mar 4, 1821 – Mar 4, 1823)


  • Religion: Presbyterian

Fraternal Affiliation

  • Freemason:[9] Initiated: 11 Dec1816, Lodge No. 43, Lancaster, PA; Master of Masonic Lodge No. 43. Lancaster, PA; District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.[10]


bur. Woodward Hill Cemetery, Lancaster, PA

Most Distant Known Ancestors

Paternal Thomas Buchanan
Link to 10 Generation Paternal Chart
Maternal Mary Patterson
Link to 10 Generation Maternal Chart


Three states have named counties in honor of President Buchanan: Iowa, Missouri and Virginia.


  1. Wikipedia: James Buchanan; White House; Memorial #143, Find a Grave
  2. numerous historians claim James Buchanan was gay. See: . Loewen, J. (2012, May 14). Our real first gay president. www.salon.com
  3. Franklin County, Pennsylvania Buchanan's Birthplace State Park; [1])
  4. create category for Scotch- Irish?
  5. second of eleven children, 3 died in infancy.
  6. [citation needed]; need to find siblings
  7. (in 2012 a pub and restaurant)[2]
  8. Wikipedia
  9. other Pres. Freemasons
  10. Wikipedia

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No known carriers of James's ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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James Buchanan 15th President
James Buchanan 15th President

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James Buchanan
James Buchanan

James Buchanan and his Cabinet
James Buchanan and his Cabinet

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On 25 Apr 2017 at 09:13 GMT Andrea (Stawski) Pack wrote:

James Buchanan Jr.-787 and John Quincy Adams-12 are 12th cousins once removed through John (Plantagenet) of Gaunt KG-66 1340-1399

John being the 11th great grandfather of James Buchanan and John the 12th great grandfather of John Quincy Adams-12.

On 25 Apr 2017 at 08:57 GMT Andrea (Stawski) Pack wrote:

James Buchanan Jr.787 and George Washington-11 are 11th cousins once removed daughters of Thomas Holland KG-11 them being Margaret (Holland) Lancaster-30 and Alianore (Holland) Mortimer-581 being Thomas the 11th great grandfather of James Buchanan and Thomas the tenth great grandfather of George Washington.

On 25 Apr 2017 at 08:39 GMT Andrea (Stawski) Pack wrote:

Through the relationship finder James Buchanan Jr 1791-1868 and Walter Pack-530 are 9th cousins 8 times removed

Having the same grandparental lineage of Patrick Crichton 1405-1461 Patrick the eighth great grandfather of James. Patrick the 16th great grandfather of Walter.

On 24 Feb 2017 at 15:39 GMT Linda (Sherman) Stienstra wrote:

How do I join this project? I live 3 blocks from his home and used to work at LancasterHistory.org on the same Campus with his home.

Thank you.

On 17 Feb 2017 at 09:09 GMT Jaynie (Flippen) Anderson wrote:

I would like to join this project. How do I do this?

On 19 Apr 2016 at 06:16 GMT Donnie Blackstone wrote:

President James Buchanan Buchanan-787 is 7th Cousins 7 times removed of Blackstone-170

On 15 Nov 2014 at 06:53 GMT Isara (Chellis) Argent wrote:

The common ancestor of James and me is (King) Robert II of Scotland, Stewart-1001.

James is 21 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 21 degrees from Mel Lambert, 18 degrees from John Lejeune and 18 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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