Richard Buckner, a wealthy Virginia landowner, was, according to Crozier, probably the oldest son of John Buckner. The validity of this statement about his primogeniture is unclear though, since very few firm dates for the family are available; leaning against this view is that Richard was the last survivor among John's four sons, William (d. 1716), Thomas (d. early 1720s), and John (d.ca. 1727). Crozier seems to base this idea on the notion that Richard was the most prominent among the sons, but this is questionable, as William was at least as notable as Richard. Our lack of knowledge of Thomas and John's activities probably is as much a consequence of the record loss in Gloucester County as anything else, and even then Thomas makes frequent appearances in what records remain, so this argument of prominence is unconvincing.
He was assigned 500 acres of land in Rappahannock County on 22 Sep 1682 by his father John Buckner, which was part of a tract called "Golden Valley" (often also "Golden Vale") and had been escheated by John Patterson after buying it from John Prosser. This grant identified him as the son of John Buckner, and probably places his birth year in 1661 or earlier, assuming he was then of age. Since it was an assignment, it seems fairly likely that John took this action upon Richard's reaching his majority, so 1661 is a credible guess at his birth year.
Either this Richard or his son Richard patented lands in King and Queen County, viz. 70 acres to Richard Buckner of Essex, 1 Feb 1720; and 4500 acres in Drysdale Parish, 28 Oct 1723. His residence was in Essex County, as a grant dated 1709 gives to him an "island containing 20 acres on the north side of the Rappahannock River in Richmond County, lying near the plantation where said Buckner resides, about 2 miles below Taliaferro's Mount." On 17 Aug 1715 he patented 179 acres in St. Mary's Parish, Essex, "adjoining the two tracts belonging to said Buckner of 1000 and 300 acres." Essex County was formed from old Rappahannock in 1692, and Richard Buckner was Clerk of the new County of Essex in 1703 and again in 1712. (Whether he was clerk continuously throughout that time is not known, as the records of the county are incomplete.) He was also Clerk of the House of Burgesses in 1714. Richard ran an ironworks on his Golden Vale property in the late 1720s, which we know from court records dealing with his request to dam the stream. He purchased mineral rights in Essex Co. from John Royston in 1721 and William Cammack in 1726/7 for iron mining.
A Richard Buckner purchased a "600 and odd" acre plot in Essex Co. (later Caroline), then called "Church Neck", from Robert Taliaferro for 600 pounds on 22 Apr 1726. Assuming this was Richard Sr., this corroborates the tradition that the Buckners of "the Neck" (called Buckner's Neck for a time and Skinker's Neck since at least the time of the Civil War, see a topo map) were his descendants. This is one of the best pieces of evidence that William Buckner of the Neck was his son.
Richard Buckner was a key proponent of the formation of Caroline County around the year 1728, and he served as one of its first representatives in the House of Burgesses until his death in late 1733 or early 1734.
There is a headright list from a land grant dated 29 Nov 1674 that gives "Richard Bickner" and "John Bickner" as headrights of James Harrison, John Rowzee, and the orphans of George Mott. The "Bickner" readings are clear, but since the name Bickner is virtually unknown in this context this could be an original mistranscription of Richard and John Buckner. It's notable that John Vickers was also a headright in this group, and he was likely the son of Thomas Vicars (one of John Buckner's regular business partners) . It's possible that Vickers and the Buckner brothers were returning from schooling in England, and Mott's heirs had some arrangement with their Buckner neighbors.
Birth: Abt. or before 1661 in Virginia
OCCUPATION: Richard was Clerk of Essex County in 1703; clerk of the House of Burgesses in 1713, and in 1730 a planter in Caroline County. (Winifred Ellis Suman).
Member and Clerk of the Virginia House of Burgesses. Will probated on 4 Mar 1733/4 (1734 NS).
He probably died in early 1734 (by the modern calendar), since the will was proved in March of that year.
Elizabeth Buckner was identified as Richard's wife in an Essex Co. VA deed of 15 Sep 1719 when she relinquished her right of dower when Richard sold some land to Robert Dudley. The maiden name Cooke is reported in Crozier as a tradition, but no contemporary sources for it are known. Stubbs states that this is known from "several recorded facts", but unfortunately only states one, which is that John Fitzhugh, son of Henry Fitzhugh and Susannah (Fitzhugh) Cooke was baptized with "Anna and Mrs. Elizabeth Buckner, his aunts" as sureties. Anna Buckner is presumably the wife of John Buckner of Gloucester.
An 8 Nov 1753 Caroline County Order Book entry shows an order for Robert Gilchrist, Nicholas Bataille, James Taylor, and William Allcock Gent to divide the estate of Richard Buckner according to his will, per the petition of the widow Eliza. Buckner. This suggests that Elizabeth lived at least until 1753, which tends to confirm a general impression most researchers have that she was substantially younger than Richard. Probably, she was petitioning for the execution of some terms of the will that were contingent on her death, though this is merely a surmise since the will itself has been lost.
Various secondary sources give a huge range of children in this family. Richard's family is the least documented of the 4 2nd generation brothers. Crozier has Richard Jr., John, William, Phillip, and Elizabeth. Primary sources, mainly the Caroline Order Books and various land records, provide good support for Richard Jr. and William, but as far as I can tell all the others are little more than guesses extrapolated from hazily remembered traditions. I'm pretty sure Phillip shouldn't be in this list for two reasons. First, Richard's brother John Buckner Jr. of Gloucester had a primary-source-known son named Phillip who is otherwise unaccounted for. Second, Phillip is referred to as Phillip Buckner of Gloucester in a land record, which really wouldn't make sense if he was Richard's son. If Buckners of Virginia didn't exist, I think anyone would assume Phillip was John Jr.'s son just from those points. Genetic evidence has also shown that John Buckner probably wasn't a biological paternal line descendant of Richard, but circumstantial evidence suggests he was probably regarded as a member of the family. Susanna is fairly certain, and the only way she wouldn't be Richard's daughter is if she was his granddaughter, but since Richard Jr.'s known children were born much later than 1721, she's almost certainly one of Richard Sr.'s youngest children.
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On 1 Oct 2017 at 20:40 GMT Ben Buckner wrote:
On 15 Sep 2014 at 21:49 GMT Sjana Lee (Dreyer) Dreyer-Bauer wrote:
On 25 Jul 2014 at 03:34 GMT Sjana Lee (Dreyer) Dreyer-Bauer wrote: