Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Buchanan Bible Transcript: A Remnant Among Reluctant Records

(By Candice Buchanan, 2015)

The following is a record that has been very meaningful to me in my quest for tracking the elusive records and photos of my Buchanan line. This rare transcript captures the entries of not one, but two, Buchanan family Bibles. Though in keeping with family tradition, the original Bibles are now who-knows-where.

Despite 20+ years of research, neither these Bibles nor almost any other original letters, diaries, photos, etc. have turned up for Andrew Buchanan, his wife, Rhoda (Stevenson), or their ten children. Though grandchildren and great-grandchildren are somewhat better represented, thanks to the united efforts of many wonderful cousins, it remains that of this important early dozen, only two ancestors even have pictures in our tree. One of those photos, that of James Andrew Jackson Buchanan, the lawyer-son who inherited the original Bible and then kept his own, is a photo taken from Fred High’s phenomenal Waynesburg Prosperous & Beautiful.[1] So even this well-known figure in our family history left no photo, at least not one that has been located or shared. His sister Harriet (Buchanan) Adams is the only one of these original twelve for whom we have found an actual image handed down through her family and graciously provided by her heirs.[2]

Harriet (Buchanan) Adams
In light of so few personal records for a family so dear to me, I have valued this transcript and thought that it should be posted for easier access and better preservation. The analysis of its historical value is my contribution, hoping to compensate to some degree for the absence of the actual pages and ancestral handwriting that we would all prefer to personally see in order to make our own interpretations of the words.

Of course, in broader perspective, I will hold out hope that this post might one day show up in a web search of a cousin who has treasures to share! These old records and photographs are valuable to so many more people than most realize.

Family data, J. A. J. Buchanan Family Bible, Holy Bible, (Troy, NY: Merriam, Moore & Co., 1848).

The Buchanan Family Bible record was started by Andrew Buchanan [1780-1848] in his Bible, the whereabouts of which are now unknown. The original Bible was Willed by Andrew Buchanan to his son, J. A. J. Buchanan [1824-1910].[3]

On 13 December 1853, J. A. J. Buchanan, transcribed the information from his father’s Bible to his own Bible, after which he continued the family record. The current owner of J. A. J. Buchanan’s Bible is also unknown, but a transcribed copy of the family data is in a collection of local Family Bible information at the Cornerstone Genealogical Society (144 E. Greene Street, PO Box 547; Waynesburg, Pennsylvania 15370). J. A. J. Buchanan noted each set of entries (births, marriages and deaths) that he copied from his father’s Bible so that it is easy to identify his father’s data from his own additions and it is reasonable to believe that the information J. A. J. Buchanan copied was originally written at the time the events occurred and can be considered reliable.

James Andrew Jackson Buchanan
In a tribute titled “One Pioneer,” published for the Greene County Centennial, Jane (Ragan) (Shane) Zink, Andrew Buchanan’s granddaughter, states that “a Bible from his loving mother’s hand” was among his possessions when he traveled west in 1802.[4] If this is the same Bible, then Andrew owned it prior to his marriage and would have been able to record the births, marriages and deaths of his children as they occurred. His own birth date, of course, would have had to come from the date his parents had told to him, but it is very likely that he recorded it himself in his Bible.

Page 1


J. A. J. Buchanan Born Sunday February 8th 1824

Mary Ann Boner Born Friday August 22d 1823

According to Miss Lizzie Porter of Pittsburgh head of the Childrens Aid Society of Western Pa. / Mary Billings was born - so says Miss Porter - September 30, 1881 / Monday Came to live with us Septr 14, 1893 / Miss Porter was living in the City of Pittsburgh & the head of / the Childrens Aid Society when her mother died / and her mother requested her to see Mary got a / good place

Mary Billings was married to Ernest Locy March 20th A.D. 1900

Heller Locy Born Decr 28, 1900

My Fathers Family Record Transcribed from the original by me / J. A. J. Buchanan this 13 day of December 1853

Andrew Buchanan April 8, 1780

Rhoda Stephenson Born in the Jersies July 11, 1784

Rachel Jany 28, 1805

Elizabeth Octr 17, 1806

James Jany 1, 1810

Andrew Sept. 16, 1812

Martha Septr. 15, 1814

Jane Octr. 14, 1817

John Decr 3, 1819

Harriett Feby 15, 1822

James A. Jackson Feby 8, 1824

David May 2, 1826

Page 2


Sarah Boner Buchanan Born Monday March 31st 1845 at 10 Ock A.M.

Harriet A. Buchanan Born on Thursday April 13th 1847 at 4 Ock A.M.

Sarah Boner Buchanan Born Monday January 14th A.D. 1850 at 5 Ock and 55M A.M.

Mary Ann Buchanan Born Sunday Jany 15th AD 1854 at 1 Ock & 20 Min A.M.

Daniel Boner Buchanan Born Sunday September 19 A.D. 1853 at 2 Oclock A.M.

James Buchanan Born on Sunday January 20th A.D. 1861 at 11 Oclock and 15 Minates P.M.

James Buchanan Lantz Born on Monday March 14th 1870 at 6 O'clock P.M.

James Buchanan Walton Born on Friday March 27, A.D. 1874

Daniel Boner born July 31 or August 1, 1797 A.D.

Sarah Ankrom born June 10 A D. 1807

Mary Buchanan Walton born May 30th A.D. 1891

Jas J. B. Walton born Aug. 30, A.D. 1894


J. A. J. Buchanan to Mary Ann Boner May 28th 1844 Tuesday

William T. Lantz to Harriett A. Buchanan June 10th A.D. 1869 at 6 O'clock A.M.

William B. McConnell to Sarah B. Buchanan Wednesday September 9th A.D. 1869 at 6 O'clock A. M.

Daniel S. Walton to Mary Ann Buchanan Jr. Thursday March 13, 1873 at 10 O'clock P.M.

Ernest Locy married to Mary Billings March 20 A.D. 1900

My Fathers Family Record Transcribed from the original Record by Me J. A. J. Buchanan this 13 of December 1853

Andrew Buchanan to Rhoda Stephenson April 22d A.D. 1804

John Buchanan to Rebecca L. Browning April 15th 1845

David Buchanan to Rachel Browning August 13th 1846

Daniel Boner to Sarah Ankrom Septr 8, 1822

Page 3


Sarah Boner Buchanan Died Nov 3d 1847 at about 11 Ock A.M. / disease congestive or inflamatory croup

Daniel Boner Buchanan Died Nov. 17, 1862 at 9 Ock P.M. / On Friday night previous was taken about midnight / with coarsely cough - played as usual a day Saturday / at about 8 Oclock Saturday evening was taken bad / after he had went to bed and slept easily for an / hour, and continued growing worse till he died / disease congestive or inflamatory croup

James Buchanan Died Nov. 25, A.D. 1862 at 20 minutes to 1 / Oclock A.M. - for 3 or 4 days he laid in a stupor, / coarse cough; Thirsty but would strangle in / drinking & water would run out of his nose when / attempting to drink - From the time he was 6 months / old he was affected With Scrofula it always after / broke out around the throat - He took severe cold / and this caused the disease (Scrofula) to return / from the surface & I think killed him - But he .... of Nov. winds

Record from my Fathers Bible

James Nov. 27, 1810

Rachel July 2d 1833

Andrew Buchanan Sr. Decr 2, 1848 at 12 A.M.

Rhoda Buchanan July 6th A.D. 1869 at 2 ½ Oclock A.M.

Daniel Boner died November 6th 1869 A.D. at 11 ½ Oclock P.M. / aged 72 years 4 months 6 days – palsy

Sarah B. Buchanan McConnell September 21, 1871 of dumb agua, / contracted at her home in Angola, Indiana died at 10 Oclock A.M.

Martha Ragan died July 27th A.D. 1886 at 2 ½ P.M.

James Buchanan Walton died Tuesday April 17, 1885 at 10:30 / P.M. of Typhoid Fever age 14 yrs 21 days 5 ft 3 in / in height

Sarah Boner Decr. 23, 1892 at 4.15 P.M. aged 85yrs 6mos / 13dys Erysipelas - Burried 25 Dec Sunday

Mary A. Buchanan, wife of J. A. J. Buchanan died Decr 7, 1899 / at 9 Oclock Stricken senseless with / paralysis at 7 ½ Oclock on evening of 6 Decr.

[1] Fred High, Waynesburg Prosperous & Beautiful (reprint, Parsons, West Virginia: McClain Printing Company, 1973), 38.

[2] Photograph of Harriet (Buchanan) Adams [1822-1890] - wife of Elijah Adams, daughter of Andrew Buchanan & Rhoda Sevenson. Reproduction, professional photograph from Gifford, Chetopa, Kan. The Betty Elaine (Adams) Kleffner Collection photographs were passed from Elijah Adams [1816-1877] and his wife, Harriet Buchanan [1822-1890], to their son Richard Miskimins Adams [1864-1942] and his first wife, Eleanor Orissa "Nellie" Dwigans [1865-1907], to their son Vern "Bill" Adams [1898-1998] and his wife, Opal LaVerne Hale [1905-1946], to their daughter Betty Elaine (Adams) Kleffner [1925-2003] and her husband, Leo Henry Kleffner [1914-1996], to their son John Kleffner who owned and shared the photos with the Greene Connections: Greene County, Pennsylvania Photo Archives Project in 2004. Betty also received images from her first cousin Lorraine Ermie (Adams) Wenner, daughter of Ralph Adams & Naida Avis White. Each generation added to the collection with their own family and in-laws. See KLEF0001.

[3] Greene County, Pennsylvania, Will Book, 3: 43, estate file no. 1327, Andrew Buchanan Will and Estate; Office of the Register & Recorder, Courthouse, Waynesburg.

[4] “One Pioneer” article, Waynesburg Independent, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, 27 August 1896, page 8, column 1-2. Jane (Ragan) Zink, granddaughter of Andrew and Rhoda (Stevenson) Buchanan, wrote and submitted the article for this special edition of the local newspaper celebrating the Greene County centennial anniversary.