The Buchanan's of Green County, Kentucky in the Early 1800s


††††††††††† It is a McCorkle family tradition that Sarah Buchanan was the wife of Samuel McCorkle of Augusta County, Virginia. I have never been able to confirm Sarahís maiden name, but considering the close relationship between the McCorkles and Buchanans in Virginia and Kentucky, I believe that the legend is probably true. For instance, Samuel McCorkle Jr. served in the Augusta militia under Capt. Patrick Buchanan in 1781. This was probably the same Patrick Buchanan that Samuel McCorkle Sr. named as an executor for his will written in 1785. The American McCorkles and Buchanans are first recorded in early18th century Pennsylvania and Augusta County, Virginia. The families that lived in this area have been extensively investigated by many researchers, but very little information has been discovered about Sarah, the wife of Samuel McCorkle.In an effort aimed at adding a few more facts to the Buchanan/McCorkle connection, I decided to investigate the Buchanans that lived in Green County, Kentucky near Samuel McCorkle Jr., the son of Samuel and Sarah McCorkle of Augusta.


††††††††††† In 1799, Samuel McCorkle Jr. was taxed Green County, Kentucky where he had moved soon after selling the McCorkle farm in Augusta. In the 1810 Green County census he was living on the farm adjacent to Alexander Buchanan and the next four dwellings were occupied by Buchanans. The heads of these Buchanan families were as follows:


  Alexander, born before 1765

††††††††††† Mary, born before 1765

††††††††††† David, born before 1765

††††††††††† John, born between 1765 and 1784

††††††††††† William, born between 1765 and 1784


††††††††††† In addition to some of the 1810 Buchanans and their descendants, a Catherine Buchanan was recorded in the 1820 and 1830 Green County censuses. Catherine also deposed for Samuel McCorkle Jr. in connection with his 1832 Revolutionary War pension application. She gave her age as 76 (i.e.; born circa 1756).


††††††††††† On 14 July, 1809, James Buchanan signed his will in Green County. In this instrument, he named his brother William and his sisters Mary and Catherine. The executors were John and Alexander Buchanan. The will was probated on 28 Mar 1814, but since James was not recorded in the 1810 census, I assume that he was probably very ill and no longer considered a head of household.


            In October, 1819, Mary and Catherine Buchanan, heirs and legalees of James Buchanan, dec'd, deeded property to Alexander and David Buchanan in Green County. Witnesses were Sam'l McCorkle, Archibald S. Buchanan and James Buchanan.


††††††††††† The executors for the 1840 Green County will of Samuel McCorkle Jr. were John and James W. Buchanan.


††††††††††† The 1736 map of Beverly Manor in Augusta County shows the farm of John Buchanan near the headwaters of Christian Creek. Samuel McCorkle Sr. and his family resided a short distance away. From the conservative work of others (RootsWeb Buchanan List, 26 Jan 1999), I have learned that this John Buchanan was born circa 1714 and that he and his family had lived in Beverly Manor prior to their purchase of their farm in 1741. Although there has been speculation as to the parents of John, they have not been proved.† On 22 Oct 1776, John signed his will naming his wife Margaret and ten children. This will was proved 20 Apr 1790 in Augusta County. This research also resulted in estimates of the childrenís birth dates. The children of John and Margaret Buchanan are listed below:


  Martha, born 1739

††††††††††† William, born 1741- c 1805

††††††††††† Patrick, born 1743

††††††††††† John, born 1745

††††††††††† Robert, born 1747

††††††††††† James, born 1749 - c 1814

††††††††††† Mary, born 1752 - c 1822

††††††††††† Catherine, born 1756 - c 1822
Alexander, born 1757 c 1827

††††††††††† David, born 1760


Although the descendants of most of the oldest five children have been documented, nothing had been discovered about the descendants of the youngest five.


Conclusion: The names of John Buchananís five youngest children exactly match the Buchanan data found in early Green County. Except for William, the estimated birth dates also correlate very well with the Green County data. Since the 1999 reference mentioned above had no other information on William, it is quite possible that his estimated birth date is incorrect. I conclude that Alexander, Mary, William, Catherine, John and David Buchanan found in early Green County, Kentucky were the children of John and Margaret Buchanan of Beverly Manor, Augusta County, Virginia.


Although I was unable to shed much more light on Sarah, the wife of Samuel McCorkle of Augusta County, this research has resulted in a Buchanan link that I have not seen published before. It is unfortunate that the parents of John Buchanan are not known since Sarah was most likely his sister or aunt and the Patrick Buchanan that was executor for the will of Samuel McCorkle was most likely his son or brother.


The descendants of the original Green County Buchanans can be found in the Green and Taylor County censuses through at least 1880. Green and Taylor County marriage, deed and will information is available for this period. Those interested in documenting their Green/Taylor County Buchanan linage should make use of these data.

 Thanks to the excellent research of Diana Powell, most of the above conclusions have been verified by the 1776 Augusta Co., Virginia will of John Buchanan and the 1826 Green Co., Kentucky wills of Catherine and Mary Buchanan.
Diana has many more details on some of the descendants of John Buchanan of Augusta Co., Virginia at her well documented Rambling Roots; Pioneer Families of Washington County, Virginia website.


 Additionally, in 1995, Paul C. Buchanan published his excellently sourced research on the Buchanans of Early Augusta County, Virginia. This short pamphlet reinforces the above conclusions and is available as a PDF for download from the Books Section of the LDS FamilySearch Website. 


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Revised Apr 5, 2019†††††††††††