Buchanan Family in Old Augusta County Virginia



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Buchanan Tapestry


Original Settlers

The Hildebrand Map of Borden's Grant shows nine parcels that were eventually titled to Buchanans received from Benjamin Borden, Sr. prior to his death in 1743.[1]

Since most of these land owners settled about the same time, in the same general area (northwest corner of Borden's Grant, on the Walker and Hays Creek watershed, they are presumed to be closely related. [2]

The following table identifies these nine parcels on Borden's Grant, and attempts a first cut identification at the identity of the owners, linking them to the appropriate WeRelate article.

SettlerAcreageTitle DatePresumed IdentityRationale
James4151757James BuchananOnly James who was an early land owner
John3701753John BuchananAdjacent to his father
Samuel2401750Samuel BuchananCould be Samuel the father or the son, but most like Samuels two sons, John and Samuel, are the ones owning land together
Samuel2401750Samuel Buchanan
John and Samuel3931747John Buchanan and Samuel Buchananprobably brothers owning land toegether
Andrew2501756Andrew Buchananpossible son of Samuel, only known Andrew, but not listed in Samuels Will
Andrew2001770Andrew Buchanan
William4801750William BuchananOnly known early William is the son of James
William2801755William Buchanan
Archibald4061762Archibald BuchananOnly known Archibald in area at this time is son of James. Could conceivably be Archibald brother of Samuel and James, but he is thought to have remained in Pennsylvania.

Since these Buchanans all settled in the same corner of the grant (northwest, along what is now known as Hays and Walkers Creek), appearing at the same time, they are presumed to be closely related. Two, James and Samuel, are thought to be brothers. The others are presumed to be their older sons. Some of the nine parcels were owned by persons with the same given name; they may be separate persons, or in some cases they may be a single individual who acquired two separate parcels. It is difficult to firmly conclude the identities of the owners of these parcels.

Family Relationships

Since these Buchanans all settled in the same corner of the grant, appearing at the same time (1738-1743), it seems likely that they were closely related. Two, James and Samuel, are thought to be brothers, and the remainder are usually are presumed to be their older sons. The key document in working out their inter-relationships is a brief family history prepared by Grundy Buchanan [3] The following diagram shows their conjectured relationships, with elements that have been accepted shown as solid lines, and those for which additional evidence is needed shown in dashed lines.


The two Buchanan families continued to live on Borden's Grant for the next 30 years or so. Person:James Buchanan (42) the father of one of the two branches, died in the mid 1760's. When the lands of Southwest Virginia opened up for settlement in 1769, most of the remaining family, includeing Person:Samuel Buchanan (15), relocated to the Holston River Watershed, settling either in the area between the middle and south forks of the Holston, south of Saltville, or in Locust Creek Cove, in the area that would eventually become Smythe County. The only ones to remain on Borden's Grant would be two sons of James, Person:Robert Buchanan (16) and Person:David Buchanan (10). Most of the family would remain in Southwest Virginia, though some, such as Person:Archibald Buchanan (1) would move on either to the Cumberland Settlements, or to Kentucky. [4]


  1. The dates shown on Hildebrand's map are the dates on which title to the property was received. Sometimes this was long after the death of Borden. Hildebrand, however, focused on the properties that the land records show were conveyed originally by Benjamin Sr. As a result, those land owners shown on Hildebrand's map are thought to have arrived on the Grant prior to his death in 1743.
  2. While there were other Buchanans in Old Augusta beginning about this time, (notably "Col John Buchanan, Gentleman" and his children) their relationship to the Buchanan's of Borden's Grant is not clear, and is the subject of continuing effort.
  3. See Felix Grundy Buchanan Narrative.
  4. The Felix Grundy Buchanan Narrative has Archibald moving to Kentucky. Some modern Genealogists place him in the Cumberland Settlement.