Issues in Buchanan Genealogy of Southwest Virginia

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Buchanan Genealogy of Southwest Virginia


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Buchanan Tapestry
……………………..The Tapestry
Families Old Chester OldAugusta Germanna
New River SWVP Cumberland Carolina Cradle
The Smokies Old Kentucky


The following issues have been identified for Buchanan Genealogy in Southwest Virginia. Help is requested in resolving these issues.

Wife of Samuel Buchanan

There are two commonly accepted identifications of of the wife of person:Samuel Buchanan (15). Some identify her as "Martha Edmiston", which seems to be the traditional identification. Others identify her as "Martha Keyes" or "Martha Keys", which seems to be based on Source:Allison, 1960. Samuel's Will (See Notebook:Samuel Buchanan). Direct evidence for the identity of Martha's maiden name has not been located. The following information may be relevant in seeking a resolution to this issue.

Samuel Edmondson and Taylor Wilson are shown as the executors for Samuel's will. Plausibly one or the other of them are Marthas kin, as often the widow's rights were protected by the presence of a blood kinsman in the probate process. This might suggest her maiden name was either Edmiston or Taylor.

The genealogies for the Buchanan family show numerous marriages between the Buchanan's and the Edmiston's. The Edmiston's settled in the same area as Samuel, and both families came to southwest Virginia from Borden's Grant. This lends credance to the idea that Martha may have been an Edmiston, but does not prove the point. While the "Keyes" family is not so prominent, they also came to SW VA from Rockbridge, and there are also a number of marriages between the Keyes and the Buchanan's.

Children of Samuel Buchanan

Most genealogists on Ancestry list the following children for Samuel BUchanan (15):


Samuel's Will, however, lists only Robert, Samuel, and John. An Andrew Buchanan is listed as Executor, but there is no mention of Moses or Samuel. Records for the area at this time do show entries for Andrew, Matthew and Moses. The fact that Andrew is listed as estate Excutor suggests that he, at least, is a close family relation, but there's no reason to believe he was Samuel's son.

John Buchanan Identity

The identity and history of John Buchanan who settled on Locust Cove Creek/Reed Creek has some potential for confusion. He is stated to be the son of Samuel Buchanan (15), and appears to be closely associated with Person:Archibald Buchanan (1), and is probably his brother. A 1774 letter in the Draper MSC from Andrew Campbell to William Preston indicates that John and Archibald were among the settlers who moved from their homes in response to Indian threat during Dunmore's War.

There is a John Buchanan in old Washington County, listed as an ensign in the Washington County Militia, and dying c1777. Some identify him with a John Buchanan who served in the Continental line and died in 1777 at the battle of Germantown. An Andrew Buchanan is identified in court records as his executor, and heir at law. This Andrew moves by XXXX to Bourbon County Kentucky. This could be the John Buchanan who settled on Locust Cove Creek.

However, some genealogists identify John Buchanan son of Samuel as living until after 1806. These genealogists place him in Davidson County TN where he is mentioned in his brother Archibalds will. It is not clear that these two individuals are the same persons as lived on Locust Cove Creek/Reed Creek, though many say they are.

It seems likely that there was a second John Buchanan in this same general area and he lived to until well after the turn of the century. It is possible that records for these two John Buchanan's have been comingled. Evidence sorting them out is needed.

Locust Cove lies in within modern Smyth County. While a portion of Smyth lies within the area once within Old Washington, the Locust Cove area lies entirely within the area of Old Montgomery County, and was never within Old Washington.


From Ephemeral site

:John Buchanan (1724-77) was commissioned lieutenant, 1776, and subsequently served as first
lieutenant. He was born in Augusta County, Va.; died of wounds received at the Battle of

From Ephemeral Site

The Cumberland Compact ...was signed on May 13, 1780, at Nashborough, Tennessee, in Davidson county, and was intended to set up a system for enforcing rights in land near the Cumberland River and defending settlers against massacre by the Indians until a formal government was established.... James Buchanan, Senior,
"On May 1, 1780, the 'Articles of Agreement, or Compact of Government'—popularly known as the Cumberland Compact—was drawn up, with additional resolutions on May 13, 1780. Names of 249 males were signed.... 'equally interesting is the number of known settlers who did not sign; these include John Buchanan, Jr. and Sr.