Buchner/Boughner Origins


Among the early settlers in Norfolk County were an uncle Matthias Boughner and his nephew Jacob Buchner, followed by Jacob’s brother Christopher Buchner. Matthias adopted a unique spelling of the family name while the nephews stayed true to the original Germanic form.

The author R. Robert Mutrie is a descendant of both Matthias Boughner and Jacob Buchner through two different ancestral lines, the first paternal and the second maternal. He has compiled original source information on the nineteenth century family. The following is the German and colonial origin of the family lines who left New Jersey after the American Revolution and eventually settled in Ontario, at that time known as Upper Canada.

German Origins

 A documented account of immigrant Buchner ancestors may be found in Westerwald to America by Anette Kunselman Bergert and Henry Z. Jones.[1]

 “Johann Martin Buchner, Johannes Buchner and Johann Henrich Buchner, Rowand 1753—The Buchners were documented in their ancestral home at Unnau, entries in the registers of Bad Marienberg church books begins in 1646. Johann Martin Buchner, son of Johan Bäst Buchner of Unnau, married 28 November 1727 Elsa Maria Zehrüng, daughter of Christophel Zehrüng of Ritzhausen.--Martin Buchner of Unnau with his family of 7 were emigrants (see Nassau-Dillenburg Lists).--Sower's Newspaper dated 1 April 1756 mentions that Martin Buchner, German schoolmaster at Anwell, NJ arrived at Philadelphia in the autumn of 1753. Part of his passage costs being due, he gave up as security a chest containing household goods and books. The chest was placed in Michael Ege's stable. Buchner paid the sum and the following summer had the chest sent to Amweil. Martin Buggonor's lot was mentioned in a quit-claim deed dated 24 March 1769 for land in East Amwell. Boughner was in possession of the lot in January 1780 when the ratables note him as a householder with a house, two acre lot, two cattle and one hog. There was a Martin Buchner listed in the 1790 census for Franklin Twp., Fayette Co., PA-an area were other Amwell families eventually settled.”

German Baptismal Records

Family researcher Wilson Zaring has transcribed the Buchner entries in the register of the Bad Marienberg Evangelical Church and found the following baptism for the American immigrant ancestor Johann Martin Buchner:

Dom. 4 Epiph. (1705). Joh. Best Buchner, Ana-Els eheleut zu Unnau einen jungen sohn tauffen lassen. Gevattern: Christ Henrich Schmidts sohn Martin und Hans Gerhardt Buchner _?_ hausfl? daselbsten.

Zaring suggested that this translates as Johann Best Buchner and his wife Ana-Els of Unnau had a young son baptized on the fourth Sunday of Epiphany, 1705. The sponsors were Martin Schmidt, son of Christ Henrich Schmidt and Hans Gerhardt Buchner's wife, of that place.

Wilson Zaring also extracted the following German baptismal records from the church books of Bad Marienburg, Germany for the family of Johann Martin Buchner:








14 Tr 1729

Joh. Martin Buchner

Johannes Zehrung, Christoffel




Elsa Marie, Ehel

Zehrung von Ritzhausen nachgel s.





Ann Els, Hanss Gerhard Dencker



D 26 Tr 1731

Joh. Martin Buchner

Bäst Habel zum Pfuhl, Anna Eva




Elsa Marie, Ehel

Joh. Wilhelm Grann ehefrau zu

Anna Eva





10 Nov. Geb


D Invoc 1733

Jo. Martin Buchner

Joh. Christ Buchner zu Langenbach,




Elizabeth Marie, Ehel

Demuth, Joh. Theiss Neb ehefr.

Joh. Christ





14 Feb Geb


21 Dec 1734

Joh. Martin Buchner

Joh. Henrich Mohn, schuldiener zu




Elisabeth Marie, Ehel

Unnau, Anna Elisabeth, Joh. Theiss

Joh. Henrich




Joh. Henrich Mann? Ehefr Das.

10 Dec. Geb.


14 May 1737

Joh. Martin Buchner

Joh. Theiss, Jonas Schürg nachel s.




Elisabeth Marie, l

Von Strangeroth, Anna Catharina,





Christianus Mann ehefr. zum Pfuhl

7 May Geb


D Res 1739

Joh. Martin Buchner

Joset Buchner zu Unnau, Anna




Elisabeth Marie, Ehel

Catharina, Martin Schmidt tochter






19 Mar Geb.


D Cal 1743

Joh. Martin Buchner

Jo. Christ, Theiss Schütz?





Sohn zu Stangeroth, Anna Elizabeth

Joh. Christ




dau of Christ Zimmerman

30 10ber Geb


Eodem Die

Martin Buchner

Johann Theiss, Johann Henrich Mohn

Ein sohn



Elisabeth Maria

Schuldiener zu Unnau Ehel sohn und

Johann TheiB


24 Jan 1745


Gertraud, Martin Schutz ehel,





HauBfrau daselbst



D 31 Martz

JohannMartin Buchner

Christian, Wyel? Johann Theiss

sohn Christian



Elisabeth Maria Ehel.

Mann Ehel nachgelassen sohn

Geb d. 28 d.




Zu Unnau. Anna, Johann Christ





Habel [      ] Daselbst



A book written about the background of Martin’s wife is History of Zehrung Family, Descendants of Ludwig, Matthias by Anna Elizabeth and Phillip Zehrung (Champaign, IL: 1994), in four volumes.


The Geography

The residency of the Buchner family, Unnau is a village in the northernmost part of Westerwald Region of the present state of Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany northeast of the city of Koblenz. The official website for Unnau is at http://www.meinestadt.de/Unnau and includes a map of the area. Close by is the town of Bad Marienberg where the Buchner family attended the Evangelican Church and had their children baptized. The town’s tourism web site at http://www.bad-marienberg.de/touris/tourisframe.htm gives a description and pictures.

Historically, during the time that our Buchner ancestors lived there, Unnau and Bad Marienberg were in the Dutchy of Nassau-Dillenburg ruled by the princes of Orange. The history of the Dutchy is included in http://www.factmonster.com/ce6/world/A0834902.html:

“Nassau, former duchy, W central Germany, situated N and E of the Main and Rhine rivers. It is now mostly included in the state of Hesse, and partly in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Wiesbaden was the capital; other towns included the mineral spas of Bad Homburg, Bad Schwalbach, and Schlangenbad in the beautiful Taunus hills and Bad Ems on the Lahn River.

“The region takes its name from the small town of Nassau, on the Lahn E of Ems, where the original castle of the house of Nassau was built in the early 12th cent. by a count of Laurenburg. His descendants took the title count of Nassau. In 1255 the dynasty split into two main lines and divided the territory in half. In 1806, Nassau, which had received some territorial additions, joined the Confederation of the Rhine and was raised to a duchy.

“In 1816 the territories belonging to the various branches of the Walramian line were united by Duke William (1816–39). His successor, Adolf, sided against Prussia in the Austro-Prussian War (1866) and as a result lost his duchy to Prussia. Nassau was then united with the former Electoral Hesse to form the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau. Duke Adolf of Nassau, however, succeeded in 1890 to the grand duchy of Luxembourg, where his descendants continue to rule.

“The Ottonian line of Nassau acquired (15th cent.) the lordship of Breda and settled in the Netherlands. It came into European prominence in the 16th cent. WithWilliam the Silent, who inherited the principality of Orange in S France and became stadtholder of the Netherlands. His sons, Maurice of Nassau and Frederick Henry, succeeded him as princes of Orange and as stadtholders; these titles then passed to Frederick Henry's son, William II of Orange, and to William's sonWilliam III, who also became king of England.

“William III died (1702) without direct heirs, and the principality of Orange (which had become purely titular) passed to John William Friso, of the collateral branch of Nassau-Dietz. His son, Prince William IV, became (1748) hereditary stadtholder of the Netherlands, and from him all subsequent rulers of the Netherlands (except Louis Bonaparte) are descended in direct line. The Dutch line of the Nassau family is known as the house of Orange.

There is a chronology for the area in the official website of the town of Dillenburg http://www.dillenburg.de/:

um 1130

Bau der Dillenburg


Erste urkundliche Erwähnung Dillenburgs


Bau der Nikolaus-Kirche in Feldbach


Verleihung der Stadtrechte durch Kaiser Ludwig den Bayern (20. Sept.)


Gründung der Schützengilde Oranien, des ältesten Vereins der Stadt


Einweihung der evangelischen Stadtkirche als Johanniskirche


Bau der "Hohen Mauer" mit einer Länge von 300 und einer Höhe von 20 Metern


Einführung der Reformation in Dillenburg


Geburt von Wilhelm I. von Oranien auf der Dillenburg


Gründung einer Lateinschule, Vorläuferin des heutigen Gymnasiums


Dreifache Hochzeit in Nassau-Dillenburg: Johann VI. mit Elisabeth v. Leuchtenberg, Anna mit Albrecht von Nassau-Weilburg, Elisabeth mit Konrad von Solms-Braunfels. Die hiesigen Eltern sind: Juliane v. Stolberg und Wilhelm der Reiche


Unter Graf Johann VI. von Nassau erhält das ottonische Nassau seine größte Ausdehnung und einen bedeutenden Rang unter den Grafschaften



Wilhelm von Oranien befindet sich auf der Dillenburg im Exil und organisiert von hier aus den Freiheitskampf in den Niederlanden gegen die spanischen Machthaber. Legendär ist
der Empfang niederländischer Flüchtlinge unter der Wilhelmslinde


Jan Rubens, der Vater von Peter Paul Rubens, wird nach einer Affäre mit Anna von Sachsen, der zweiten Gattin Wilhelms von Oranien, im Schloßgefängnis gefangen gehalten


Bau der Stadtmauer begonnen; Abschluß 1620

1625/26 und 1635/36

Die beiden schlimmsten Pestepidemien der Vergangenheit fordern in Dillenburg rund 600 Todesopfer


Im 30jährigen Krieg wird Dillenburg und seine Umgebung von schwedischen Soldaten geplündert


Die letzte Hinrichtung einer "Hexe" in Dillenburg


Die heimische Bevölkerung kommt in den Genuß von Tabak und Kartoffeln


Der großen Brandkatastrophe fallen über 200 Häuser - mehr als die Hälfte der Stadt - zum Opfer


Wiederaufbau von (Altem) Rathaus und Altstadt


Die seit dem 15. Jh. bestehende "Kupferhütte auf dem Nanzenbach" wird "Isabellenhütte" benannt, nach Isabella, der Gemahlin des letzten regierenden Landesherrn (Fürst Christian)


Mit Fürst Christian stirbt das Haus Nassau-Dillenburg aus. Das Erbe geht an das Haus Oranien-Nassau in den Niederlanden über.


Zerstörung des Dillenburger Schlosses im Siebenjährigen Krieg (1756-63) durch französische Soldaten


Fürst Wilhelm V. bewilligt für die Bebauung der nach ihm benannten Wilhelmstraße kostenlose Bauplätze, 20jährige Steuerfreiheit und Baumaterial aus den Ruinen des Schlosses


Die erste Zeitung, "Dillenburgische Intelligenz-Nachrichten", erscheint


Oberforstrat Georg Ludwig Hartig arbeitet in Dillenburg und gründet eine der ersten Forstschulen in Deutschland


Napoleon Bonaparte wird Landesherr über das Fürstentum Dillenburg im Großherzogtum Berg


Der "Code Napoléon" wird geltendes Recht im Land an der Dill


Das Fürstentum Oranien-Nassau hört auf zu existieren, die Herrschaftsverbindungen zu den Niederlanden sind gelöst. Dillenburg wird eine Behördenstadt im Herzogtum Nassau


Gründung des Turnvereins, des größten Vereins der Stadt


Mit der "Löwengrube" ("Kappeskeller") wird ein erster Teil der Schloßgewölbe wieder freigelegt (jene waren nach der Zerstörung des Schlosses verschüttet); nun lagern dort für mehrere Jahre Bier- und Eisvorräte


Eröffnung der Eisenbahnstrecke von Gießen nach Köln-Deutz

ab 1866

Die Industrielle Revolution mit Bergbau und Metallverarbeitung hält Einzug im Dillgebiet


Dillenburg wird Kreisstadt (bis 1976) unter preußischer Herrschaft


Wiederaufnahme des Zuchtbetriebes im nunmehr königlich-preußischen Landgestüt. - Die Erstgründung im Nassauer Land (Liebenscheid) erfolgte durch Moritz von Oranien, dem in Dillenburg geborenen Sohn Wilhelms des Schweigers. - Heute Hessisches Landgestüt


Bau des Wilhelmsturms


Gründung des Historischen Vereins; Vorgänger des Geschichtsvereins Dillenburg


Einweihung der katholischen "Herz-Jesu-Kirche"; bis dato fanden die Messen in der Orangerie im Hofgarten statt


Fürst Otto von Bismarck erhält die Ehrenbürgerschaft von Dillenburg


Einweihung der Volksschule im Hofgarten


Einweihung des Kurhauses


Das erste Automobil in Dillenburg


Die erste elektrische Beleuchtung


Ein neues Stadtkrankenhaus ist entstanden, ermöglicht durch die Landfried-Haas'sche Stiftung


Family Traditions

Over the years undocumented family traditions grew up concerning the Buchner/Boughner family. One concerned an early ancestral location in Saxony, Germany. This is presented here as a matter of interest only: “According to family tradition, the grand ancestors of our Loyalist Buchners originated in the Kingdom of Old Saxony. In 1470, one branch was given a coat of arms and in 1554 was admitted to the Nobility- thus permitting the prefix 'Von' before the name. Buchner is the original correct spelling of the name although many other spellings have been used, a few being: Boughner, Bugner, Buckner, etc."

In Sources In Buchner-Boughner Genealogy, by William R. Yeager family historian Orena Bunchner Hanley is quoted:[2]

“... Years ago I corresponded with a Roy Boughner of Kitchener who must have come from old Matthias.... He said TWO brothers came from the old Kingdom of Saxony and that one settled in Pa. Now another tradition says that two brothers went to Holland in 1732 to avoid conscription into the army- and came to the Colonies in 1753. I believe those two brothers were: MARTIN & JOHN and that it is their names Johannes Martin Buchner and and Johannes Buchner along with Johann Heinrich Buchner on that passenger list. I believe that last was my g.g.g. grand-father, b. 1733 who would be well over 16 and able to have his name on the passenger list.... Johannes before a name means ‘father’ and Johann means ‘son’.


Arrival in the American Colonies

Our ancestors came to the Port of Philadelphia on the ship Rowand. The passenger list published by Daniel Rupp includes:[3]

“Sept. 29, 1753, Snow Rowand, Arthur Tran, Captain, from Rotterdam, last from Cowes- Johannes Buchner, Joh. Martin Buchner, Johan Henrich Buchner...”

Stassburge and Hinke give a more detailed heading for this passenger list:[4]

“A list of the Names of the Men and Boys above Sixteen Years of Age Imported in the Ship or Snow, called the Rowand, Arthur Tran, Master, from Rotterdam. Philadia Septr 29th 1753.”

In this source, there then followed three lists. In the first list were Martin Bugner, John Bugner, and Henry Bugner. In the second list were Martin Bugner, Johann Martin Buchner, Johannes Buchner, and Johann Henrich Buchner. In the third list were Johann Martin Buchner, Johannes Buchner, and Johann Henrich Buchner. All three likely apply to the father Johann Martin and his sons John and Henry who were both over 16 years old at the time.

Also in the passenger list was Martin’s brother-in-law Johannes Zehrung/Zehring. An account of a crossing in 1753 for another family was written by Wilson and Linda Zehrung from an earlier account by Carl T. Eben in 1898.  The original writer, Gottieb Mittleberger returned to Germany to convince people not to come to America, so his account is probably exaggerated in the negative direction.  But there is surely much truth in what Gottieb has to say.

“This journey lasts from the beginning of May to the end of October, fully half a year, amid such hardships as no one is able to describe adequately with their misery.

“The cause is because the Rhine boats from Heilbronn to Holland have to pass by 36 custom houses, at all of which the ships are examined, which is done when it suits the convenience of the custom house officials. In the meantime the ships with the people are detained long, so that the passengers have to spend much money.  The trip down the Rhine alone lasts therefore 4, 5, and even 6 weeks.

“When the ships with the people come to Holland, they are detained there likewise 5 or 6 weeks.

“Both in Rotterdam and in Amsterdam the people are packed densely, like herrings so to say, in the large sea vessels.  One person receives a place of scarcely 2 feet width and 6 feet length in the bedstead, while many a ship carried four to six hundred souls; not to mention the innumerable implements, tools, provision, water barrels and other things which likewise occupy much space.

“On account of contrary winds it takes the ships sometimes 2, 3, and 4 weeks to make the trip from Holland to Cowes in England.  But when the wind is good, they get there in 8 days or even sooner. Many suffer want already on the water between Holland and Old England.

“When the ships have for the last time weighed their anchors near the city of Cowes in Old England, the real misery begins with the long voyage.  For from there the ships, unless they have good wind, must often sail 8, 9, 10, to 12 weeks before they reach Philadelphia.  But even with the best wind the voyage lasts 7 weeks.

“But during the voyage there is on board these ships terrible misery, stench, fumes, horror, vomiting, many kinds of seasickness, fever, dysentery, headache, heat, constipation, boils, scurvy, cancer, mouthrot, and the like, all of which come from old and sharply salted food and meat, also from very bad and foul water, so that many die miserably.

“Add to this want of provisions, hunger, thirst, frost, heat, dampness, anxiety, want, afflictions and lamentations, together with other trouble, as c. v. the lice abound so frightfully, especially on sick people, that they can be scraped off the body.  The misery reaches the climax when a gale rages for 2 or 3 nights and days, so that everyone believes that the ship will go to the bottom with all human beings on board.  In such a visitation the people cry and pray most piteously.

“At length, when, after a long and tedious voyage, the ships come in sight of land, so that the promontories can be seen, which the people were so eager and anxious to see, all creep from below on deck to see the land from afar, and they weep for joy, and pray and sing, thanking and praising God. The sight of land makes the people on board the ship especially the sick and the half dead, well again so that their hearts leap within them, they shout and rejoice, and are content to bear their misery in patience, in the hope that they may soon reach the land in safety.  But alas!

“When the ships have landed at Philadelphia after their long voyage, no one is permitted to leave them except those who pay for their passage or can give good security; the others, who cannot pay, must remain on board the ships till they are purchased, and are released from the ships by their purchasers.

“The sale of human beings in the market on board the ship is carried on thus: Every day Englishmen, Dutchmen and High German people come from the city of Philadelphia and other places, in part from a great distance, say twenty, thirty, or forty hours away, and go on board the newly arrived ship that has brought and offers for sale passengers from Europe, and select among the healthy persons such as they deem suitable for their business, and bargain with them how long they will serve for their passage money, which most of them are still in debt for.  When they have come to an agreement, it happens that adult persons bind themselves in writing to serve three, four, five, or six years for the amount due by them, according to their age and strength.  But very young people, from 10 to 15 years, must serve till they are 21 years old.

“When people arrive who cannot make themselves free, but have children under five years, the parents cannot free themselves by them; for such children must be given to somebody without compensation to be brought up, and they must serve out their bringing up till they are 21 years old.  Children from five to ten years, who pay half price for their passage, viz, thirty florins, must likewise serve for it till they are twenty one years of age; they cannot, therefore, redeem their parents by taking the debt of the latter upon themselves.  But children above ten years can take part of their parents' debt upon themselves. 

“A woman must stand for her husband if he arrives sick, and in like manner a man for his sick wife, and take the debt upon herself or himself, and thus serve five or six years not alone for his or her debt, but also for that of the sick husband or wife.  But if both are sick, such persons are sent from the ship to the sick house, but not until it appears probable that they will find no purchasers.  As soon as they are well again they must serve for their passage, or pay if they have means.

“When a husband or wife has died at sea, when the ship had made more than half of her trip, the survivor must pay or serve not only for himself or herself, but also for the deceased.

“When both parents have died over half way at sea, their children, especially when they are young and have nothing to pawn or to pay, must stand for their own and their parents' passage, and serve till they are 21 years old.  When one has served his or her term, he or she is entitled to a new suit of clothes at parting; and if it has been so stipulated, a man gets in addition a house, a woman, a cow.    

On 3 Sep 1739, the date of arrival of the snow Rowand two other ships arrived from Rotterdam at the port of Philadelphia. The passenger list of the Loyal Judith included Peter “Bugher” and Barthalemew “Bougher.” The passenger list of the Two Brothers included more with names similar to our ancestors: Martin Bugner, John Bugner and Henry Bugner.[5]

There were others who came to Philadelphia on earlier voyages. On Aug 27, 1733, a Johann Tobias Bogner, aged under 16, was among the Palatines on the Eliza, of London, Edward Lee Master, from Rotterdam, last from Dover. Ship Arrivals: August 26, 1735, Ship “Oliver” Hans Bucher Age 54 wife Christina Age 35 w/ children Christian age 10 John Age 20.[6] On August 25, 1742, Peter Burgener, Peter Burkner, and Christian Bugner arrived in the brigantine, Mary, John Mason, Master.[7] A later arrival was J. M. Buchner on the Dutch ship Nord America, Capt. Tys de Haas, from Amsterdam, which arrived at Philadelphia on 10 Oct 1787.[8] John Gotlieb Bogener, Prussia arrived on 2 Nov 1804.[9]

Settlement in New Jersey

After their arrival from Germany, the Martin and Johannes (John) Buchner families lived in Amwell Township (renamed Hardwick, and now the present Green Township), Sussex County, New Jersey. Historian James P. Snell briefly described the place of residence of Johannes (John) Buchner:[10]

                   “Similarly, the present recollections or traditions of the Buchner

                  family in Green are exceedingly meagre. John Buchner lived upon

                  the place now owned by Joseph Ayers, having come to America from

                  Germany about the time Darius Young landed here from England.”

 When the family first came from Germany, this was a part of the larger Greenwich Township in Morris County. In a re-distribution, Amwell formed out of Greenwich and was placed in Sussex County, the location of the family at the time of the American Revolution. In the next division (1825), the part where the Buchner family lived was named Green Township, the area of the village of Greensville. Hermann T. F. Chambers in The Early Germans of New Jersey, referred to the area of the Buchner settlement as Spruce Run.[11]

In a list of customers of John Peter Nitzer, German Valley, New Jersey before 1763, were listed John and Henry Bugener.[12]

In July 1773, an assessment called the “New Jersey Rateables was taken of Oxford Township, Sussex (now Warren) County, to the south of Amwell and three Martin Buchner family members were recorded:[13]

Henry Bugnor        50 acres taxed           11 cattle

Mathias Bugnor     50 acres taxed             9 cattle

Chrisr Bugnor        50 acres taxed            1 cattle

Henry Bugenor was listed as a customer of Grandin's Fulling Mill Book, Hamden, Clinton Twp. in 1774.[14] By 1775, Matthias Boughner “lived in affluent Circumstances in Sussex County” according to his later land petition.[15]

The American Revolution

Most in the two Buchner/Boughner family groups supported the Loyalist side in the American Revolution. They included three of the sons of Johann Martin Buchner- Henry (1734), Christopher (1742) and Matthias (1745) who formed what family researchers like to call the “older group.” To this I add their sister Catharine Buchner (1737) and her husband Jacob Beam. An older brother of this group Johannes Buchner (1729) supported the cause from his home in New Jersey and two of his sons also supported and served in the Loyalist cause, even though just in their teens. They formed the “younger group”: Henry (1759) and Jacob (1763).  Two younger brothers Daniel (1766) and Christopher (1767) would come with them to Upper Canada.

One of the “younger group” (John’s), Henry Buchner (1759), joined the New Jersey Volunteers at Staten Island, New York early on, serving in the First Battalion under Colonel Courtland Skinner. He was in the company of Captain James Moody during his march through New Jersey and the support given them by Martin Buchner’s sons in the older group became the subject of their United Empire Loyalist status when they later moved to Upper Canada.

In the Land Petition of Henry Buchner (1759) was an attached certificate signed by his cousin Henry Buchner (1758), son of immigrant Johannes stating, “I do certify that I was on Command with Lieut. James Moody when he was going to attempt to take Govr. Livingston of the State of New Jersey during the late American War, and that we were aided, assisted & harboured by Henry Buchner Senr. of Sussex County, in New Jersey and he the said Henry Buchner & Family were true loyalists.”

Martin’s sons Henry Buchner (1734) and Matthias Buchner (1745) (the latter of whom changed the spelling of his surname to Boughner during the Revolutionary period), with their brother-in-law Jacob Beam gained notariety among the Patriot elements of their community when they supported Loyalist Captain James Moody during his New Jersey campaign. Matthias told of the subsequent penalty imposed by the Patriot officials, in his Upper Canada Land Petition of July 7, 1795:[16]

“... during the whole of the late American War was a warm and known Loyalist... when Mr. James Moody made an attempt to take Governor Livingston, and was unfortunately frustrated of the Accomplishment of his design the said Moody and his party fled for refuge into your Petitioners House where they were concealed and hospitably entertained and further supplied with ammunition, fire arms & provisions... his Circumstances being discovered Your Petitioner was apprehended, lodged in Gaol, & loaded with irons and long languished in that Situation, being at that time dispossessed of all his rea property and robbed of all his moveable Property....”

A certificate written by Nathaniel Pettit, a Captain in the New Jersey Volunteers attached to the land petition of Jacob Beam noted: “Jacob Beam, Henry Boughner, and Mathias Boughner “were Imprisoned, Indicted and highly fined” for their support of British Captain Moody with provisions and for conducting him through their area.” Beam wrote of the punishment meted out to him:[17]

“That your Petitioner in the late American Rebellion was imprisoned in the Province now State of New Jersey       and suffered the most severe persecution, was obliged to pay a Fine of £500 and upwards exclusive of Court charges and other sums to a large amount, his Grain, Cattle &c taken from him, for which he never received any compensation. He was confined in Sussex Goal in Irons for harbouring and subsisting Captain Moody when he came out of New York, and for aiding and assisting British Soldiers to make their escape from imprisonment.”

Matthias Boughner suffered a long imprisonment and was sentenced to be hanged, but liberated upon paying a fine of £200. After his property was confiscated, Matthias removed to Newark, New Jersey and was instrumental in sending 22 recruits to the Loyalist forces.[18]

It appears that the oldest brother John Buchner, father of the teenaged “younger group” although advanced in years and continuously resident in New Jersey was also active in the Loyalist cause. His son Jacob referred to him as “John Boughner, Sr., U.E. Loyalist,” in his land petition. Jacob joined the New Jersey Volunteers in 1780 and served for the rest of the war as a sergeant and guide with the army. He “piloted” several persons from the enemy line to New York, where his regiment was stationed.[19]

Jacob’s brother Henry Buchner (1759) while serving with Captain James Moody was wounded during the war and there is a tradition that is how he met his wife Joanna Ainsley, a nurse. Orena Buchner Hanley wrote in 1977:

“Henry was wounded during the Rev. war and walked with a limp from the bullet for the rest of his life. While confined in hospital on Staten Island, one of his nurses was Joannah Ainsley. They fell in love. The Colonel [her father] didn't want his daughter to marry beneath her and especially to a German....”

The couple were married in 1780. A muster roll of the New Jersey Volunteers dated January 25, 1783 listed Henry Buchner, Sergeant, as being sick on Staten Island. The next, dated in August 1783, stated that he deserted July 28, 1783. [20]

By 1780, there was only one adult Buchner/Boughner still having a tax listing in the home area of Amwell Township. Listed in the New Jersey Rateables for January to February 1780, was Martin Booghner, householder, with two houses and 1 lot, 2 cattle, 1 hog.

There were two who served on the American side, whose connection is unknown. Sebastion and John Boughner, born in Hunterdon County, New Jersey fought in the Patriot forces. Sebastion Boughner, Hunterdon, was listed as a private.[21] Sebastion Boughner, Hunterdon Co. was granted a pension of $60 by the state of New Jersey on March 2, 1842.[22]

Subsequent Settlement

After losing their estates in Amwell the trio of Henry Buchner (1734), Matthias Boughner (1745) with their sister Catharine Beam and her husband Jacob re-established themselves further south in the area of Oldwick, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. The following baptisms referring to each were recorded in Zion Lutheran Church, Oldwick:

Buchner, Henry, wife Eva Maria

Child: Christina born 06 Jun 1780, bapt. 10 Oct 1780

Sponsors: Daniel Vooss &  wife

Parents: Buchner, Henry, wife Anna Maria

Child: Anna Maria Elisabeth, born 29 Jun 1782, bapt. 12 Sep 1782

Sponsors: Parents (bapt. In Mr. Rapalje's  house)


Buchner, Joh. Teiss, wife Elisabeth

Child: Anna, born 4 Dec 1781

Sponsors: Parents (bapt. In Mr. Rapalje’s house)


Parents: Baum, Jacob, wife Catharina

Child: Sarah, born 7 Sep 1781, bapt. 12 Sep 1782

Sponsors: Parents (bapt. In Mr. Rapalje's house)


The Move to Upper Canada

As noted above, there were two groups of Buchner men with very similar names. In the older set were immigrant Martin’s children, the brothers Henry of Crowland (1734), Christopher of Beamsville (1742) and Matthias of Windham (1745). They were sons of immigrant Johann Martin Buchner of Amwell Twp., Sussex Co.

In the younger set were the sons of their oldest brother John: Henry of Crowland (1758), Jacob of Woodhouse (1762), Christopher of Lundy's Lane (1764), Daniel who returned to New Jersey (1766), and Peter of Drummond Hill (1770). They were sons of immigrant Johannes (John) Buchner, of Hardwick Twp., Sussex Co.

The older Henry (1734) son of Johann Martin Buchner, and the younger Henry (1758), son of Johannes Buchner may easilly be confused. The older lived on Lot 4, Concession 4, Crowland Twp., Welland Co. and the younger lived on Lot 1, Concession 1, Crowland Twp. However, the older's wife was a Miss. Dell and the younger's wife was Joanna Ainsley. There is a sillouette of Henry the younger and his wife in Sources In Buchner/Boughner Genealogy. That page was eroneously inserted into the section for Henry Buchner the older.[23]

Matthias Boughner (1745) was the first of the family to make the move to Upper Canada, a year after the peace, in 1784.[24] His situation being reduced to poverty by confiscations, "Your Petitioner with a very numerous family removed into this province as soon as possible for him and has remained therein since..."[25] Matthias received a government Land Grant near Lyon's Creek in Crowland Township, Welland County.

Matthias’ older brother Henry Buchner (1733) was the next to arrive in Upper Canada in 1786. An account of the trek was given from family lore recounted to Norfolk County, Ontario historian L. H. Tasker:[26]

“The long journey from New Jersey was made on foot, a walk of five hundred miles... They followed the military highway by Lake Champlain, Fort Ticonderoga, Plattsburg, and then turned Northward to Cornwall. Slowly they made their way by land along the north shore of Lake Ontario, and along the high road running west, which Governor Simcoe had projected in 1795, but which at that time was, in many places, simply a blaze...”"

Norfolk County historian E. A. Owen supplied some interesting additional detail concerning Henry Buchner's trek: All of his children were born in New Jersey, and when they came to Niagara the two youngest- Annie and Henry- were balanced in baskets, hung over the back of the pack horses... little Annie... known by every old settler in the south-western portion of Windham as ‘old aunt Anna Howie’, ... never tired in relating the incident to her many grandchildren.” [27] Of course Henry Jr. was too old to be the subject of this and Anna was not yet born in 1786. This could be referring instead to Anna Maria Elizabeth and Martin.

Henry Buchner (1733) filed an Upper Canada Land Petition dated on 19 Aug 1795 stating that he came into this province from Sussex Co., New Jersey in 1786 and that he brought nine children with him. Henry located his crown grant of 400 acres in Lot 4, Concessions 3 and 4, Crowland Twp., Welland Co. and made his home on Lot 4, Concession 4.

Matthias’ and Henry’s brother Christopher (1742), wheelwright, also arrived in 1786 and settled finally on a crown grant of Lot 17, Concession 6, Clinton Twp., Lincoln Co., near Beamsville. He received Lots 16, 17, 18, and 19, Concession 5.

Among the sons of the oldest brother John Buchner, the “younger group” Jacob (1762) arrived in 1787 and settled near his cousin Henry on a crown grant of Lot 13, Concession 7, Willoughby Twp., Welland Co. He also had grants of Lots 1 and 2, Concession 2 in neighbouring Crowland Twp. His brother Henry (1758) arrived with Jacob and settled on Lot 1, Concession 4, Crowland Twp., Welland County.

Brother-in-law Jacob Beam continued in New Jersey for a time. He moved still further south to Mansfield, south of Trenton. He was profoundly influenced by itinerant Baptist preachers and his zeal led him in 1786 to establish a small Baptist congregation of eighteen members at Mansfield. In 1788, Jacob and his wife Catherine followed her brothers.


Back In Sussex County

Immigrant Martin's oldest son Johannes (John) died and he left a will dated in 1791, naming all of his children, many of them in Upper Canada, but some still living in New Jersey- Philip, Mary, John Jr., and Frederick.

On November 30, 1792, a census was taken of men who joined the New Jersey Militia. For Amwell Township, Hunterdon Co. were included: William Bruganner, Jacob Bouganer, John Bouganer, and Bastion Bouganer.[28] For Greenwich Twp., Sussex Co., were Peter Bugener, Frederick Bugener, Jno Bugener, Danl Bugener, and Philip Bugener.[29]

Frederick Buchner remained at Amwell. John and Sebastion Boughner moved to Snydertown, Pennsylvania.


[1] Anette Kunselman Bergert and Henry Z. Jones. Westerwald to America (Picton Press: 2000) p. 45-46

[2] William R. Yeager. Sources In Buchner/Boughner Genealogy (Norfolk Historical Society, Simcoe, Ont: 1977), p. 10

[3] Daniel Rupp. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants in Pennsylvania From 1727 to 1776. Published 1876, p. 316-317. The original source for this is the Pennsylvania Archives Second Series, Vol XVII.

[4] Ralph B. Strassburger & William J. Hinke. Pennsylvania German Pioneers, A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808. Published 1934. Vol. 1, p. 568, 570, 572

[5] Strassburger & Hinke, Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Genealogical Publishing Co. (Baltimore: 1966)

[6] Rupp, p. 88

[7] Ibid p. 153

[8] Strassburger Vol. 11, p. 25

[9] Strassburger, vol. 11, p. 160

[10] James P. Snell. History of Sussex and Warren Counties, New Jersey (Everts & Peck, Philadelphia: 1881), p. 427

[11] Hermann T. F. Chambers. The Early Germans of New Jersey (Dover, NJ: 1895), p. 37

[12] Ibid, p. 636

[13] Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, Sep 1965, Vol. 50, #3, p. 140

[14] Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, Jan 1977, Vol. 52, #1, p. 8

[15] Upper Canada Land Petition “B” Bundle 1, Doc. No. 75

[16] Ibid.

[17] Upper Canada Land Petition “B” Bundle 4, Doc. No. 148

[18] Upper Canada Land Petition “B” Bundle 11, Part 1, Doc. No. 3

[19] Upper Canada Land Petition “B” Bundle 11, Doc. No. 159

[20] Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, Vol. 36 #3 Sep 1971, p. 98

[21] W. S. Stryker. Official Register of the Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War (Published 1911), p. 514

[22] GMNJ Issues of Jul 1832-Apr 1833, vol. 8, nos. 1-4, p. 75

[23] Yeager, p. 128a

[24] Upper Canada Land Petition “B” Bundle 11 Part1 Doc. No. 3

[25] Upper Canada Land Petition “B” Bundle 1 Doc. No. 75

[26] L. H. Tasker, “The United Empire Loyalist Settlement at Long Point Lake Erie” in Ontario Historical Society, Paper and Records (William Briggs, Toronto, ON: 1900), p. 114-116

[27] Egbert Americus Owen, Pioneer Sketches of Long Point Settlement (William Briggs Co: 1897), p. 431

[28] James S. Norton. New Jersey in 1793, An Abstract and Index to the 1793 Militia Census of New Jersey (Salt Lake City, 1973), p. 181-2

[29] Ibid. p. 286-290