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John Buck - Compiled History

Family histories report that John (Johannes) Buck was born in Germany in 1753 and he came to this country with his father and settled into what is now Dauphin County. After his arrival in America he married Gertrude Balsbach who was also from Germany. John died from an epidemic fever on August 7, 1822, 1 and is buried on his family burial ground 2on property today owned by the Harrisburg Hunters and Anglers Association in Lower Paxton Township. 3

A John Buck enlisted in the army on February 6, 1776, in the Second Pennsylvania Battalion under Captain Samuel Watson. 4 The Battalion was led by Colonel Arthur St. Clair and was raised by Congress on December 9, 1775. St. Clair was commissioned Colonel on January 3, 1776, by the Council of Safety. On February 18, 1776, Congress directed Colonel St. Clair to march his companies to Canada. Note: the companies came from various parts of Pennsylvania but some of the men were from Lancaster County which at that time included present day Dauphin County. From available records it is quite possible that the companies marshalled in Carlisle in preparation for their departure for the war. Many of the companies from the Second Pennsylvania Battalion marched to New York and later into Canada to participate in the assault on Quebec. Captain Watson was killed and replaced by Captain Moore. According to archive returns Captain Moore and his men were in Ticonderoga on October 19, 1776. 5

Later we see the name of John Buck recorded in the archives of the For Associations and Militia from the County of Lancaster serving as a private in Captain John Rutherford’s unit on a return of the unit on December 26, 1778. 6 Jno. Buck is also shown on another return for Captain John Rutherford’s unit as part of the Fourth Battalion of Lancaster County Militia for the year 1778.7 Later he is reported on a return for Captain Rutherford on October 28, 1779. 8It is believed that this unit recruited men from what the area of what is today, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon, and Lancaster counties. It is probable that this John Buck is also the John Buck who enlisted in 1776. Note: Captain Rutherford later served in the 10th Battalion which was comprised 100% of men from Paxton Township and Upper Paxtang Townships. It is possible that John Buck also served in this unit.


Note: John Rutherford and his father moved to Paxtang in 1755. In 1760, he and his father purchased a four-hundred-acre plantation, on which Rutherford Station, of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, is located. He was a member and officer of the "Liberty Association of Pennsylvania," and served as Captain of a company in the campaigns of 1776 and 1777 in the Jerseys and Eastern Pennsylvania. After the war he commanded a detachment from several companies against the Indians. Of interest to Harris Ferry SAR, Captain Rutherford is buried in the Paxton Presbyterian Churchyard in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. 9 He is registered as a Patriot by the DAR.

Also, in 1778 John Buck is reported to have contributed grain and forage for the army in 1778. 10The name of John Buck shows up in 1779 on the return of Colonel Alexander Lowrey’s Battalion now being referred to as the 3rd Battalion Lancaster County Militia commanded by Captain Abraham Scott under Captain David McQueen 11 Abraham Scott was from Mount Joy Township and David McQueen was from Londonderry Township 1777-1780 as recorded in the PA Historical and Museum records. 12 Note: Colonel Alexander Lowrey commanded a battalion of Pennsylvania Militia during the Revolutionary War; saw action, the Battles of Germantown and Brandywine and the New Jersey campaigns, commanded, Lancaster County militia, battle of Brandywine, September 10, 1777.

Lowrey was one of the first in the county or State who advocated independence, and was a delegate to Carpenter's Hall, in Philadelphia, where was passed the resolution in favor of independence, on June 16, 1776, instructing our members of Congress to vote for that measure. 13


The name of John Buck is recorded once again in 1782 on a return compiled by Captain Hugh Robson who named the names of every white male white person residing in his district in the 4th Company of the Tenth Battalion of the Lancaster County Militia. 14

The Buck Family Cemetery is maintained at present by the Harrisburg Hunters and Anglers Association as part of their 150-acre property. The association has plans to improve the cemetery and maintain it going forward. At some point the Harris Ferry Chapter of the SAR participated in a dedication of the site by the Chapter President Lt.Col. Robert D. Savage (ret) – date unknown to the writer. Note: I have not discovered any SAR or DAR records for this individual spelled as Buck, Beck, or Boch.


1 Letter from Nevin W. Moyer dated February 1, 1942, encouraging the recipient of the letter to join the SAR.
2 Find A Grave Memorial 25011470
3 Zarger-Zarker Genealogy 1974 p.4 (On File at
4 Pennsylvania Archives Fifth Series V.02 p. 112
5 IBID P. 118
6 Pennsylvania Archives Fifth Series V.07 p. 375
7 Ibid p.380
8 IBID p. 403

9 Find A Grave Memorial #93965359
10 Pennsylvania Archives Fifth Series V.07 p. 1143
11 Pennsylvania Archives Fifth Series V.07 p. 214
13 PA Senate Archives -
14 IBID p. 1035

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