Buck Surname Genealogy

The Buck surname is both English and German in origin.
The English Buck may derive from the Old English bucca, a male goat, or from bucc, a male deer.  The name
here would have begun as a nickname – for someone with a possible
to the animal in terms of strength, speed or sturdiness.  The Buck
could also be topographical, deriving from the Old English boc, a beech
tree, and referring to someone living by a prominent beech
The German Bock, which often came to America as Buck, had a similar
derivation, from the Old German boc
meaning a male goat.  It would also have begun life as a
nickname.  In early Dutch and Belgian annals the name could also
be Bouc or Bouck, in early French le Buc or de Buc.
Buck Resources on

Buck Ancestry

Walter le Buc
was said to have come to England from Flanders in the
early 13th century as a mercenary to help King John in his battles with
the barons.  He settled in Yorkshire at what became known as

John Bucke of this family from Harthill supported Richard III at the
battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 and subsequently lost his
head.   Sir George Buck became well-known as an author and
antiquarian, his works including a life of Richard III.  However,
his end too was unfortunate.  He fell from favor, was overwhelmed
by debt, and died insane.  But Bucks of this family by this
time were established at Hamby Grange near Leverton in Lincolnshire
where they were to remain until the late 18th century.

Other early Bucks were:

  • John Buck
    who was rector at Benston in Norfolk in
    1457 (his descendants were to be found in Norwich)
  • James Buck who was vicar at Stradbrook in Suffolk in 1649
  • and Matthew Buck, lord of the manor of Winterbourne in
    Gloucestershire around that time.

The Buck brothers, Samuel and Nathaniel, were engravers and printmakers
from Yorkshire who roamed the country in the 1730’s and 1740’s selling
what were known as Buck’s antiquities.  One family history starts
in the 1770’s with Samuel Buck of Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire.

The Buck name in the 19th century was primarily to be found in East
Anglia, extending northward into Yorkshire and southward to London.

English Bucks came first, then German.

English.  The
first Buck in America was the Rev. Richard Buck from Wymondham in
Norfolk who served as the minister of Jamestown from 1610 until his
death in 1624.  Buck was a close friend of English planter John
Rolfe and he officiated at the wedding of Rolfe and Pocahontas, the
daughter of the Powhatan chief, in 1614.  Buck was later
acknowledged as
one of the “ancient planters” and given a land grant.

Another Buck family in Virginia began with Thomas Buck who came to York
county around 1635.   The Bucks were a prominent and well-to-do
plantation family
in early Virginia.  They were active
in the
local economy, politics and religion of the Shenandoah valley during
the 1700’s and 1800’s.

Early Buck settlers in New England were:

  • William Buck, a plowwright from Buckinghamshire who travelled
    with his son Roger on the Increase
    in 1635 and settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Isaac Buck who was transported to Boston on the Amitia in the same year for
    refusing to take the oath of conformity.  He gained renown as an
    Indian fighter when he saved Stockbridge mill from the Indians in
    1676.  Daniel Buck moved north to Vermont in 1785 and both he and
    his son Daniel represented Vermont in the US Congress.
  • and Emanuel Buck
    who came from Norfolk in the 1640’s and settled
    in Wethersfield, Connecticut.  One branch led through Samuel Buck
    of Portland, Connecticut; another through Captain James Buck of
    Litchfield, Connecticut.

However, Bucks
in America
are more likely to be of German than of
English origin.

Frederick Buck arrived in Pennsylvania from the upper Rhone valley in
Germany in 1743.  His son Philip Buck joined the British
during the Revolutionary War.  After the defeat his family made
the long trek
to Canada with other Empire Loyalists.

Johann Jacob Buck, however, did fight on the American side in the
War.  He had arrived from Wurttemburg on the Neptune in 1751 and settled in
Buffalo township, Pennsylvania.  So too did the sons of Johannes
who had arrived on the Two
in 1747 and came to Lancaster county,
Pennsylvania.  Nicholas Buck arrived from Lorraine in 1752 and
settled in his Buckhill home in Springfield, Bucks county.
William Buck published An Account of
the Buck Family of Bucks County
in 1893.

Ludwig Buck was a German from Friedenstal in south Russia who came to
America in the 1890’s and ended up in Streeter, North Dakota.

Canada.  The Loyalist
Phillip Buck and his family made their home at Trafalgar township in
Halton county, Ontario.  His descendants held a reunion at the
family Omagh home there in 1922.  The home of Dr. Anson Buck,
grandson of Philip, is still standing although it is now Anson‘s restaurant.  Meanwhile
descendants of Adam Buck moved back across the border to St. Louis in
the 1880’s.

Another Buck Loyalist who departed for Canada was Samuel Buck from
Litchfield county, Connecticut.  His lands had been plundered
after he joined the British cause.  In 1788 he departed with his
family for Quebec.  He died there soon afterwards in a militia
skirmish.  His family resettled in South Mountain, forty miles
south of Ottawa.

Australia.  Two Buck
brothers from Norfolk, Richard and William, came to Australia in 1849
and settled there, Richard in Western Australia and William in South
Australia.  Richard joined exploration parties in search of
an inland sea in Western Australia.

Buck Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Buck Names

Walter le Buc was the Flemish founder of the Yorkshire and
Lincolnshire Buck family.
Frank Buck was an American big
game hunter who became a movie actor in the 1930’s and 40’s.
Pearl Buck was the American
novelist based in China who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature
in 1938.

Select Bucks Today

  • 10,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Worcestershire)
  • 16,000 in America (most numerous in Pennsylvania)
  • 5,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)



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