Maryland Beecher Family History and Family Trees
This website contains the family trees of all Beecher ancestors in Maryland in the 1700 to 1940 period. Before you study them by using the Search box above or browsing the list of Beechers in the Surname List, you should first review the summaries on this page, which will orient you to the earliest-known Beechers who were in Maryland and help you know about the unrelated Beecher lines that existed.
These are the two Beecher family lines accounting for the majority of Beecher ancestors found in Maryland:
- Henry Beecher/Buecher’s descendants are all Beechers. Henry lived circa 1760’s near Frederick and perhaps Hagerstown, Maryland, and died in Littlestown, Pennsylvania in 1795. Y-DNA testing proves he is very closely related to the many Pennsylvania German Beechers found in Lancaster and York counties in Pennsylvania in the 1700’s.
- James Beecher was born in England and settled in Queen Anne’s County.
Following are details on the earliest known Beechers in Maryland…
Henry Buecher (?-1795)
Washington/Frederick County, Maryland
View Henry Buecher ‘s tree
York/Adams County, Pennsylvania
Henry was recorded during his life as surname Beecher, Beicher, Becher, Beeher, Bücher, Büger but his will is recorded as Henry Buecher. He was German speaking. All of his descendants eventually use surname Beecher, the Americanization of Henry’s original German surname, which is believed to be Bücher, pronounced like “bee-shur.” In Germany Bücher is a surname originating from woodsman who cut the beech trees that were shaved to make the earliest known papers, explaining why bücher is the German word for books.
Henry Beecher’s children were born beginning in the 1760’s in Frederick, Maryland.
Later he and allied families such as Jacob Winterode (whose daughters married two of Henry’s sons) migrated to Pennsylvania, with Henry Beicher buying land in Codorus Township in York County in 1775. He and Jacob Winterode died in Littlestown in Adams County, Pennsylvania. The Klein family also migrated from Maryland and founded Littlestown, “little” being the American word for German “klein.”
Henry left a will dated 23 Feb 1795 when he died in Littlestown. His will was not filed until 28 Jan 1807, since the law didn’t require immediate filing. Since his tombstone has not been found, we are not certain of his death date.
Henry’s son Henry remained in Adams County, Pennsylvania.
Henry’s sons Samuel, and William were by the early 1800’s in Hagerstown, Maryland, where some remain until the 1850s. In the 1830s branches migrate to Missouri. About 1850 a branch moves to Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and another migrates into eastern Maryland and eventually Baltimore.
Henry’s son Frederick is identified in a 1797 York County deed transfer as living then in Virginia. He appears to be the Frederick Beeher who died in Boutetourt County, Virginia.
Henry may have had a son Daniel Beecher born before 1770 who is found in Hagerstown, Maryland with wife Elisabeth baptizing child Elisabeth in 1785. We have no certain proof, however, he is Henry’s son.
Henry’s will also mentions a son John, and although we have found no written records proving a connection, it would appear he would be John Beecher b.1757 of Adams County, PA, who married Elizabeth Keplinger. Descendants of John and Henry have identical Y-DNA, so they certainly can be father and son. John’s obit states he fought in the Revolutionary War, yet no matching record for him is found among the Pennsylvania regiments, but there was a John Beecher in the German Regiment comprised of Maryland and Pennsylvania patriots identified as a Hagerstown, Washington County, Maryland unit.
Henry Buecher’s origin is unknown, but is is possible he is the Johan Henrich Bucher who arrived in 1751 in Philadelphia on the ship Neptune with a Johan Engel Bucher, since Henry’s Y-DNA matches the descendants of Engel. An Engel Bücher recorded his will in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where he died in 1778. His will states 10 children but only 5 are known in our research to date: Peter, John, Henry, Jacob, and Elizabeth. Engel’s descendants all use surnames pronounced like Beecher including Beacher, Bicher, Beicher, and Biecher. They remained into the 1900’s in Lancaster, Lebanon and Schuylkill counties. The one branch that around 1860 adopted Beecher surname moved to California in the late 1800’s.
Engel Bucher’s profession was shoemaker, the same as Henry Beecher who died in Littlestown. Perhaps they learned their profession from their father?
Y-DNA testing has also proven that Henry d.1795 and Engel d.1778 and John b.1757 are closely related to another John Bücher buried as John Beecher b.1759 in Lancaster County, d.1819 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. This John’s descendants lived in Lancaster, Chester, and York County, Pennsylvania in later years, with some migrating to Ohio and the Midwest.
Y-DNA testing has also revealed 14 distinctive Bucher families found in colonial Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia but none are related to the Beechers. This makes sense, since the other Bucher families do not have the umlaut (two dots) above the u and pronounce their name as Booker or Boocurr, and not as Beecher. Also, the Beecher’s Y-DNA is the only one in haplogroup I, the DNA derived common wherever the Vikings conquered and found most often in Scandinavia, Denmark, the German, Dutch and French coasts along the Baltic Sea, England, and Iceland. (If you are a male Beecher, you can take a simple saliva test by mail to learn which Beechers you are related to.)
Another clue these Beecher branches are related is they share a common pattern for naming sons, a tradition whereby German immigrants assigned names in an order to honor ancestors. The Maryland/Pennsylvania Beechers favored: Peter, William, Henry, John, Jacob, Frederick, Samuel, Issac, Benjamin.
William Beaker (abt 1710 – ?)
Frederick County, Maryland now Washington County
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William Beaker b.abt.1710 is old enough to be the immigrant ancestor of all the Beechers in northern Maryland and Pennsylvania, if he is related.
He was recorded in the August, 1776 census in Frederick County, Maryland, which listed William living in the Elizabeth Hundred. The census lists William’s son Peter b.abt.1738 with wife and their son John b.abt.1774.
The Elizabeth Hundred became Eilizabeth Town and in 1814 became Hager’s Town.
A Peter Begher in 1762 purchases land in Frederick County and could be the Peter b.abt.1738.
Henry Bucher (1770’s)
Frederick County, Maryland
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Henry Bucher immigrated in 1752 from Ringgenberg, Switzerland, to Philadelphia on the ship Neptune, the same ship that a year earlier arrived with Johan Engel Bucher and Johan Henrich Bucher. He was naturalized in 1762 in Frederick County.
Henry died in Manchester, Carroll County, Maryland, where the church records show his sons born beginning in 1763: Henry, Jacob, Ulrich, Daniel.
We suspect he is unrelated because Henry’s naming pattern of sons is unlike the Beecher’s pattern, but a Y-DNA test of a male descendant of Henry’s might prove otherwise.
James Beecher (1805-1865)
Queen Anne’s County, Maryland
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Born about 1805 in England, James Beecher was a sailor by occupation and likely arrived in America working on a ship.
He died in 1865, leaving at least three sons who remained in Queen Anne’s but eventually the branches migrate to Baltimore.
This English eastern Maryland Beecher family line appears to be unrelated to the Henry Buecher line from northern Maryland, but without a Y-DNA test on a living descendant of James Beecher we are not certain. If you have a male descendant who would like to be tested, please email and we will pay for the testing costs for you.
Bartholomew Bucher (1717-1792)
Middletown, Frederick County, Maryland
View Bartholomew Bucher’s tree
The immigrant Bartholomew Bucher arrived in Philadelphia on the Loyal Judith in 1739. He settles in Middletown, Frederick County, Maryland where in the 1750s we find births of his children recorded.
Y-DNA testing has proven his Bucher family in not related to the Beecher families, so care must be taken not to confuse his descendants with in Maryland with the nearby Beecher ancestors. The descendants of Bartholomew mostly adopted surname Booher.
A Catherine Bucher, b.abt.1736, died in 1829 near Middletown, Frederick County and is likely part of Bartholomew’s line, not the Beechers, although we don’t know who her Bucher husband was.