Hans Bucher 1
- Born: 1681, Wurzershaus, Schwarzenburg, Bern, CHE 1
- Marriage (1): Christina
- Died: 1762, Cocalico Twp., Lancaster, PA at age 81 1
Other names for Hans were John Boucher,2 Hannes Bucher 1 3 and John Bucher.
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Noted events in his life were:
1. Book: Denver at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century includes the following of value to Bucher researchers:. 4
The history of Denver dates back to 1735 when Hans Bucher became the first settler to take residence of this valley. In 1900 Denver was officially incorporated as a borough in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Over many generations, the descendents of the first humans to enter North America migrated into the eastern woodlands of what is now Pennsylvania. Prominent among these were the Lenni-Lenape, members of the Algonquin language group who, in their native language were known as the Original People. Their descendents bequeathed the name Cocalico to the creek that flows through this valley, meaning in their language something like the "place of serpents."
In 1729 Hans Bucher probably became the first European to erect a primitive cabin of squared logs in the valley that was thereafter named for his family. Examples of this type of early medieval style construction may be seen in some of the surviving buildings at the Ephrata Cloister.
By 1735 the Buchers were joined in the valley by Michael Bear and his wife who erected a log dwelling just to the east of present day Denver. Michael Bear erected the valley's first grist mill between 1750 and 1760 upon the north side of the west branch of the Cocalico Creek.
By 1772 on the eve of the American Revolution, there were just six dwellings standing in Bucher Thal. These were occupied by John Shirk, John Bucher, Benedict "Bence" Bucher, Michael Bear, Abraham Bixler, and Jacob Bear.
Sometime prior to 1780, Michael Bear, Jr. erected a sawmill upon his father's land which he sold to Jacob Keller in 1784. This mill continued to be operated by the Keller family until the opening decades of the nineteenth century but always suffered from an inadequate water supply. It was Jacob Keller who constructed the surviving large and comfortable stone house by the tail race about the year 1785.
John Wenger was the first Mennonite minister in Bucher Thal and his home became the common place of worship for the valley. Wenger's home long remained the only house of worship in the region.
Though the valley was filled predominately with Mennonites, and therefore pacifists, with the coming of the American Revolution Jacob Bear, Joseph Bear, John Bucher, Christian Showalter, and Jacob Bicle traveled to the Ephrata Cloister settlement, then serving as a military hospital in 1777, to swear allegiance to the new United States of America.
In spite of the social and political disruptions caused by the war, Bucher Thal's Mennonite community survived and flourished. The surviving four bay sandstone house numbered 431 Washington Street was probably built by John Shirk's grandson Christian Wenger, about 1781 and retains an original raised panel portion similar to that used in the earlier log home. This home likely continued to serve the valley's residents as a Mennonite meeting house well into the nineteenth century.
In 1786 Joseph Mishler purchased a portion of Michael Bear's land, erecting the four bay farm house today numbered 365 Railroad Avenue. This home is probably the second oldest surviving home within the limits of Denver Borough.
No public school existed in Bucher Thal until 1823 when a local board of trustees ordered the erection of a log structure opposite Joseph Leisey's weaving shop. Surviving until 1856, the school witnessed a succession of more than a dozen teachers, some serving as few as three months at a time. In those days it was common for teachers to board with families in the neighborhood, in this case in the homes of the Buchers or the Reams. A similar system continued in the second larger school that served the community until 1867 after which the free school system was adopted in West Cocalico Township.
In 1851 Samuel Bucher erected a store and hotel which he named Bucherton where business was conducted for more than two decades. It was not until the arrival of the Reading and Columbia Railroad, that an actual town came into existence.
2. Book: Lists of Swiss Emigrants in the Eighteenth Century to the American Colonies, 1735. 5
Excerpts from various pages within this book pertaining to the emigration from Switzerland of Hans Bucher follow, reedited here to flow together:
In the fourth decade of the eighteenth century, emigration overseas from the canton of Bern increased greatly, for the firm Pury et Cie., in English employ, was carrying on lively propaganda in Neuenburg (Neuchâtel) by means of numerous pamphlets and agents. Colonel Jean Pierre de Pury founded the colony of Purrysburgh in South Carolina in 1732. The movement reached its height in the years 1734 and 1735. It had at that time assumed such proportions that it can really be called an "emigration fever." A Bernese official of the time coined for it the fitting expression "Rabies Carolinae."
The authorities of the canton of Bern tried to restrain this emigration as much as possible, but they were at a loss to know how to counteract the urge of whole classes of people toward better living conditions.
Among the people who announced their intention of emigrating there was a man from the district of Schwarzenburg, named Bucher. Since he was skilled in the healing of broken legs and similar cures, the government wished to dissuade him from his project and even commissioned the mayor (Schultheiss), that is, the chief magistrate of the state, to talk with him and to give him certain assurances (146, 354). Bucher, however, emigrated in spite of this, as will shortly appear.
According to the Staatsrechnung of 1735, page 76, the emigration tax was paid back to the following people when they departed for Carolina:
Hans Bucher of Schwarzenburg.....54 Kr. 18 Bz. 3 Kreuzer
In so far as the emigrants from the district of Schwarzenburg are concerned, we find them and other fellow countrymen again on the lists of passengers of the two ships and in the official document of the Provincial Council, all of which are dated August 26, 1735, and were made out in Philadelphia. They were published at the end of Volume I of the Lists of Swiss Emigrants.
With the help of these different references from their old home and their new one, it is now possible to give a good deal of exact information concerning several of the emigrant families in question and to quote correctly almost all of the names which were garbled in part. The entire work, however, is a beautiful example of the advantages of coöperation between friends of historical investigation on both sides of the Atlantic and has been a source of especial pleasure to the author of the present article. Thus, the following facts have been definitely established:
Wurzerzershaus near Schwarzenburg (commune [Kirchgemeinde] of Wahlern). The head of the family is Hans Bucher, 54 years old, a peasant and a self-taught surgeon, whom the Bernese government would have liked to retain in the country. Since Bucher possesses considerable property and is plainly the richest and most able man in the whole company, he is looked upon as its leader and his name appears at the head of the lists. His wife's name is Christina Bucher and she is 35 years old. The couple have two sons: Benjamin, 13 years old, and Christian, 10 years old. A man who is probably a younger relative of the head of the family is also named Hans Bucher and is 20 years old.
3. He immigrated on the ship Oliver on 26 Aug 1735 to Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA. 1 "The foreigners whose names are underwritten, late Inhabitants of the Canton of Bern in Switzerland, imported in the Billander Oliver, Samuel Merchant, Master, from South Carolina, did this day take & subscribe the Oaths to the Government."
On board the ship were these families and individuals:
Hans Bucher, 54, Christiana, 35, Benjamin, 13, Christian, 10
Hans Bucher, 20
Anna Wenger, 56 , Lazarus, 19 , Anna, 18
Hans Koller, 40, Susannah, 35 , Jacob, 9
Christian Brenholtz, 39, Anna, 40
Hans Michael Binckle, 23, Barbara
Christian Zwallen, 24
Hans Lüwenbörg, 50, Elisabetha, 45 , Elisabetha, 20, Barbara, 14, Peter, 8, Hannah, 3
Hans Leyenburger, 25
Abraham Mäuslin, 43
Johannes Marti, 44
Ullrich Mischler, 30 , Elisabetha, 25, Anna, 13
Jacob Starley, 20
Christian Weber, 28 , Anna, 25 , Anna, 20 , Hans, 7 , Christan, 3
Barbry Yelin, 45, Ulrich, 27, Barbara, 25, Christian, 20
Johannes Atterley, 40
William Naws 39 Maria, 38
Peter Hankler, 21
Jacob Wilhelm Naass
Mardling Spring, 23
Margat Otlersin, 40
Apploney Greeno, 60
4. Property on 10 Apr 1745 in Cocalico Twp., Lancaster, PA. 2 John Boucher obtained a warrant on land along Muddy Creek from Jacob Oldland.
Date of warrant: 10 Apr 1745
Date of return: 9 Apr 1746
Where recorded: H-12-531
A survey of this land is available as a PDF file here:
<a href="http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/BAH/DAM/rg/di/r17-114CopiedSurveyBooks/Book%20%20A1-A89/Book%20A-75/Book%20A-75%20pg%20540.pdf">Land Survey</a>
5. Deed F-373 on 30 Dec 1760 in Cocalico Twp., Lancaster, PA. 160 Acres, Cocalico twp.; John Bucher, Sr. & w. Christina to John Bucher Jr., one of the sons of John (patent 1740).
6. He signed a will on 25 Jan 1762. 1 6 Will proved 29 May 1762. Entered into probate on 29 May 1762. It read:
In the Name of God Amen I John Bucher of Cogollico Township being weak in Body, but very Sound in mind and memory thanks be unto God, calling into mind the Mortality of our Bodies do make my last will and Testament in Manner, as followeth.
Imprimis I recommend my Soul unto God, my Maker, and my Body to the Earth the Mother of us all, to be interred decently
Further I devise and bequeath to my son Benedict a certain Tract of Land joining to his Land and Joseph Wenger containing ninety three Acres and Allowances and to his Heirs for Ever. In consideration of this my Son Benedict and his Heirs shall pay to my other Son John forty Pounds, one half thereof to be paid one Year after my Death, and the other half two years after my Death, but if my Son John should dye, before the whole sum of the above-said forty Pounds is paid, then that remaining Sum thereof, which is unpaid, shall not be paid to his Heirs, but shall be divided equally among the Heirs of my Son Benedict.
Further I ordain, that my Son Benedict shall pay to my Son John and to his Heirs, a Debt, which he oweth to me for Household Goods, according to a certain Praisment made by Conrad Wisser, Esqr., Thomas Edwards, Esqr., & Emanuel Carpenter, Esqr. the 9th Day of March, 1746 of thirty two Pounds, fourteen shillings and six pence, one Moyety thereof to be paid, when four year after my Death, and the other Moyety five Years after my Death.
Further I bequeath to my beloved Wife Christina one hundred Pounds Lawfull Money of Pennsylvania with full Power to dispose of these hundred Pounds by a last Will, according to her pleasure. Further I bequeath to my loving Wife Christina one third Part of my moveable Estate money and Bonds & debts excepted.
Further as concerning the residue of my moveable Estate as Money Bonds Notes & Book debts, I ordain that my Executor shall put out the Same upon Interest and my wife Christina shall have all the said Interest during her natural life. But after her Death the remaining Part of my moveable Estate, which has been in her possession (the above hundred Pounds excepted) shall come to my two sons Benedict and John, but with this Exception, that the Heirs of my son Benedict shall take thereof for their share one hundred Pounds to be divided among them equally, and the residue of the above said remaining Part of my Estate, shall be divided between my Son John and Benedict equally. But if my Son John should die before my wife Christina, I ordain that his Portion, which he might expect of my Estate after her Death, shall be equally divided between the Children of my Son Benedict.
Further my Son Benedict shall supply my beloved Wife Christina every year during her natural Life with twelve Bushels of Wheat, Seven Bushels Ray, he shall keep for her constantly in fodder one Cow, and give her yearly a half___ swine, four Pounds Wool, he shall sow for her every year one Quarter of an acre with Flax, she shall have the house where I live now for her Residence, during her life and the free use of a part of the Garden. Further she shall have in her Possession and use during her life one moyety of the third part of the Orchard and my Son Benedict shall supply her during her Life with fire-wood.
Further I constitute my beloved Son Benedict Executor of this my Last Will and I herewith do revoke and disannul all former Wills and Testaments. In witness whereof I have to these Presents set my hand and Seal this twenty fifth Day of January Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and sixty two.
Signed sealed and acknowledged by the testator to be his last will & Testament in the presence of us underwritten witnesses, who have seen him the said John Bucher sign and seal the same
John Bucher, but signature unreadable
P. Weyruh Bence
I Christina Bucher do testify by these Presents that I am fully satisfied with my Husbands last Will, and that I will fully discharge the Executors of the said Testament, provided they fullfill faithfully the in the within Testament stipulated Conditions concerning me. In witness whereof I have to these Presents set my hand and seal the day and year within mentioned.
Witnesses: John Bare and Jacob Bollinger
Hans married Christina. (Christina was born in 1700 1.)