Descendants of Thomas Boucher
by Gwen Boucher
This work is an attempt to piece together the lives of the descendants of Thomas Boucher using the facts that are available through census, cemetery, marriage and other public and private records and through the research efforts of myself and other Boucher descendants.
The earliest traceable Boucher ancestor of my husband’s line is Thomas. Thomas probably was descended from Huguenots who left France to escape persecution. Thomas lived in Lee County, Virginia in the late 1700s as verified by tax lists in 1796-1800. Since he first appears in the 1796 personal property tax list one can assume that he was born about 1780, having reached 16 years of age in 1796. It must have been about 1800 that he migrated to Tennessee. Deeds for Lee County show him buying land there around 1805, in spite of his residence at that time in Smith County, Tennessee (Lee County, Virginia Abstracts, Deed Book No. 1, 1793-1804, and Lee County, Virginia Abstracts, Deed Book No. 2, 1805-1812, by Reda Thorn. Thomas then appears in the 1806 Land Tax rolls for Lee County. Russell County, Virginia was split off from Washington County, then Russell County was divided, putting the Bouchers in what became Lee County. Tax records for Russell County, Virginia give clues about other members of Thomas’ family:
Lower District, 1787 Joseph Sr., Joseph Jr., Robert and Richard Boucher
Lower District, 1790 Joseph Boucher
Lower District, 1793 Robert Boucher – Personal Property
Lower District, 1792 Joshua and William Boucher – Land Tax (Joshua had 400 acres, William had 300 acres)
Lower District, 1793 Joshua and William Bucher – Land Tax (Joshua had 400 acres, William also had 400 acres)
(Russell County, Virginia Personal Property and Land Tax List 1787-1800, 1802, 1810 And Legislative Petitions, by Anne Roberts Albert and Ethel Evans Albert)
On each tax list also appeared the name of James Campbell. Thomas Boucher, in the aforementioned Lee County deeds, was buying the land from the heirs of James Campbell’s.
A deed dated 31 August 1791 between “Richard Gordon and his wife, Susannah, of Madison Co, VA, to James Arbuckle for 33L, 330 A on both sides of Powell’s River between the lines of Thomas Campbell and Joseph Boucher’s land” also tells us Joseph Boucher owned land in Russell County at that time (Abstracts of Deeds from Deed Book I, Russell County, Virginia 1787-1795, page 17).
While other members of his family moved on, Robert Boucher remained in Lee County, appearing on the list of tithables for the year 1810 (1810 Lee County Virginia Tax Lists, as posted on the USGenweb, Lee County, Virginia).
Bouchers in Kentucky
Bouchers in the 1792 tax list for Madison County were Joseph, Joseph, Jr, Richard and William, previously of Russell County, Virginia. Richard moved from Madison County, Kentucky to Tennessee and received a land grant in 1810. The census record for 1840 shows Richard was born between 1760-1770. One of his descendants states that Richard last paid taxes in Madison County, Kentucky in the year 1806. In 1807 he was living in Tennessee, probably Sumner County (Gallatin). By 1809 he was living in Warren County, then appeared in Cannon County, probably due to boundary changes. Richard died in 1841 leaving a will naming George W. Butcher as administrator. Richard’s wife was Martha “Patsy” Hawkins (Much of this information came from Bettye S. Pack of McMinnville, Tennessee).
Also living in Kentucky for a time was Joshua Boucher who was born in western Virginia in the year 1782. His father was killed by Indians when Joshua was young so he was brought up by his grandfather in Kentucky. He was married in Cumberland County in the year 1804 and later became a Methodist minister serving in Tennessee and Alabama. This Joshua is somehow related to Thomas and the other Bouchers of Russell and Lee Counties, Virginia.
Bouchers in Tennessee
According to a bible record (a copy of which was sent to me by Jeff Boucher) Thomas’ wife and the mother of Elisha was named Rachel. Thomas had three “known” sons, Elisha “Lish”, Thomas G. and Joseph Jasper. There was a daughter named Lockey but there is some confusion about her because on the record of her marriage to Felix Wood her name is given as Lockey Adams. New evidence has surfaced indicating that Thomas had another son, older than the other children, named Joshua who was born about 1798 (This evidence is a letter in a collection of documents that belonged to the Wood family and is in the possession of the Tennessee Archives).
Tax records show that Thomas was in the area to become Warren County, Tennessee in 1804-5 (The Warren County Story, by Eugene M. Wiseman, page 350) and 1812 (1812 Warren Co TN Tax List of Samuel Colville, posted on USGenweb, Warren Co, TN). There is also a tax record for White County, Tennessee listing Thomas Boutcher (White County, TN-Census-1812 Tax List, posted on USGenweb, White Co, TN). It is possible that Thomas owned land that, when Warren County was formed in 1807 from a portion of White County, straddled the boundary between the two counties.
Thomas received 2 grants for land total ling 231 acres:
Grant #892 for 200ac issued March 1, 1809, recorded in Book B page 65 of General Grants
Grant #939 for 31 ac issued March 20, 1809, recorded in Book B page 457 of General Grants
(Goodspeed’s Histories-Warren County, Tennessee, page 813).
In 1813 he sold a portion of this land to Thomas Vaughn and there was no relinquishing of dower giving a wife’s name. Did Tennessee not require the setting aside of a dower for the wife at this time or was his wife deceased, in which case Thomas G. had a different mother than Elisha? (Warren County, Tennessee Deed Book A, pages 369-370, copy on file).
Bouchers in Alabama
Thomas Boucher may have been living in Madison Co, Alabama in 1819 as he was a witness on a deed proven on May 3, 1819 in which James McGowen sold 57 1/2 acres in SW/4 Sec 25-1-1E to Seth Rodgers (Madison County, Alabama Deed Books A, B, C, D, and E 1810-1819 [Territorial], compiled by Dorothy Scott Johnson, page 74). On March 18 (1 1/2 month before the Madison County deed was proven) of the same year Thomas Boucher/ Butcher appeared on the register of the Cahaba Land Office which listed his residence as Dallas County, Alabama Territory. There is no corresponding Bureau of Land Management: General Land Office certificate for this entry in Section 29 Township 18 Range 11 (Old Cahaba Land Office Records & Military Warrants 1817-1853, Compiled by Marilyn Davis Hahn Revised 1986, pages 13 and 18). Records of soldiers who fought in the Indian Wars show a Thomas Boucher served in the Seminole War of 1817-1818 as a fourth sergeant in Thompson’s Company, Alabama Militia (Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During Indian Wars and Disturbances 1815-1858 BO-BRI, micro copy M629 Roll 4). This is very likely our Thomas, although the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) had no further information to support this.
In the Dallas County Census of 1820 the Thomas Butcher family is listed thusly:
1 white M over 21 years of age Thomas
2 white M less than 21 years of age Elisha and Thomas G?
1 white F over 21 years of age Rachel?
2 white F under 21 years of age. Who were these girls? Lockey was married by this time and would not be counted in the census with this household.
In 1827 Thomas Boucher again moved his family, receiving certificates for 2 parcels of land in Fayette County, Alabama:
04/10/1827 Section Township 16-S Range 13-W Document No 5959
07/02/1827 Section Township 16-S Range 13-W Document No 6051
This second certificate had the notation that he was the assignee of Joshua Boucher (Bureau of Land Management: General Land Office site on the internet), probably the Methodist circuit rider mentioned earlier who was brought up by his grandfather in Kentucky. He sold land in Madison County (Madison County, Alabama Deed Books A, B, C, D, and E 1810-1819 [Territorial], compiled by Dorothy Scott Johnson, page 31) but later records show him in Limestone County, Alabama (History of Methodism in Alabama and West Florida, Marion Elias Lazenly, copyright 1960, The Lure and Lore of Limestone County, by Chris Edwards and Faye Axford, History of Pisgah, published in the Pulaski Record in the year 1904 by Mr. W. Thomas Carden. This History has been copied as true as possible by Mrs. Carl “Clara” H. Parker and Edward Jackson White. The book is dedicated to Mr. W. Thomas Carden). Or this Joshua may have been Thomas’ son, Joshua, who was also a Methodist minister. This Joshua was in the Mississippi Conference from 1822-1827 when he transferred to the Ohio Conference, the same year that Thomas acquired the land in Fayette Co.
Thomas died in early 1830 and Elisha was appointed administrator of the estate, as found in an article in the State Intelligencer. I have not yet personally seen this record. Proof that Thomas Boucher died in 1830 and was the father of Thomas G. Boucher can be found in Fayette County, Alabama guardianship papers transferred to Lowndes County, Mississippi (Lowndes County, Mississippi Probate Record Volume A 1835-1838, pages 1-3, Transcript of the Guardianship of Thomas G Boucher From the Orphan’s Court of Fayette County, Alabama, on Family History Center microfilm #0901975). Fayette County, Alabama had record losses in 1866 and 1916 so it is very fortunate that copies of these documents were transferred. I believe that Thomas G. Boucher was born in Madison or Dallas County, Alabama in 1817. The papers are difficult to read but I believe Elisha was first appointed guardian of his brother, then Felix Wood followed after Felix’ death by John Byrn. There was also the youngest son of Thomas named Joseph Jasper whose guardianship records were transferred from Fayette County which show that Felix Wood had been appointed guardian of the child but his mother Ann wanted to take him with her to live in Shelby County so she was granted guardianship. Could Ann possibly be the bride in the 1825 Bibb County marriage record between Thomas Boucher and Margaret Cates?
Elisha was born about 1804 in Tennessee as shown in census records in Chickasaw County, Mississippi. He probably was born in what was Smith County as seen previously be Thomas’ residence in Smith County in 1805, though part of Smith County also was consolidated into Warren County. At the time of Thomas Sr.’s death, Elisha appears to have been living in what is now Chilton County, Alabama.
On March 2, 1825, Elisha married Sarah R. Jones in Dallas County, Alabama. Sarah R. Jones was the daughter of Richard R. Jones and Rebecca Watson Jones as shown in probate records of Kaufman Co., TX. In 1827 they moved to Chilton County (Bureau of Land Management: General Land Office, Document No 3023, Section 21 Township 22-N Range 13-E, and on the Cahaba Land Office register was listed the date February 12, 1827, residence Bibb Co). Two months before Elisha and Sarah moved to Chilton County Richard R. Jones moved there from Bibb County. He purchased land that was adjacent to that which was soon bought by Elisha (Old Cahaba Land Office Records & Military Warrants 1817-1853, Compiled by Marilyn Davis Hahn Revised 1986, page 54) and (Bureau of Land Management: General Land Office, Document 2956, E*SE Section 17 Township 21-N Range 13-E).
Elisha and Sarah R. Jones Boucher had the following children:
Lewis Alexander, born December 19, 1825 in Dallas County, Alabama
Richard Asbury, born May 9, 1829 in Alabama
Rebecca Ann Elizabeth, born September 9, 1827 in Alabama
Sarah J., born about 1832 in Alabama
Thomas Calvin, born March 9, 1833 in Alabama
The 1830 Federal Census for Fayette County, Alabama lists the Elisha Boucher household with 2 males between 1-5, one between 10-15 and one between 20-30; 1 female under 5 and 1 between 20-30. These would be, in order, Lewis A, Richard A, Elisha, Rebecca A. E. and Sarah R.
The Bouchers frequently named their children after various prominent Methodists. For instance in the family of Elisha and Sarah R., son Richard Asbury was probably named after Francis Asbury, the first Methodist bishop ordained in America (Funk & Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia, Volume 2, Funk & Wagnall’s Corporation, 1986).
Bouchers in Mississippi
Sarah R. Jones Boucher died about 1834, probably in Chilton County, Alabama. It was shortly after her death that Felix Wood became guardian ad litum of Thomas G. Boucher. Guardianship papers were transferred to Lowndes Co, Mississippi from Fayette County, Alabama. One could assume that Elisha found the burden of losing his wife, caring for 5 small children and his teenaged brother more than he could handle.
We know that Elisha was in Lowndes County, Mississippi by 1837 based on the 1837 Territorial Census for Lowndes County, Mississippi and the 1840 Federal Census for Lowndes Co. Tax records indicate Elisha was living in Lowndes County from 1837 through 1845, possibly later. Elisha’s sister and brother-in-law, Lockey and Felix Wood, had been in Lowndes County since at least 1830 where Felix helped establish the Piney Grove Church. Felix died in 1837.
Also, on February 2, 1836, Elisha married Sarah K Duke in Lowndes County (Lowndes Co, MS Marriage Book 2, Page 13) and that marriage rite was performed by Felix Wood, Minister of the Gospel, a local preacher of the Methodist faith (A History of Columbus, Mississippi During the 9th Century, by Dr. William Lowndes Lipscomb. Published by the S. D. Lee Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy, 1909, Press Dispatch Printing Co, Birmingham, Alabama, pages 93, 94).
In 1846 Elisha Boutcher received a certificate for land in Lowndes County (Document No. 16282, dated February 24, 1846, Sec 24 Township 17-S Range 17-W in the Huntsville Meridian, 67.12 acres) (Bureau of Land Management: General Land Office site on the internet).
By 1850 Elisha and his family had moved to Chickasaw County, Mississippi, appearing in the 1850, 1860 and 1870 census.
Children of Elisha and Sarah K. Duke Boucher were: Rachel Caroline, born 1838; Moses David, born 1839 in Lowndes County, Mississippi; Mary Emily, born 1840; Joshua, born 1843 in Lowndes County, Mississippi; Locky Virginia, born September 1849 or 1850; Martha (name found on 1860 census is the only record), born about 1852 in Chickasaw County, Mississippi; Florida Ophelia, born 1853 in Chickasaw County, Mississippi; William Wiley, born 1856 in Chickasaw County, Mississippi
On the membership list of Soule Chapel (Soule was a bishop in the Methodist church) for the year 186_ were Elisha Boucher, Moses Boucher, Thomas C. Boucher, Richard Boucher (with notation “mistake” beside name), Mary A. Boucher, Sara Boucher, Lucy Boucher and Mary Boucher (Chickasaw Times Past, Volume IX, 1990/1991, pages 18-21 [Chickasaw County, Mississippi]).
Rebecca married John Wesley Mitchell, November 11, 1846.
Thomas Calvin married Mary S. K. Fulford in December 1859.
Richard Asbury married Mary Alma Brand February 18, 1862. Mary was the daughter of Joshua P Brand and Mary W Cunningham.
Lewis A. married Lucy A. Fulford in 1865.
Moses David married Lavinia Ambrosia Day on November 20, 186_.
No marriage record has been found for Sarah J. though it was suggested that she married William Carlisle.
Locky Virginia married William Riley Perry about 1865.
William Wiley married Mary Elizabeth Duncan in 1880.
At the outbreak of the Civil War Lewis A., Richard Asbury and Moses David joined the cause, shown by pension applications for Mrs. L A. Livinia (Lavenia or Mrs. Moses David), and Richard A, and after Richard’s death, M A Boucher (Pension application records for R. A. and M. A. Boucher on file). Thomas Calvin Boucher and Thomas G. Boucher also served the Confederacy.
Bouchers in Texas
John Henry “Henry” Boucher was the fourth son of Richard Asbury and Mary Alma Brand Boucher. Around the year 1886 he left Chickasaw Co. and moved to Karnes County, Texas where he married Lillian Elmina Mayfield, daughter of James Harper Davis Mayfield and Margaret Ellis Harrington, another Chickasaw County native who moved to Texas with her family in 1884 (Letter written by Lillian Elmina Mayfield Boucher, copy on file). Henry and Lillie were married in Helena, Karnes Co., TX on December 23, 1894(Copy of certificate on file).
Some of Elisha’s children known to have lived for a time in Texas include:
Lewis Alexander Boucher moved to Jim Wells County
Locky Virginia Boucher Perry moved to Texas in 1881, staying about 2 years.
William Wiley Boucher lived in Karnes County for about 11 years from about 1889 until 1900 when he moved to Oklahoma.
Rebecca Ann Elizabeth Mitchell had at least one child who moved to Texas.