The Life of Rev. Joshua Boucher, Jr.
by Gwen Boucher
Joshua Boucher was born in Lee County, Virginia in about the year 1798, son of Thomas Boucher and his wife, probably Rachel, the mother of Elisha.
Little is known of Joshua in his early years but it can be assumed that he was living with his family as they moved from Virginia to Tennessee, then to Alabama. In October 1818 he was admitted on trial as a minister in the Methodist Episcopal church with Bishops William McKendree and (?) George presiding, in Nashville, Tennessee and served in Kentucky from 1820 until 1822. In 1820 he was ordained a deacon. In 1822 he transferred his conference membership to the Mississippi Conference and appointed elder in December 1823 by the Bishop in Alabama. Joshua served in the Mississippi Conference from 1822 until 1827 when he transfered to the Ohio Conference.
Joshua married Lucinda Munsell on April 2, 1821 (this information came from Ancestry.com, the Munsell family tree so I have no verification for it; however, census records for 1850-1870 give Joshua’s wife’s name as Lucinda). Lucinda was born in Ohio in the year 1800.
The 1830 census puts Joshua and his family in Spring Creek, Miami County, Ohio with 4 sons and 1 daughter. Referring back to the Munsell family tree on Ancestry.com, the Bouchers had the following children:
1. Thomas L. b. abt. 1822 KY
2. McKendry b. abt. 1824 d. 1839
3. Wesley b. abt. 1826
4. Joshua b. abt. 1828
5. Caroline b. abt. 1830
6. Theodore b. abt. 1832
7. Rachel b. abt. 1834 OH
8. Lucinda b. abt. 1836
9. Mary b. abt. 1838 OH
I have documentation for Thomas William McKendree, Caroline, Rachel and Mary and the 1850 census lists a Clarinda, age 13.
Joshua’s father had a son named Thomas G. and a grandson through his daughter Lockey Boucher Wood named Thomas Boucher Wood. Both of these young men were sent to Weslayan University in Middletown, Connecticut in the late 1830s. Thomas Boucher Wood had written a letter to his cousin, Thomas, the eldest son of Joshua, in the year 1839. Because Joshua had moved his family from Marion County, Ohio to Urbana, Champaign County, Ohio the letter was late in reaching Thomas. Joshua wrote a reply to his nephew in December in which he explained the delay, told that his son William McKendree had died earlier the same year and said that Thomas was interested in attending some “literary institution” and asked whether financing was available at the school in Middletown.
I have not found Joshua in the 1840 census but know from the letter and from a list of his appointments that he was in Urbana.
From The History of Champaign County, published by W. H. Beers & Co, 1881, “About the year 1842, the church became divided on the question of slavery, many of the members holding extreme anti-slavery sentiments, and nearly an equal number holding conservative views. The extremists withdrew and formed themselves into a society at Cortsville, in the adjoining township, calling themselves Wesleyan Methodists.”
One of those withdrawing from the methodist episcopal church was Rev. Joshua Boucher. The only records of him I have found after this time are in the federal census which show he was still in Ohio in 1860 and a few marriages he performed in Caldwell County, Missouri beginning in 1870.
Joshua Boucher died in Missouri around 1870s. He had been living in poverty and sought help from the Freemasons, claiming to have been received into a masonic lodge in Tuscaloosa, Alabama during the 1820s. During the time he was in Tuscaloosa there was a bitter argument regarding ministers of the gospel affiliating with the fraternity and Joshua was implicated as one of their members. He apparently never received the assistance he so desperately needed.