Story by Fred Gahimer
Origins of Tuckers in America
The name Tucker is derived from an occupation essential to the wool trade, as are the names Walker and Fuller. All three names are taken from the job of walking on, washing, folding, and fluffing the wool cloth after it has been woven into thread and cloth. Wool in its first stages of preparation is a coarse and stiff material. The Walkers and Fullers beat the material and washed it to make if softer and the Tucker refined the cloth to give it fluffiness and body. The name Walker became common in the northern and central areas of England; Fuller in the south and east; and Tucker in the south and west. The traditional home of the Tuckers since early medieval times has been in the Barnstaple district of county Devon. Today, the family name is primarily concentrated in Devon, Dorset, and Wiltshire. The name is found on ancient English and early American records in the various forms of Tukere, Tuker, Toukere, Touker, Tucker, and others, of which Tucker is that most generally in use in America today.
It is believed that the first of the family in England was John Tucker, who came with William the Conqueror in the year 1066, fought in the battle of Hastings, and was assigned large estates in the County of Devon. It is said that in the year 1110 his son, Stephen Tucker, was granted the privilege of wearing his hat in the presence of the King by Henry the First of England and was also granted the estate of Lamertin, near Tavistock, Devonshire.
Among the earliest definite records of the family in England are those of Roger le Tukere of Dorsetshire in 1273; those of Percival le Toukere in 1301 as a man who makes a substantial living cleaning and thickening woolen cloth; those of Robert le Tuckere in 1321; and those of William le Touker about the same time. By the sixteenth century the name stabilized into its modern spelling and usage.
It is not known from which of the illustrious lines of the family in England the first emigrants of Tuckers in America were descended, but it is generally believed that all the Tuckers trace their descent from a common ancestor of a remote period.
Besides Captain Daniel Tucker, appointed Governor of Bermuda by the Virginia Company in 1616, there was a William Tucker in the Virginia Company at an early date and it is believed he was Daniel’s son. William made his home in Elizabeth City, VA about 1610 and was the first justice of that place in 1632.
The first of the Tucker name in New England appears to have been Richard Tucker who came from England to Casco, in the New England Colony, in 1634.
Other Tuckers who settled in America in the 17th century were:
- Alexander Tucker; Warrasquinoake County, VA in 1635
- Allen Tucker; Henrico County, VA in 1636
- Bartholomew Tucker; Upper Norfolk County, VA in 1639
- John Tucker; York County, VA in 1642
- Ailee Tucker; James County, VA in 1649
- Leonider and William Tucker; Charles City County, VA in 1650
- Robert Tucker, Glouster, MA before 1651
Another view is reported in the Family Origin and Coat of Arms referencing Matthew’s – American Armory:
The family name of Tucker is Anglo-Saxon meaning to be doughty. Historical records consulted state that a Robert Tucker of Exeter County, Devon, England was granted his [Coat of] Arms before 1620. Among the Tucker families in England was a William Tucker, D.D., Dean of Lichfield and of East Grinstead County, Salisbury. The first descendant on record to come to America was Robert Tucker of Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1635. He came from Milton-next-Gravesend, Kent, England. He is reputed as having been a man of considerable wealth and a merchant. Descendants of the Tucker family can be found throughout our country, prominent in political, social, and economic affairs.
Henry “The Quaker” Tucker
Henry Tucker, born in England about 1627, came to America from the County of Kent, England. He may have been a son of the Robert Tucker who came from England to Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1635. Henry settled in the town of Milton, Massachusetts about 1650.
He married Martha (unknown) on June 9, 1651, and they had seven children:
- Abraham, Oct 30, 1653, Portsmouth, Newport Co., RI
- John, Aug 28, 1656
- Martha, Jul 14, 1659
- Hannah, Jul 25, 1662, Dartmouth, Bristol Co., MA
- James, Mar 1664/1665, Dartmouth, Bristol Co., MA
- Mary, Aug 16, 1668, Dartmouth, Bristol Co., MA
- Sarah, Sep 20, 1674, Dartmouth, Bristol Co., MA
Not approving of the proceedings of the colonial government at Boston respecting the severe laws passed and judgments enforced against the Quakers, he left Milton and finally settled in Dartmouth, Bristol County, Massachusetts, within the limits of the Plymouth Colony, shortly after 1660.
An inscription on a tree near the residence of Benjamin Tucker in Dartmouth, copied May 5, 1844:
First Settled By Henry Tucker 1660 who died 1694 succeeded by son John who died 1751, aged 95 succeeded by son Joseph who died 1790, aged 94 succeeded by son John who died 1820, aged 88
In 1669 he bought from William Allen of Sandwich one third of the original shares into which the township as then held was divided. In 1679 he made another purchase from James Sampson of Portsmouth, RI, of a limited number of acres in the undivided lands of the town. By these, and perhaps other acquired rights, when the town was afterwards surveyed and divided among the proprietors in severalty, his two sons, Abraham and John (their father being deceased), became entitled to and received several hundred acres of land adjoining their respective homesteads. This land mostly remained in the possession of their descendants until within fifty or sixty years. It had, by 1883, all passed out of the name, except the homestead and some out-lots belonging to two of the Tuckers, which form part of the original tract settled by Henry, and laid out to his son John.
These first settlers and their descendants were mostly farmers, and worthy and exemplary members of the Society of Friends. Living on their paternal farms, they pursued the even tenor of their ways in quietness and peace. Having the respect of their neighbors and the community, they were called occasionally by their townspeople to places of trust in town affairs, and more often by the society of which they were members to fill important stations and perform various duties therein.
Henry Tucker died at Dartmouth on April 21, 1694, and his wife Martha died on Nov 9, 1697, also at Dartmouth.
Abraham Tucker, son of Henry Tucker, married Mary Slocum, the daughter of Giles Slocum, on October 30, 1679 in Dartmouth. Both he and Mary had been born in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and it is likely that the Slocum family had moved to Dartmouth with the Tucker family.
Abraham and Mary had five children:
- Henry, Oct 30 1680, Dartmouth
- Mary, Feb 1683/1684, Dartmouth
- Patience, Nov 28, 1686, Dartmouth
- Martha, Nov 28, 1686, Dartmouth
- Abigail, Dec 21, 1688, Dartmouth
Mary died on Sep 25, 1689, and Abraham married Hannah Mott on Nov 26, 1690. Hannah was born in 1663.
Abraham and Hannah Tucker had seven children:
- Elizabeth, Aug 24, 1691, Dartmouth; m. James Barker
- Sarah, Apr 23, 1693, Dartmouth; m. Edward Wing Jun 1, 1717
- Content, Mar 12, 1695, Dartmouth; m. Benjamin Wing
- Abraham, Mar 5, 1697/1698, Dartmouth; m. Elizabeth Russell
- Joanah, Oct 14, 1699, Dartmouth; m. John Russell
- Ruth, Dec 16, 1701, Dartmouth; m. Nicolas Davis
- Hannah, Apr 22, 1704, Dartmouth; m. James Green
Abraham Tucker died at Dartmouth on March 16, 1724/1725.
Will of Abraham Tucker of Dartmouth, Yeoman, dated 20 Nov 1724, probated 20 Apr, 1724/1725. Wife Hannah. Sons Henry (eldest) and Abraham (youngest) Tucker. Daughters: Mary Russell, Patience Wooley, Abigail Chase wife of Joseph Chase, Martha Thomas dcd, late wife of George Thomas of Portsmouth, Joanah Tucker, Ruth Tucker, and Hannah Tucker (last three under eighteen and unmar.). Grandchildren. Abraham Thomas (under twenty-one) and Mary Thomas (under eighteen) children of my dau. Mary Thomas dcd. “My seven Daughters Namely Mary Russel, Elezebeth Barker, Sarah Wing, Content Wing, Joanah Tucker, Ruth Tucker, and Hannah Tucker.” Son Abraham as Exec. Overseers to be friends and brethren John Tucker and Jacob Mott. Witns: Richard Bourden, John Tucker, and John Howland. [5:79/80/81]
Inventory of Estate of Abraham Tucker of Dartmouth, Yeoman, dated 8 Apr 1724/5. Presented by Abraham Tucker of Dartmouth, son and Exec. Mentions: widows’ cows, Abraham’s cows, and steer belonging to Joannah, Ruth, and Hannah Tucker. Appraisers: John Akin, Nathaniel Soule, and Deliverance Smith. [5:86/7/8]
Abraham’s wife Hannah died in Dartmouth on February 1, 1731. She died intestate.
Appointment of Abraham Tucker of Dartmouth, Yeoman, to be Adm. Of Estate of his mother Hannah Tucker of Dartmouth widow dcd intest., dtd 20 Nov 1739. [1731?] [9:298]
ABRAHAM and DEBORAH TUCKER
Abraham Tucker – Rhoda (Tucker) Huson
ABRAHAM TUCKER was from New Castle/North Castle, Westchester County, New York. ABRAHAM was born circa 1745 (place unknown). He married a woman named DEBORAH.
They had eight children while living there:
- Daniel, married Hannah Dean Jun 28, 1792 in Queensbury, NY
- Amy, born Sep 15, 1775 in Chappaqua (New Castle), NY. Married Stephen Dillingham Nov 20, 1794 in Saratoga Co. Died Oct 16, 1856
- Abram, born Sep 20, 1777. Married Anna Lapham. Died Nov 26, 1856 in Persia
- Samuel, born Jun 30, 1779 in Westchester Co., NY. Married Hepsibah Lapham, then Elizabeth C. Scrafford. Died Apr 6, 1858
- Sarah, born Mar 1781 in Westchester Co., NY. Married Charles Wood. Died Feb 21, 1874 in Evans, Erie Co., NY
- Moses, born 1782. Married Phebe Lapham. Died Sep 15, 1830 in Collins, Erie Co., NY
- Rebecca, circa 1785
New Castle is ten miles north of White Plains, New York. Indians called it Shappequa or Chappequa, which means “The Laurel Swamp”, or it may have been an Algonquin term “Chapacour” for “a vegetable root”. The chief aboriginal proprietor of this area was the Indian Sachem Wampus. He sold the area to Col. Caleb Heathcote and others for 100 pounds in 1696. North Castle is four miles south of New Castle. There were many Tuckers and Arnolds in the Quaker Meeting at Chappequa. The Quaker meeting house was built at New Castle in 1753. The population at New Castle had grown to 1,495 by 1846, and to 2,010 at North Castle.
Some of the offices to which the various Tuckers (and Arnolds) were appointed in the annual town meetings as listed in the North Castle/New Castle Historical Records, Vol. 1&2, are as follows:
Joseph Tucker, Sessor [Assessor?], April ye 1st 1746 William Tucker, Gilbert Arnold, overseer of the roads, April ye 1st 1765 Abraham Tucker, overseer of the roads, April ye 4th 1780 Nathaniel Tucker, constable, April ye 1st 1783 Gilbert Arnold, 7th Destricts of Roads, April 1, 1788
Also, from the same source, a sampling of the assigned identification markings for hogs, which, without fences, ran loose:
Joseph Tucker's Ear mark is a Crop on the off Ear and a half penny Under the same & a Slit in the near Ear. March 22, 1751 William Tucker's Ear mark is a Crop on the off Ear & a Slit in the Crop and a nick under the same. June 6, 1759
The Tax List for North Castle in 1779 included:
William Tucker, Jr. 12 Real estate, tax 12 shillings William Tucker, Sr. 60 Real estate, tax 3 pounds Abraham Tucker 30 Real estate, tax 1 pnd, 10 sh Gilbert Arnold 120 Real estate, tax 6 pounds Reuben Tucker 110 Personal estate, tax 2 pnd, 15 sh
ABRAHAM and DEBORAH TUCKER and family moved to Queensbury, Warren Co., New York in 1786, as described in the following:
From our Monthly Meeting held at Shapaqua the 20th of 4th Mo. 1786, To the Monthly Meeting at Saratoga: Dear friends, these may inform that our Friend Abraham Tucker and his wife Deborah with their Family is about to remove and settle within the Compass of your meeting and requested our Certificate, these to certify that they are members in Unity amoungst us and diligent attenders of our meetings both for Worship and Dicipline and Enquiry being made we find their outward affairs settled to Sattisfaction as far as appears as Such we recommend them with their Children whose Names are Daniel, Joseph, Anne [Amy], Abraham, Samuel, Sarah, Moses, & Rebeckah: to your Christian care and oversight with desires for their groath in the best things and in Love we Conclude and remain your friends
Brethren and Sisters
Signed in and on behalf of our Sd. Meeting
William Knowles, Clerk
Mary Underhill, Clerk
[Saratoga was called Easton after 1794-5, Saratoga-West-of-the-River taking the name of Saratoga thereafter, and Queensbury being set off from Easton in 1800]
After moving to Queensbury, ABRAHAM and DEBORAH had five more children:
- Henry, born Mar 12, 1787 in Queensbury, Warren Co., NY. Married Submit Wheeler Apr 2, 1809. Died Aug 19, 1843 in North Collins, Erie Co., NY
- Anna, married Richard Hallock Dec 10, 1807 in Queensbury, NY
- RHODA, born Nov 8, 1795 in Queensbury, Warren Co., NY. Married Thomas E. Huson Feb 6, 1816 in Duchess Co., NY
ABRAHAM TUCKER died in Queensbury in 1798, and his wife DEBORAH died circa 1810.
WILL of ABRAHAM TUCKER of QUEENSBURY
Dated: December 12, 1797 Probated: September 7, 1798
Mentions: wife Deborough; sons: Daniel, Joseph, Abraham, Samuel, Moses, Henry, Caleb; daughters: Amy Dillingham, Sarah, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Anna, Rhoda (3 yrs old); brothers: Samuel, Moses
Executrix: wife Executors: Thomas Stringhan, Elisha Folger
Witnesses: Caleb Dean, George Southwick, Lydia Southwick
There was a great Quaker migration in 1810-12, and some of the Tucker children became early settlers in Erie County, New York in the area now populated with such towns as Collins/N. Collins, Brant, Hamburg/E. Hamburg, Evans, Concord, Aurora, and Boston.
Abram Tucker, brother of RHODA, went to the unsettled region in the southern part of Niagrara (now Erie) County, and in 1809 settled at the edge of what is now the town of North Collins, where he built a log cabin and covered it with bark.
Samuel Tucker also settled in the area, following the Indian trail by way of Water Valley and Eden Center. It was the first team that passed over that trail. His provisions consisted principally of a barrel of flour and a barrel of pork; these he rolled down some of the steepest hills, as he could manage them better by hand than on the sled. He settled a mile and a half south of Abram. He built a log house. Having no table, he left a stump, nicely squared off, standing in the middle of his house, and this was the family table. His first wheat for seed was procured by trading off a Log-chain, and it was two years before the light shone through a glass window onto his peculiar table.
Enos Southwich came with his family the same year, and Abram Tucker admitted them to the shelter of his hospitable mansion. In that little bark-covered cabin was born George Tucker (Aug 1810), the first white child in the towns of Collins and North Collins. If there had been a stump in Abram’s cabin, it would have been a mite crowded.
Henry Tucker followed his brothers into the region some time before 1812.
In March of 1812 the town of Hamburg was formed, including the area of the present town of East Hamburg. John Green’s tavern, not far from the Hardwin Arnold place, was a noted hostlery of that period, and the town meetings and elections were sometimes held there prior to the formation of Hamburg. At the Erie County Agricultural Society Fair of 1842, the first prize for cheese was awarded to H. Arnold & Son of Hamburg. At the state fair held in Buffalo in 1842, the “Hamburg cheese” won first prize, and for many years “Hamburg” was famous among cheeses.
During the War of 1812, the region saw its share of fighting. The British attacked Buffalo, and there was a big battle at the edge of town at Black Rock on December 30, 1813. Most of Buffalo was destroyed. Three men from Hamburg were killed in the battle. Many fugitives from Buffalo fled through the Hamburg area, joined by many of the local residents.
Volunteers were recruited for the war, but not like in modern times. As a general rule, if a volunteer of 1812 stayed on the line for three months he thought he had done something wonderful. Also, there were almost no officers, since the military academies were not yet providing them. They even formed a special militia of men too old to be called on for military duty. They were called “Silver Greys”. One old pioneer in the area, Oliver Pattengill, was an ensign in such a unit. [Oliver was ASAPH PATTENGILL’s uncle]
The early settlers, in addition to Indian troubles, had severe predation by bears and wolves, especially on their sheep and hogs. One farmer had a bear attack one of his old sows. He found the bear struggling with the sow under a workbench in a shanty. He beat the bear with a club to no avail. Having powder but no ammunition, he broke the bail off a kettle, loaded his gun with it, and actually killed the bear with this makeshift ammunition.
In the 1820s, an especially sly and ingenious she-wolf enticed local dogs to join her in attacking the settlers’ stock. The wolf eluded all attempts of the settlers to shoot or trap her. They did discover her litter of dog-wolves, and killed and scalped them to get the bounty of $30 per cub scalp. There was some argument over whether they should get the full bounty or just half for the half-wolves, but they received the full amount. The wolf then moved onto the farm of Samuel Tucker. He laid an especially skillfully disguised trap and did indeed snare the wily wolf. Men and boys came from miles around to see the wolf. The men executed the wolf with much rejoicing, and Samuel received the $60 bounty for the scalp.
Moses Tucker was the first settler in the Brant Area in 1816. He reared three children, two of whom, Elijah and a daughter who married Charles Sherman, were later residents of North Collins. Two years later Moses was joined by six other settlers, John Roberts, John West, Major Campbell, Ansel Smith, and Robert and William Grannis. In 1819 Reuben Hussey, a relative of Moses, settled near him. Samuel Butts moved from Hamburg to the Brant area in 1820 and built the first saw mill. In 1825 Joseph Hubbard opened the first tavern. Milton Morse built the first store in 1835, and the place was called Morse’s Corners for quite a period. He was also the first postmaster after the town of Brant was formed in 1839. The principal products of the area were produce for canneries, and cheese.
There were many Quakers in the region besides the Tuckers. The first meeting house in the region was a log structure built at East Hamburg in 1801, and remained the only one until 1818. A Meeting was eventually established at North Collins, and many Tuckers, Arnolds, and Husons were among those families.
PURCHASERS of LAND from the HOLLAND LAND COMPANY in ERIE COUNTY, NY (Arnold, Huson, and Tucker families):<br>
Purchaser; Date; Town; Lot; Sub.; Acres; Twp.; Range Henry Arnold & David Eddy;10/02/1805;Evans;8;C;16;9;7 Aldrich Arnold;04/08/1815;Evans;7;C;46;9;7 Samuel Tucker; 03/04/1818;Collins;61;B;100;7;8 John Arnold; 07/15/1822;Collins;3;B;50;7;8 John Arnold; 08/29/1822;Collins;L67;E;120;7;7 Moses Tucker; 05/15/1823;Collins; 50;D; 61; 7; 8 Robert Arnold;03/05/1827;Collins; 68;D; 50; 7; 7 Abram Tucker; 09/22/1828;Brant; 11;E; 70; 8; 9 Abram Tucker; 10/27/1829;Brant; 1; C; 40; 8; 9 Lewis Arnold; 05/30/1831;Evans; 50;C; 63; 9; 8 Lewis Arnold; 05/30/1831;Evans; 47;B; 112;9; 8 Hiram Arnold; 08/22/1831;Collins; 68;E; 100;7; 7 Henry Tucker; 01/31/1832;Brant; 11;C; 80; 8; 9 John T. Huson; 08/21/1832;Brant; 11;A; 80; 8; 9 John T. Huson;06/11/1833;Brant; 11;D; 80; 8; 9 Samuel Tucker;11/08/1833;Collins; 53;F; 50; 7; 8 Oliver Arnold;06/20/1834;Evans; 11;C; 110;9; 7 Oliver & Hadwin Arnold;06/20/1834;Evans; 12;C; 52; 9; 7 John Arnold;10/01/1835;Collins; 67;D; 50; 7; 7 Lydia Huson ;10/22/1835;Brant; 1; C; 50; 8; 9 Samuel Tucker;10/23/1835;Collins; 53;E; 50; 7; 8 Samuel Tucker 2nd;12/21/1835;Brant; 12;A; 100;8; 9 William Arnold; 01/15/1836;Collins; 34;B; 100;6; 7 Sarah Huson and others ;11/10/1836;Brant; 11;B; 80; 8; 9 John Arnold;12/30/1836;Collins; 67;A; 50; 7; 7 Robert Arnold;12/30/1836;Collins; 68;C; 50; 7; 7 Abram Tucker; 09/12/1837;Brant; 2; A; 95; 8; 9 Abram Tucker; 11/01/1837;Brant; 2; B; 40; 8; 9 Hubbard W. Arnold;12/29/1837;Collins; 38;A; 97; 7; 8 Thomas Huson ; 11/02/1838;E. Hamburg;32;D; 61; 9; 7 Solomon Tucker; 04/09/1839;Evans; 19;D; 100;8; 9 Frederick Arnold; 05/17/1842;Evans; 28;B; 50; 9; 8 Martin L. Arnold; 12/08/1849;Evans; 35;A; 50; 8; 9 Oliver Arnold;09/28/1850;Concord; 12;a; 53; 7; 7 Oliver H. Arnold; 07/19/1851;Evans; 13;C; 100;9; 8 Martin L. Arnold; 06/01/1852;Evans; 46;D; 50; 8; 9 Nathan Tucker;11/24/1855;Brant; 12;b; 25; 8; 9 Joshua Tucker;02/23/1856;Evans; 19;a; 28; 8; 9 S. G. Huson;?; Evans; 8; D; 60; 8; 9
- Our Tucker Family, 1776-1973, by Theodore Tucker
- History of Bristol County, Massachusetts, with Biographical Sketches, by D. Hamilton Hurd, 1883, pp212-3.
- Bristol County, Massachusetts, Probate Records, by H. L. Rounds
- History of the City of Buffalo and Erie County, by H. Perry Smith, Vol. I, 1884, p526-9, 662-3.
- Centennial History of Erie County, New York, by Crisfield Johnson, 1876, p142-3, 175, 187, 191, 208, 279, 306, 317, 339, 424.
- Deed Tables, Erie County, New York, 1859, by Tobius Witmer, Holland Land Company
- Our Country and its People, Erie County, New York, by Truman C. White
- New Castle Historical Records, 1977 Vol. 1 & 2
- History of Duchess County, New York, by J. H. Smith
- History of Duchess County, New York, by P. H. Smith
- History of Warren County, New York, 1963, Edited by William H. Brown, p140-153, 224-233
- History of Warren County, New York, by H. Smith
- History of Washington County, New York, 1959, Wash., Co., Hist., Soc.
- Hudson-Mokawk Genealogy, 5 Vols., by Cuyler Reynolds