Posted By Norman Gasbarro on December 28, 2010
(Part 2 of 3). Benjamin Buffington (c1730-1814), the great-grandson of Richard Buffington, emigrant from Great Marlow on the Thames, England, was the first of the Buffington family to settle in the Lykens Valley. After the American Revolution, in which he served in Captain Weaver’s Company, he brought his family to the area at the end of Short Mountain, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, in about the location where the Hoffman Monument stands today. It is believed that he is buried there, but none of the original tombstones have survived.
Nearly all persons with the Buffington surname who are from the Lykens Valley area are descendants of this Benjamin Buffington.
Benjamin Buffington’s grandfather was Thomas Buffington (1685-1739) and his grandmother was Ruth [Cope] Buffington (1687-1728). Ruth was a direct descendant of King Edward I Plantagenet of England through the Cope and Stafford lines, and hence all members of the “Royal Line” are relatives of the Lykens Valley Buffington’s and their descendants. Queen Victoria, who was ruler of the United Kingdom during the American Civil War, was therefore a distant cousin of the Lykens Valley Buffington’s who fought in the Civil War. But that’s another story and the strange and ironic connections of that relationship may be explored at another time. For now, we will focus on the Buffington family connections in the Lykens Valley to the Civil War.
Benjamin Buffington married Mary Frissell (born about 1730). The marriage took place in Olde Swede’s Church in Wilmington, Delaware. After Mary died, Benjamin re-married the widow of Albrecht Deibler, also a Revolutionary War soldier.
George Buffington (1759-1830), a son of Benjamin and Mary Buffington, was born in Chester County and came to the Lykens Valley with his parents. Like his father, he also was a Revolutionary War Soldier serving in Captain Weaver’s Company out of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. George married Barbara Hoffman (1763-1827), a daughter of John Peter Hoffman who has previously been discussed in relation to the Hoffman Family Monument at the foot of Short Mountain. It is believed that both George Buffington and Barbara [Hoffman] Buffington are among the 26 persons also buried at that location.
Of those persons with the Buffington surname who have currently been identified for the Civil War Research Project, little information is known. More information is needed on each.
Henry Buffington is identified on the Lykens G.A.R. Monument as a Member of the Heilner G.A.R. Post and as a Private during the Civil War Nothing else is known about him at this time.
Henry Buffington was named in the Halifax Area Bicentennial Book as a Civil War veteran who is buried at the St. James Cemetery, Carsonville, Pennsylvania. It is possible that this is the same person who is named on the Lykens G.A.R. Monument. Nothing else is known about him at this time.
Jeremiah Buffington, born 13 July 1836, died 25 June 1891, is buried in Gratz Union Cemetery, Gratz, Pennsylvania. There is G.A.R. marker is at his grave. Although he died in 1891, he has not been located in the 1890 Veterans Census nor has he been located in the Pennsylvania Archives veteran’s card index under the name “Jeremiah.” Efforts to find out in which regiment he served have not been successful. Jeremiah Buffington was the great-grandson of Benjamin Buffington, the first of the Lykens Valley Buffington’s. He married Emma Hess and had about eight children. His grave marker is pictured below:
Joseph Buffington is identified as a “U.S.” Civil War veteran in the 1890 Veterans Census for Wayne Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. No other information is given. The indication “U.S.” could mean that he served in the Regular Army and therefore wouldn’t be listed in any of the Pennsylvania indexes.
Joseph Buffington is identified as a Civil War veteran buried in St. James Cemetery, Carsonville, Pennsylvania. This could be the same Joseph Buffington as above or a different Joseph Buffington. More information is needed.
For none of the Buffington’s named above do we have knowledge of an exact Civil War regiment. Research continues; suggestions and information are welcome.
There are about two dozen additional persons with the Buffington surname in the veteran’s card index of the Pennsylvania Archives, but none of these has been specifically connected to the Lykens Valley as of the present time. More research could confirm additional persons with the Buffington surname from the Lykens Valley who were Civil War veterans.
In addition to those with the Buffington surname, other surnames appear in the descendants of Benjamin Buffington as a result of marriage with Buffington women. These surnames are too numerous to mention at this time and include most of the common surnames in the Lykens Valley area.
The last post in this series will focus on the descendants of Ruth [Buffington] Harlan, one of the oldest daughters of the emigrant Richard Buffington, the migration of members of the Harlan and Buffington families to the Carolinas, and the service of two Buffington cousins in the 14th South Carolina Infantry.
Some of the information for this post was taken from (1) The Buffington Family in America, privately published in 1965; (2) A Brief History of the Yeager, Buffington, Creighton… Families and Their Collateral Kindred of Pennsylvania, compiled by James Martin Yeager; and (3) A Comprehensive History of the Town of Gratz Pennsylvania, published by the Gratz Historical Society in 1997.