Civil War Blog

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Clarification and Additions to Buffington Family in the Civil War – South Carolina Cousins

Posted By on April 24, 2013

On 29 December 2010, a post on this blog entitled “Buffington Family in the Civil War – South Carolina Cousins” was presented. That post has since received several comments, mostly positive, and as a result of the post, additional material has been received to confirm the Harlan/Harling lines therein presented.

Recently, a comment was received from a member of the Buffington family, who questioned the first sentence of the post:

Ruth Buffington, daughter of Richard Buffington (1654-1748) was born either in England or in America some time before her brother Richard, who is said to be the first child born in what is now Pennsylvania.”

The statement made by this Buffington family member was:

“You have this part all messed up. Please do some research and rewrite.”

The claim that Richard Buffington II was the eldest son of Richard Buffington (the immigrant) and was the first-born of English descent in Pennsylvania was reported in the Pennsylvania Gazette for 28 June 1739 to 5 July 1739:


However, in Gilbert Cope’s analysis of this in 1902, he stated that the claim “will not hold good” because the same claim was made for two others, a Grubb and a Pedrick, and the birth of the Pedrick (a girl) was in 14 July 1678, “antedating” the claim of both Grubb and Buffington.

The “said to be the first child [by the family]” statement in the blog post did not include the refutation by Cope, which is now presented for clarity.

Ruth Buffington was the second daughter of Richard Buffington (the immigrant, 1654-1748) and his first wife, Ann.  It is not clear whether Ruth was born before or after her brother Richard and it is not clear whether she was born in England or America.  She does appear in the records of the Concord Monthly Meeting in 1705 and 1706 when her intention to marry Ezekiel Harlan was declared.  Those records also indicate that Francis Chads and John Bennett were appointed to have oversight over their marriage and the marriage was reported as “orderly accomplished.”  The children of Ruth Buffington and Ezekiel Harlan, from the marriage, included Ezekiel II, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph, Ruth and Benjamin – all of whom are well-documented by Cope and others.

In The Buffington Family in America, there is a chapter entitled “Ruth Buffington Harlan: Second Daughter of Richard and Ann” (page 261+).  It is here that the Harlan descent is given – including the name change to “Harling.”  The documentation of this descent can be found at the Old Edgefield District Genealogical Society (South Carolina), in Harlan family histories, in Buffington family histories, and in Cope family histories, as well as in the usual genealogical sources such as birth, marriage, death, church, cemetery, census, and newspaper records.

Therefore, if Ruth Buffington Harlan was born in England, she was born before 1679, the year her brother was born in America.  If she was born after her brother Richard, she would have been born in America.


The news clipping from the Pennsylvania Gazette was obtained from the on-line resources of the Free Library of PhiladelphiaThe Buffington Family in America was published in 1965 by Ralph M. Buffington.



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