Buchanan Family History

Buchanan Surname

The Buchanan Family is what sparked my interest in researching our family history.  When I was a little girl, I heard that former President James Buchanan was my 5 x’s Great Uncle.  So, naturally, I set out to see if that was true…and how he was related exactly…more on that later.  And now here we are today.

I did a quick search on Ancestry.com to find the origin of the surname Buchanan.  Buchanan originated in Scotland.  Interestingly, my great aunt visited Scotland once and we she returned, she reported that she felt like she was at home there.  Like she belonged there.

Fortunately, Ancestry seems to have over 3 million records for the Buchanan surname, which is amazing!  Researching this line of genealogy should be fairly easy, right?

Buchanan Surname

Buchanan Surname

Buchanan Family Distribution

Buchanan Family Distribution

The Buchanan families seem to have immigrated all over the United States.

While it looks like most of them immigrated to the eastern regions of the United States, many immigrated to Texas and California as well.

I don’t yet know where her parents were born so I’m not sure how far back in the Applegate line that they immigrated.  Based on the time frame, I would venture to guess that it would’ve been her grand parents or great grandparents that immigrated.

I really wonder how our ancestors decided where to immigrate to.  How did they decide where to go?

Buchanan Immigration

Buchanan Immigration

My DNA shows that I am 28% Irish which includes Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.  I think it’s safe to say I inherited a bit of Buchanan blood here.

According to Ancestry.com, the great majority of Buchanan’s came from Scotland and Ireland with a select few coming from England, Great Britain, Britain, and Germany.

I would definitely be interested in traveling over to Scotland to see if I feel the same connection that my great aunt did when she went over there.

That would be so cool to feel a deep rooted connection in the area that my ancestors came from.


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Buchanan Immigration Year

Buchanan Immigration Year

It seems the Buchanan families immigrated to the United States mostly between 1851 and 1891.

Again, I’d very much like to know why they immigrated.  What prompted their decisions to leave?  Where did they intend to go?  What did they intend to do?

There are just so many questions!

The biggest spikes seem to be around 1870 and again in 1885ish.  I wonder if something was going on in Scotland and Ireland in those years that prompted a decision to get out.  I’ll have to look into that further.  Maybe I could at least get a general idea of why they may have left.

Most Buchanan’s seem to have been farmers.  This is pretty consistent with what I’ve seen in my research so far.

Buchanan Family Occupations

Buchanan Family Occupations

I’ve found that most wives, prior to the 1900’s, were housekeepers or housewives.  So it’s not surprising to see the 6% in this chart.

I think Farmers and Laborers are pretty typical jobs for the 1800s and early 1900s.  I’ve seen many of each in all lines that I’ve researched so far.

I will be on the lookout for any Buchanan’s that interesting jobs, aside from just farming.  I know for sure that there was a Methodist Pastor in this line.  So that’s different from the norm at least.

I wonder what other interesting occupations I’ll find in my research.

Buchanan Members I’ve Researched So Far

Buchanan Life Expectancy

Buchanan Life Expectancy

Finally, it looks like the Buchanan family life expectancy has been pretty close to that of the general public.

It seems as though many lived to see their 70s.

I do find it interesting that life expectancy spiked in the late 50s by over 20 years!  It’s commonly known the technological advances began in the 50s, perhaps this is the reason for the spike.

I think researchers are still trying to pin down the reasons for such differences.  So I will continue focusing on my own ancestors and let the scientists tackle that question.

Not a lot of information just yet on this line as I’ve only researched one person so far.  But, as always, I will come back and update this page as I find more information.  So much to do, so little time!

Buchanan Civil War Records

Buchanan Civil War Records

It would be nice to know more about these ancestors.  Where did they come from before Indiana?  Why did they immigrate to the United States?  Are there any notable or famous ancestors in this line?

Have you found Buchanan in your family tree yet?  If so, I’d love to hear from you!

Even if you haven’t, have you found reliable places to research the history of your family name?  I’d love to know where to go to find out facts about surnames that are accurate and can provide some of the history behind the name.  Do share and let us know how you do it.  Just drop a line in the comments below.

That’s all for now, I’ll check back regularly and update this page as I find additional information.

Happy searching!


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