BOUCHER FAMILY. The name Boucher is purely of French origin, although the first ancestor in America spoke the German Language. This was likely brought about by the family being among the Huguencts, who were banished from France by the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Otherwise he could scarcely have come to America with a French name and a German tongue. But this is entirely speculative and the family has long been recognized as distinctively Pennsylvania German. It was a numerous one in Westmoreland county half a century or more ago, particularly in Ligonier Valley, but they who bore that name then are nearly all gone now, and their descendants are scattered throughout the western states.
I. Daniel Boucher, the founder of the family in America, came from the German States of France, most likely from Loraine. The tradition is that he crossed the Atlantic ocean in a shop called the "President." In his Bible, which the writer has seen, he wrote that he, with his wife and children, landed at Philadelphia on June 20th, 1755. They settled in Bergs county, Pennsylvania, in what is now known a Albany township, where he purchased lands and became a farmer. The location is twenty-two miles from the city of Reading, on the presents railroad leading from Reading to Slatington.. He was of the German Reformed faith in religion, and was mainly instrumental in erecting a church edifice called "Bethel," near his home. It has been rebuilt three times, but still retains the name given it by its pioneer founder. Little is known of him further than that he lost heavily in the revolution, that he died in the early years of last century, and that his remains were buried in the churchyard near the church which he built. He had sons named Peter, William, Philip, Jacob and Henry. Peter died without issue ; William settled in Ross county, Ohio, in 1801 ; Philip remained with his father and fell heir to his estate, much of which still remains in the name of his descendants ; and Jacob settled in Schuylkill county.
II. Henry Boucher, youngest son of Daniel Boucher, was born in Berks county, March 10, 1759. He was married to Mary Shoemaker, and removed to Hamburg, Pennsylvania, where he became a farmer and shoemaker. In 1801, in company with a neighbor named Jacob Will, he started west on horseback for the purpose of purchasing lands and coving on them. They rode as far as the Miami Valley in Ohio, but there the fever and ague prevailed to such an alarming extent that they returned, and upon reaching Somerset county, Pennsylvania, purchased lands, to which they moved with their families in the spring of 1802. The land bought by Henry Boucher is about three miles from Glade. There wee four hundred and fifty acres in the tract, and is was conveyed to him by John Gross. He spent the remainder of his days there as a farmer and died on November 19, 1834. His wife, Mary Shoemaker, who was born January 22, 1762, survived him until May 12, 1840. They are both buried in the cemetery at Glade, and the dates given are taken from their tombstones. Their children were : Jacob, Henry, Christian, David, Solomon, John, Elizabeth, Magdalene, Mary, Rebecca, Catharine, Sarah and Hannah. Christian died in his youth. Henry, Solomon and John brought up large families and lived and died in Somerset county. Hannah married Jeremiah Strawn, who removed to Ottawa, Illinois, and was the ancestor of that branch of Strawn family.
III. David Boucher, son of Henry Boucher (2), was born in Hamburg, Pennsylvania, November 12, 1789, and when twelve years old came with his parents to Somerset county. He was bred a farmer, and acquired land in Turkeyfoot township. On May 19, 1814, he was married to Mary Eve Friedline, who was born August 23, 1794. They were the parents of a large family. There were two daughters : Elizabeth, who died when quite young : and Susan, who was married to Abraham Brant, of Ligonier Valley, and with a large family survived her husband many years. Their sons were : Daniel, died in Illinois ; Hiram, to whom we will refer hereafter ; Josiah, Isaac and Daniel, who died in California ; Henry, who now resides in Kansas ; and John an Simon, who died in that state. Hiram alone remained in Ligonier Valley, all the others except Simon having gone to California in search o gold soon after its discovery.
In 1833 David Boucher removed from Somerset county to Ligonier, purchased lands near that place from William Ross, and became a very successful farmer. His wife, Mary Eve, died at Ligonier on January 11, 1842. David was a man of deep convictions, and manifested great earnestness in any cause which enlisted his attention. In politics he was a Whig, and later a Republican. He was most noted, however, in church an in upholding its old style, and by no means lax in supporting his church and upholding its principles. On November 11, 1844, he was married to Mrs. Sarah Stahl, to whom the following children were born : Charles Wesley ; Lucius Chapman ; Emma, married John Wood ; and Anna, married Morgan Beam ; they and their descendants live in and near Pittsburg. David Boucher died April 12, 1868, and his second wife survived him until March, 1887.
IV. Hiram, son of David Boucher (3) and Mary Eve, was born in Somerset county, December 7, 1821, and came to Ligonier Valley with his parents in 1833. On January 26, 1843, he married Abigail Slater, of Ligonier township, by Rev. Stevens. He united with the Methodist Episcopal church of Ligonier, and was one of its leading members throughout the remainder of his life. He was especially a potent factor in the Sunday school work of the church, and taught a class of both old and young men for more that a quarter of a century. Few men were more competent for this work that a quarter of a century. Few men were more competent for this work than he. Though, like many others in the first half o the last century, he had received but a limited education in his youth, yet, being more or less of a lifelong reader, he became well versed in the Bible, and was familiar with many of the books relating to it. and in this line of thought he had few equals among the laity of his community. He spent his entire life as a farmer in Ligonier Valley, and died of bilious fever October 18, 1889. Abigail Slater, his wife, was born in Donegal township, January 13, 1822, daughter of Samuel and Mary Show Slater. The first ancestor of the Slater family came from England and became a resident and farmer in Donegal township during the Revolution or shortly afterward. He had three sons Martin, Samuel and Isaac. Martin built and managed Mount Hope Furnace, situated two miles southeast of Donegal. Samuel and Isaac were farmers in that township. Isaac was married to Abigail Ulery shortly after the Revolution. In volume I of this work will be found the story o the escape of Abigail Ulery and her sister from the Indians during the Revolutionary war. She was born December 29, 1765, and was brought up on the Slater farm near Ligonier. upon her marriage with Isaac Slater they removed to Donegal township, where they lived the remainder of their lives. Isaac Slater died in 1836, an his wife Abigail survived him until October 29, 1855, when she died in her ninety-second year.
The sons of Isaac Slater an Abigail Ulery were Joseph an Samuel. The latter born February 2, 1794. He was their third child, and was married to Mary Show, who was born in Maryland, March 14, 1800, and was brought up near Connellsville, Pennsylvania. In 1824 Samuel and Mary Slater removed from Donegal township, having purchased lands two miles southwest of Ligonier, from the Ulery heirs, one of whom was Abigail, Samuel Slater's mother. Upon this land, now known as the Slater farm, they resided the remainder o their days. Mary Show Slater died on June 27, 1876, and her husband Samuel survived her until January 30, 1882. both are buried in the Brant cemetery, near their old home. Their children were Abigail, Julia, Christenia, Isaac, Catharine, Sarah and Mary. It was Abigail, the oldest of the family who was married to Hiram Boucher. though past four-score years and four, she still survives him, an resides near Ligonier.
The children of Hiram Boucher and Abigail Slater were : Elizabeth, married to Dr. J. T. Ambrose, of Ligonier ; Mary Eve, married to William C. Knox, of Ligonier township, died April 15, 1892 ; Amanda, married to Hamilton Smith, of Ligonier, (Mr. Smith died August 7, 1897) ; Caroline, married to rev. O. A. Emerson, of the Pittsburgh Methodists Episcopal Conference ; Sarah, married to Hugh M. Clifford, of Derry, died January 11, 1887 ; Kate, married to Dr. Edward M. Clifford, of Greensburg ; David Wilbert, died in 1863, aged two years ; and John Newton, of Greensburg.
V. John Newton Boucher was a teacher in the Westmoreland schools, and was graduated from Mount Union College at Alliance, Ohio, in 1876. He is a member of the Greensburg bar, and the author of the Westmoreland portion of the "Twentieth Century Bench an Bar of Pennsylvania," published by cooper Brothers, of Chicago, 1903, an the historical narratives contained in volume I of this work, entitled "A History of Westmoreland County."
VI. The sixth generation of this family are the children of Dr. J. T. Ambrose and wife ; of William C. Knox and wife, Mary ; of Rev. O. A. Emerson and wife ; Lillian, daughter of Hugh M. Clifford and wife Sarah, and the daughter of Dr. Edward M. Clifford and wife.
VII. The seventh generation are the children of William and Abigail Knox Graham, o Ligonier Valley ; of Dr. a. H. Caven and Blanche Emerson Caven of Youngwood, Pennsylvania ; and f Charles Emerson and Sallie Luke Emerson of Creighton, Pennsylvania.
Source: Pages 7 thru 10 of History of Westmoreland County, Volume II, Pennsylvania by John B. Boucher. New York, The Lewis publishing Company, 1906
Transcribed April 20, 1999 by Marilynn Wienke for the Westmoreland County History Project
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/westmoreland/)
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