Caswell County Genealogy

Rucker, Peter

Rucker, Peter

Male 1659 - 1742  (83 years)

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  • Name Rucker, Peter  [1
    Born 1659  Bavaria, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Reference Number I74183 
    Died 23 Feb 1742  Orange County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I74183  Caswell County
    Last Modified 24 Dec 2022 

    Family [Rucker], Elizabeth Unknown,   b. 1660, Bristol, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1752, Orange County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 92 years) 
    +1. Living
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    +10. Rucker, John,   b. 3 Jan 1680, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Jan 1742, Orange County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 24 Dec 2022 
    Family ID F49149  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1659 - Bavaria, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 23 Feb 1742 - Orange County, Virginia Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Ruckersville Historical Marker
    Ruckersville Historical Marker

  • Notes 
    • Peter Rucker (1659-1742)

      Ruckersville Historical Marker

      (for larger image, click on photograph)

      Historical Marker: A descendant of the Huguenot immigrant Peter Rucker, John Rucker (d. 1794) settled east of here on Rippin’s Run, and built Friendly Acres, the first of many Rucker family dwellings in the area. He founded the village of Ruckersville, naming it for his uncle, Captain John Rucker, who was instrumental in selecting the site for St. Mark’s Parish Church just west of here in 1732.

      We really, truly, don't know Peter Rucker's European origin. As of 2019, the best genealogical research has failed to produce substantiated evidence convincing enough to trace him across the Atlantic Ocean. Early researchers made claims which cannot be proven by any primary sources, and these claims continue to confuse and convince neophyte genealogists who may be eager to believe. Remember that earlier research is not necessarily better research, and we musn't believe everything we read. The Rucker Family Society has a great interest in tracing the origin of our American family's founder, and encourages all members in their efforts to put together the pieces of this puzzle.

      Until someone discovers the ship manifest, or family letters, or other documentation which places Peter in his country of origin, we must satisfy ourselves with the legends of his arrival on these shores. There are legends enough to pique our interest, and a common thread is calamity at sea. The most oft-repeated tale of Peter's arrival is that his ship went down, and he swam ashore to the terra firma of the Virginia Colony. Some relate that he bobbed ashore with the assistance of a keg or two of rum; some favor alternative spirits of brandy or whiskey. At one time, the Society's notepaper pictured Peter buoyed in the surf by the requisite keg, a romantic but purely fanciful image. In the biography of Rev. James Rucker from the 1882 History of DeWitt Co., IL it is claimed that Peter swam seven miles to Cape Hatteras, clutching a bottle of French brandy. In this case, the spirits were reward, rather than savior. Another maritime story appeared in a letter from Marie Keeble Rucker to Mrs. George S. DuBois: Frenchman Peter Rucker abandoned his warship, The Rising Sun, when it was captured by the British, and reached shore "with great damage to the body from the effect of the salt water." Surprisingly, no mention of liqour in this version. It is a fact that a ship sank at the Jamestown, Virginia dock in 1700, when Peter Rucker's arrival has been suggested, but no passenger list from that vessel is known.

      Enjoy the legends, but as with any unsubstantiated claims of Peter Rucker's origin, take them with a grain of salt, and always insist on primary source documentation before accepting someone else's research.

      Source: The Rucker Family Society Website [; accessed 6 July 2021]

      Will Book 1, p. 299
      Probated Feb. 23, 1743


      In the name of God amen I Peter Rucker of Saint Marks Parish in the County of Orange planter being weak in body but of persued [perfect] mind and memory and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following Imprimis I do order that all my just Debts and funeral charges be paid and Satisfied.
      Item I lend unto my beloved wife Elizabeth Rucker all my Estate both real and Personal during her natural life and after her Decease Divided in following manner

      Item I give and bequeath unto my beloved Daughter Margrett Tinsley and my son Inlaw Isack Tinsley a negro boy named yorkshier to them and Their heirs for Ever.

      Item I give and bequeath to my beloved Son Ephraim Rucker a negro girl named Fillis to him and his heirs for Ever.

      Item I give unto my beloved Daughter Ann Cook and my Son in Law Shem Cook a negro girl named Jeney her and her incries to them and their heirs forever.

      Item I do desier that all the Remainder of my Estate both real and personal after my wifes Decies as foresaid to be Sold by my Executors hereafter named at Publick auction to the highest bidder on Six months Cridet for current money the buyer giving good Security and the money arising by Sale to be Equally Devided amongst my beloved Children by name as followeth

      Thomas Rucker
      Elizabeth Pearce
      William Rucker
      Mary Offell James Rucker
      Ephriam Rucker and
      Ann Cook and

      To their heirs for ever and lastly I do Constitute and apoint my beloved Sons James Rucker and Ephraim Rucker to be my whole and sole Executors of this my last will and Testament hereby revoking Disanuling all other Testaments and wills by me made Confirming this and no other to be my Last will and Testament.

      I witness whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and Seal this 15 Day of January

      1742/3 His Mark
      Peter Rucker

      Signed sealed and published in the presence of:
      William Jackson
      William Offill
      Michael Holt

      At a Court held for Orange County on Thursday ye 23 Day of Febry. 1743. The Last Will and Testament of Peter Rucker Dec'd. being presented into Court by James Rucker and Ephraim Rucker Exrs. Therein named and proved by the oaths of Wm. Jackson and Mich. Holt two of the Witnesses Thereto who also made Oath that they saw William Offell sign the same as an Evidence and the sd Exrs. having severally Taken the Oath of an Exr. and having Entered into bond with Mic. Holt, George Holt and Richard Mauldin Junr., Their Securities, before their due Execution thereof, Probate is Granted them and the said will together with the Bond was admitted to record.

      Jonath Gibson

      Issue (probably born in Essex Co., VA, birth dates are estimated)(6):

      1. John Rucker, b. ca 1701; m. Susannah _______.
      2. Peter Rucker, b. ca 1703, probably died young(7).
      3. Thomas Rucker, b. ca 1705; m. Elizabeth Reynolds.
      4. Elizabeth Rucker, b. ca 1708; m. James Pierce.
      5. Margaret Rucker, b. ca 1710; m. Isaac Tinsley.

      6. William Rucker, b. ca 1713; m. Honar _____.
      7. Mary Rucker, b. ca 1720; m. William Offill.
      8. James Rucker, b. ca 1723; m. Margaret _____.
      9. Ephraim Rucker, b. ca 1725; m. Margaret Vawter.
      10. Ann Rucker, b. ca 1727; m. Shem Cook.

      Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed 06 July 2021), memorial page for Peter Rucker (1659-23 Feb 1742), Find a Grave Memorial ID 71187459, ; Maintained by Willora Glee Krapf (contributor 47029104) Body lost or destroyed, who reports a unknown place in Orange Co., VA.

      Wood, Sudie Rucker. The Rucker Family Genealogy With Their Ancestors, Descendants and Connections. Richmond: Old Dominion Press, Inc., 1932.

      [Note to anyone that thinks that Peter Rucker was married to Elizabeth Fielding, and John Rucker was married to Susannah Phillips: Edythe Whitley has admitted that she was young when she wrote her book in 1927 and has acknowledged these statements to be mistakes. See "Rucker Ruckus," Vol. 1, Issue 1, page 1.]

      Source: The Rucker Society Newsletter, Volume 2, Number 1, February 1991.

  • Sources 
    1. Details: Find A Grave Memorial #71187459, Peter Rucker (1659-1742), Unknown Location in Orange County, Virginia.