Descendants of William Buie
Article From: Argyll Colony Vo. 3, 1988, pp.68-70
THE ELUSIVE WILLIAM BUIE OF BUFFALO CHURCH
(When researching the Buie families of North Carolina, the editor encountered many problems with the family of a William Buie of Moore (now Lee) County. Although some of his descendants were located, the only other information about him was that he was a musician and charter elder of Buffalo Presbyterian Church near the present town of Sanford, North Carolina, and that he left his wife, Margaret (McIver) Buie and children, went west to seek his fortune, and was never heard from again. An equal mystery was the fact that he may have been married twice to women both named Margaret McIver.
At last, clarification on the wives, children, and fate of William Buie came from William D. Bennett, Oakey Grove, Route 1, Box 232, Wendell, North Carolina 27591. A descendant of William Buie, Mr. Bennett's information and insight into these puzzles is presented in this article. - editor)
With the destruction of most of the Moore County records, it is difficult to tell the whole story of William Buie of Buffalo Church. However, from family stories and other records, most of the story can be reconstructed. William Buie was in love with Margaret McIver, daughter of Roderick McIver. Margaret McIver was supposed to have been most attractive and was known as "Pretty Peggy". After William's father died, William proposed to Margaret McIver. She responded with "I'm not ready to put on the cap". Meaning the matron's cap which was the custom of these people. William.Buie's reply was "I'll never-marry anybody but Margaret McIver". William Buie was true to his word. Shortly afterwards he married Margaret McIver, daughter of Daniel McIver. Daniel McIver was a nephew of Roderick McIver. This family is described in Kelly's book on the McIvers. Much of this information was given to me by William Buie's granddaughter, Isabella Murchison Bryan. From my mother, I know that there were Wicker descendants from this first marriage. By his second marriage, William Buie had a daughter, Ann Catherine, who married N.R. Bryan. The Bryans had a large farm in the heart of present Sanford, NC. At Catherine's request, her husband let a child of Catherine's step-sister live in a house on the farm and use part of the farm. Following the Civil War, one of the Bryans' sons, Roderick, was arrested because he was a Ku Klux. The family always felt that Catherine's step-relative told the authorities. After the death of my grandfather, William Doub, my grandmother took the family to her parents, H.R. & Catherine Bryan. My mother told me a number of times that as a fourteen year old girl she was not allowed to play with the children of these step-relatives who were named Wicker. This was twenty five years after Roderick was arrested, but the feeling was still strong.
Now back to William Buie. His first wife, Margaret, probably died about 1810. The Raleigh Star, on 24 September 1812, carried this notice. "Married in Moore County, on the 18th inst. William Buie, Esq. to Miss Margaret McIver, both of said county." This was the notice of his marriage to the daughter of Roderick McIver. Again I refer you the Kelly book on the McIvers for the family line. There were four children by this marriage. Sometime in the early 1820s, William Buie joined a group who were going to Alabama to take advantage of the new land being opened for settlement. Prior to leaving Rowan County he sent his wife and two surviving children back to live with his wife's brother, Kenneth McIver. William Buie was never heard from again after he left Rowan County. Margaret (McIver) Buie is supposed to have felt she had been left a grass-widow.
The Rowan County excursion has always puzzled me. I have found no reason for him to have gone there. I have yet to find any evidence in the county records to indicate he was there. I had been told this by Aunt Belle (Isabella Bryan). For a long time it left me in doubt as to the accuracy of the other information she had told me. Then I found the following notice in The Western Carolinian, published in Salisbury, Rowan County. This is from the issue dated 22 June 1824. "Died. On Saturday, the 5th inst. in Rowan county of a lingering sickness, Mary Jane Buie, youngest daughter of Mr. Wm Buie, late from Moore county, aged seven years and three months - She departed this life calm and serene, having (paper folded and illegible) notwithstanding her youth, she appeared to possess correct views of the immortality of the soul --that the soul would exist beyond the wreck of matter and the crush of worlds. Such are the peculiar blessings of gospel light". In the issue of that same newspaper for 21 December 1824 the following notice appeared. "Died. In Rowan county, near Salisbury, on Sunday evening the fourteenth of November last, of a long sickness of cold chills and fever, John Shaw Buie, aged five years and three months, youngest son of William Buie, late from Moore county." Since my Aunt Belle had given me the names of these two children years ago, I am very prone to believe her other stories concerning this family. These children died over twenty five years before Aunt Belle was born.
Before moving to Rowan County, William Buie was employed by Buffalo Church (in present Sanford, NC.) to teach music, having exceptional ability on the flute. In Rowan County he worked as a tailor and taught music. I am enclosing a copy of the title page of a book printed in Gaelic which belonged to Margaret (McIver) Buie (see the inside back cover of this issue - editor). At one time, my mother had a small envelope shaped purse which Margaret (McIver) Buie had made for her brother, Kenneth McIver. Margaret had sewn with cross-stitch "K Mci 1803". After my mother's death, I was unable to find this purse.
Aunt Belle told me William Buie was related to the Cromarties, McFadyens, and Monroes.
I am puzzled as to why William Buie left Moore County. He had to have been rather affluent at one time to have been appointed Justice of the County Court. Yet, I was told that he was unsuccessful financially in Rowan County. That was why he wanted to go to Alabama. The 1815 tax list of Moore County shows him with a sizeable estate.
I might add that when Cornwallis marched from Guilford Courthouse to Wilmington, foragers for his army came to the home of Roderick McIver searching, not only for food, but other valuables. They broke open the door and in their search ran bayonets through the mattress of the bed upon which theinfant Margaret was lying.
Editor's note: From available records, William Buie had the following children by his first wife - (1) Calvin Buie, (2) J. William Buie, (3) Margaret Buie m. Watson, (4) Flora Buie, b. 1808, m. John C. Wicker, (5) Willliam Priestly Buie, (6) Daniel McIver Buie, and the following children by his second wife - (7) Ann Catherine Buie, b. 1813, m. Newton Robinson Bryan,(8) Roderick Newton Buie, b. 1814, m. Maria Lea, (9) Mary Jane Buie (10) John Shaw Buie.