Duncans in Mendocino Co. CA


Duncan research files of
Mary Ann (Duncan) Dobson
the Genealogy Bug

Last revised April 21, 2008

Original county formed 1850


1850 Mendocino Co. CA Census
      No Duncan indexed

1860 Mendocino Co. CA Census
Ukiah Twp.
Pg.794, #12, Erskine?? RETHBONE?? 31 OH brickmaker $1200-$600
                  Lydia? 31 MO
                  Jane 5, John C?. 2 CA
                  John? (Clovis?) 30 OH
                  Robert D. DUNCAN 25 KY carpenter
Pg.805, #124, Elijah H. DUNCAN 30 TN farmer $8000-$2050
                  Elizabeth 23 TN
                  Samuel? (Barnet??) 3, Mary? E?. 2 CA
                  Lucy? F. 3?/12 CA
                  Joseph YATES? 29 TN laborer
                  Horton? HART? 29 IL laborer
Little L. Twp.
Pg.836, #387, James SCOTT 35 AL farmer $500-$265
                  Henry DUNCAN 28 MO laborer $0-$50

1870 Mendocino Co. CA Census
Pg.167, #663-660, DUNCAN, Hiram 39 MO Hiway RR trus?
                  (many other single men with him)
                  (MAD: from Platte Co. MO, son of Marshall Duncan & Mary Ann Garner)
Pg.170, #235-236, WRIGHT, Henry 40 Saxony laborer $0
                  DUNCAN, George 25 IRE laborer
                  (& 2 other laborers)
Pg.198, #143-133, DUNCAN, Frank 30 NC farmer $400-$350
                  Catherine 26 MD
                  Julia Ann 4, Elijah 3, Jane 8/12 Sept. CA
Pg.225, #30-29, DUNCAN, E.H. (m) 45 TN farmer $10,000-$1,500
                  Elizabeth 35 VA
                  Samuel 13, Mary E. 12 CA
                  Lucy F. 11, E.J. (m) 9 CA
                  Thomas 4, James 7/12 Oct. CA
                  (MAD: Elijah Hall Duncan, from Laclede Co. MO)
Pg.234, #34-34, DUNCAN, Sam 40 TN stable keeper $1000-$1200 (alone)
                  (MAD: ?? Samuel J. of 1860 Louisa Co. IA census)
Pg.244, #204-203, DUNCAN, Jacob 42 VA carpenter $0-$0
                  Melinda C. 32 AR
                  Laura 13, Charles H. 11, Wm. Edgar 10 CA
                  George C. 8/12 Sept. CA
                  (MAD: from VA to CA, 1860 Tuolumne Co. CA census; had son Charles Henry Duncan)


CA Death Indexes, 1905-1929 and 1930-1939 (1905-1929 from CA State Library, Sacramento, and FHL microfilm 1,686,044, A to Emerson, Geo.; 1930-1939 from FHL microfilm 1,686,048, A to Hetterman)
      MAD Note: An index to California Birth Records, 1905-1995, and California Death Records, 1940-1997, has been posted at Rootsweb:
      Decedent name (8 characters maximum in first name); Spouse initials; Age, Place, Date of death; Year registered - State file number (MAD: added birth year)
      Duncan, Agnes H.; spouse A.; 88 years, Mendocino Co., died 12/29/28; 28-65226
      Duncan, Benjamin; 35 years, Mendocino Co., died 10/3/24; 24-47224
      Duncan, Birdie L.; spouse J.F.; 45 years, Mendocino Co., died 10/30/28; 28-51784
      Duncan, Charlott M.; 37 years, Mendocino Co., died 3/23/13; 13-9280
      Duncan, Clarence E.; spouse B.; 54 years, Mendocino Co., died 6/17/38; 38-37069
      Duncan, Elijah J.; spouse E.; 60 years, Mendocino Co., died 3/16/22; 22-13104
      Duncan, Elizabet A.; spouse G.W.; 90 years, Mendocino Co., died 9/23/33; 33-50024
      Duncan, Elizabet V.; spouse C.H.; 73 years, Mendocino Co., died 5/26/37; 37-35617
      Duncan, Frank; 36 years, Mendocino Co., died 7/2/11; 11-19371
      Duncan, Freddie; 24 years, Mendocino Co., died 11/1/28; 28-57756
      Duncan, George W.; spouse E.A.; 81 years, Mendocino Co., died 12/17/19; 19-46244 (b.1838)
      Duncan, K.; 63 years, Mendocino Co., died 9/25/07; 07-22576 (b.1844)
      Duncan, Malinda K.; spouse J.; 93 years, Mendocino Co., died 2/26/33; 33-10419
      Duncan, Mary; spouse D.; 75 years, Mendocino Co., died 10/9/27; 27-50716
      Duncan, Mervin W.; 21 years, Mendocino Co., died 1/20/08; 08-1385
      Duncan, Mollie; spouse W.E.; 48 years, Mendocino Co., died 3/2/31; 31-15856
      Duncan, Pauline G.; 24 years, Mendocino Co., died 6/18/37; 37-41811
      Duncan, Richard; spouse M.; 40 years, Mendocino Co., died 12/10/18; 18-55507
      Duncan, Samuel; 58 years, Mendocino Co., died 5/9/15; 15-15345
      Duncan, William P.; 58 years, Mendocino Co., died 1/22/09; 09-1221 (b.1851)
      Duncan, William; spouse J.; 54 years, Mendocino Co., died 3/29/27; 27-14350
      Duncan, Willie; spouse M.; 55 years, Mendocino Co., died 10/27/31; 31-54906
      Duncan, Z. Z.; 1 day, Mendocino Co., died 9/3/27; 27-45890; Cross Reference Entry; Duncan, Z. Z.; 6 hours, Mendocino Co., died 9/2/27; 27-45889; Cross Reference Entry


"Report of the Selective Service Administration of California" 1922, pages 372-373 (Placerville FHC book)
      Name, City and County (MAD: have added county in parenthesis if different from city)
      Duncan, Fillmore H., Mendocino Co.
      Duncan, James Lawrence, Covelo (Mendocino Co.)
      Duncan, Terrell L., Mendocino Co.
      Duncan, Thomas G., Covelo (Mendocino Co.)


Platte Co. MO Probate Records (from Lu Durham 3/1987)
      LD: When the estate of Mary Ann (Polly) Garner Duncan (widow of Marshall) was settled in Platte Co. in 1883, her children were scattered: Mildred Jane Duncan in Platte Co. MO; Wm. Arthur in Clinton Co.?; Robert Lewis in Scott Co. AR; James Marshall in San Francisco, CA; John Sanford in Platte Co. MO; Sarah Catherine deceased -- her daughters Medora Arnold in Whitman Co. WA Territory, Martha Arnold with her father James Madison Arnold in CA, Mary Catherine Arnold living with aunt (Mary Ann Duncan Browning) in Plattsburg, MO. Hiram Garner Duncan in Whitesboro, Mendocino Co. CA; Mary Ann Duncan m. James M. Browning, lived in Plattsburg MO after 1881.

HISTORIES before 1923

1880 "History of Mendocino Co. CA" pub. by Alley, Bowen & Co. (FHL film 468,737 item 1; also Sacramento FHC; perhaps CA State Library book c979.415 P417, by Palmer)
      Pg.610: Sanel (town). Elijah H. Duncan, whose portrait appears in this work, is a native of TN, born December 8, 1824. When about 8 years of age his parents moved to MO, where the subject of this memoir received his early education. At the age of 18 he was bereft of father and mother, and was then thrown upon his own resources. He at once found employment in a tannery, where he labored for 12 years. In 1856 he started across the plains for CA ... arrived in Sonoma Co. Sept. 7, 1856, locating 6 miles east of Healdsburg, and engaged in stock business for nearly 2 years. In July 1858 became resident of this county ... in 1879 purchased 460 acres. Two of his sons, Samuel and Elijah, are working the original farm, and have 18 acres of hops. Mr. Duncan married, April 15, 1856, Elizabeth Craddock, a native of TN. By this union they have nine living children: Samuel, Ellen, Lucy, Elijah, Thomas, Robert, William, Frank and Alice.

1914 "History of Mendocino and Lake counties California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the counties .." by Aurelius O. Carpenter and Percy H. Millberry, pub. by Historic Record Co. (book qc979.415 C2, CA State Library; FHL film 1,000,113 item 1; pg.735 also from Barbara Brite and Floyd E. Barney 2/1999)
      Pg.245: RALPH THOMPSON DUNCAN to Willits, CA, in 1910; born 8 May 1887 at Ukiah, Mendocino Co. CA, son of Charles Henry and Elizabeth (Shattuck) Duncan, natives of California. Paternal grandfather Jacob Duncan came from Virginia to Pacific coast in very early day, pioneer builder in Ukiah. Charles H. had three children, Ralph T. was second. Ralph married in San Francisco Iris Clare, native of College City, Colusa Co. CA. One child, Marjorie Iris Duncan.
      Pg.246: SAMUEL DUNCAN of Hopland, Mendocino Co.; born 10 Jan. 1857 hamlet of Mark West, Sonoma Co.; to Mendocino Co. same year. Son of Elijah Hall and Elizabeth (Craddock) Duncan. Samuel had brothers E.J., Robert, and William. Samuel supervised Duncan estate in 1901 for mother; mother died 1905. Samuel married 25 Nov. 1882 Marguerite Copple, of Nodaway Co., MO, who came to CA 1875. Three children: Mervin, decd; Clarence; and Ruth.
      Pg.364: FRANK DUNCAN, born 30 March 1875; died 1 July 1911. Born Hopeland, CA, home of father Elijah Duncan. Had brother Elijah Jr. Frank m. Elizabeth Clendenin, born near Stockton, dau. of Judge James Clendenin and wife Laura (Seavy) (more on Clendenin family). Married 5 June 1902 at San Francisco. One dau. Dorothy.
      Pg.368: WILLIAM DUNCAN. Elijah Hall Duncan came to Mendocino Co. in July, 1858. Duncan land, Duncan's Peak, and Duncan springs named after him. Elijah born Tennessee 8 Dec. 1824, died 23 July 1889. Parents died when he was age 8. Family had previously moved to Missouri. Elijah worked as tanner. Married 15 April 1856 Elizabeth Craddock of Virginia. Crossed plains, arrived Sonoma County 7 Sept. 1856. Original location six miles east of Healdsburg in 1858, ranching. Elizabeth died 28 April 1905, they had ten children, 6 still living. Youngest is William, b. 31 July 1872. William married 1895 Jennie A. Barker, native Mendocino Co. William had brother E.J. Duncan. William has three children: Neva, Terrel LeRoy, and William H. (MAD: from Laclede Co. MO)
      Pg.735: GEORGE W. DUNCAN. A man who in spite of misfortune and physical debility has surmounted obstacles and gained a competency is George W. Duncan, who was born in Boone county, Missouri, March 23, 1838, the son of Nathaniel and Amelia (Garland) Duncan, farmers in Missouri. His mother dying when he was six years old and his father when he was fifteen, George Duncan was obliged to earn his own livelihood at a tender age. His education was limited to six months of school, but being a student he became well informed in after years by reading and regularly attending Sunday school. After his father's death he was apprenticed as a blacksmith for four years, and continued at the trade until the Civil war, when he joined his fortunes with the confederacy, serving under General Stirling (Pop) Price and later under General Shelby, as farrier for the brigade. After the war he continued at his trade until 1867, when he was stricken blind from the paralysis of the optic nerve on account of the intense heat from the forge. He had a stake but it gradually melted away. In 1875 he came to Trinity county, California, where he had a brother who was in the cattle business; in the meantime he had regained enough of his eyesight to do something at the stock business. In 1879 he located in Round Valley, Mendocino county, moving onto a rented farm and beginning at the bottom, as he had nothing at the time, but each year he made a success until he purchased three and twenty acres, for which he paid $3400. As in other transactions, on account of his eye sight he was taken advantage of and he lost the place. He then purchase five acres in Covelo and began gardening and has made another success. Some years later he built a hotel and ran it in connection with raising vegetables. Afterward he sold some of the land but retains one and a half acres with the business property. Twelve years ago he started in merchandising with the aid of his wife and they are now the oldest merchants in Covelo.
            Mr. Duncan's able helpmate through life was Elizabeth A. Jacobs, whom he married in Boone county, Missouri, January 3, 1860, and they had six children as follows: Thomas J., who died when one year old; Florence C., Mrs. Azbill of Buck Mountain; Fannie O., who died when eight years old; Mrs. Georgie Grist, deceased; James N., who died leaving six children; and Laura E., Mrs. Russell of Covelo. Mr. Duncan is a strong temperance man and is an ardent worker for the cause. He is an earnest member of the Baptist church, in which he is a deacon. In political principles he espouses the cause of Democracy. (MAD: complete text from Barbara Brite and Floyd E. Barney)


Elizabeth Ann (Jacobs) Duncan's Bible, wife of George W. Duncan (copy of pages from its present owner, her great-granddaughter, Mrs. Barbara Brite of Pleasant Hill, CA, 3/1999)
            Title page: handwritten at top: "Out of Grandma Duncan's Bible"
      The Life of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: and The Lives and Sufferings of his Holy Apostles and Evangelists, by Rev. John Fleetwood, D.D., with an Introduction to the American Edition, ... A New and Improved Edition, with Notes by Rev. J. Newton Brown, D.D. Philadelphia: Bradley & Co., 66 North Fourth Street. Galesburg, Ill., and Nashville, Tenn.: Wm. Garretson & Co. 1870
            Following pages are completely handwritten, some writing is very faint.
      George W. Duncan was born March the 3, 1838
      Elizabeth A. Duncan was born September the 20, 1840.
      Thomas J. Duncan was born Feb the 8, 1861
      Florence E. Duncan was born November the 10, 1862.
      Fannie O. Duncan was born January the 25 1865
      Georgie A. Duncan was born February the 25, 1867
      James N. Duncan was born July 24, 1869
      Laura E. Duncan was born October 20, 1871.
      Georgie Cecil Grist was born May 21, 1886.
      Mrs. E.A. Duncan, Long Ridge, Trinity County, California, Feb. the 17, 1871
      Abstain from all Appearances of evil
      George W. Duncan was married to Elizabeth A. Jacobs his wife January the 3, 1860.
      Europe E. Azbill was married to Florence E. Duncan his wife September the 10, 1879
      John W. Grist was married to Georgie Duncan his wife September the 3 1885
      William R. Russell was married to Laura E. Duncan his wife July the 7th 1889.
      James N. Duncan was married to Lottie Sunnerley his wife September the 13 1895.
      Infant Daughter of Wm. R. and Laura E. Russell Nov. 17th 1890.
      George W. Duncan Died Dec. 17th 1919 aged 82 - 10 9 months.
      Wm. R. Russell Died Nov. 18th 1924 at the home of Mrs. E.A. Duncan(?) in Covelo.
      Elizabeth A. Duncan Died Sept. 23rd 1933, age 90 years 3 days
      Fannie O. Duncan Died November 5 1873 Aged 8 years 10 months 12 days.
      Tricy A. Jacobs died November 16, 1873, Aged 56 years 1 month 29 days.
      James H. Jacobs Died November 22 1873 Aged 22 years 2 months 18 days.
      Polly A. Jacobs Died November 25, 1873, Aged 55 years
      Thomas J. Duncan Died April 5 1862, Aged 1 year 10 months 23 days.
      Nancy E. Turner Died 1881 aged
      Georgie Ann Grist died May 24 1886
      Cecil Grist died Aug 17 1886
      Tyse Edward Azbill was born May 21st 1880
      Dora Frances Azbill was born Dec 26th 1881
      George E. Azbill was born May 27th 1884
      Walter J. Azbill was born Oct. 12th 1890.
      Ruth Russell was born March 11th 1892.
      George H. Duncan was Sept 27th 1895

            Family Register (printed pages with space to write in information; MAD: this page apparently also had handwritten information on the reverse which bled through slightly)
            Grandfather (Mother's Family) Grandmother:
      Geo. W. Duncan, born Missouri Mar 3 - 1838, died Covelo Dec. 17 - 1919
      Elizabeth Jacobs, born Ano Sept 20 - 1843, died Covelo Sept 23 - 1933
            Grandfather (Father's Family) Grandmother:
      James M. Russell, born Jan. 8 1833, died Dec. 16 1905 age 73
      Louisa J. Hurt, born Nov. 12 1839, died Dec 4 1908 age 69
      Father: William R. Russell, born Lake Port Aug 7 - 1866, died Dec. 18 - 1924, burial place Covelo
      Mother: Laura E. Duncan, born Ano. Oct 20 - 1871, died June 18, 1967, burial place Covelo.
      Married at Covelo, date July 7 - 1889
            Family Register: Children
      Georgia Louisa Russell, born Jan 27, 1902. Covelo. married Clyde Alvin Riffe, died October 1, 1992 Covelo, kids Barbara Maxine & Roberta Faye
            (handwritten page)
      Mrs. E.A. Duncan Book, Trinity County. Mrs. E.A. Duncan, March the 30, 1888

            Newspaper clippings kept with other pages
      Golden Wedding is Celebrated. On ... evening of the 3rd, the people ... Covelo met at the Baptist Church to celebrate the fiftieth anni...ary of the marriage of our fellow ...men Mr. and Mrs. G.W. Dun... It was a complete surprise and ... say a very pleasant one to Mr. ... Mrs. Duncan. The ladies had a ...cook stove set up in the new par..ge, which stands nearby but which ..noccupied. Here they made tea ... coffee, which neither lacked in ...tity or strength. Tables were set ...oss a 24 foot room which they ...ded with good things from their ...es, which Round Valley women ...w so well how to prepare. While ... was being done, the people in the ...rch which was filled to the doors ...used themselves by singing and ...eechmaking until supper was an..nced, in fact many continued to ... so, for the tables would not begin ... accomodate the crowd, but finally ...e wants of all were supplied. The ...sents were not very numerous, but ...ere both substantial and sensible, ..ing in good honest U.S. gold coin. The best of feeling prevailed .hroughout the evening, many congratulations and good wishes were exchanged, and when the time come to separate, and go tot their homes, all seemed to feel that there had been a pleasant duty well done. Surely when a laddie and lassie in their young manhood and womanhood make a covenent and build a home for themselves, and have floated down the stream of time until they reach the half century mark, and find themselves surrounded by their children and their children's children and hosts of friends, as is these people, what more could they want? E.R.P. Covelo, Cal., January 8th, 1910. (MAD: left edge of three or four characters missing in beginning of column)
      Covelo Pioneer Dead. Geo. W. Duncan, a pioneer resident of Round Valley, died at his home in Covelo, December 16th, after a lingering illness. Mr. Duncan was in the neighborhood of 80 years and had lived in Round Valley since 1871. He was a native of Missouri. Mr. Duncan conducted a hotel at Covelo for some years and afterwards engaged in the general merchandise business. Some years ago he had to sell out on account of approaching blindness. He was the leading member of the covelo Baptist church and for years had been an earnest temperance worker. He leaves a wife and two grown daughters to mourn his loss. The funeral services were held Thursday.
      Pioneer Merchant of Covelo is dead. (Press Special Service). COVELO, Dec. 18 - Birth and death go hand in hand this week. Mr. and Mrs. Roy O'Farrell are rejoicing over the birth of their second son, while many are saddened by the passing of George W. Duncan. Mr. Duncan had been in poor health for a long time, and his death was due to his extreme age and natural causes. He was one of our oldest residents, having come to Round valley over 40 years ago. He came with his wife and family to California in 1875. For manyyears he conducted a hotel here and later a general store. during his last days Mr. Duncan was tenderly cared for by his devoted wife, his children and grandchildren. Mrs. Europe Azbill and Mrs. Will Russell are the surviving dughters. One daughter, Mrs. John Grist, and one son, Jim Duncan, died years ago. Mr. Duncan was one of the pillars of the Baptist church, and despite his age and blindness was always present at church and prayer meetings when he was able to be out at all. His friendly counsel and cheerful presence will be greatly missed.

            Handwritten pages
      Geo. W. Duncan was born in Missouria March 3rd 1838, died Dec 16th 1920
      Elizabeth Duncan was born Sept 20th 1843, Died Sept 23 in Covelo 1933
      William R. Russell was born in Lake Port Aug 7th 1866
      Laura E. Russell was born in Missouri Oct 20th 1871
      Infant Daughter was born in Covelo Nov. 11th 1890
      Ruth E. Russell was born in Covelo March 11th 1892
      Johnnie W. Russell was born in Covelo May 27th 1896
      Hilda E. Russell was born in Covelo March 7th 1900
      Georgie L. Russell was born in Covelo Jan. 27th 1902
      Floyd N. Russell was born in Covelo Apr 7th 1904
      Florence E. Russell was born in Covelo July 16th 1906
      Fay Aletha Russell was born in Covelo Nov 7th 1909
      Floyed Nathaniel Russell Died June 26th 1908 age 4 years 2 mo 19 days
      Infant daughter died Nov 11 - 1890
      John William Russell Died June 30th 1916 age 20 years 1 mo 3 days
      Hilda Elizabeth O'Rill died May 27 1933

Laura Duncan Russell's experiences (from Floyd E. Barney 2/1999 with permission of Barbara Brite; MAD: see Boone Co. MO and Trinity and Mendocino Co. CA)
      In 1950 Barbara Riffe Brite asked her grand mother, Laura Duncan Russell, to write of the important events in her life. The following is the result of that request.
      My Early Experiences.
      My early experiences began in Boone County, Missouri, where I was born. My father, mother and all my brothers and sisters were born there, I being the youngest of six.
      My parents came to California in 1875. We came by train to San Francisco then on by stage. I was born October 20, 1871. I was four years old on the train coming to California.
      My father had a homestead in Southern Trinity County and that was my first home. After a few years we moved to Covelo where I lived until coming here three years ago.
      When I was 18, I was married to Wm. Russell. We both liked mountain life so we went 20 miles north of Covelo to make our future. We didn't have things like young people do now. We took our belongings on mules and lived in a log cabin but we were very happy. We had a few cows and hogs, so our future didn't grow very fast. We had two places so had to go horseback to cut hay, so we would take our pack mule loaded with provisions so on a narrow mountain trail we were following along. I had a can of sourdough tied on the horn of my saddle when the horse in front kicked at my horse and kicked a hole in the can and my dough went down the hill. So many were just such accidents but we still went on. Then in 1892, Ruth was added to our family which we enjoyed very much. We went along until there were two more children added, Johnie and then Hilda so we had to get back to Covelo where they could go to school so we bought a home in Covelo selling our mountain ranch. We went to dairying. By that time Georgie came into our home. I am thankful to have them both with me today. There were 8 children in our family, Florence of S.B., Fay of Lake T. Four have gone to be with the master. My husband passed away November 18, 1924 at the age of 58, so life goes on with God as my guide.
      signed: Laura Russell


"Nevada State Journal" (Reno, Washoe Co. NV) June 6, 1874 (transcription by and from Kathy Cawley 1/2004)
      HORRIBLE ACCIDENT - Sunday morning about 9 o'clock while the westward bound Central Pacific freight train was doing their switching in the yard at this place a lady passenger named Miss Lily Duncan, aged 38 years was standing on the platform of an emigrant car attached to the train, and was knocked off by the jar of the train coupling on to the car and run over, cutting both of her legs just below the knee almost entirely off. She was immediately conveyed to the County Hospital. Surgeons were called in and all possible means used to save her life, but all efforts were of no avail and she passed from this world to a better one above at 4 in the afternoon of the same day. She had no friends with her excepting her sister, and they were going from Missouri to some point in Mendocino county, California. The citizens of Reno generously contributed sufficient means to defray her funeral expenses, her remains being interred in the cemetery yesterday afternoon. It is said that the great Central Pacific Railroad offered $20 towards defraying these expenses, but citizens refused to take such a pitiful sum from the Company, believing that if that was all they could contribute it was better they should be allowed to retain it. We look upon this action of the Company as something so mean and contemptible that we should exhaust our vocabulary by even attempting to do the subject justice. They ought to be presented with a leather medal for their great liberality.


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