Duncans in CA


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

Last revised April 21, 2008



1852 California State Census (typed by DAR, Vol.I to XIII, indexed, three microfilm of volumes in Calif. Room, CA State Library)
      There are Duncans on this census in Calaveras, El Dorado, Klamath, Napa, Placer, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sierra, Sonoma, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba Counties.
      Some counties had notes the handwriting was illegible, and sometimes in the middle of a county would be a note that several names were illegible. The columns were just a list of names, with no household separations, age, race and sex, birthplace, and place of residence. There was no reference to an original page number.


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)
      See the separate file for a complete list of Duncans through 1939


Index to Federal Land Records - California Land Patents Database (Internet 12/1999)
      This website has an index to the early Land Patents in CA, and has information about how to obtain a copy of the Patent.

California US Land Office Records (patents) pre? July 1, 1908, are available online:
      These do not yet include images of the actual land patent before 1908


See the published abstracts and indexes to military records by Virgil D. White for Duncans who served in the various wars.
      John Duncan widow Maie P., and Reuben M. Dunkin widow Jennie N., and William P. Duncan widow Elizabeth J., and William R. Duncan widow Ida M., all applied for pensions in California for service in the Indian Wars.
      James Duncan, Moses S. Duncan (MAD: ? 1850 Lamoille Co. VT census), Robert T. Duncan, William K. Duncan, William L. Duncan widow Laura E., and William L. Duncan, widow Narcisa (MAD: 1850 Limestone Co. TX census, 1860 Tulare Co. CA census, 1870 Los Angeles Co. CA census) all applied for pensions in California for service in the Mexican War.

"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, Alvin Leslie, Los Angeles Co.
      Duncan, Arthur G., Los Angeles
      Duncan, Arthur R., Los Angeles
      Duncan, Aubrey Donald, San Francisco
      Duncan, Austin R., Riverside Co.
      Duncan, Aylmer D., San Francisco
      Duncan, Ben Alfonso, San Francisco
      Duncan, Benjamin H., Orange Co.
      Duncan, Carl Dudley, Fresno
      Duncan, Carl Henry, Eureka (Humboldt Co.)
      Duncan, Charles, Los Angeles
      Duncan, Charles Curtis, Oakland (Alameda Co.)
      Duncan, Charles Curtis, Sacramento
      Duncan, Charles Earl, Sonoma Co.
      Duncan, Charles D., Stanislaus Co.
      Duncan, Charles E., Los Angeles
      Duncan, Charles H., Coffee (?? Trinity ?? Co.)
      Duncan, Charles Lloyd, Stanislaus
      Duncan, Charles Stafford, Berkeley (Alameda Co.)
      Duncan, Clarence L., San Pedro (Los Angeles Co.)
      Duncan, Claude J., Los Angeles
      Duncan, Clement, Los Angeles
      Duncan, Cleveland Edward, Oakland (Alameda Co.)
      Duncan, Daniel M., Alameda Co.
      Duncan, David Jr., San Diego
      Duncan, David G., Alameda Co.
      Duncan, Doliver W., Los Angeles
      Duncan, Donald J., Marin Co.
      Duncan, Donald Louis, San Diego
      Duncan, Douglas, Riverside
      Duncan, Edgar D., ----
      Duncan, Edgar F., Stanislaus Co.
      Duncan, Elbert, Orange Co.
      Duncan, Elder Roblin, San Francisco
      Duncan, Elmer, Los Angeles
      Duncan, Elijah P., San Francisco
      Duncan, Fillmore H., Mendocino Co.
      Duncan, Flora, Orange Co.
      Duncan, Elora C., Fullerton (Orange Co.)
      Duncan, Ernest E., Peanut (Trinity Co.)
      Duncan, Ernest F., San Francisco
      Duncan, Frank T., Stanislaus Co.
      Duncan, Frank Warren, San Francisco
      Duncan, Frederick Marsh, San Diego Co.
      Duncan, Gaston W., Los Angeles
      Duncan, George A., San Francisco
      Duncan, George Herbert, Oakland (Alameda Co.)
      Duncan, George Washington, San Francisco
      Duncan, George William, El Segundo (Los Angeles Co.)
      Duncan, George W. Jr., San Francisco
      Duncan, Gilbert Glenn, Riverside
      Duncan, Gilmore Adelbert, Campbell (Santa Clara Co.)
      Duncan, Grove L., Elk Grove (Sacramento Co.)
      Duncan, Harry, Orange Co.
      Duncan, Harry Chester, Geyserville (Sonoma Co.)
      Duncan, Harry D., Fresno
      Duncan, Harry G., Taft (Kern Co.)
      Duncan, Harry Keith, Los Angeles
      Duncan, Harry R., Stockton (San Joaquin Co.)
      Duncan, Henry C., Contra Costa Co.
      Duncan, Henry M.S., Lake Co.
      Duncan, Henry Newton, Orange Co.
      Duncan, Hiram Burton, San Francisco
      Duncan, James Colman, Los Angeles
      Duncan, James Lawrence, Covelo (Mendocino Co.)
      Duncan, James Raymond, Sonoma Co.
      Duncan, Jess G., Los Angeles
      Duncan, John, Fresno Co.
      Duncan, John, Los Angeles
      Duncan, John, San Francisco
      Duncan, John Albert, Kern Co.
      Duncan, John Irving, Los Angeles
      Duncan, John L., Los Angeles
      Duncan, John R., Holt (? Holtville, Imperial Co.)
      Duncan, John T., Los Angeles
      Duncan, John Thearon, Sacramento
      Duncan, Lawrence A., Los Angeles
      Duncan, Leland L., Los Angeles Co.
      Duncan, Marion L., Los Angeles
      Duncan, Nathaniel Earl, Fresno Co.
      Duncan, Neil Emerson, Tehama Co.
      Duncan, Orvil D., Fairoaks (Sacramento Co.)
      Duncan, Orvil Dean, San Joaquin Co.
      Duncan, Paul Angush, Redding (Shasta Co.)
      Duncan, Perry R., Los Angeles
      Duncan, Ralph A., Los Angeles
      Duncan, Ralph Ray, San Francisco
      Duncan, Ray C., Sacramento
      Duncan, Robert, Los Angeles
      Duncan, Robert A., San Francisco
      Duncan, Robert N., Los Angeles
      Duncan, Robert S., San Francisco
      Duncan, Ross H., Tulare Co.
      Duncan, Ross H., Los Angeles
      Duncan, Roy E., Los Angeles
      Duncan, Rush F., San Diego Co.
      Duncan, Samuel H., Kern Co.
      Duncan, Samuel H., Sacramento
      Duncan, Stanley W., Ventura Co.
      Duncan, T. Frank, Stanislaus Co.
      Duncan, Taylor E., Hollywood (Los Angeles Co.)
      Duncan, Terrell L., Mendocino Co.
      Duncan, Theodore, Dixieland (?? Co.)
      Duncan, Theodore, Los Angeles
      Duncan, Thomas G., Covelo (Mendocino Co.)
      Duncan, Verne Ray, San Francisco
      Duncan, Walter S., Los Angeles
      Duncan, Wade Adkins, Kern Co.
      Duncan, Wayde Adkins, Coalinga (Fresno Co.)
      Duncan, Will F., Los Angeles
      Duncan, William, Contra Costa Co.
      Duncan, William Alexander, Vallejo (Solano Co.)
      Duncan, William B., Fresno
      Duncan, William Burnett, San Pedro (Los Angeles Co.)
      Duncan, William G., San Francisco
      Duncan, William O., Van Nuys (Los Angeles Co.)
      Duncan, William Oscar, Alameda Co.
      Duncan, William R., Alameda
      Duncan, William T., San Francisco
      Duncan, William Tilden, San Francisco
      Duncan, William P., San Francisco
      Duncan, William W., Byron (Contra Costa Co.)
      Duncombe, Lorme F., Moorpark (Ventura Co.)
      Dunkum, William Edward, San Joaquin Co.


Clarke Co. AL Probate Records, Vol.N, 1867-1870 (FHL film 1,290,247)
      Pg.255-6: BENJAMIN DUNCAN, decd, estate of. Petition 22 Oct. 1867 by Mary Duncan (/s/ Mary Duncan by Willis Duncan), that Benjamin Duncan died about 22 Sept. 1867 in Clarke Co. leaving a will, witnessed by Peter Grin? who lives in the county, T.J. Lee who since moved to LA and reported now dead, and James W. Noble who has since died, in which petitioner is named executrix and Thomas J. Nichols executor, request for probate; petitioner is widow of decd and lives in the county, and the next of kin are his children Benjamin A. Duncan, Willis F. Duncan, Mary J. Walker wife of William W. Walker, George W. Duncan, all over 21 and live in this county, Sarah E. Johnson who mar. Alfred Johnson who is now dead who resides in Mobile and is over 21, Jeremiah H. Duncan who lived in CA and is supposed to be dead, the children of Frances M. Daffin decd. who was a dau. of the testator, namely Edmond J. Daffin over 21 living in Pickens Co. AL, Benjamin Daffin, Caladonia Daffin and Jackson Daffin, minors over age 14 who live in this county, Tinfeatrick? (Patrick?) Daffin a minor under age 14 who resides with Jackson Daffin in this county, and Jefferson Daffin under age 14 who resides with petitioner, all of sound mind except said George W. Duncan; request for probate.

HISTORIES before 1923

1885 "History of McDonough County, Illinois : together with sketches of the towns, villages and townships, educational, civil, military and political history, portraits of prominent individuals, and biographies of the representative citizens" by Continental Historical Co. (FHL book 977.342 H2h and film 1,000,503 item 2)
      Pg.89: Enoch Cyrus also settled in the same locality, at the same time. He farmed sometimes and taught school, being the first teacher in the township now known as Blandinsville. After a few years he sold out and went to Missouri and from there to California, when he died.
      Pg.420 J.M. Duncan, physician in Blandinsville, was born in this county ... His parents were John and Margaret (Wright) Duncan. The former died March 4, 1873, in this county, and was buried in "Old Liberty" cemetery. The latter died in 1856 and was buried in the same place. The father of J.M., John Duncan, was one of the pioneers of the county, having emigrated from White Co. TN, in 1832, and settled in Blandinsville township, and followed farming until the day of his death. The family consisted of eleven children ... Charles, born February 5, 1832; ... Charles died in the mines of California, May 27, 1853 ...
      Pg.860: Blandinsville Township: The spring of 1830 also brought Enoch Cyrus to the township, who came from his native state, Tennessee. He was a man of considerable education, and taught the first term of school in the township. After a few years he sold out and removed to Missouri. He afterward went to California, where his death occurred. Philip George now resides on the place.

1920 "History of Clay Co. MO" by W.H. Woodson, pub. by Historical Publ. Co. (FHL book 977.8 H2w and film 1,000,286 Item 3)
      Pg.702-3: WILLIAM DUNCAN, a successful farmer and stockman of Platte township and a veteran of the Civil War, is a native of Clay County. He was born in Platte township, November 2, 1841, a son of Jehohida and Eliza (Crow) Duncan. Jehohida Duncan was born in Bourbon Co. KY, and came to Missouri with his parents at a very early day. He was a son of James Duncan who settled in Clay County and entered 3,000 acres of government land here. Jehoida Duncan remained in this country until the discovery of gold in California, and in 1849 he crossed the plains to the Pacific coast. He died in California in 1857. Eliza (Crow) Duncan was born in Jasamine (sic) Co. KY, and was married to Mr. Duncan in Missouri. She died in 1910. (MAD: See Clay Co. MO file)

1897 "Annals of Platte County, Missouri : from its exploration down to June 1, 1897, with genealogies of its noted families and sketches of its pioneers and distinguished people" by W.M. Paxton, pub. by Hudson-Kimberly Publ. Co. (FHL book 977.8135 H2p and FHL film 1,321,018 item 2 and 1,000,300 item 2; also from index cards of Kit Smith 8/1983)
      Pg.650-1: 1878, Jan.: Jan. 5 -- James Duncan dies four miles southeast of Platte City. THE DUNCAN FAMILY. James Duncan was the progenitor of the Duncans of Platte and Clay. He was a native of Virginia, and removed to Bourbon County, Ky. He came to Clay in 1826, and settled near Smithville. He had five sons: 1, Stephen; 2, Alex. B.; 3, William; 4, Matthew; 5, Joseph. Of these, only Matthew and Joseph interest us. ....
      II. JOSEPH DUNCAN Was the other son of James Duncan (i) I desire to notice. He married Polly Ann Brooks of Clark County, Ky. Ch:
            1. JAMES DUNCAN, was b. in Montgomery County, Ky., Nov. 15, 1816; m'd March 4, 1850, in Andrew County, Sarah Tracy. In 1851 he went to California overland, and returned in April, 1853; in 1865 he purchased a farm five miles east of Platte City, and here he died Jan. 15, 1878. Mrs. Duncan was b. July 29, 1823; d. Aug. 29, 1891. They were excellent people.


Name Index in California Room, CA State Library, Sacramento; did not copy newspaper obits ca 1950-1970 nor some newspaper references. Books could not be photocopied because they were old, but most are available on microfilm and then through interlibrary loan. Newspapers are also on microfilm.
      DUNCAN, ALEXANDER - death. "Call" May 26, 1890, pg. 8, col. 6.
      DUNCAN, CHRISTINA - filed in Pioneer Card File (also other female Duncans, not copied) Pioneer Card File not looked at - individual items must be obtained through librarian.

"Personal Name Index to the 1856 City Directories of CA" by Nathan C. Parker, 1980 (Placerville, CA, Library 3/1983; also FHL book 979.4 E42p)
      This book included a reference to C.H. Duncan from Ohio, listed on page 13 in the Miners & Business Mens Directory, Columbia Dist. - Tuolumne, part of Calaveras, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Co.

"California Pioneer Register and Index, 1542-1848, incl. Inhabitants of CA 1769-1800 and List of Pioneers, extracted from the History of CA" by Hubert Howe Bancroft (FHL fiche 6,051,337) (Index to Bancroft's Histories by volume & page, or other source)
      Pg.125-126: DUNCAN
            --, 1815, on the "Columbia", not permitted to remain in Cal. - ii.273.
            --, 1845, immig. from Or. in the McMahon-Clyman party, prob. went back in '46. - iv.572, 526.
            Alex, 1843, mr. of the "Vancouver" - iv.569; perhaps of the "Columbia" '47 - v.577.
            James M., 1846, passed mid. on the "Congress"; Acting Capt. of Co. F, Stockton's Bat. '46-7, and in Gillespie's party meeting Kearny - v.340, 385.
            Robert, 1846, Scotchman from New Zealand with his wife and 4 children; lived at S.F. where he owned a lot in '47; in the mines '48-9; settled in Sta. Clara Co., where he died '57. - Portrait in "Hesperian" Nov. '59.
            Thomas, 1839, Scotch mr. of the "Juan Jose" '39-44; naturalized in '44; at Mont. '45. - iv.104, 119, 566.
            Thos., 1846(?), Kentuckian; at Sac. '48-9; at Emigrant Gap, Nev. '82. "Reno Gazette."
      Pg.126: DUNCOMB
            C., 1848, nat. of Conn; doctor & farmer; in legisl. '63 from Sac., age 70. (MAD: no source?)
            John, 1846, owner of S.F. lot. - v.684.
      (no DUNKIN, etc.)

The Oregon-California Trails Association has an index to documents held by the association referring to Duncans who came to California and Oregon 1850-1854.

"California Wagon Train Lists, Vol.1, April 5, 1849 to Oct. 20, 1852" by Louis J. Rasmussen, 1994 (Placerville FHC)
      The books in this series should be consulted for emigrants to California.


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