Duncans in Rapides Par. LA


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

Last revised December 16, 2007

Formed 1807, Original Parish
St. Landry formed 1807 from Avoyelles, Rapides
Winn formed 1851 from Natchitoches, Catahoula, Rapides
Grant formed 1869 from Rapides, Winn
Vernon formed 1871 from Natchitoches, Rapides, Sabine


1830 Rapides Par. LA Census
Pg.94  Thomas B. Duncan      0212,001  -  0000,01

1840-1850 Rapides Par. LA Census
      No Duncan indexed

1860 Rapides Par. LA Census
P.O. Alexandria
Pg.14, #105-106, Eli M. CALCOTT 28 MS merchant $0-$500
                  Adeline 21 MS
                  Joseph R. 2 MS
                  Susan ELLIOTT 22 LA
                  J.F. TAYLOR (m) 24 NC school teacher
                  Perry DUNCAN 30 TN clerk
                  James GOYENE 22 MS carpenter
                  A.J. BROOMFIELD (m) 45 MD blacksmith
Pg.167, #1222-1214, Griffin NUGENT 22 LA farmer $0-$200
                  Mary A. 23 LA
                  Amanda C. 3/12 LA
                  William DUNCAN 5 LA
Pg.186, #1322-1314, John W. DUNCAN 21 MS farm laborer $0-$260
                  Harriett 21 AL (not mar. in year)
Pg.250, #1805-1795, N. JONES (m) 32 MS farmer $0-$0
                  Nancy 22 TN
                  Henry H. 7, Dennison E. (m) 6, Eliza 1 LA
                  Geo. LIGHT 30 MS farm laborer
                  Z. DUNCAN (m) 28 MS (blank)
                  J. PATTERSON (m) 30 LA Gent. $0-$0
                  H. HUBBARD (m) 28 MS Gent.
                  Clem B. YEAGER (m) 32 IN sawyer $600-$300

1870 Rapides Par. LA Census
Cheneyville Ward
Pg. 71, #875-983, DUNCAN, Samuel 28 VA BLACK farm laborer $0-$0
                  HILL, Thomas 27 VA BLACK farm laborer
                  TAYLOR, Lizzie (f) 28 VA BLACK farm laborer
                  Thomas 6/12 LA BLACK b.Nov.69
Bayou Rapides Ward
Pg.118, #1577-1720, DUNCAN, George 45 VA BLACK farm laborer $0-$150
                  Harietta (f) 30 LA BLACK keeping house
                  Charlotte 9, John T. 6 LA BLACK
                  Thomas 4, Grant (m) 2 LA BLACK
                  Nancy 1/12 LA BLACK b.May
Pineville Ward
Pg.174, #278-290, WOOD, John 55 MD MULATTO farm laborer $0-$0
                  Cinthia 40 MS MULATTO farm laborer
                  DUNCAN, Daniel 30 AL MULATTO farm laborer


"Reports of cases argued and determined in the Supreme Court of Louisiana" by Merritt M. Robinson, October 1841 to March 1842 (Vol.1); spine title "Louisiana : Robinson's Reports" Vol.20; pgs.159 to 163 (California State Law Library 12/2003)
      JOSEPH GILLARD and others, Heirs, &c., v. SAMUEL GLENN, and others; Supreme Court of Louisiana, Western District, Alexandria; 1 Rob. 159; October, 1841, Decided.
      THIS action was instituted by the heirs of Joseph Gillard, and the heirs of Mary Magdelaine La Cour, and Nicholas La Cour, against Samuel Glenn, Sarah Duncan, and James McWilliams, before the District Court of Rapides, the 19th of October, 1839. A judgment was entered, by consent, against McWilliams; and the jury having found for the defendants, Glenn and Duncan, judgment was rendered by Wilson, J., quieting them in their possession.
      (opinion) GARLAND, J. The plaintiffs allege, that for more than a year they had, in common, enjoyed, and held peaceable and uninterrupted possession of a tract of land of twenty arpens front, by the ordinary depth, on Red River, and also the upper part of a league square of land on the same stream, when the defendants entered upon the same, and forcibly and clandestinely took possession of small parcels thereof, within a year, and continue to hold possession, thereby disturbing them in the use and enjoyment of their property, to their great damage. They therefore pray that the defendants be condemned to surrender the possession of all the land they hold or have taken actual possession of, within the year preceding the institution of this suit.
      To this petition, Glenn answered, that he and those under whom he claims had been in quiet and peaceable possession of the premises for more than twenty years; that Isaac Thomas was his vendor, and bound to warrant him in his possession; he prays that Thomas be cited, and that he have judgment against the plaintiffs; but should they succeed against him, he asks for judgment against Thomas. He also denies the plaintiffs' allegations generally.
      The defendant, Duncan, denies the allegations of the plaintiffs; avers that she had been in actual possession and residing on the place more than one year previous to the institution of the suit; says she is the tenant of Isaac Thomas, and calls upon him to defend her in her possession, and prays for judgment against the plaintiffs. No answer was filed by McWilliams, and subsequently a judgment by consent was rendered against him, without costs.
      The plaintiffs excepted to the answers of Glenn and Duncan, calling Thomas in warranty, which exception being sustained, Thomas immediately appeared, and prayed to intervene in the suit, alleging that he was the vendor of Glenn, and the lessor of Duncan; that they were in possession under him, and that he was bound to defend them. He further says that he has a valid title to the land sold to and claimed of Glenn, and also to that claimed of defendant, Duncan; he therefore prays to be permitted to appear and defend the cause in their stead. He then proceeds to deny generally, the demand of the plaintiffs, and says that he and his vendee, and tenant for him, have for more than one year been in quiet and uninterrupted possession of the land claimed, and for a longer period, in good faith; wherefore he says, neither he nor his vendee, nor tenant can be legally disturbed in their possession; he therefore prays for a judgment in his favor. Subsequently, he filed an amended answer, in which the prescription of one year is specially pleaded to the plaintiffs' demand.
      The parties went to trial on these pleadings. The plaintiffs showed that they were in actual possession, and that they lived on, and cultivated the front part of the lands claimed by them; which they show are held under the same titles set up by them in the case of Maes v. Gillard's heirs, which was decided by this court and reported in 7 Martin N.S. 314. They claim in conformity to the judgment rendered in that case, and exhibit it, and their titles, to show the character and extent of their possession. It does not appear that any actual survey, according to the judgment of this court, was made by the plaintiffs, previous to the defendants taking possession of the land claimed, or for some five or six months afterwards, when the interference was distinctly shown; and it is not pretended that the plaintiffs had any other possession of the places in dispute, than that of being the owners of a large tract which included them, the boundaries of which were not at the time specifically fixed.
      On the part of the defendants, it is established by the evidence of several witnesses, stating what they had seen, and by other circumstances, which go to fix the period, that Isaac Thomas claiming to be the owner of a tract of forty arpens front on each side of the Bayou Taureau, by the ordinary depth; about the 8th of September in the year 1828, went to the place with a United States surveyor, acting, as is stated, under the authority of the surveyor general of the United States, and proceeded to mark the lines, establish the corners, and locate the claim. Glenn, one of the defendants, was present, and Thomas having sold him four hundred arpens of the land, put him in possession of that quantity on the lower line, by marking it off to him. Glenn, early in October went on the place again, with negroes, and began to improve it by building cabins and clearing land. He shortly after removed his family to the place, and it is shown, that in 1829, he had twenty five or thirty acres in cultivation near the lower corner on the back line. His possession was open and notorious, and he remained in possession for a long time subsequent to the commencement of this action.
      As to Sarah Duncan, the other defendant, it is in evidence that her son was with Thomas and the United States surveyor, when the survey was made in September, 1828, and that on that day, when the corner on the upper line was established, he, Thomas, put the young man in possession for his mother, at an old Indian clearing. The next day he began to prepare the materials to build a cabin, and in two weeks after the family was residing in it, and in 1829, had some six or eight acres enclosed, and in cultivation; and he continued so to reside and cultivate, until after the institution of this suit. One Pamphlin also leased another portion of the land from Thomas, lying on each side of the Bayou Taureau, but as she is no party to this suit, it is not necessary to notice the fact, further, than as it proves an intention to take possession of all the land within the limits marked out by the surveyor.
      It is further to be remarked, that when Thomas made this survey, and took possession as stated, the case of Maes v. Gillard's heirs, was still pending in the supreme court, with a judgment of the district court against the defendants, now plaintiffs, both on the questions of title and possession, which case was not decided in favor of the present plaintiffs until about a month or six weeks afterwards. The boundaries of the plaintiffs were therefore unsettled, and the decision of the case with Maes changed them materially.
      There was a verdict and judgment for the defendants, from which the plaintiffs have appealed.
      We have given a large share of our attention to this case, and after mature reflection we are of opinion that the plea of prescription must prevail.
      In the first place, it is necessary to attend to the prayer of the plaintiffs' petition. It is, that they recover possession of all the land which the defendants have taken actual possession of, within the year preceding the institution of this suit. This looks like an indirect admission that some had been taken possession of more than one year previously, and at most it only asks for what was in actual possession, which quantity has not been shown. The plaintiffs have not therefore made their demand certain as to the quantity taken possession of within the year, nor does it appear they were in possession by any definite boundaries for more than one year previous to the institution of their suit. When a party alleges possession of a large tract of land, and shows actual possession of a part only, as evidence of his right to the possession of the whole, he must show specific and fixed limits and boundaries, otherwise an actual possession of ten acres might be made to extend to one hundred, or one hundred thousand, as it suited the interest of the party. Actual possession of a part, with title to the whole, is no doubt possession of the whole, but there must be some fixed limits to the whole tract claimed.
      In September, 1828, it is certain that the plaintiffs were not in possession by any ascertained boundaries or particular limits. Their suit with Maes was still pending, and according to the pleadings in that case, he was in possession and suing for a disturbance and slander of title.
      From the evidence before us, we cannot doubt that Thomas made his survey in the month of September, 1828, and at that time put Glenn and Duncan in possession of the places they afterwards occupied; and that they took actual possession more than one year previous to the 19th of October, 1829, when the petition in this action was filed. The testimony of Meade, McWilliams, Blundel, Kilpatrick, and the notice in the Alexandria newspaper, show it conclusively.
      The counsel for the plaintiffs, who argued this cause with much force and ingenuity, insisted strongly that the plaintiffs had also a civil possession, which conflicted with the possession of defendants, and that no prescription could run. In reply to this, we must refer to what has been previously said, as to the uncertain extent of plaintiffs' possession, if they ever had any, previous to their judgment against Maes; and further say, that the gist of the plaintiffs demand is that they have been disturbed in their possession, or actually put out of it. The question then is, when did this ouster or disturbance take place? We have no doubt it commenced more than one year previous to the commencement of this suit.
      Judgment affirmed.


"Records of LA Confederate Soldiers and LA Confederate Commands" by Andrew B. Booth, 1920, Vol.2, B-G (FHL film 1,305,384 and 1,685,400; also from Evelyn Sigler 3/1985, and pgs.712-714 from Florence Dyess 1987 & 1990)
      Duncan, James, Pvt. Co. C, 27th LA Inf. Enlisted March 23 1862, Rapides Par., LA. Present on Roll for May and June, 1862. Roll for July 1 to Nov. 1, 1862. Died at Vicksburg, MS, Oct. 27, 1862.
      Duncan, James M. (also Duncan, James N. and Dunkin, James), Pvt. Co. E, 16th LA Inf. Enlisted May 2, 1862, Alexandria [Rapides Par.], LA. Present on all Rolls to Oct. 1863. Roll Jan. and Feb. 1864, Absent, prisoner of war, since Nov. 25, 1863. Federal Rolls state captured Missionary Ridge, Nov. 25, 1863. Recd. at Military Prison, Louisville, KY, Dec. 8, 1863. Forwd. to Rock Island, IL. Died March 29, 1864, at Rock Island Barracks, IL, of smallpox.
      Duncan, W.L., Pvt. Co. B, 6th LA Inf. Roll for May and June 1862 (only Foll on file). Enlisted Sept. 29, 1861, Camp Moore, LA. Roll states Present.
      (MAD: pension application 12/9/1926, not approved, of William Lewis (Louis) Duncan stated he was born 4/15/1842 Marion Co. MS, enlisted 9/29/1861 at Camp Moore, discharged after battle of Shiloh, reenlisted 1863, parolled at Franklinton, Washington Par. LA. Second pension appl. 3/1931 stated he enlisted at Franklinton, Washington Par. LA, in 1861, born 4/25/1844 Marion Co. MS. Lived Rapides Par. LA 1886 to death. Letter in file from his granddaughter stated he was born April 25, 1843, d. April 10, 1933. Pension applications abstracted and published on pg.140, "LA Genealogy Register" Vol.26, 1979) (MAD: See ? 1850 Franklin Par. LA census or 1850-1860 Washington Par. LA census)
      Duncan, William, Pvt. Co. I, 9th LA Inf. Enlisted July 7, 1861, Camp Moore, LA. Record copied from Memorial Hall, New Orleans, LA, by the War Dept., Washington D.C., May 1903. Born Mississippi, occupation farmer, age when enlisted 18, single, Res. Franklinton [Washington Par.], LA. Discharged ----, 1861, for sickness.
      (MAD: ?? One William L. Duncan mar. Elizabeth Thomas, lived Pike Co. MS 12/7/1866 at birth of their son James W. Duncan; William L. Duncan was a native of Washington Par. LA, moved to Rapides Par. LA in 1886, died spring of 1939 age 92. Biography about his son James W. Duncan was pub. in Vol.2, pg.1339, "Historical Encyclopedia of LA" by Ellis Arthur Davis, ca 1938; FHL fiche 6,051,333 and book 976.3 D3d)

HISTORIES before 1923

1890 "Biographical and historical memoirs of northwest Louisiana : comprising a large fund of biography of actual residents, and an interesting historical sketch of thirteen counties." pub. Nashville : Southern Pub. Co. (Chicago : Press of J. Morris Co.) (IN State Library fiche LH12073; from C.T. Duncan 12/2007)
      Pg.565-568: Rapides Parish. Ven. Herman Cope Duncan, Alexandria, La., is descended from a long line of illustrious Scotch ancestry, his paternal great grandsire being a leading promoter of the scheme to place Charles Edward, the last of the Stuarts, on the united throne of England and Scotland, and because of his prominence, after the disastrous battle of Culloden, he was banished and his estates confiscated. Upon reaching America he settled in Massachusetts, and while there took part in the "Boston Tea Party." Subsequently he removed to Central Pennsylvania, and afterward to Washington, Mason County, Ky., several of his sons becoming distinguished in the Black Hawk War. His son, David Duncan, at one time resided near New Madrid, Missouri Territory, and here Greer Brown Duncan, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born, his birthplace being afterward annexed to the State of Kentucky by the violent earthquake of 1811, which changed the course of the Mississippi River. Greer Brown Duncan was educated in Augusta College, Kentucky, and upon completing his course he studied law with Judge A. Kinney, of Terre Haute, Ind., and was admitted to the bar of that place in December, 1830. Subsequently he removed to New Orleans, and, owing to his fine mental qualities, he obtained a high rank in the social and political circles of that place. ... Mr. Duncan was a prominent member of the vestry of Christ Church of New Orleans, a prominent organizer of the diocesan councils, and a representative of the diocese in the general (national) convention. On October 1, 1845, he was married to Mary Jane, daughter of Herman Cope, of Baltimore, who was for many years treasurer of the general (national) convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Their only child is the subject of this sketch, who was born August 12, 1846. He was left an orphan at an early age, his mother dying January 9, 1856, and his father June 25, 1858. He was prepared for college at the Episcopal Academy of Philadelphia, Penn., and graduated with honors in the University of Pennsylvania in 1867. Having given up the profession of law ... latter part of 1867, entering the Philadelphia Divinity School in September of that year. ... He was ordained deacon by the Bishop of Louisiana, J.P.B. Wilmer, D.D., in the Church of the Transfiguration, New York City, October 25, 1868, and the same year was placed in charge of the Emmanuel Church, New Orleans, (MAD: more on his church and diocesan positions, not copied here) ... Rev. Herman C. Duncan ... In 1877 he resigned the charge of Calvary Church, and entered upon a missionary life in the Florida Parishes of Louisiana, spending twenty months in this work, ... In November, 1875, he removed to Illinois ... for nine months, when he returned to New Orleans ... Kansas City ... 1876, 1877, 1878, resigned 1880, to Alexandria, La., April 17, 1880. ... In 1888, after about twenty years' work in collation, he published the history of the diocese of Louisiana. ... He was married January 9, 1883, to Miss Maria Elizabeth Cooke, in St.John's Church, Washington, La., and the issue of their marriage has been two children, a daughter (who died at birth, in 1884), and Greer Assheton (who was born March 31, 1887). Mrs. Duncan is the daughter of the late Thomas Alfred Cooke, M.D., and of Frances Pannill. Dr. Cooke was a son of Thomas and Catherine Byrd (Didlake) Cooke, of Gloucester County, Va., and Mrs. Cooke was a daughter of David and Frances Assheton (Wikoff) Pannill, the latter being the grand-daughter of Ralph Assheton, a provincial councillor of Pennsylvania; and the first lawyer to settle in that province. ... (MAD: more on the ancestry of Frances Assheton Wikoff, not copied here) ....


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