Duncans in Erie Co. PA Histories


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

Last revised January 29, 2011

HISTORIES before 1923

"A twentieth century history of Erie County, Pennsylvania : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people and its principal interests" by John Miller; pub. Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1909, 1709 pgs. (LH9785, 1709 pgs; LH8626, 1710 pgs., HeritageQuest images 6/2007; FHL book 974.899 D3m v.1&2 and film 1,425,646 item 1)
      Vol.1, pg.91: To North East [township] came [after 1797) ... James Duncan, ...
      Vol.1, pg.519: North East ... other early industries were Grimshaw's woolen mill, built by Archibald Duncan in 1845, and burned during the eighties, ...
      Vol.1, pg.743: It was on March 23, 1892, that the original charter to the Erie County Light Company was issued and the names that appear on the charter are R.D. McGonnigle of Allegheny City, S.A. Duncan of Pittsburg, W.B. Rodgers of Allegheny, D.W. Nason, W.E. Hayes, Joseph Henderson and David A. Sadey of Erie. ...
      Vol.2, pg.508: Clark C. Rice (born Union Township, Erie Co. PA, December 24, 1871) was formerly the efficient editor of the Union City "Evening Enterprise", first issue published in 1906 on the 24th of May; the first editor was H.W. Palmer, and he was succeeded by Morris Duncan, former editor of the Wattsburg "Sentinel," which was later absorbed by the Enterprise. Mr. Duncan was succeeded in turn by F.W. Dillon, and he by its present editor ...
      Vol.2, pg.628-629: George A. Hampson, of North East, ... The paternal grandfather, Robert Hampson, was a soldier of the war of 1812, and a substantial farmer citizen and one of the founders of the First Presbyterian church at North East. Samuel, a brother of Robert, was the first resident of North East, locating there in 1795 until he moved to Salem, Ohio, in 1815. Robert Hampson married Miss Sarah Fee, and her father, Colonel John Fee, commanded a patriot regiment in the same conflict [Revolutionary war]. James Hampson, a son of the couple named and father of George A., was born in North East township August 30, 1805, and in his early life served as a captain of a boat on the Erie canal, ...James Hampson was first married, in 1832, to Miss Charlotte Brecht, of Fairview, Pennsylvania, who died in 1842, mother of four children, of whom Elias V. Hampson of Montana is the sole survivor. In 1846 he married Miss Matilda Porter, of North East township, who was a native of Belfast, Ireland, born in May, 1818. When she was two years of age her parents brought her to the farm ... two miles east of the borough of North East. There the father, Robert Porter, spent the remainder of his life, dying in 1846 at the age of 75 years, and his wife, Sallie Duncan, died in March, 1865. ...

"History of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a history of the county, its townships, towns, villages, schools, churches, industries, etc., portraits of early settlers and prominent men, biographies, history of Pennsylvania, statistical and miscellaneous matter, etc., etc." by Samuel P. Bates; pub. Chicago: Warner, Beers & Co., 1884, 1245 pgs. (LH10121, HeritageQuest images 6/2007; FHL book 974.899 H2h)
      Pg.315: War of 1812 ... The members of Capt. Thomas Forster's company of "Erie Light Infantry," who spent the winter of 1812 at Buffalo, were as follows: ... Privates - Jonas Duncan, ... William Duncan, ...
      Pg.359: 1839, The county tickets, with the vote for each candidate, were as follows: ... Democratic - Commissioner, three years, James Duncan, North East, 1,420. ...
      Pg.383: 1862, ... The following were the county tickets, with the vote for each candidate: Republican: Director of the Poor, Archibald Duncan, North East, 6,819. ...
      Pg.411: Presidential Electors for the Congressional District to which Erie County has been attached since 1816: 1828, James Duncan, Mercer County.
      Pg.424: Directors of the Poor. 1862 to 1865 - Archibald Duncan, North East.
      Pg.511: City of Erie. ... The settlement and building up of Erie ... in 1799 by Jonas Duncan and John Teel. Jonas Duncan was among the very first carpenters and joiners who came to Erie; he arrived in 1799, and brought his apprentice, John Teel, with him, who proved a fixture, and for over half a century, the leading carpenter and joiner of that place; he died a few years since, respected and esteemed. ... From that year until 1815 the following are believed to have become residents of the place ... James Duncan (& many more names)
      Pg.512: In 1812, the hotels were one on the corner of Third and French, kept by Thomas Rees, Jr.; one on the corner of Fifth and French, by James Duncan, known as the Globe Hotel, which he was still running in 1826; the old stone on the corner of ...
      Pg.726: North East (town) ... Grimshaw's woolen factory - built by Archibald Duncan in 1845 and burned in the spring of 1883 - and ...
      Part VI, Township Biographies. Appendix Pg.39: Fairview Township. WILLIAM DUNCAN, farmer, P.O. Swanville, was born in Mill Creek Township, April 29, 1829, son of Andrew Duncan, born January, 1797, and Agnes (Daniel) Duncan, born in 1797, both natives of County Derry, Ireland. Of their ten children, William, Eliza, Martha, May, Jane and Francis are now living. Andrew was a son of James Duncan, a native of Scotland. He came to America in the spring of 1822, and in 1825 purchased twenty-five acres of wild land, settled in Mill Creek Township. He was an industrious and substantial pioneer, owning at one time 264 acres of excellent farm land. He served as School Trustee of Mill Creek. He died October 19, 1877, his wife having preceded him in 1875. William Duncan married, October 19, 1854, Margaret Patton, born June 6, 1829, daughter of Thomas and Isabel (McBenley) Patton, all natives of County Armagh, Ireland. Three children were born to this union - Letitia, Andrew (deceased), and William. Mr. Duncan is an excellent farmer, using expensive fertilizers, and generally producing good crops. He is a member of the United Presbyterian Church. In politics he is a Republican.

"The centennial commemoration of the founding of the First Presbyterian Church of North East, Pennsylvania, July 17th, 18th, and 19th, 1901" (Erie Co.) by J.T. Oxtoby, T.H. Robinson, A.H. Carrier; pub. Erie, Pa.: Herald Print. & Pub. Co., 1901, 282 pgs. (LH9816, HeritageQuest images 6/2007 & 7/2007)
      Pg.10: Former Elders ... 1827, James Duncan.
      Pg.70: Of the members on the roll of 1825, I believe the following are the only survivors: ... William Duncan, ... February 2d, 1827, the session received its first accession, for on that day James Duncan and Wm. Dickson were ordained and installed elders ...
      Pg.183: James Duncan was a Scotch-Irishman born in the north of Ireland, and came to this county in the earliest years of the nineteenth century. He and William Dickson were ordained Ruling Elders in the North East Church on Feb. 2d, 1827, in the presence of a great congregation. I recall him as ... Mr. Duncan resigned his Eldership in the church August 30, 1843, after a service of sixteen years, but remained in the membership of the church until his death, August 9, 1861.
      Pg.264, 265: Former Members of the First Presbyterian Church of North East, PA; Name, Received How, Year ... Duncan, James; Duncan, Mrs. Nancy; Duncan, William; Duncan, Hugh; Duncan, Betsey ... Duncan, Robert, P 1834; Duncan, Archibald, P 1834; Duncan, Nancy, P 1834; Duncan, Alexander P 1834; Duncan, John, P 1834; Duncan, Peggy Jane, (Porter), P 1832; ...

1897 "Biographical Review; containing life sketches of leading citizens of Pittsburg [Allegheny Co. PA and the vicinity, Pennsylvania." [Vol.24] pub. Boston : Biographical review publishing co., 1897. (University of Pittsburgh's Digital Research Library, Historic Pittsburgh Full-Text Collection image 3/2007; FHL film 928,256 item 1)
      Pg.69-70: JOHN DUNLAP, born North of Ireland in 1818, he came of Scotch ancestry. In 1826 he was brought by his widowed mother to Paterson, N.J. ... to Pittsburg in 1837 ... On August 15, 1850, Mr. Dunlap was united in marriage with Miss Mary Duncan, daughter of Hugh and Rachel (Glass) Duncan. Mr. Duncan, who was born in this country of Scotch-Irish parentage, died in 1870, aged seventy years. His wife, who still survives, possesses all her mental faculties at the age of almost eighty-nine years. Mrs. Dunlap, who resides in the house built by her husband, was born at Poland [MAD: Mahoning Co. OH], the former home of President McKinley. Her brother married a sister of the President. She has five children living, namely: Emma D., who is now Mrs. N.P. Reed; Ella, who is the wife of James B. Stevenson; William A. and John H., who are continuing the business begun by their father; and Anna, who resides with her mother. Mrs. Dunlap is a devoted member of the Presbyterian church. (MAD: see Erie Co. PA genealogy, "The North East Duncans, Their Kith and Kin, 1769-1932" by Wm. M. Duncan, 1932, FHL book 929.273 D912dw)

1903 "Genealogical and Family History of Eastern OH" by Ewing Summers (Los Angeles Public Library book R977.1 S955)
      Pg.169-170: JAMES E. DUNCAN. This gentleman is a representative farmer of Poland township, Mahoning Co. OH, and three generations of the Duncans are connected with the life of this part of the state. Grandfather James Duncan was born in Scotland or Ireland, but removed to this country and died at Northeast, Erie Co. PA, when ninety years old. He was a prosperous farmer, and reared all his ten children, six sons and four daughters, all but one marrying and having families. He had a son who was also named James, and who was born in Northeast, PA, in 1801. In the early thirties he made his initial purchase of sixty-five acres and later bought seventy-five acres. He and his father entered into a contract to construct a mile of the Pennsylvania and Ohio canal near Lowellville, Mahoning Co., and after they had completed this undertaking he began in a small way as a merchant, the firm being H. and J. Duncan. He married Miss Rebecca Shepherd, who was born in this township and died March 13, 1887. James E. was the oldest of their five children; the second in order of birth was Elizabeth, who was born March 15, 1840, and died October 18, 1875; William died in Poland in October, 1898; Henry S. is in the iron business in Pittsburg as a member of the Canonsburg Iron Company and is unmarried; Nancy M. lives in Pittsburg.
      James E. Duncan, the third of the name in three successive generations, was born in Poland township, October 6, 1837, and was reared on the farm which his father had purchased in the early half of the century. He began at the age of nineteen to clerk .... He owns his share of his father's estate, but it has never been divided, and the old frame house on the place was erected before his father came, but the modern two-story dwelling was built by him in 1879.
      In April, 1870, Mr. Duncan was married to Mary S. Brownlee, who was born in Struthers, and bore him three chilren: ....

1909 "St.Louis [MO], History of the 4th City, 1763-1909" by Walter B. Stevens (CA State University, Sacramento, Library book)
      Pg.613: JAMES P. DUNCAN, assistant treasurer of Buxton & Skinner Stationery Co. ... born in Sidney, OH, son of John and Margaret (Fulton) Duncan. On paternal side he is of Scotch-Irish descent and his ancestors fought under Bruce. His grandfather, James Duncan, was born in the north of Ireland and on coming to the new world settled in Erie Co. PA at an early day. There he cleared and improved a farm, on which he made his home until called to his final rest at the ripe old age of 91 years. His farm is still owned by his descendants. In his family were several children who scattered over the middle west, one of these being John Duncan, father of our subject, who finally located in the beautiful little town of Sidney, OH. For a time he was engaged in merchandising and was treasurer of his county many years. ... Our subject's maternal grandfather was Benjamin Fulton. Old records concerning the history of the Fulton family in Ireland make mention of the origin of the name. (more on Fulton family) Benjamin Fulton, a son of Abraham Fulton (d. 1835 age 85), lived for some time in OH near Canal Fulton and afterward removed to Shelby Co., settling near Sidney. It was in 1838 that he took up his abode there, living on one farm until his death, which occurred in 1843. He had 8 children ... (5th) Margaret became the wife of John Duncan and the mother of our subject. James P. Duncan spent his early boyhood to the age of 16 in his native town ... (was deputy county treasurer in Sidney, OH) In 1879 he came to St. Louis ... In 1881 he was married to Miss Candace E. Cole, of Vermont, the dau. of A.B. and Miriam (Hitchcock) Cole, ... Four children, Robert C., a graduate of WA Univ.; James H., a senior in university; Andrew C. in senior year of Manual Training School; and Miriam M., attending public schools. (MAD: John Duncan b. PA 1810; 1850 Shelby Co. OH census)

"Recollections and sketches of notable lawyers and public men of early Iowa : belonging to the first and second generations, with anecdotes and incidents illustrative of the times" by Edward Holcomb Stiles; pub. Des Moines: Homestead Pub. Co., 1916, 993 pgs. (LH10678, HeritageQuest images 4/2007; FHL film 934,927 item 1)
      Pg.599-601: John F. Duncombe, born in Erie Co. PA in 1831, died at Fort Dodge in 1902, son of a farmer ... Alleghany College at Meadville, PA, then legal studies, to Fort Dodge in 1855. Elected to the State Senate in 1859, served 1860 and 1862, elected to House in 1871 and again in 1879. ... (MAD: Fort Dodge, Webster Co. IA)

"Portrait and biographical album of Henry County, Illinois : containing full-page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States : also containing a history of the county, from its earliest settlement to the present time." (anonymous); pub. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1885, 837 pgs. (LH10355, HeritageQuest images 4/2007; FHL film 934,986 item 3)
      Pg.243-244: JAMES DUNCAN, of Geneseo, came to Henry County in 1838, and has been a resident of the State since 1837. He has been prominent in the development of the resources of the county from the beginning of his active and independent management of his own affairs, and is at present the senior partner of the firm of Duncan & White, hardware merchants, and of the business house of Duncan & Martin.
            He was born March 1, 1827, in Erie Co. Pa., and is the son of William and Mary (Thomas) Duncan. His father was of unmixed Scotch origin, his ancestors having been among the dissenters from the Scottish "Kirk," who left their native land in 1619 to escape the persecutions of King James. They encountered difficulties there which were scarcely less perplexing and quite as hard to bear. From the latter fact the purity of the race known as Scotch-Irish was retained throughout a period of exactly 100 years. In 1719 the emigration of their descendants to the United States commenced, and from the settlement of Dunbarton, N.H., they have scattered to all parts of this land, and everywhere form one of the best elements .... The father of Mr. Duncan was the son of a pioneer of the State of Pennsylvania, and there several of their children were born, among them their son William. The Thomas family, to which the mother belonged, was of English extraction, and were pioneers of the Dominion of Canada. Her father's family went to the State of New York just prior to her birth, and she was born in the Empire State.
            The parents removed to Crawford Co., Pa., when their son was seven years old, and in the spring of 1837 they came to Illinois. They lived a year in Knoxville, and in the spring of the following year they made a final transfer of their affairs and interests to Henry County, where they arrived April 15th. The father became a farmer in the Township of Phenix, and the children were there reared to maturity.
            The first event of marked importance in the life of Mr. Duncan, of this sketch, was his marriage to Sarah C. Browning, of Phenix, April 10, 1855. Mrs. Duncan is the daughter of Joshua Browning, and she is a native of Phenix Township, in Henry County. Mr. Duncan continued the business in which he had been reared after his marriage until the spring of 1865. That was the date of his removal to Geneseo, where he has since resided continuously. ... In 1870, he entered into a partnership with E.M. Way, ... the style of Way & Duncan, which was in operation until 1880. Mr. Duncan bought the claim of his partner, and within the same year formed an association with Charles H. Martin ... In 1882 the hardware house of Duncan & White was established ...
            In 1850 Mr. Duncan went to California. He set out for that distant region on the 1st day of March, traveling across the plains. He passed nearly three years in the Golden Gate, and was engaged in mining at various points. He returned by way of the Isthmus to New York. .... Mr. Duncan is a Republican in political faith and connections, and both himself and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

1885 "Portrait and biographical album of Whiteside County, Illinois : containing full-page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States : also containing a history of the county, from its earliest settlement to the present time." pub. Chicago: Chapman Bros. (LH10366, HeritageQuest images image 2/2007 & 5/2007; FHL book 977.335 D3p and film 1,000,521 item 3)
      Pg.690,693: MILTON H. SEGER, Supervisor of Erie Township, son of Allen and Achsa (Howard) Seger, born in Oxford Co., Me., Feb. 5, 1838. Family comprised three children, two of whom are living: Milton H. and Dana B., the latter of whom is a physician, residing in Morrison. In the spring of 1854 his father's family came West and located in Wethersfield Township, Henry Co. IL, and in the fall they came to this county ... His father died there Nov. 7, 1872, as likewise the mother, Oct. 2, 1872. ... In 1873, Mr. Seger was Supervisor and also held the position of Justice of the Peace ... He was united in marriage in Erie, April 16, 1861, to Miss Nancy J. Duncan, daughter of Alexander and Lucinda (Lee) Duncan. She was born in Pennsylvania. They are the parents of 12 children, all born in this county: Cora V. is the wife of Seth Eddy, a farmer of Erie Township; Mary E.; Russell; Hattie H. is clerking in the dry-goods department of R.L. Burchell, of Erie; Ella, Wallace, M. Clayton, Myrtie, Frank, Ernest, Dana and Ethel. The father of Mrs. Seger is yet living and resides in Erie Township, where he follows the occupation of a farmer. (MAD: Erie Co. PA)

"History of Whiteside County, Illinois : from its earliest settlement to 1908" by William W. Davis; pub. Chicago: Pioneer Pub. Co., 1908, 1493 pgs. (LH10955, HeritageQuest images 4/2007; FHL film 1,000,522 items 1-2)
      Pg.1348-1349: MATT RAY THOMPSON was born September 19, 1871, on the old homestead farm of the family which is yet his place of residence. For sixty-seven years the family has resided within the borders of Whiteside county. ... On 5 January 1898 Mr. Thompson was married to Miss Martha Elizabeth Duncan, who was born in Erie, February 2, 1875, a daughter of Robert and Elizabeth (Wiggins) Duncan, the former born in Erie, Pennsylvania, and the latter in Marietta, Ohio. They are now residents of Erie. ...
      Pg.1358,1361: R.B. DUNCAN owns and cultivates a farm of ninety-two acres in Erie township, largely devoting his time and attention to stock-raising and always keeping on hand good grades of stock. His life record began in Erie county, Pennsylvania, October 20, 1849, his parents being Alexander and Elizabeth (Chambers) Duncan, natives of Pennsylvania and of England, respectively. The year 1853 witnessed their removal westward to Illinois, at which time they located in Henry county upon a tract of rented land. Subsequently they removed to Whiteside county and Mr. Duncan purchased land, upon which he made his home until his death, converting the farm into a valuable property. He passed away in September, 1886, while his wife survived him for more than twelve years and died on the 4th of November, 1898. Mr. Duncan was married twice. By the first union he had two children: Nancy, now the widow of Milton Segar, a resident of Erie, Illinois; and Elizabeth, the wife of Alfred Clayton, whose home is in Kansas. By his second marriage Alexander Duncan became the father of five children: R.B.; Ella, the deceased wife of Burton Martin; Eva, the wife of David Lisby, a resident of "Campbell county, Illinois"; Mary, deceased; and Sarah, the wife of John Clayton, who is living in Kankakee county, Illinois.
            R.B. Duncan, reared upon the home farm, early became familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist ... until he attained his majority. He then rented a farm for a few years and later purchased the homestead place of fifty-two acres on sections 7 and 8, to which he afterward added by the purchase of an additional tract of forty acres on section 13, Erie township. ...
            In 1875 Mr. Duncan was married to Miss Elizabeth Wiggins, who was born in Ohio in 1847, a daughter of Elijah and Julia (Stark) Wiggins, who were natives of the state of New York. The mother died in Ohio and the father passed away in Erie, Illinois. Their family numbered four children: Martha E., the wife of Ray Thompson, of Fenton township; Delbert A., a graduate of the Erie high school; Mabel D., deceased; and Mrs. Duncan. Both Mr. and Mrs. Duncan hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church ... politically he is a republican ...

1907 "Americans of Gentle Birth and their Ancestors: a genealogical encyclopedia embracing many authenticated lineages and biographical sketches of the founders of the colonies and their descendants found in all parts of the United States" Vol.I by Hannah D. Pittman (Memphis Public Library book 929.12 P689, from Evelyn Sigler 1982, Charles A. Duncan 1989, and John A. Duncan 1994)
      Pg.226-7: PATTERSON. This family is of Scotch-Irish ancestry, ... Joseph Patterson, born in Scotland, was a minister of the Presbyterian Church in Edinburgh. He became an exile and his son Joseph born in Scotland was reared in Ireland but returned to Edinburgh to receive his education, and studied medicine. He then went back to Ireland where he married Sarah Duncan, also of Scotch lineage, her parents refugees in Ireland. ... His son, Joseph Patterson, born in Ireland 1794, died 1854, educated at Edinburgh Univ. under tutelage of his kinsman Dr. Andrew Duncan, the eminent physician and President of the Royal Medical Society. ... Joseph to Philadelphia 1818 ... to St.Louis spring 1839. ...
      DUNCAN. This family belongs to an ancient historic house and are said to have derived their blood from the ill-fated Scottish king, Duncan I, murdered by Macbeth, which tradition may well be true since the records of the Scottish clans are kept very distinct and may be easily traced. The offices occupied by various members of the family show their importance in their native land and support the tradition. Two of the brothers, James and William, fought under the Scottish chief, William Wallace, and James, the ancestor of this family, escaped to Ireland. One of his sons, William Duncan, was Grand Master Mason of Ireland about 1770 (an office held only by the nobility), about the time that his nephew, James, came to America. (Charles W. Hite note 11/1998: William Wallace died 1305, so the James Duncan who escaped to Ireland could not have fathered a son William Duncan living in 1770.)
      Andrew Duncan, MD, of this family, an esteemed physician and professor of medicine in Edinburgh College, was descended from a younger branch of the Duncans of Ardowe, Angus. He became eminent in his profession and served for many years as President of the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh. His wife, Elizabeth Knox, was a descendant of the illustrious reformer, John Knox. His son, Dr. Andrew Duncan, took prominent rank among those who distinguished themselves in the history of medicine. He was born 1773. He was first physician to the king of Scotland, having held the same office to the Prince of Wales for more than 30 years (Chambers' Eminent Scotchmen).
      James Duncan (son of James), came to America 1770, aged 21 years. He had brothers Archie and William, and sisters Jennie, Sallie and Hattie. James married, 1796, Nancy Boty, living at Miflin, PA, and had 11 children: William, Hugh, James, Alex, Elizabeth, Archibald, John, Robert, Jane, Sarah, Margaret and Nancy. (MAD: see Erie Co. PA)
      Jane, married William Porter, and their daughter, Sarah, married Robert Patterson MD and had children Caroline and Robert D. Patterson of St. Louis.
      PORTER. This branch of the family ... William Porter, of Scottish parentage, born in Co. Tyrone, Ireland, 1770, married Jane, sister of James Duncan, living near by, both the Porters and Duncans holding their lands by grants from the Crown for service to the king. They had children Sarah, Henry, Alexander, Robert, William, Thomas and Jane. Sarah and Henry were educated in Edinburgh, and soon after William Porter and family to America, settled Philadelphia; Alexander and Thomas graduated from Princeton. The latter became eminent physician, married Jane Duncan and had three children, his two sons, Edward and James, now living in Ripley, NJ. ... Sarah Porter (dau. of William Porter & Jane Duncan) married Robert Patterson MD and had two children, Caroline and Robert D. Patterson of St. Louis; Robert D. married 1st Velona A. Phillips, children still living (1902) are Robert D. Jr. and Sallie Duncan; mar. 2nd Sophronia Phillips, sister of his first wife. ...

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