Duncan research files of
1850 Cass Co. TX Census (also from Lucille Mehrkam 1983)
Pg.731, #113-119, Mary DUNCAN 47 NC "farner" $0
Tilman D. COX (m) 29 TN laborer $0
Mary E. WALKER 8/12 TX
(MAD: Mary (Scott) Jarman Duncan, widow of Albert Duncan; 1840 Red River Co. TX tax list)
Pg.741, #26-26, Hinton DUNCAN 45 GA farmer $800
Lucinta 41 GA
William 19 GA laborer
James N. 16 GA student
Lucinda F. 8, Nancy P. 11 GA
Margret E. 6, Hintana J. (f) 2 GA
(MAD: Hinton Duncan mar. Lucinda A. Poole 11/24/1829 Baldwin Co. GA; 1830 Jones Co. GA census; 1840 Twiggs Co. GA census)
1860 Cass Co. TX Census
Pg.347, #13, Wm. H. DUNCAN 29 GA wheelright 0-0 (alone)
Pg.357, #155-158, W.C. WALKER 38 TN farmer $1900-$11,700
E.J. (f) 24 TN
N.E. (f) 10 TN
Robt. 6, W.S. (m) 4 TX
J. (m) 1 TX
M.D. DUNCAN (f) 58 NC
Pg.365, #271-277, W.E. DUNCAN (m) 29 GA mechanic $0-8899
F.S. (f) 24 GA
Saml. 3/12 TX
(MAD: Wm. E. Duncan mar. Sarah Bragg 12/2/1851 Jones Co. GA)
Pg.365, #272-278, H. DUNCAN (m) 54 NC farmer $8,500-$34,040
L.A. (f) 51 GA
F.L. (m) 18, L.F. (f) 16 GA
M.E. (f) 14, H.J. (m) 12 GA
D.D. (m) 9, M.T. (f) 6 TX
Pg.365, #273-279, Levi DUNCAN 38 GA farmer $1000-1028
J.A. (m) 15, A. (f) 12 AL
J.W. (m) 10 AL
C.F. (f) 4 TX
E.J. (f) 61 SC
(MAD: A. age 12 is Avarilla)
1870 Davis (Cass) Co. TX Census
Precinct 1, Linden P.O.
Pg.9, #128-128, WALKER, William C. 47 TN farmer $320-$800
Jane 36 TN
Robert 16, Walter 13, John 10 TX
DUNCAN, Mary 67 NC (white)
(MAD: Mary D. Duncan 1802-1882, B.F. Duncan 1857-1927, Elizabeth Duncan 1852-1922, and Erwin Duncan 1892-1945, bur. in the Friendship Cemetery; from "Cass County cemeteries : Texas records" by Cass Co. Gen. Society, 1976; Houston, TX, library book 976.433C343, from Lucille Mehrkam 3/1984, FHL book 976.4195 V3c)
Pg.28, indexed Edmond DUNCER, Linden #1, not copied, not DUNCAN
Precinct 2, Hickory Hill P.O.
Pg.32, #49-49, DUNCAN, William 40 GA merchant $5200-$1000
Fannie 33 GA
Billie B. (m) 10 GA
JORDAN, Elizabeth 72 GA
Pg.34, #72-72, DUNCAN, Hinton 64 NC farmer $2000-$1000
Lucinda 61 GA
Hinton (m) 21, Bryant D. (m) 18 GA
Mollie (f) 16 TX
(MAD: Henton J. Duncan mar. Sallie J. Christopher 11/1/1874)
(MAD: Hinten Duncan 1806-1888? CSA Vet, Lucinda A. Duncan 1809-1880, and younger bur. Hearn Cemetery; from "Cass County cemeteries : Texas records" by Cass Co. Gen. Society, 1976; Houston, TX, library book 976.433C343, from Lucille Mehrkam 3/1984, FHL book 976.4195 V3c)
Pg.34, #73-73, DUNCAN, Francis (m) 28 TX (blank) $0-$0
Virginnia (f) 28 GA
Pg.36, #125-125, DUNCAN, John 25 AL farmer $0-$150
Margarett 22 GA
Georgia (f) 2 TX
Pg.39, #164-164, DUNCAN, Levi 48 GA farmer $300-$200
Trena (f) 50 VA
Avarilla (f) 19, George 18 AL
Camelia F. (f) 13 TX
(MAD: Levi Duncan mar. Sarena Knox 1861)
Cass Co. TX Probate Minutes; index (FHL film 1,301,796 item 2; SLC 6/2009)
No Duncan indexed until Vol.10, not copied
Cass Co. TX General Index to Final Probate Records, v.1-2, 1846-1850 (FHL film 1,301,838 item 1; SLC 6/2009)
Cass Co. TX Deeds, incl. indexes at beg. of some volumes (SLC 6/2009)
Vol.A-C 1844-1850 (FHL film 1,301,873)
Vol.A, Grantor index only; no Duncan (FHL film 1,301,873)
Vol.B, no index (FHL film 1,301,873)
Vol.C, Grantor index only; no Duncan (FHL film 1,301,873)
Vol.D-F to p.490 1850-1852 (FHL film 1,301,874)
D-244: 12 March 1849, William Walker and wife Jane and Mary D. Duncan, all Red River Co. TX, for $5, to Jane L?. Hewett; that on 1 April 1848 Mary Duncan as admx of estate of Albert D. Duncan decd. made deed to James L. Hewett of Cass Co. TX for $166-2/3 to be paid before the 1st Tuesday in May, 1848, deed for 308 acres in Cass Co., lot 7 in survey of A.D. Duncan; the deed was made by the admx without the consent of the heirs of A.D. Duncan; NOW William Walker and wife Jane and Mary D. Duncan release their interest. /s/ William C. Walker, Mary D. Duncan, Eliza J. Walker. Ack. Red River Co.
D-390: Bowie Co. TX, 7 May 1844, J.H. Duncan to James Davis, $100, my right to certificate of survey.
Vol.E, no index (FHL film 1,301,874)
Vol.F, no index (FHL film 1,301,874)
Index to TX Confederate Pension Records (from Lucille Mehrkam 10/1983)
Application, Name, County, Book
22650, Duncan, J.A., Cass, 3
35866, Duncan, Mrs. Margaret T., Cass, 5
Roane Co. TN Wills and Estate Settlements (FHL film 560,100)
C-47: May 1839 probate, Will of A.D. Duncan of Texas, dated 16 March 1839, being now at Esq. Samuel Elkridge's in Roane Co., TN, in feeble health: Wife Mary D. Duncan land she now lives on; Step-dau. Rosannah Jarman, 1/4 lands located by W.S. McClure, being 1/2 land I have interest in; Dau. Eliza Jane 1/2 land covered by B.C. Fowler's headwright; Infant of wife not born yet when I left home, the other 1/2 land; All my other lands when located and title perfected ...; Step-dau. Rosannah Jarmon I relinquish all claim I have to real estate in Perriville, West Tennessee, which belonged to estate of Wm. Jarman, decd.; If it meets with wife's approbation, Stephen Jarman Esq. act as her guardian; other terms; Exec. Mary D. Duncan, Joseph P. Fort M.D., and Wm. H. Moore; if wife Mary wants to come to TN from Texas she can sell property there; my two brothers-in-law Stephen Jarman and David B. Carns act as executor if wife moves to TN.
(MAD: Albert Dean Duncan 1807-39, m. 1831 Mary D. Scott (1802-82) widow of Jarmon, had dau. Eliza Jane (1832-1911) m. 1847 William Coleman Walker (1821-91), from pg.378, "The Abridged compendium of American genealogy, first families of America; a genealogical encyclopedia of the United States" by Frederick Adams Virkus, pub. 1925-1942; FHL book 973 D2vf; from Laura Jones 8/1983)
"Reports of cases argued and determined in the Supreme Court of Alabama during December term 1876" by Thomas G. Jones, Vol.LVI; Alabama Reports, Vol.56, pgs.486 to 493 (California State Law Library, Sacramento, 2/2004)
GRIFFIN v. PRINGLE; Supreme Court of Alabama; 56 Ala. 486; December, 1876, Decided.
Appeal from the Chancery Court of Lee. Heard before the Hon. N. S. Graham.
The original bill in this case was filed on the 11th June, 1874, by Andrew B. Griffin, against the heirs at law and distributees of the estate of James Pringle, deceased, who died in Russell county (in that portion now embraced in Lee county), in 1854; and whose last will and testament, which was there duly proved and admitted to probate, was in these words: "As to such worldly estate as it hath pleased God to bless me with in this life, I give, devise, and bequeath, unto my beloved wife and son, George Pringle, all my real and personal estate, such as land and negroes, stock of all kinds, hogs, cows, horses, mules, and all the plantation tools, for to support them during their natural lives; and immediately after my decease, it is also my desire that my son, Alexander Pringle, take the management and control of the negroes and plantation, for his mother, and brothers, and sisters; and it is also my desire that Sarah K. Pringle, Nancy A. Pringle, and Mary E. Pringle have their support. It is my desire, also, that Thomas W. Pringle work with his brother, Alexander Pringle, in helping to make a support for the family, and to assist him in paying the debts of the estate. I also constitute, nominate, and appoint Alexander Pringle and John G. Pringle, as my executors."
The bill contained only six paragraphs, in which the following facts were alleged: 1. The death of said James Pringle, and the probate of his last will and testament, a copy of which was made an exhibit. 2. That John G. Pringle, one of the persons named in the will as executors, was a nonresident; that Alexander Pringle alone qualified as executor, and, in the execution of the powers conferred by the will, "carried on farming operations on the testator's lands, and thereby made and provided a support and maintenance for the testator's family, as provided by said will, and thereby and therefor contracted the following debts," specifying the names of the creditors and the amounts of their respective debts; "all of which were articles for the support of the family, and to carry on the said farming operations, and constitute a valid charge on said testator's estate, but for which the estate of said Alexander Pringle is liable." 3. That the testator's estate consisted of certain lands, which were particularly described. 4. That Alexander Pringle died in 1872, not having fully executed said will, and the administration of said estate having been removed to Lee county; and that the complainant was duly appointed administrator of his estate, and also administrator de bonis non, with the will annexed, of said James Pringle, by the Probate Court of Lee county. 5. That the widow of said testator, and his son George, had both departed this life, the time of their respective deaths not being stated; and that the heirs and distributees of said testator's estate are: "John G. Pringle, over twenty-one years old, residing in Savannah, Chatham county, Georgia; Sarah K. Pringle, Nancy A. Pringle, and Mary Pringle, all over twenty-one years of age, and all residing in said county of Lee; Thomas G. Pringle, of unsound mind, over twenty-one years old, and residing in Lee county; and Avarilla Duncan, John A. Duncan, George W. Duncan, and Camilla Duncan, all over twenty-one years old, and residing in Cass county, Texas, post-office unknown." 6. The prayer of the bill was, that the court would, "on final hearing, declare that said debts constitute a valid lien and charge upon the said testator's estate, mentioned in the third paragraph of this bill, and the same be sold, and the said debts be paid and satisfied; and send an order to the Hon. Wilson Williams, the probate judge of said county, directing him to send all the papers pertaining to said testator's estate to this honorable court, there to be further and fully administered; and for other and further relief," &c.
A joint answer to the bill was filed by Sarah, Nancy, and Mary Pringle, in which was incorporated a demurrer, assigning the following grounds: "1st, that said bill has no equity; 2d, that it shows no right in the plaintiff to sue for a sale of the lands of James Pringle's estate; 3d, that it shows no right in Alexander Pringle to charge the said lands; 4th, that it states no facts showing that he did so, or endeavored to do so; 5th, that no account is rendered between said Alexander and the estate said to be in his charge, so as to enable the court to strike a balance between him and the trust estate; 6th, that the bill does not show the character in which the plaintiff sues."
An amended bill was afterwards filed, alleging "that said Alexander Pringle, in executing said trust, expended a large sum of money, which is a proper charge on said estate; that said expenditure was reasonable, just, and necessary for the execution of said trust; that said Alexander Pringle devoted his personal services and time to the execution of said trust, for eighteen years; that said services constitute a valid charge on said trust estate, and are reasonably worth the sum of $2,500; and that complainant, as administrator of said Alexander Pringle, or James Pringle, deceased, has no effects whereby to repay said expenditures, and to pay for said services." The amended bill prayed, "in addition to the relief hereintofore prayed," that the court would "declare that said expenditures and charges for personal services constitute a valid charge on said estate; that a reference be had with the register, as master, to determine and report what sum said Alexander Pringle did so expend in the execution of said trust, and what sum his said personal services to said trust estate are justly worth."
The said Sarah, Nancy, and Mary Pringle, answering the amended bill, demurred to it, on the ground of a variance and inconsistency between it and the original bill; and to the bills original and amended, on the grounds of multifariousness, uncertainty as to the character in which the plaintiff sued, lapse of time and staleness of the demand, and want of equity. The chancellor sustained the demurrer, and dismissed the bill, for want of equity; and his decree is now assigned as error.
[opinion] STONE, J. -- James Pringle died, testate, in 1854. He left surviving him a widow, and the following children: John G., Alexander, Thomas W., George, Sarah K., Nancy A., and Mary Pringle; also, probably, another daughter, or children of a daughter, named Duncan. The will is an anomaly. The property consisted of lands, slaves, stock, plantation implements, and, doubtless, household furniture. The language of the will is: "I give, devise, and bequeath, unto my beloved wife and son, George Pringle, all my real and personal estate, to support them during their natural lives; and immediate after my decease, it is also my desire that my son, Alexander Pringle, take the management and control of the negroes and plantation, for his mother, and brothers, and sisters; and it is also my desire that Sarah K. Pringle, Nancy A. Pringle, and Mary E. Pringle, have their support. It is also my desire that Thomas W. Pringle work with his brother, Alexander Pringle, in helping to make a support for the family, and to assist him in paying the debts of the estate. I also constitute, nominate, and appoint Alexander Pringle and John G. Pringle, my executors." Alexander Pringle alone qualified, and took upon himself the trust.
1. In construing a will, it is our duty to consult the whole will, and give effect to the expressed intention of the testator, when we can gather it, and such intention does not violate any rule of law. Clauses apparently conflicting must be harmonized, if possible; and if they cannot be harmonized, then the later clause will prevail over the earlier, as being the latest expression of the testator's will; and a general intent will prevail over a particular intent, if irreconcilably repugnant to it.
2. The proper construction of the will before us is no easy task. Part of it is devoted to bequests that are beneficial; while, so far as Alexander and Thomas W. Pringle are concerned, it imposes only burdens. Whether they are to share in the income of the property is no where expressed. We have no hesitation in saying, that a life-estate in the title to all the property was thereby vested in the widow and George Pringle, while the management and control of the negroes and plantation were put in the hands of Alexander Pringle. This is said to be "for his mother, brothers, and sisters." What is meant by this, it is difficult to say. It probably depends on the then condition of his family; to what extent scattered and provided for, and constituting a part of his family. The next clause rather confuses, than sheds any light on this. It directs that the three daughters, Sarah K., Nancy A., and Mary E. Pringle have their support; evidently out of the property, or its income: the latter, if sufficient. To go beyond the latter, would trench on the life-estate to the widow and his son George; therefore, we hold that it must come out of the income. This is made a charge on the life-estate.
But a difficulty arises here. These three females are sisters of Alexander Pringle, and are embraced in the trust confided to him, to manage and control the property "for his mother, brothers, and sisters." To what extent for them? If for their present support, then there was no use for the later expression, that they were to have their support; and, in this connection, it becomes material to inquire, what are the meaning and object of the testator, when he directs that, immediately after his decease, "Alexander Pringle take the management and control [of the property] for his mother, and brothers, and sisters?" In the absence of averment of the then residence of the different members of the family, we are not able to reconcile and give operation to the several clauses of the will. We do not hesitate to declare, that the support of the three named females was made a charge on the life-estate, being the usufruct of the property, which the will gives to the widow and George Pringle. We hold, further, that the will only disposes of a life-estate to the widow and George, who, under our statute, must be held to have taken as tenants in common. The reversion of the entire estate was left undisposed of, and, as to that, the testator died intestate. And we hold, too, that the trust to manage and control, confided to Alexander under the will, continued only during the life-estate; and that, after that, he was remitted to his powers as executor only.
3. The bill avers, that Alexander Pringle entered upon, and discharged the duty of managing and controlling the estate; and there is nothing in the bill tending to show that he did not do it faithfully. We judicially know, as a matter of public history, that slaves were emancipated by the close of the war, in 1865. Mr. Pringle's estate consisted of a plantation and slaves. The chances of working the plantation successfully and profitably were materially diminished by that event. The will shows that the testator, at the time of his death, owed debts, but their amounts are not shown. Under these circumstances, and in the troubles incident to the war and its results, it is not surprising that the managing trustee, with the purest intentions and strictest economy, would sometimes find it necessary to incur liabilities in the execution of the trust, and to save the trust property. The law does not exact infallibility from a trustee, nor hold him accountable for errors of judgment, if he act in good faith. Men of ordinary prudence, many of them, fell into serious errors, and suffered grievous losses, in their early experiments with freed laborers. It was Alexander Pringle's duty to manage and control the property; and the law exacted from him only integrity of purpose, and that degree of diligence which an ordinarily prudent man bestows about his own affairs. Bringing to the service this good faith, and this measure of diligence, the law does not hold him accountable for his misadventures.
4. In Alabama, and generally in the United States, trustees are entitled to reasonable compensation for their services and risks.
5. In the present bill, it is not shown when Mrs. Pringle and George Pringle died; and hence we cannot tell when the special trust to manage and control ceased. There are many other defects in the bill, among which we mention a failure to set forth, either generally or specially, how Alexander Pringle administered the trust, or accounted for the income; whether the debts described in the bill were contracted before or after the termination of the life-estate, and the necessity or reason for contracting them, and on what consideration. There is no averment, negativing the receipt and use by Alexander of the income of the estate, or some part thereof, as compensation to himself; and no account rendered, or denial of liability to account, so as to show the trust fund in fact owes said Alexander's estate. Nor is there any averment, or prayer, offering to settle said Alexander's executorship or trust, or praying, for that purpose, to transfer the settlement to the Chancery Court, the only court having jurisdiction to make the settlement between the two estates, of each of which the same person is administrator.
What we have said above is in great ignorance of the real merits of the present controversy. We have only considered the bill, and amended bill, as they and the demurrers are all of the pleadings that are properly before us. It may be that this family lived and labored together for their common support and benefit, with no thought or intention, on the part of any member thereof, to make a charge for the same. The very long period such a relation appears to have been kept up, gives, at least, plausibility to this theory. If such was the case, no allowance for such services should be made. We do not affirm there is a liability for the other debts, those set forth in the original bill. The averments of the bill, as we have shown, are too meagre to justify us in hazarding an opinion.
The bill is fatally defective, and the chancellor did not err in dismissing it; but, inasmuch as it is possible the complainant may be entitled to some relief, we will so modify the decree as to make it a dismissal without prejudice.
Affirmed, and bill dismissed without prejudice.
1914 "History of TX and Texans" by Frank W. Johnson, Vol.1-5 (SUTRO book F386 J66 1914, CA State Library, Sutro Branch; and FHL book 976.4 H2j and film 547,564)
Vol.4 pg.1857: WILLIAM P. DUNCAN of the Conway-Duncan Co. of this City (Paris) [Lamar Co.]; born in Talapoosa (sic) Co. AL at Newsite, in 1869, son of Admiral Osborn and Laura Ann (Powell) Duncan, both natives of that state. Admiral Osborn Duncan was born within a mile of where he died; the son of L. Bryant Duncan who settled in Talapoosa Co. from Georgia where the latter was born in that state in 1820, dying in his AL home in 1904, a "Hardshell" Baptist, married Narcissa Carnifax who was reared in Talapoosa Co. near Horse Shoe Bend where her parents settled. L. Bryant Duncan and wife (Narcissa) had six children: Allen, a resident of Bartlett [Williamson Co.], TX; John, died a Confederate soldier; Admiral Osborn Duncan, father of the subject; Wainright R. who died in AL after many years in Cass Co. TX; Isa B. who married James Lindsay; Anna, wife of John R. Irvin, both of whom died in the vicinity of their old AL home leaving no issue. The great-grandfather Allen Duncan was one of four brothers conspicuous in SC as planters: Miles T., Daniel, William P. and Allen; of Scotch ancestry, settled in New England, drifted south following the Revolutionary War. Admiral Osborn Duncan in early manhood married Miss Laura Ann Powell, daughter of Jackson Powell who lived near Wetumke, AL, where his daughter was born. Admiral Osborn Duncan & wife had four children: John Bryant who passed his life at Bartlett, TX, mar. Lorena Jones, died leaving two children Edna and Harold Osborn Duncan; William P. of this review; Zoe L. married Joseph C. Manning and lives in Birmingham, AL; and Narcissa F., wife of William McCrockland of Gatesville, TX, who has four daughters. William P. Duncan married on 26 June 1895 to Miss Ida Terrell, daughter of G.I. Terrell. William P. Duncan & wife have children Louise born 27 Jan. 1897, and Fannie Laura born 24 Sept. 1902. (MAD: Allen Duncan in 1820 Wilkes Co. GA census, to Pike Co. GA; Little B(ryant) Duncan mar. N. Carnifax 10/20/1842 Tallapoosa Co. AL)
Some early Duncans in Cass Co. TX:
A.D. Duncan, 4 March 1836, lived in TX; had 1st class grant for land (listed on pg.249, "Abstract of Titled and Patented Lands Compiled From the Records of the General Land Office of the State of Texas" published in Austin in 1860, and indexed by Paul Campbell; published in Vol.3#2 "Texas Heritage Quarterly," from Lucille Mehrkam 2/1984 and CA State Library, Sutro Branch, book F385 T48)
Jas. H. Duncan, 1836-1837, immigrated to TX between 3/1/1836 and 10/1/1837, had 2nd class grant for land (listed on pg.249, "Abstract of Titled and Patented Lands Compiled From the Records of the General Land Office of the State of Texas" published in Austin in 1860, and indexed by Paul Campbell; published in Vol.3#2 "Texas Heritage Quarterly," from Lucille Mehrkam 2/1984 and CA State Library, Sutro Branch, book F385 T48)
James Duncan, 1846, on tax list ("Republic of Texas: Poll Lists for 1846" by Marion Day Mullins, 1974; FHL book 976.4 R4m, from Lucille Mehrkam 1984 and Ruth Robertson 1983)
James W. Duncan, 1859-1861, had fallen with Fannin; his heirs received bounty warrants; 29 Oct. 1859, his heirs received bounty warrant #134 for 960 acres; 320 acres in Marion Co. patented to the heirs on 1/18/1869, 40.75 acres in Cass Co. on 5/2/1871, 81.66 acres in Marion Co. on 3/4/1875, 234.5 acres in Morris Co. on 1/24/1906, and 278.8 acres in Red River Co. on 6/27/1868. On 14 Dec. 1861, his heirs received bounty warrant #365 for 960 acres; 300 acres in Cass Co. patented to heirs on 5/19/1869, 157 acres in Morris Co. on 4/23/1869, 503 acres in Franklin Co. on 3/1/1871. ("Bounty and Donation Land Grants of Texas 1835-1888" by Thomas Lloyd Miller, 1967, for service between 1835 and 1846, from records of the TX General Land Office; from Lucille Mehrkam 1984). (MAD: see deeds in Franklin Co. TX for heirs)
M.L. Duncan, May 1860, died; female mulatto age 33 b.SC (1860 mortality schedule)
Mrs. Mary W. Duncan, 7 Jan. 1857, mar. R.S. King
Levi Duncan, 11 April 1861, mar. Sarena Knox
(Miss) D.L. Duncan, 28 June 1865, mar. A.T. Oliver
(Miss) M.E. Duncan, 20 Sept. 1865, mar. G.S. Cox
(Miss) V.A. Duncan, 6 Oct. 1867, mar. J.M. Lemons
(Miss) Leala Duncan, 26 Nov. 1868, license to mar. Henry Barnes
1957 "History of Jones Co. GA for 100 Years, Specifically 1807-1907" by Carolyn White Williams (FHL book 975.8567 H2w)
Pg.595-7 contain a biography of Washington Augustus (Gus) Bragg, born March 22, 1853, Wilkinson Co. GA, died March 12, 1941, eldest son of John Ross Bragg; to Cass Co. TX with his uncle William P. Rivers in 1870; farmed his uncle's (Capt. Wm. Duncan) farm for a year.
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