Duncans in Berkshire Co. MA


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

Last revised August 24, 2007

Formed 1760 from Hampshire


1790-1800 Berkshire Co. MA Census
        No Duncan indexed

1810 Berkshire Co. MA Census; semi-alphabetic
Pg.187  Thomas Dunkins     00000         - 00000 - 20   Stockbridge
        William Dunkam     00001         - 02001        Stockbridge
            (MAD: not indexed)
   217  John Dunkins       00000         - 00000 - 07   Mixed Twp
   222  Jos. Duncan        00010         - 10010        Mixed Twp

1820 Berkshire Co. MA Census
Pg.129  Thomas Dunkins     000000        - 00001        Stockbridge

1830 Berkshire Co. MA Census
Pg.329  Saml. Duncan       0000,0000,1   - 0010,0001    W. Stockbridge
   338  Saml. Duncan       1110,001      - 1010,01      Williamstown

1840 Berkshire Co. MA Census
Pg.134  John Dunkin        Free colored                 Lanesborough
        Pharaoh Dunkin     Free colored

1850 Berkshire Co. MA Census
Pg.9, #16, John COLLINS & others incl.
                  Austin DUNCAN 28 IRE laborer
Pg.16, #33, Hannah RICHMOND 50 MA -- $850
                  O.C.B. DUNCAN (m) 22 NY lawyer
                  Mariah 21 MA
                  Mary 1 MA
Pg.109, #158, Luther M. BENNET 29 MA farmer
                  Eliza A. 27 MA
                  George L. 6 MA
                  Mary M. BERCH 24 MA
                  Alvan DUNCAN 21 MA MULATTO laborer
Pg.116, #1, Levi BRADFORD 58 MA farmer $6000
                  Elviza 47 MA
                  Wm. A. BRIGGS 16 MA farmer
                  Lucy T. TRACY 14 IL (Illinois)
                  John P. DUNCAN 24 MA laborer
Pg.125, #146-164, Pharoah P. DUNCAN 46 CT MULATTO laborer
                  Lovisa 46 MA MULATTO
                  Oran G. 13, Martin T.B. 14 MA MULATTO
                  Justin M. 7, Elenora T. 6 MA MULATTO
                  Emily E.M. 5, Mary J. 2 MA; all MULATTO
Pg.163, #315-315, William S. DUNCAN 26 MA farmer? (cannot read most of page)
                  Harriet H. 22 VT
                  Samuel O.C. 4 MA
                  James D. 6/12 MA
                  (MAD: indexed Dancan)
Pg.171, #435-448, Catherine P. KELLOGG 54 CT
                  Samuel DUNCAN 30 MA farmer
                  Lovisa T. ROBINS 18 Unk BLACK
Pg.229, #751-818, John DUNKINS 43 CT BLACK farmer
                  Lucey 43 CT BLACK
                  Silas A. 16, Mary C. 13 MA BLACK
                  Wandy C. 10, Francis B. (f) 9 MA BLACK
                  Lounzo (m) 8 MA all BLACK
Pg.251, #1040-1154, James J. DUNHAM 47 MA tailor
                  Martha 49 MA
                  Helen M. 22, William L. 21 MA
                  Henry F?. 18, Catharine A. 14 MA
                  Abby A. 9, Mary P. 9/12 MA
                  & others
Pg.251, #1043-1158, John Van VICHTEN 27 NY RR engineer
                  Susan F. 24 RI
                  Harriet DUNCAN 17 MA
Pg.253, #383-421, Luke HADSILL 71 CT cooper
                  Diadama 56 NY
Pg.253, #383-422, David DUNCAN 50 IRE laborer
                  Margaret 47 IRE
                  William 14, Eliza A. 12 IRE
                  Jasbill (m) 6 IRE
                  (MAD: "Jasbill" as written; see pg.285)
New Marlborough
Pg.279, #240, Uriah WHEELER family
                  Margaret DUNCAN 20 IRE
Pg.281, #232-265, Nelson HADSELL 30 MA labourer $900
                  Mary 28 CT
                  Emeline 7, Louis (m) 5 MA
                  Shermon MAIS (m) 21? MA BLACK
                  William DUNCAN 12 NY
Pg.283, #268-304, Andrew DUNCAN 45 IRE laborer
                  Mary 40 IRE
                  Jane 17 IRE
                  Elizabeth 14, George 12 NY
                  William 8, Mahitabel 6 MA
                  Mary 3, James 1 MA
Pg.283, #271, Jabez CANFIELD family
                  James DUNCAN 40 IRE laborer
Pg.284, #283-319, Emmons ARNOLD family
                  Jane DUNCAN 17 IRE
Pg.285, #272-328, David DUNCAN 50 IRE laborer
                  Margaret 47 IRE
                  Margaret 22, Jane 20 IRE
                  Mary 18, William 14 IRE
                  Eliza 12, Isabel 6 IRE
                  (MAD: "Isabel" as written; see pg.253)

1860 Berkshire Co. MA Census
Pg.21, #162-167, Seymour WILCOX 68 MA farmer $18,000-$1,000
                  Mary A. 47 NY
                  Henry W. 20 MA farmer
                  Seymour G. (m) 4 MA
                  Margaret LEACH 18 IRE domestic
                  Pharoah DUNCAN (m) 55 NY BLACK farm laborer
                  John MURPHY 19 IRE farm laborer
Pg.46-7, #348-370, William P. BENNETT 30 MA farmer $3,000-$1,300
                  Frances M. (f) 26 MA
                  Charles E. 3 MA, Harriet L. 1 MA
                  Almond LEONARD (m) 20 MA farm laborer
                  Ann 18 MA domestic
                  Justin DUNCAN (m) 16 MA MULATTO farm laborer
Pg.89, #700-736, John P. DUNCAN 33 MA MULATTO farm laborer $0-$100
                  Lucy M. 28 MA MULATTO
                  Eveline A. 8 MA MULATTO
Pg.111, #859-897, John DUNCAN 53 MA BLACK (blank) $0-$200 (alone)
Pg.260, #725-727, Michl. HARRISON? 35 IRE day laborer $0-$84
                  Eliza 38 IRE
                  & children b. NY, MA
                  Margaret DUNKIN 66 IRE domestic
                  John HARRISON?? 35 IRE day laborer
Pg.493, #43-52, Saml. DUNCAN 40 MA "M.D." $0-$3000
                  Frances E. (f) 30 MA $700-$0
                  Catherine SAUNDERS 14 MA $700-$0
                  Geo. 24 MA student $700-$0
Pg.115, #858-905, Henry H. CHILDS 76 MA physician $20,000-$10,000
                  Sarah 66 MA
                  Ann 67 MA
                  John MURRAY 30 IRE farm laborer $0-$500
                  Bridget 28 IRE domestic
                  Lucinda DUNCAN 50 NY MULATTO domestic $400-$0
Pg.138, #1015-1065, Eunice W. ALLEN (f) 68 MA (blank) $7,900-$2,500
                  Mary O. LUELIAN? (f) 38 MA (blank) $0-$9,250
                  Clara DUNCAN 22 MA MULATTO domestic $0-$0
Pg.165, #1217-1289, Robert COLT 54 MA farmer $8,500-$7,000
                  Mary G. 39 MA (blank) $1,000-$2,500
                  Amanda DUNCAN 22 MA MULATTO domestic
Pg.276, #2015-2151, Henrietta C. DUNKINS 45 MA MULATTO domestic
                  & other MULATTOS

1870 Berkshire Co. MA Census
New Marlborough
Pg.466, #109-105, DUNCAN, Mary 55 IRE keeping house $200-$0, parents of foreign birth
                  Emma 14 MA at school, parents of foreign birth
Pg.466, #114-110, SHORES, Marcus 76 CT farm laborer $300-$0
                  Mary 74 CT keeping house
                  DUNCAN, John 71 IRE farm laborer, parents of foreign birth
New Marlborough
Pg.471, #203-205, CHAPIN, Alvin W. 28 MA farmer $0-$0
                  Helen E. 28 MA keeping house
                  Fannie M. 4, Susan E. 3 MA at home
                  Mark C. 1 MA at home
                  DUNCAN, Margarett 68 IRE keeping house $0-$1800, parents of foreign birth
                  Isabell 26 MA no occupation, parents of foreign birth
                  KEYES, Solomon G. 58 MA carpenter $800-$0
Pg.520, #273-356, DUNCAN, Lorenzo 26 MA BLACK day laborer $0-$0
                  Hattie 22 CT BLACK keeping house
                  Martha 10/12 MA BLACK at home
Pg.562-563, #796-1028, GARDINER, Russell F. 36 MA BLACK laborer $200-$150
                  Christiana 28 MA BLACK keeping house
                  Augustus 9 MA BLACK at school
                  GARDINER, Carrie D. 7 MA BLACK at school
                  Alice 6, William 3 MA BLACK at home
                  DUNCAN, Orin (m) 34 MA BLACK laborer
Pg.598, #1243-1599, HINSDALE, Frank W. 42 MA $100,000-$50,000
                  James H. 35 MA woolen manufacturer $0-$0
                  Mary L. 22 MA keeping house $0-$30,000
                  DUNCAN, Polly 46 NY BLACK house keeper $4,000-$100
                  McCALLUM, Millar (m) 60 SCT dyer $0-$600, parents of foreign birth
Pg.802, #180-180, DUNCAN, Saml. 50 MA physician $8000-$2000
                  Francis E. (f) 41 MA keeping house
                  Nelie R?. (f) 6, Francis L. (f) 4 MA at home
                  LACY?, Mary Anne 16 MA dom. servant
Pg.811, #290-302, NILLSA?, Anna 45 VT keeping house $0-$0
                  Willie (m) 4 NJ at home
Pg.811, #290-303, DUNCAN, Pery J. (m) 42 MA (white) teamster $1,000-$300
                  Lucy M. 36 MA keeping house
                  Emilie? (f) 18 MA no occupation
                  (MAD: not Eveline; indexed Ray? J.)


"Reports of cases argued and determined in the Supreme Judicial Court of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, containing cases for the year 1815" by Dudley Atkins Tyng, Esq., counsellor at law; ("Massachusetts Reports") Vol.12, pgs.399 to 402 (California State Law Library, Sacramento, 12/2003; heading is on page 399, text starts pg.400)
      The INHABITANTS of STOCKBRIDGE versus The INHABITANTS of WEST STOCKBRIDGE; Supreme Court of Massachusetts, Berkshire; 12 Mass. 399; 12 Tyng 399; September, 1815, Decided.
      This was assumpsit for expenses incurred by the plaintiffs in the support of one Frank Duncan, a pauper, alleged by them to have his legal settlement in West Stockbridge. The action was submitted to the determination of the Court upon the following case stated.
      In July, 1774, the place since called West Stockbridge was organized as a district, and for thirty years past the inhabitants thereof have acted as a town; but no charter or act of incorporation is to be found in Boston, or elsewhere.
      The deposition of Elijah Williams was used at the trial, and came up in the case; and it was agreed to be evidence of such incorporation, if competent for that purpose. He testifies that he removed into that part of Stockbridge which has since been called West Stock bridge, several years before its supposed incorporation; that he remembers being at Boston while Mr. Hutchinson was governor of the then Province, and conversing with him on the subject of the incorporation; that he believes that he obtained an act for that purpose, and carried the same home with him, although he has no particular recollection of that fact; and that the inhabitants have done business as a town from that time.
      The witness, previous to the month of August, 1770, being the owner of a forge, and being in want of a bloomer to assist in working the same, heard of a black man, who was a slave and said to be a good workman, then living with his master in New Jersey. Having conscientious objections against holding a slave, the witness purchased the time of the slave for ten years, for which he paid the master # 100, New Jersey currency. He brought the man, who is the pauper above named, to West Stockbridge, and he continued in the service of the witness until he was fully paid and satisfied for the money he had advanced for his services, as aforesaid.
      It was agreed by the parties, that Williams, the witness, had his residence, and held a large real estate, in that part of Stockbridge which is now known as West Stockbridge, from the year 1770 to the year 1780; that regular notice and demand were given and made by the plaintiffs, and a refusal on the part of the defendants to pay the expense incurred in the support of the pauper; and that the same amounted to the sum of $133.
      If the Court should be of opinion that the foregoing evidence would be competent to prove that the town of West Stockbridge was ever incorporated, and that the pauper had his legal settlement in that town at the time of the commencement of this action, judgment was to be entered for the plaintiffs, for the abovementioned sum; otherwise, they were to become nonsuit.
       Wilde, J., delivered the opinion of the Court. Two questions are made upon the facts agreed in this case.
      1. Whether the deposition of Elijah Williams be admissible evidence, to prove the incorporation of the town of West Stockbridge.
      2. If such evidence be admissible, whether the pauper ever gained a settlement in that town.
      The first question does not seem to admit of a reasonable doubt and the counsel for the defendants, in their argument, have declined very properly, we think, to insist on this ground of defence.
      Records, generally, are to be proved by inspection, or by copies properly authenticated; but, if there be sufficient proof of the loss or destruction of a record, much inferior evidence of its contents may be admitted. In the case before us, it is agreed, that, for more than thirty years past, the inhabitants of West Stockbridge have exercised and enjoyed all the powers, privileges, and immunities of a town. They have been admitted to the right of representation in the General Court, have been assessed in their proportion of all State and County taxes; and, by many other acts and proceedings, their existence as a corporation has been recognized by the legislature.
      But the act of incorporation is not to be found, nor can any record relating to it be discovered in the secretary's office. From the facts, however, the presumption is violent, that the town has been regularly incorporated, and that the record has been in some way lost or destroyed. The existence of the record is also proved by the deposition in question (footnote: The witness says, in the deposition, that he has no recollection of the fact, that an act of incorporation was obtained. Can this be proof that it was obtained?); and it cannot be doubted that parol evidence is competent to prove the existence and loss of a record. This, then, being satisfactorily proved, secondary evidence of the incorporation of the town is clearly admissible by the rules of evidence.
      Upon the second question, it has been inferred by the counsel for the plaintiffs, from the facts in the case, that the pauper became a slave of Williams, and, through him, gained a derivative settlement in West Stockbridge. But we cannot admit this inference, as we think it repugnant to the terms of the contract, and the obvious intention of the parties, which is principally to be regarded in the construction of contracts. Williams, upon whose testimony alone the plaintiffs rely, expressly denies that he purchased the pauper, or held him as a slave. He considered him as a servant, but not as in a state of slavery. He treated him as such; nor could he, by any reasonable construction of the contract, legally treat him otherwise. The property in the slave remained unaltered by the contract; unless it may be considered as amounting to a manumission. Certainly the property was not transferred to Williams against his will, and his conscientious scruples, as expressed to the master, when he made the contract.
      For these reasons, we are of opinion that the pauper gained no settlement in the town of West Stockbridge; and that the plaintiffs, according to the agreement of the parties, must be called.
      Plaintiffs nonsuit.

"Reports of cases argued and determined in the Supreme Judicial Court of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, containing cases for the year 1816" by Dudley Atkins Tyng, Esq., counsellor at law; ("Massachusetts Reports") Vol.13, pgs.302 to 303 (California State Law Library, Sacramento, 12/2003)
      The INHABITANTS of STOCKBRIDGE, Petitioners, &c, versus the Inhabitants of WEST STOCKBRIDGE; Supreme Court of Massachusetts, Berkshire; 13 Mass. 302; 13 Tyng 302; September, 1816, Decided.
      This was a petition for a review of an action which was decided between these parties at the last September term. [Vide Ante, vol. xii. page 400.]
      The petitioners set forth in their petition, that Mr. Williams, whose deposition was used in the former hearing, was, at the time of his testifying, a very aged and infirm man, and since that time has died; that, since his death, and since the judgment in the original action, there had been found among his papers, by his executors, a bill of sale of Frank Duncan, respecting whose settlement in West Stockbridge the parties were at issue; by which it appears, that the said Williams testified under a mistake, and that the said Duncan was his slave, and was, therefore, lawfully settled in said West Stockbridge. The petitioners produced the said bill of sale, by which William Bott, of New Jersey, on the 2d of April, 1770, in consideration of # 100 paid him by the said Williams, sold him the said Duncan, then about 25 years of age, to hold to him, his executors, &c., during the natural life of the said Duncan, with a covenant of warranty.
      (MAD: Arguments of counsel omitted here)
      (Opinion:) By the Court. We have no doubt of our authority to grant a review in this case. Nor do we perceive any reason against such an application as the present, which does not equally apply to a judgment rendered upon a verdict.
      Where parties have been entrapped or misled into an agreement, and without laches on their part, or if, within the time limited by statute for the granting of reviews, they discover a fact misstated or omitted, it is as much within the legitimate powers of the Court as to discharge a statement for a similar cause pending the action.
      The petitioners in this case cannot be charged with the want of due diligence. They could not obtain the paper now produced until it was furnished them by Mr. Williams's executors; and they have certainly been prompt enough in their application to the Court since they did obtain it.
      But, as the respondents have been in no fault, it would be unjust to subject them to the costs of the former suit, if the petitioners should be successful on the review; let the costs be subject to the direction of the Court, and upon those terms let the petitioners take their review.

"Reports of cases argued and determined in the Supreme Judicial Court of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, containing cases for the year 1817" by Dudley Atkins Tyng, Esq., counsellor at law; ("Massachusetts Reports") Vol.14, pgs.257 to 262 (California State Law Library, Sacramento, 12/2003)
      The INHABITANTS of STOCKBRIDGE, Plaintiffs in Review, versus The INHABITANTS of WEST STOCKBRIDGE; Supreme Court of Massachusetts, Berkshire; 14 Mass. 257; 14 Tyng 257; September, 1817, Decided.
      This action, the decision of which upon certain agreed facts has already been reported, (vide ante, vol. xii. p. 400,) came on again for trial upon a review granted by the Court, upon the petition of the inhabitants of Stockbridge, who were original plaintiffs, (vide ante, vol. xiii. p. 302,) before Jackson, J., at the last April term in this county.
      The action was brought to recover the money expended by the plaintiffs for the support of Frank Duncan, a negro man, whose settlement they allege to be in West Stockbridge. The only question made at the last trial was, whether the said Duncan was formerly the slave of Elijah Williams, Esq., late of West Stockbridge, so as to have gained a settlement from the said Williams, as his master.
      The said Williams, who was deceased before the trial, had given his deposition, which was taken for the original action, and was again used on the trial by review. He therein states that, in the year 1770, the said Duncan being a slave in New Jersey, he, the said Williams, bought the time or services of the said slave for the term of ten years, and paid therefor the sum of # 100; that he was from principle averse to holding a slave, but was willing to purchase his services as aforesaid, if the negro consented to it; that he supposed there was a deed or writing between him and the former owner, but had no particular recollection about it. It did not appear that he considered himself bound to restore the slave to his former master at the end of the ten years.
      The said Williams died in June, 1815; and in the following October, his son, looking over a large quantity of his father's old papers, accidentally found an instrument purporting to be a bill of sale from one William Bott, of New Jersey, to the said E. Williams, of a negro slave, called Frank. The instrument, a copy of which came up in the case, bears date on the 2d of April, 1770; the consideration expressed in it is # 100; and it purports to convey absolutely the whole title and interest in the said slave for his life.
      The plaintiffs offered this paper in evidence at the trial. The defendants objected to its going to the jury; but the judge admitted it, leaving it to the jury to be considered in connection with the said deposition, if they should believe it to relate to the purchase mentioned in the deposition.
      It appeared that the said bill of sale was in the hand-writing of the said Williams; that the owner of the said slave was one Joseph Firman, of New York, of whom the said Bott had hired him; that Firman, at the request of the slave, had written a letter to Bott, requesting him to sell the slave, or to find another master for him; that Williams came there to procure a man to work at his furnace in Stockbridge, and, upon Bott's recommendation, Frank consented to go with him, he agreeing with Frank that, if he would serve him faithfully for ten years, he would then give him his time, and would also give him a yoke of steers and ten acres of land; saying that he did not keep slaves any longer than till they had earned what he paid for them. Williams then paid Bott # 100, and Bott undertook to sell and convey the slave to him. The said Frank returned with Williams to Stockbridge, and continued in his service seven years, and paid him # 30 for the other three years of the ten years before mentioned; which sum he paid out of his wages and bounty given him as a soldier in the army of the United States.
      The defendants objected to the admission of the said bill of sale in evidence, because its execution was not proved by the subscribing witnesses; and also because it did not appear that Bott had any right or authority to sell and convey the slave in this manner. Both these objections were overruled.
      Upon the foregoing facts the judge instructed the jury that, by the purchase and conveyance made as above mentioned, the said Frank became the slave of the said Williams; and that his intention or his agreement above mentioned, to give him his time at the end of ten years, upon the condition of his good behavior for that time, would make no difference in the case.
      A verdict being returned for the plaintiffs, the defendants moved for a new trial, on account of the admission of said evidence, and of the said direction given to the jury.
      (Counsel:) Whiting and Howe, for the defendants. The bill of sale, its execution not being proved by the subscribing witnesses, was improperly admitted in evidence. Its being more than thirty years old is not sufficient of itself, unless it had been found among the papers of the party claiming under it, and unless possession of the article sold had followed its execution. By papers in this rule of the law must be understood the valuable papers of the party, such as he would naturally keep in his desk or other place of security. But this paper was found in the garret, amidst old papers, which had been thrown away as of no value. The possession, too, should pursue the conveyance. Here Williams originally refused to take Frank as a slave, and entered into a contract with him, incompatible with such a relation, and finally dismissed him from his service, receiving from him a compensation for the remaining term of his service; and this compensation Frank had himself received in the character of a citizen soldier.
      Bott was not the owner of the slave, and he had no sufficient authority from Firman to make a bill of sale. Indeed, there is no evidence of any authority. If he had been fully authorized to make such a bill of sale, he should have pursued his authority, and made it in the name of the principal. But here was, in fact, no sale. To a contract of this species, as to every other contract, the consent of two minds is necessary. Williams would not consent to purchase or to hold a slave. His declarations at the time, as well as his after conduct, prove this. And if the Court should consider, as far as Williams was himself concerned in the decision, that he should be bound by his acceptance of the bill of sale, according to the terms of it, yet it would be carrying the principle to a great extent to make it binding on third persons and strangers to the transaction, as in this case.
      Ashmun, for the plaintiffs. The rule of law, that a deed more than thirty years old shall be received in evidence without proof of its execution, is so well established, that even when a subscribing witness to such a deed has been present in court, the court have refused to examine him, that the principle might not be brought into doubt. The bill of sale in this case was in the possession of the vendee nearly half a century, and was found in the place where it was most natural to expect to find it after so long a time, that is, among the old and useless papers of the party.
      The sale of a slave need not be by deed, any more than any other personal chattel; except that in some of the Southern States they are made real property by statute. But let the objections be of what force they may, the sale was good and sufficient, as to all the world but the parties to it, and they always acquiesced in it Williams did all in his power to secure his title, in taking the conveyance with covenants of warranty. Bott was bound by these covenants; and Firmin, who had authorized Bott by his letter to make the sale, could not question it. Williams's intention to manumit the slave was not a manumission, nor could it have any operation on the contract.
      (Opinion:) Per Curiam. When this cause was before us after the former trial, we decided, upon the testimony of Mr. Williams, which was all the evidence then in the case, that Frank Duncan, the pauper, was not a slave. When the bill of sale, under which Williams held him, was found, we granted a new trial to the plaintiffs.
      At this last trial, the defendants have objected to the admission of the bill of sale in evidence, because its execution was not proved by witnesses. But the instrument was more than forty years old, and, as an ancient deed, was properly submitted to the jury. It is an established rule of evidence, and often recognized, that a deed more than thirty years old may be given in evidence, without proof of its execution, when found in the possession of the party claiming under it, and the possession of the thing conveyed has followed the conveyance.
      The authority of Bott to execute the bill of sale has also been questioned. But a less formal authority was sufficient for the sale of a personal chattel, as a slave must be considered to be, than for the conveyance of real estate; and after more than thirty years' undisturbed possession even of real property, we should think it too late to question the authority of the agent who had undertaken to convey it. The property of a personal chattel may pass by delivery without deed, and even without writing. In this case, Bott had sufficient authority from Firmin, the owner, in a letter requesting Bott to sell the slave, or to find another master for him.
      It has also been argued that the bill of sale, if its execution had been legally proved, had not the effect to convey the property in the slave. But it appears to have been a full and absolute transfer of the slave for his life. Williams's scruples, as to the right of holding a fellow-creature in bondage, made no difference in the character of his property; nor did his intentions to emancipate him, or his promise to that effect, or his final execution of that intent, in any wise affect the nature of his purchase. No contract made with the slave was binding on the master; for the slave could have maintained no action against him, had he failed to fulfil his promise, which was an undertaking merely voluntary on his part. While Frank continued in Williams's service he was to every intent his slave. He had a legal right to keep him in service for life; and in case of his sickness or inability to labor, his master must have supported him at his own expense.
      Judgment on the verdict.


"Record of the Massachusetts volunteers, 1861-1865" (anonymous); pub. Boston: The Adjutant-General under a resolve of the General Court, 1868-1870, 1886 pgs. (LH12744; HeritageQuest 5/2007; FHL books 974.4 M2mar v.1-2 pt.1-3 and film 1,321,031 items 1-2)
         Duncan, Lorenzo S., age 21, $325.00, Hinsdale, Dec. 15, '63, Aug. 20, 1865, expiration of service. (MAD: Berkshire Co.)

FRANCIS DUNCAN, Rev. Pension Application S-34773, MA (FHL film 970,863; National Archives Roll 863)
      Applied 27 April 1818, aged 78, of Stockbridge, Berkshire Co. MA; enlisted May 1777 at Stockbridge MA in Capt. Chadwick's Co., Col. Brewer's Reg., Gen. Patenford?'s Brigade (MA State Line), discharged 1783; Statements 27 April and 23 Oct. 1818 by Agrippa Hall of Stockbridge, Berkshire Co., acquainted with Frank Dunkin for 40 years past; Frank Dunkin never deserted; statement 10 Sept. 1818 by Joshua Danforth, paymaster in 1783; statement 13 Oct. 1818 by Jonathan Rawson of West Stockbridge, Berkshire Co.; neighbor of Frank Duncan for 45 years.
      Statement 3 July 1820, aged 79, resident of Gt. Barrington; original pension #4482; pauper for a long time on account of loss of sight; no family.
      Click here for more from the pension file.

Pension Index Card File, alphabetical; of the Veterans Administrative Contact and Administration Services, Admin. Operations Services, 1861-1934; Duff to A-J Duncan (negative FHL film 540,888, some cards very faint); Joseph Duncan to Dunn (positive FHL film 540,889, some cards very dark)
      Cataloged under Civil War, 1861-1865, pensions, indexes; does not say if Confederate or Federal, but probably Federal. Negative film, some cards much too faint or dark to read, some cards blurred or faded, particularly the service unit and the dates of application. Most of the very faint or dark cards were in a slightly different format, with space for years enlisted and discharged which were sometimes filled in. Many of these were for service in later years, although one or two were for service ca 1866.
      Name of soldier, alias, name of dependent widow or minor, service (military unit or units), date of filing, class (invalid or widow or minor or other), Application #, Certificate #, state from which filed (sometimes blank), attorney (sometimes blank, MAD: did not usually copy), remarks. Sometimes the "Invalid" or "Widow" class had an "s" added to it before the application #; occasionally the area for the service information included a circled "S". The minor's name was frequently that of the guardian rather than the minor.
      The military unit was frequently the Company Letter, the Regiment Number, sometimes US Vet Vol Inf. (US Veteran Volunteer Infantry), L.A. (Light Artillery), H.A. (Heavy Artillery), US C Inf (US Colored? Infantry), Cav. (Cavalry), Mil. Guards, V.R.C. (?Volunteer Reserve Corps?), etc. Sometimes there were several service units given.
      Cards appear to be arranged by the last name, first name, middle initial if any, and state (including "US") of service.
      Duncan, Justin M.; A 54 Mass. Inf.; 1890 Aug. 5, Invalid Appl. #868397, Cert. #611723, Iowa; remarks C2570400. (MAD: 1850 Berkshire Co. MA census)
      Duncan, Orrin, widow Duncan, Catherine A.; C 55 Mass. Inf.; 1890 Aug. 30, Invalid Appl. #955944, Cert. #913350, Conn.; 1914 May 11, Widow Appl. #1041092, no cert., Mass. (MAD: 1850 Berkshire Co. MA census)

HISTORIES before 1923

"Origins in Williamstown : a history" (Berkshire Co. MA) by Arthur Latham Perry; pub. unknown: The author, 1904, 658 pgs. (LH7074; HeritageQuest 5/2007)
      Pg.40: George Kidder ... was three years in the late war as a private soldier in the 37th Massachusetts, Colonel Richards, was ruptured in the service, wore a truss ever after, "never got any pension, -- if Dr. Duncan had lived, he would have helped me get it." ...

"History of North Adams, Mass., 1749-1885 : reminiscences of early settlers : extracts from old town records : its public institutions, industries and prominent citizens, together with a roster of commissioned officers in the War of the Rebellion" (Berkshire Co.) by W.F. Spear; pub. North Adams, Mass.: Hoosac Valley News Printing House, 1885, 122 pgs. (LH6533; HeritageQuest 5/2007)
      Pg.63: Professional. Lawyers - date of their settlement: O.C.B. Duncan, about 1848.

"Emma Willard and her pupils, or, Fifty years of Troy Female Seminary : 1822-1872" (Rensselaer Co. NY) ed. by Mrs. A.W. Fairbanks; pub. New York: Mrs. R. Sage, 1898, 962 pgs. (LH4363, HeritageQuest images 6/2007; FHL film 6,071,296)
      Pg.300: DUNCAN, ELIZABETH H., daughter of Samuel and Catharine V. (Bratt) Duncan, was born in Williamstown, Mass. The family home was in Hoosick, N.Y., when she entered Troy Seminary in 1846, where she continued until 1848. ... In 1850 she married Shepard Thayer, of North Adams, Mass. Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Thayer, one daughter and two sons are living. ... In 1896 Mrs. Shepard Thayer's home continued in North Adams, Mass. (MAD: Williamstown, Berkshire Co. MA; Hoosick, Rensselaer Co. NY)


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