Duncans in McDowell Co. NC


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

Last revised July 27, 2008

Formed 1842 from Burke, Rutherford
Mitchell formed 1861 from Burke, Caldwell, McDowell, Watauga


1850 McDowell Co. NC Census
Pg.255, #4, William DUNCAN 65 SC laborer
                  Milley 57 SC
                  Cecelia 22 NC, Nancy 21 NC
                  Robert 11, Catharine A. 6 NC
                  Jane A. 6 NC
                  (MAD: 1840 Rutherford Co. NC census)
Pg.258, #49, Hampton DUNCAN 30 NC blacksmith
                  Rebecca 26 NC
                  Marion (m) 10, Milly 5 NC
                  James 2, Priscilla 1/12 NC
                  (MAD: ? Marion in 1860 Madison Co. NC census)
Pg.259, #62, John DERRNON? 26 NC laborer
                  Susannah 36 NC
                  (MAD: not Duncan)
Pg.262, #109, James H. DUNCAN 36 NC farmer $3700
                  Sophia 29 NC
                  R.E. (f) 4, James H. 3 NC
                  M.E. (f) 1 NC
                  N.M. RECTOR (m) 10 NC
                  James MOORE 16 NC laborer
                  J.H. MOSS (m) 10 NC
                  William GODFREY 18 NC laborer
                  Mary HODGE 25 NC
                  Moses G. HOOVER 30 NC
                  (MAD: J.E. Duncan mar. Sophia Elliott 3/25/1845)
Pg.263, #128, Alex JIMIESON Sr. 66 VA cooper
                  Nancy 40 NC
                  J.P. (m) 10, Alfred 6, Mary 8 NC
                  Edith 4, Frances (f) 3/12 NC
                  (MAD: Alex Jimison mar. Nancy Duncan 7/4/1844)
Pg.263 (18), #130, Rebecca DUNCAN 41 NC
                  Merrit (m) 21, Samuel 17 NC
                  Elmina 8, William 6 NC
                  Jonathan 5, Hiram 4 NC
                  Rachel DUNCAN 30 NC
                  Archy JIMISON (m) 14 NC
                  (MAD: Rebecca the widow of John; Merit Duncan in 1860 Cocke Co. TN census)
Pg.288, #490, Alexander FINLEY 65 NC farmer $300
                  Isabel 52 NC
                  Caroline 29, Avalaida (f) 24 NC
                  Almira 22, James 17, Jason 12 NC
                  Mary E. 8, Wm. A. 5 NC
Pg.307, #759, Alexander JIMIESON Jr. 28 NC laborer
                  Emeline 23 SC
                  Sarah A. 2 NC
Pg.309, #801, Roland DUNCAN 60 VA farmer
                  Judith C. 54 NC
                  Wesley C. 24 NC farmer $1000
                  Thomas 20, Athen 18 NC
                  Cecelia R. 15 NC
                  Roland W. 12, Judith E. 8 NC
Pg.310, #804, Mary DUNCAN 53 NC $1000
Pg.310, #805, James JIMIESON 49 NC farmer $650
                  Mary 34 NC
                  Elizabeth 11, Louisa P. 10 NC
                  Martha M. 8, Assena F. 6, Cecelia A.M. 5 NC
                  James L. 3, Mariana O. 5/12 NC
                  (MAD: James Jimison 1801-1883, wife Mary Louise Duncan 1814-1891; per 1985 "Heritage of Henderson Co. NC" Vol.1)
Pg.312, #834, Charles DUNCAN 32 NC carpenter
                  Sarah 31 NC
                  James M. 13, Mary E. 11 NC
                  Harrison 10, Ellen 9 NC
                  Sarah A. 7, Ephraim C. 5 NC
                  Nancey J. 4, John 3 NC
                  Infant (m) 1/12 NC
                  (MAD & RD: Charles Dunkin mar. Sally Whitesides 1/19/1837 Rutherford Co. NC; 1860 Henderson Co. NC census next to Hiram Duncan)
Pg.312, #838, Elcana ELLIOTT (m) 39 NC landlord (hotel) $2500
                  Mary 37 NC
                  Elizabeth 15, Mary 12 NC
                  John 10, William 8 NC
                  Margaret 6, Jane 4 NC
                  Rachel DUNCAN 35 NC
                  John BROWN 17 NC labourer

1860 McDowell Co. NC Census
(the page number without parentheses is the stamped number, within parentheses is the handwritten number)
Pg.154 (307), #51, Polly S. DUNCAN 67 VA farmer $1500-$200
                  Margaret 11 VA
                  M.J. CRAWFORD (f) 8 VA BLACK
Pg.154 (308), #54, Rolin DUNCAN 70 VA farmer $0-$0
                  Juda 63 VA
                  Celia 22 NC, E.F. (f) 16 NC
                  Rolin W. 20 NC laborer
                  Isabella 28 NC
                  (MAD: 1870 Henderson Co. NC census)
Pg.162 (323), #156, J.H. DUNCAN (m) 46 NC farmer $7000-$5000
                  Sopha (f) 40 NC
                  Elizabeth 14, Mary 12 NC
                  James 10, Simon 8 NC
                  John 8, Ann 6 NC
                  Darcus 4, Julia 2 NC
                  Polly HOLYFIELD 17 NC
                  O.H.? LAY (m) 20 NC laborer
                  Cyrus ELLIOTT 68 NC
                  Elizabeth 60 NC
Pg.163 (326), #167, S.P. DUNCAN (m) 28 NC laborer $350-$100
                  Artelissa 28 NC
                  James 7, Preston 5, Malissa 3, John 1 NC
                  (MAD: "Artelissa" written very plainly)
Black Mtn.
Pg.180 (360), #402, W.C. HOGAN (m) 23 NC farmer $900-$400
                  Rosa 32 NC
                  S.W. (Simon?) 2 NC
                  Robert DUNCAN 21 NC
Sugar Hill
Pg.192 (384), #575, Henry HUFSTUTLER 44 NC laborer $0-$0
                  Nancy 22 NC
                  G.W. (m) 2 NC
                  Milly DUNCAN 50 NC
                  (MAD: and see pg.402)
Pg.194 (387), #599, Hampton DUNCAN 45 NC blacksmith $0-$0
                  Rebecca 40 NC
                  Milly 15, James 13, Martha 11 NC
                  Louisa 9, David 8 NC
                  Sarah SMITH 50 NC
Pg.201 (401), #697, Hesekiah DUNCAN 50 NC laborer $0-$0
                  Nancy (Nacny?) (f) 50 NC
                  Micajah 18, John 16 NC
Pg.201 (402), #709, Henry HUFSTUTLER 25 NC laborer $0-$0
                  Nancy 23 NC
                  Milly DUNCAN 70 NC
                  (MAD: and see pg.384)
Pg.205 (409), #768, Martha McBEE 85 NC pauper $0-$0
                  Rachael DUNCAN 40 NC pauper
                  Ann WILLIAMS 45 NC pauper
                  Jessee HAINSWORTH? 40 NC pauper
                  Martha FLINGER 15 NC pauper
                  Eliza CURTIS 38 NC pauper
                  William CURTIS 1 NC pauper
Pg.216 (431), #916, Alex. JIMERSON 76 NC laborer $0-$0
                  Nancy 56 NC
                  Mary DUNCAN 19 NC
                  Alfred JIMERSON 17 NC
                  Frances (f) 11, Eady (f) 15 NC

1870 McDowell Co. NC Census
Finleys Twp. No.3
Pg.607, #89-89, DUNCAN, James H. 21 NC (white) farm laborer $0-$0
                  Bettie 19 NC keeping house
                  Charles 1 NC at home
                  Elmira 30 NC at home
                  Samuel 1 NC at home
Jamestown Twp. No.5
Pg.615, #13-13, RHOUR? (RHOM?), Robert 42 NC (white) farmer $250-$100
                  Mary 22 NC keeping house
                  DUNCAN, Wash 13 NC (white) farm labr.
                  PANTHER, George 1 NC (white) at home
Marion Twp. No.1
Pg.641, #275, DUNCAN, Jonathan 30 NC farmer laborer $0-$0
                  Malissa 36 NC
                  James H. 17, Preston P. 14, Malissa 13 NC
                  John C. 10, Mary 9, Grant (m) 1 NC
Pg.645, #312-312, DUNCAN, James H. 56 NC (white) farmer $4000-$500
                  Sim?. C. (m) 18 NC farm labr.
                  John W. 18 NC farm labr.
                  Ann 16, Julia 12, William F. 9 NC at home


Go to the McDowell Co. NC Land Records


McDowell Co. NC Court Minute Dockets (FHL film 19,274)
      1843-1851 - no index
      1845-1867 - no index

Burke and McDowell Co. NC records concerning James Duncan (from Ralph Duncan 11/1985; MAD: possibly brother of Rowland, John, etc.)
      Record #4266, Burke Co. grant to James Duncan, 100 acres, #4037, issued 30 Nov. 1820, entry 7541 entered 24 March 1819, Book 134, Pg.310, on waters of Muddy Creek, joining John Dunkin's line, Jones (James?) Jimeson's line, Lakin's line; later grant 50 acres 3 Feb. 1824 joining his own lines on Finleys fork of Muddy Creek. Survey chain carriers John Duncan & John Jemason
      Deed book ??, pg.86: (blank) day of July 1849, Alexander (m) Finley and wife Isabella (+) of McDowell Co. NC, to James H. Duncan, $10 ($2?), all our right, title etc. to 1/6 part in lot of land in McDowell Co. NC, on John Gremun's(?) line now owned by Wm. M...?, John Jamison's line, Larckins corner, 100 acres (same land as granted to James Duncan 1820) Wit. B.L. Burgiss.
      Bond of James Duncan and Rowlin Duncan, 29 April 1818, for $200; that James Duncan, reputed father of a base born child begot on the body of Hester Hodge, single woman ... to support the child.
      County Court Minutes pg.288, Oct. 1821, James Duncan is assignee of Mary Dunkin.
      County Court Minutes, July, 1827; letters of administration on the estate of James Duncan issue unto John Duncan.
      Nebo Cemetery; has marker for James Dunkin, d. 1827.
      McDowell Co. Deed 3-577: 25 Aug. 1848, Ezekial England and wife Dorcas of McDowell Co. NC to J.H. Duncan for $10, 1/6 part of land ... (RMD: same land as in the deed from Alexander Finley and wife Isabella to James H. Duncan.)
      McDowell Co. Deed 3-576: Polly S. Duncan to James H. Duncan, 1/6 interest in tract of land in McDowell Co. NC (RMD: same land as 3-577, entered March 24, 1819, and granted 30 Nov. 1820 #4037 to James Duncan).

Burke and McDowell Co. NC records concerning John Duncan (from Ralph Duncan 11/1985)
      Bond of John Dunkin and Alexander Jemison for marriage of John Dunkin and Rebeckah Jemmison, 28 July 1828

Burke and McDowell Co. NC records concerning John Duncan (from Ralph Duncan 11/1985)
      McDowell Co. Minute Docket, Fall Term 1850 (no number on this page); Saturday, 9 Nov. 1850: That Mary Duncan age 11 years, William Duncan age 9 years, Jonathan Duncan age 7 years, Hiram Duncan age 5 years, orphan children of John Duncan decd, be bound to James H. Duncan until they obtain their freedom and the said Duncan to learn said boys to read and write and cypher to the double rule of three, and when they obtain their freedom to give each $25 in cash and two suits of good clothes; and the girl to read and write and when she obtain her freedom "(18 years)" to give her one bed and furniture with $12 and two suits of cloths.

Burke and McDowell Co. NC records concerning John Duncan (from Ralph Duncan 11/1985)
      McDowell Co. Complaint, filed April 29, 1871, Roland Duncan et al vs. James H. Duncan; (heading on document had Roland Duncan, Nancy LaKey, Alexander Findley & wife Isabella, W.S. Wakefield & wife Polly, James Land & wife Caroline, Merrit Duncan, Jonathan Duncan & wife Myra Duncan, -- Hyson & wife Ann, Margaret England, Richard Turner & wife Nancy, Dorcas England and Saml. P. England, Polly S. England. (these names x'd out) Richard Turner & wife Nancy vs. James H. Duncan & others. Fall 1871, Superior Court.
            The plaintiffs complain of the defendant: (1) the plaintiffs are the brothers and sisters and the descendants of the brothers and sisters of one Polly S. Duncan who died intestate in McDowell Co. in 1869 without issue. (2) Polly S. Duncan died owning considerable quantity of valuable lands in said county, the principal tract, or home place, being the place where she lived at the date of her death, adj. the lands of Geo. W. Dobson and the heirs of William Murphey decd. & others. (3) From information and belief the defendant James S. (sic) Duncan through fraud, and without consideration, enduced Polly S. Duncan to execute some kind of deed to him or to others for his benefit for all the lands which she owned, the deed was executed but a few weeks before her death and while she was confined to her death bed. (4) Polly S. Duncan died at the extreme age of 85 or 86 years, and for many weeks before her death had been quite weak, both in body and mind. Plaintiffs aver and believe she was greatly harrassed in mind by repeated efforts and affliances of the defendant to induce her to dispose of her property contrary to her real purpose and desire; that deft. now claimes the lands under the fraudulent deed, and is in possession by his tenant. (5) That for many years previous to the death of Polly S. Duncan, the defendant took charge of a considerable portion of her business, that he acted as her agent and advisor in the management of all her business, that the defendant is the nephew of the said Polly Duncan and had so acted towards her for many years as to obtain her complete confidence ... (6) The defendant is a man of shrewd business character, and for many years prior to her death, he resorted to management and combination for the purpose of obtaining the complete influence over the old woman. (7) That the fraudulent deed was written at the instance of the defendant in the town of Marion, and after the old woman had been confined to her death bed, caused her to execute it in the presence of two persons whom he procured to go to the house for that purpose; that although many of the relatives and friends of deceased were in attendance from day to day, yet the defendant managed so adroitly as to conceal the fact from them all ... that (the old woman didn't know what she was doing) ... that the deed has not been offered for probate or registration, that defendant even since the death of the old woman, has tried to conceal the facts. (8) The plaintiffs pray the deed be declared void, the rights of the parties be declared, and for general relief.
            Second document, Richard Turner & wife Nancy vs. James H. Duncan. In this case Nancy S. Turner makes oath that she is the niece of Polly S. Duncan decd. that she with the defendants are the heirs at law of Polly; that the defendant James H. Duncan did shortly before the death of Polly, fraudulently and without consideration obtain a deed for a valuable tract of land, valued at $3000; that deft. had been her agent and obtained great influence over her; that at the time of executing the deed, she was quite too old and infirm and wholly incapable of knowing what she was doing; that the deed is fraud of the rights of the dffs. That affiant makes oath that owing to her poverty, she is unable to give the security or make the deposit for successful prosecution of a suit. May 27, 1871, signed Nancy S. (x) Turner.

McDowell Co. NC Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions document (copy from Ralph Duncan 11/1985)
      Cover: Jas. H. Duncan & others vs. Eleany? Elliott & others, petition to sell land, to Fall, 1851. "The clk will issue copies of this petition & a subpoena to Eleany Elliott & wife, Rachael Duncan & Merrit Duncan of McDowell. Milton Bryen? & wife of Macon & to send an order of publication to the Ashville Mipaufer? for Charles Duncan, Saml. Duncan, James Land & wife Nancy."
      Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, July, 1851. The petition of Jas. H. Duncan, admr. of John Duncan, and Jas. H. Duncan guardian of Elmina, Jonathan, William & Hiram Duncan vs. Eleany Elliott & wife Mary, Rachael Duncan, Charles Duncan, James Land & wife Nancy C., Merrit Duncan, Saml. Duncan, Milton Bryson & wife Ann, defendants.
      Petitioner shows: that John Duncan, late of McDowell Co., died in March 1849 intestate, owning real & personal estate, that administration was granted to petitioner James H. Duncan at May term 1849 of McDowell court; he sold the personal estate for $104.70; that he paid out $106.50 besides what is due him for commissions, there are other debts due to Dr. Michael for some $40, to Dr. Evans $15, to Roland Duncan $50, to B. Wicks? $3, William L. Gill $2, & other small amounts not recollected. That John Duncan claimed an interest in 100 acres of land on the waters of Muddy Creek on Youngs fork, adj. the lands of James H. Duncan & others, on the creek side of Young's Mountain, in the line of J.H. Duncan's old line (RMD: John Duncan grant Dec. 31, 1844); also another tract of 60 acres on the head waters of North Muddy Creek joining lands of William & Logan Cayon, Duncan's line of the Hawkins tract, granted to John Duncan 29 Nov. 1848, which last tract covers a part of the lands of your petitioner James H. Duncan;
            That said John Duncan left your petitioner, Jas. H. Duncan, Elmina, Jonathan, William and Hiram minors under the age of 21 years, the defendants; Mary Elliott married to Eleany Elliott, Rachael Duncan, Merrit Duncan living in McDowell Co., Nancy Land wife of James Land, Charles Duncan, Saml. Duncan, are non residents of the state, Ann Bryson wife of Milton Bryson of Macon Co., his children & heirs at law. That in order to pay the debts, it will be necessary to sell all the above lands. (That the others be summoned to appear at the next court and show cause if any why this shouldn't be done.) 31 July 1851, order for publication of notice in Ashville Newspaper for non-residents.

McDowell Co. NC documents (copies from Ralph Duncan 11/1985)
      Administrators bond of James H. Duncan and Cyrus Elliott, 4 May 1853; James H. Duncan to administer estate of Wm. Duncan. wit. A.M. Finley. (RMD: Wm. Duncan son of John Duncan, brother of Merrit Duncan etc.)
      Administrators bond of James H. Duncan and Polly (x) S. Duncan, 1 May 1856; James H. Duncan to administer estate of Hiram Duncan, wit. A.M. Finley clk. (RMD: Hiram Duncan son of John Duncan, brother of Merrit Duncan etc.)
      Death Certificate of Rebecca Elmyra Duncan, Marion Twp, McDowell Co., #72; female, white, single, b. about 1827 McDowell Co., age about 89, housekeeping, father John Duncan b. NC, m. Rebecca Jimison b. NC, d. 6 July 1916 of dysentery. Info from J.L. Duncan of Marion, NC.
      McDowell Co. NC marriage license 25 July 1870, marriage of James H. Duncan, son of John Duncan and Rachel Bivings, and Julia Isbell, daughter of Fielding Turner and (blank). Married 25 July 1870 by J.R. Moffitt, MG.


McDowell Co. NC documents (copies from Ralph Duncan 3/1986)
      NC Supreme Court Case #5704; McDowell Co. Superior Court case, Spring term 1856, Den in the demise of Alexander Jemmerson by James H. Duncan. This was an action of greetment tried before Bailey Judge at McDowell. The case is as follows: The land in controversy belonged to John Duncan, he being indebted in the sum of $400 to two individuals, conveyed the same to A.S. Erwin as trustee to secure the debt, by deed dated 15 May 1837. To pay the debts, the trustee sold the land to defendant James H. Duncan by deed in January 1838, and the money paid the trustee satisfied the two debts secured.
            The plaintiff claimed the land in controversy as a purchaser at Sheriffs sale under an execution against John Duncan. He offered in evidence a judgement and an execution against John Duncan dated 23 Nov. 1841, a levy on the land 11 Dec. 1841, and a sale by the sheriff on 19 April under a venditioner exponas, and a deed from the sheriff for the land dated 9 Dec. 1850.
            The plaintiff then offered evidence tending to shew that altho the defendant was the ostensible purchaser at the sale made by the trustee, that it was a purchase made really and in truth for the sole benefit of his father, the defendant being the son of John Duncan, that the father furnished the whole of the purchase money and that there was a secret understanding between the father & son that the son should purchase and take the deed in his sons name for the sole benefit of the father and with the fraudulent design of defeating the creditors of John of their just debts. The pltf further offered evidence tending to show that John was indebted to various persons at the time of the trustee's sale, and that James the son was insolvent at that time.
            Upon an intimation by the court that the land in controversy was not the subject of execution & sale under the act of 1812, the plf. submitted to a ?? rule for a new trial ... and the sole question presented to the Supreme Court is, could the land be sold so as to convey to the purchaser the legal title.
            Certification by clerk of Superior Court of accuracy of foregoing transcript, 1 Aug. 1856.

"Reports of cases at law argued and determined in the Supreme Court of North Carolina, from December term, 1855, to August term, 1856, both inclusive" by Hamilton C. Jones, Vol.III (spine title "No. Carolina Reports [Vol.] 48 - Jones' Law Vol.3); Vol.48, pgs.537 to 538 (California State Law Library, Sacramento, 1/2004)
      DEN. on dem. (on demise) of ALEXANDER JIMMERSON vs. JAS. H. DUNCAN; Supreme Court of North Carolina, Morganton; 48 N.C. 537; 3 Jones Law 537; August, 1856, Decided.
      Action of Ejectment, tried before BAILEY, Judge, at the Spring Term, 1856, of McDowell Superior Court.
      The land in controversy had belonged to John Duncan, who conveyed the same to A. L. Erwin, in trust, to secure certain debts due by him. The trustee made sale of the premises, when James H. Duncan, a son of grantor, became the purchaser, paid the purchase money, and took a deed for the land from the trustee, dated in 1838.
      The plaintiff claimed this land as a purchaser at sheriff's sale, under an execution against John Duncan, the father. The Judgment on which this execution issued, was rendered in 1841, and a levy and sale made subsequently thereto. The sheriff's deed to him was dated 9th December, 1850.
      The plaintiff then offered evidence to show, that although the defendant was the ostensible purchaser at the trustee's sale, yet, that it was, in truth, a purchase for the benefit of the father, and that the father, John Duncan, furnished the whole of the purchase money; that this was done upon a secret trust, and with the fraudulent design of hindering, &c., the creditors of said John, in the collection of their debts.
      Upon an intimation from the Court, that the land in controversy, was not liable to be sold under execution according to the Act of 1812, the plaintiff took a nonsuit and appealed.
      (opinion) BATTLE, J. We are unable to distinguish this case from those of Gowing v. Rich, 1 Ire. Rep. 553, and Gentry v. Harper, 2 Jones' Eq. 177; and we think, therefore, that the judgment of nonsuit was right. It is not pretended that the conveyance to A. L. Erwin, as trustee, was not bona fide and fair. Admitting that conveyance to be good, the legal title of the land in question was transferred from John Duncan, the grantor in trust, to the trustee, and then the purchase from him by the defendant, James H. Duncan, supposing it to have been with the money of his father, created exactly such a trust as those of Gowing v. Rich, and Gentry v. Harper, in which it was held that the remedy of creditors was not by a sale of the debtor's interest at law, but by a bill to subject it in Equity. Dobson v. Erwin, 1 Dev. and Bat. Rep. 569, and Morris v. Allen, 10 Ire. Rep. 203, cited for the plaintiff, were cases where sales by sheriffs were successfully impeached for the fraudulent contrivances of the debtors and ostensible purchasers, in consequence of which, it was held that the legal title of the lands still remained in the debtors, and of course subject, at law, to be sold under execution, at the instance of creditors.
      PER CURIAM. The judgment is affirmed.


NC Cemeteries Index, Pre-1914 cemetery inscription card index, by Hist. Rec. Survey, WPA; Card index, surnames D-Jern (FHL film 882,949)
      Index cards alphabetic by name; copied oldest only
      Nebo Cemetery, State Hwy 10, US 70, McDowell Co. NC
            James S. Duncan, d. 5/21/1827, age 24 years
            Polly S. Duncan, d. 11/21/1869, age 78 years

McDowell Co. NC Misc. Records 1843-1938 Act-Corres (NC Archives, Raleigh, NC, personal visit by MAD 10/1985; reference given to me by Mrs. Grace Turner, of Wilson, NC 27893, a researcher who knew of my Duncan interest)
      Act-Corres. CR 064.928.2; Corres. A.J. Helton to Polly S. Duncan, 1843 (copied three documents)
      "Mrs. Mary dunken you will please to let Mr. Elija Chambers have those hides, which I left with you and let him pay you for your trouble or else send me word by him how much I owe you and I will pay it my-self when I see you. You will also please to ask Mr. Stewart for fifty cents which is coming to me to this and oblige your friend (signed) Samuel Stewart"
      Half sheet of paper, an account: John Finley Dr to Poly S. Dunkin. To cash 03.00; for bond 30.00; to twenty seven yards of cloth at 25 cts per yd 06.85; one dress and hankerchief and 00.00 trimins 04.00; one drefs 02.00; (total) 45.75. For wasing 2 dollars the milking of one cow at one dollar per month 9 months 2.00, 9.00, (total) 58.75. October the 14st 1848.
      Letter Feb. 5, 1843, from A.J. Helton, Lumpkin Co. GA, to Polly S. Duncan, North Carolina, Burke County, Locus Grove Post Office. Dear aunt. After a long absence I take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well at present through the mercy of God and hoping these few lines may find you enjoying the like blessing. It is about 7 years sense I left you I come to Georgia in 1837 and is now liven in Dahlonega G.A. I will state to you that I am married to a woman whose name was Rody Elizabeth J. Hester I was maried in July the 1st A.D. 1839 And has two children 1 boy and 1 girl whose names is (this?) (Thos.?) Wm. Jasper Helton and Sarough Jane Helton I would be glad to see you an ?? but I hant had the opportunity to come (fold in paper) ... write to me as soon as you get this letter and inform me how you and friends is I have heard from you some time ago that you have had many difficulties and law suits with Rolen Duncan I have wanted to be with you when I heard of the abuize you received from them (those?) who you always befriended so much. Dear aunt wright to me and direct your letter to Dahlonega G.A. Lumpkin P.O. and in so doing you will restore that friendship I have so oft times regrated I do this with a heavy hurt (hart?) So nothing more at present But remaining your most obediant Servant and Sinser friend until death A.J. Helton to Polly S. Duncan.

"Richardson's Law Reports" Vol.9, 1856-1857, or "Reports of Cases at Law Argued and Determined in the Court of Appeals and Court of Errors of South Carolina" Volume IX, from November 1855 to May 1856 Both Inclusive, by J.S.G. Richardson, State Reporter, Annotated Edition, West Publishing Co., St. Paul, 1917. (CA State Law Library, Sacramento, 3/1996; from reference in "SC Marriages 1735-1885 Implied in SC Law Reports" Vol.2, by Barbara R. Langdon; FHL book 975.7 V2L; see Rutherford & McDowell Co. NC, and Spartanburg Co. SC)
      Pgs.68-74: Appeals at Law, Columbia, Nov. & Dec. 1855. William Whitesides vs. H.S.A. Poole. Where creditors of a son-in-law seek to subject to their demands a negro which the father-in-law had permitted to go into the son-in-law's possession, it need not appear that the possession of the son-in-law was adverse. In a suit in this State the law of North Carolina must be proved before a question can be made under it.
      Before Wardlaw, J., at Spartanburg, Extra Term, September, 1855. The report of his Honor, the presiding Judge, is as follows: "Trover, for a slave Prudence.
      (MAD's extract:) The plaintiff lives in Rutherford Co. NC, 10 miles or more beyond the Court House; is old, and has for 20 years been so crippled with rheumatism that he cannot walk without help; has 12 children, who have all left him, and has about 12 negroes. To some of his children he has given a negro a piece, to others not. Fifteen or 20 years ago, Charles Dunkin, who is a carpenter, made a runaway match with Sarah, a daughter of plaintiff. After the marriage, Dunkin lived 3 or 4 years at Monford's Cove, in Rutherford Co., and subsequently he was for a year or so at Rutherford Court House, and for five, six or more years in Marion, in McDowell Co. NC. In the meantime he lived a year or so at the plaintiff's, before he went to Marion. In 1850 or early 1851, he came to work at Spartanburg Court House, leaving his family in Marion. In July or August, 1851, he took his family to the plaintiff's, and there they remained until Sept. 1851, when he with them removed to Spartanburg, where they all yet remain.
      Prudence, a black girl, now 20 or more years old, was born the plaintiff's. To Monford's Cove, Mrs. Dunkin took with her Lucy, a girl born the plaintiff's. Lucy ran away and returned to the plaintiff's. Prudence, then a small girl, went to Monford's Cove in Lucy's place, and ever afterwards, until she was seized by the Sheriff, was in the possession of Dunkin, wherever his family was.
      In July, 1854, the defendant levied on Prudence as Dunkin's property, under many writs of fieri facias against Dunkin, and a mortgage by Dunkin to F. Cantrell; and in August, 1854, sold her to Cantrell for $435 which was applied to the mortgage. Prudence was then worth from $700 to $800 and was demanded from the Sheriff by plaintiff's agent whilst she was in jail, before she was sold.
      Richard Whitesides, a son of plaintiff's, who lives near to his father, in his testimony stated much of what precedes and further as follows: At a camp-meeting in Rutherford Co. in Aug. 1851, I came in during a conversation between father and Dunkin. Father said that he would not let Dunkin have Prudence, but if he had a chance he would buy a girl and make her over to Dunkin's wife and children; that he was afraid Dunkin was so involved that he could not hold property. ... a few days afterward, (another conversation) father said Sarah might take Prudence for a while ...
      In Defence -- the Defendant showed 29 writs of fieri facias, some against Charles Dunkin, and some against Jarrott & Dunkin, partners, of whom Charles Dunkin was one: entered in Oct. 1853, March 1854, and June 1854, also the mortgage to F. Cantrell dated Dec. 30, 1852, including Prudence and another girl, about 23 years old, called Charlotte. ... Dunkin had bargained with Cantrell for a hotel and lot ...
      Plaintiff ... Dunkin had possession of Prudence 7 or 8 years, that the girl was his (the plaintiff's) because he had never given any bill of sale; he said nothing about the laws of NC nor about hiring her to Dunkin; ... by the laws of NC, title of a slave cannot be transferred without writings ... jury found for the defendant (H.S.A. Poole), plaintiff (Whitesides) appealed on grounds that possession was only temporary so could not confer any right on the creditors of Dunkin, and the laws of NC require conveyance in writing, and Dunkin was known where he lived not to be the owner of the girl; appeal and motion for new trial dismissed since proof of NC laws not produced, and possession was not proved temporary.


Index to War of 1812 Pension Applications and Bounty Land Warrant Applications; National Archives Film (FHL film 840,458)
      Duncan, Roland, widow Juda C.; WO 28500; Capt. Fred K. Stevelier's Co. NC Mil. (MAD: McDowell Co. NC)


"TN's Confederate Widows and Their Families; Abstracts of 11,190 Confederate Widows Pension Applications" by Edna Wiefering, 1992 (SUTRO book F435 W43 1992, CA State Library, Sutro Branch; FHL book 976.8 M28w)
      Among many other pensions, this book contains information on pension #7786 of Elizabeth (Martin) Duncan of Knox Co. TN, who had married J.H. Duncan in 1867 in Marion [McDowell Co.] NC; J.H. Duncan died in 1917 in McDowell Co. NC after having drawn a pension in NC where he lived and raised another family although never divorced.

"The Heritage of Burke County [NC] 1981" by Burke Co. Historical Society, 1981 (FHL book 975.685 H2h)
      Pgs.162-163 contain many descendants of Mary Duncan, the widow who died in 1833 and whose children lived in Burke and McDowell Co. NC; the biographical sketch was written by Mrs. Mary Alice Duncan, wife of Ralph Duncan.
      Additions and corrections to this sketch were published on pgs.47-49 in Vol.3 #3, Sept. 1985, of the "Burke Co. NC Genealogical Society Quarterly" (FHL book 975.685 D25b) in an article by Ralph Duncan, who has done a lot of research on the family.

"Heritage of Rutherford Co. NC" ed. by William B. Bynum, pub. by Genealogical Society of Old Tryon County, 1984 (from June Ricketts 1/1986)
      Biographical sketch #232 of Benjamin Hoyle Duncan includes information on his ancestors James H. Duncan 1814-1875 and Sophia Elliott 1821-1864 of McDowell Co. NC; however, the parents of James H. Duncan were Rachel Bivings and John Duncan according to James' marriage record in July 1870, and not Rowland Duncan and Judith Walton (married bef. Jan. 1821) or Jane Cox Walton (married 11/3/1813 Burke Co. NC); from information from Ralph Duncan 3/1986.


Return to Index to Duncan Research Files in North Carolina

Return to The Genealogy Bug's Home Page