Duncans in Jefferson Co. NY


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

Last revised July 29, 2010

Formed 1805 from Oneida


1810 Jefferson Co. NY Census
        No Duncan indexed

1820 Jefferson Co. NY Census
Pg.420  Ananias Duncan      000010   - 10010

1830 Jefferson Co. NY Census
Pg. 77  John DURAN          1100,01      - 1111,01
Pg.107  Ananias Duncan      0110,01  - 1001,01

1840 Jefferson Co. NY Census
Adams Village
Pg.313  Orsanus Duncan      0000,01  - 1200,01

1850 Jefferson Co. NY Census
Pg.255, #349, Lorenzo REYNOLDS 35 NY & family
                  Eliza DUNCAN 14 IRE
Pg.324, #199, Rufus HERRICK & family (sheriff)
                  Roswell DUNCAN 40 NY laborer
Le Ray
Pg.127, #340, Paul DUNCAN 27 CAN EAST laborer
                  Sophia 25 CAN EAST
                  Leonora (f) 5 NY
Pg.185, #1199, Martin HOVERTON & family
                  Catharine DUNCAN 10 IRE
Pg.260, #641, Caroline DUNCAN 42 NY
                  Melissa ROGERS 17 NY
                  Harriet DUNCAN 11 NY
Pg.273, #855-865, Elias A. HEATH 38 NY & family
                  Orsanius? (Orsamus?) DUNCAN 40 NY laborer
Pg.279, #954, David DUNCAN 36 ENG farmer
                  Laura 35 NY
                  Wilbur 1 NY

1860 Jefferson Co. NY Census
Pg.123, #1014-1014, A. DUNCAN (m) 69 SCT carpenter $1200-$200
                  Clarrisa 60 NY
                  Reubin 25 Canada carpenter
                  Gracia (f) 17, Harvy (m) 16 Canada
                  Lumual (m) 14 Canada
Pg.623, #556-556, Laura DUNCAN 44 NY house work $800-$300
                  Wilber (m) 10 NY
Pg.484, #707-718, John WALLACE 82 MA cooper $3000-$1000
                  James 37 NY farmer $0-$1000
                  Sarah DUNCAN 32 NY housekeeper
                  Luella (f) 2, Lydia 1 NY
                  George HAVEY 14 NY

1870 Jefferson Co. NY Census
Town of Adams, P.O. Adams Center
Pg.15, #284-300, THOMAS Newland 45 NY farmer $0-$0
                  Martha 30 NY keeps house
                  Eva 6 NY school
                  DUNCAN, Charles 17 NY farm laborer
                  (MAD: Thomas Newland as written)
Pg.19, #352-367, DUNCAN, Reuben 35 CANada farmer $4600-$2080, parents of foreign birth
                  Mandena (f) 32 NY keeps house
                  Arthur 7 NY school
                  Bradford (m) 1 NY at home
                  (MAD: not father of foreign birth)
Pg.23, #426-445, THOMAS, Sanford 32 NY farmer $16450-$3700
                  Phile A. (f) 26 NY keeps house
                  Jennie 7, Newell (m) 5 NY school
                  Bernard 4, George 2 NY at home
                  HOGAN, David 25 CANada farm laborer, parents of foreign birth
                  DUNCAN, Jason 16 NY farm laborer
Ellisburg, P.O. Belleville
Pg.297, #115-131, DUNCAN, Clarissa 65 NY keeping house $500-$0
                  Hester 38 CANada tailoress, father of foreign birth
                  Lemuel (m) 23 CANada carpenter $500-$200, father of foreign birth
                  Gracia (f) 29 CANada teacher, father of foreign birth
Pg.319, #489-508, DANKS, Samuel 42 NY farm laborer $0-$0
                  Mary 38 NY keeping house
                  Ada 14, Edward 12 NY attending school
                  Bennona (m) 7 NY attending school
                  Harry 11/12 NY b.June
                  DUNCAN, Orsamus (m) 65 VT farm laborer
Henderson, P.O.
Pg.375, #370-378, WALLACE, James 40 NY farmer $6000-$2000
                  Lilly 5 NY at home
                  Ella 4, Gilbert 1 NY
                  DUNCAN, Sarah 35 NY domestic servant
                  Nellie (f) 12 NY at school
                  PETERS, Jerry 22 CANada farm laborer, parents of foreign birth
                  AULT, George 16 NY farm laborer


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, Franklin, mother Knickerbocker, Sophia; B 3 NY L.A.; 1885 March 23, Mother Appl. #324963, Cert. #316878, KY. (MAD: ? Paul & Sophia, 1850 Jefferson Co. NY census)

HISTORIES before 1923

"The Thousand Islands of the River St. Lawrence : with descriptions of their scenery, as given by travellers from different countries, at various periods since their first exploration, and historical notices of events with which they are associated" (Jefferson Co. NY) by C McDonnell, Augustus Sacket, T Cross, H Mackenzie, James Gore; pub. Syracuse, N.Y.: Davis, Bardeen, 1880, 307 pgs. (LH3242, HeritageQuest images 6/2007)
      Pg.134-137: John M. Duncan, 1819. In a journal of travels, in 1818-19, this writer descended the St.Lawrence, and recorded his observations: ... footnote pg.134: "Travels through part of the United States and Canada, in 1818 and 1819; New York and New Haven, 1823. Mr. Duncan died in Glasgow, Oct. 3, 1825, at the age of 31.

"Our county and its people : a descriptive work on Jefferson County, New York" by Joseph Wilcox, James Perry, E. Brown Jr.; ed. by Edgar C. Emerson; pub. Boston: Boston History Co., 1898, 1293 pgs. (LH3329, HeritageQuest images 6/2007; FHL film 934,834 item 1)
      Pg.48: In pursuance of this reservation (northward of the Oneida Lake), August 8, 1789, the surveyor-general was directed to lay off for and at the expense of Penet the tract to be selected by him. John Duncan acted for him and selected a location in the north part of what is now this county, including the greater part of the towns of Clayton and Orleans, and a small portion of Pamelia, within its boundaries. The return of the survey was made and noted in the land office minutes, November 19, 1789. The patent itself was made to Duncan, November 19, 1789, in pursuance of a power of attorney from Penet, dated January 23 of that year. On July 13, 1790, for the nominal sum of five shillings, Duncan conveyed the square to James Watson and James Greenleaf, of New York; and on February 26, 1795, Watson released his half to Greenleaf ...
      Pg.549: The Town of Clayton. ... The Oneidas claimed the territory, but it is probable they were induced to enlarge the extent of their alleged domain at the suggestion of John Duncan, a resident of Schenectady and the agent of Penet in locating the hundred square miles of land granted the latter as "a benevolence" from the Indians. (MAD: more minor mention of the portion of the town of Clayton occupied by Penet's square, 64,000 acres, granted to John Duncan in behalf of Peter Penet)
      Pg.720: The Town of Orleans. (similar mention of John Duncan, not copied, see pg.48) Two-fifths of the tract is in the town of Clayton.

"A history of Jefferson County in the state of New York : from the earliest period to the present time" by Franklin Benjamin Hough; pub. Albany: J. Munsell ;, 1854, 603 pgs. (LH3350, HeritageQuest images 6/2007; FHL book 974.757 H2hj and film 851,121 item 3)
      Pg.42: Mention of survey for Peter Penet, of a tract of ten miles square, as elected by John Duncan, 1789 (MAD: not copied further)
      Pg.43: Peter Penet, by an instrument dated January 23, 1729, (footnote: Sec. office deeds 22, p.277) made John Duncan his attorney, and the latter received, November 19th, 1789, a patent (footnote: ib. patents 21, p.407) for a tract ten miles square, which on the 13th of July, 1790, he conveyed (footnote: not recorded) for the nominal sum of five shillings to James Watson, and James Greenleaf of New York. ... (reference on pg.209-210 to the patent). (pg.210) Orleans (town) In 1807, John Wilkes, one of the proprietors, visited the tract, and is believed to have been the first of the owners who traversed it. ...

"Genealogical and family history of the county of Jefferson, New York : a record of the achievements of her people and the phenomenal growth of her agricultural and mechanical industries" by John Jay Beardsley, Lyman Ballard, Delia E Esselstyn; pub. New York: Lewis Pub. Co., 1905, 1465 pgs. (LH3327, HeritageQuest images 6/2007; FHL book by Rensselaer Allston Oakes, FHL book 974.757 D2o v.1&2 and film 934,834 items 2-3, and fiche 6,061,797)
      Pg.898-900: DANIEL DWIGHT LYON, business man of Watertown, native of the city. His ancestors came from Leeds, England, and were early in Rhode Island. Dr. Benjamin Lyon, a native of Rhode Island, was born April 5, 1770, and died October 24, 1826, in Russia, Herkimer county, this state. His father is supposed to have come from Leeds, England. He was married in 1801, to Margaret Duncan, who was born December 23, 1780, of Scotch ancestry, and died July 5, 1820, in Oppenheim, New York, where Dr. Lyon practiced medicine all his active life. She was the mother of nine children. Dr. Lyon married, May 26, 1822, Rosannah Hall, who died in Russia, New York, leaving four children. The children of Margaret (Duncan) Lyon were: Charles W., Elenor, Julia Ann, Eliza, Charlotte, Mary, Frances, John and George Duncan. Those of Rosannah (Hall) Lyon were: Margaret M., Lucretia C., and Benjamin and Elisha, twins. Charles W. Lyon, eldest child of Dr. Benjamin Lyon, was born March 4, 1802, in Oppenheim, Fulton county, this state, and died February 1, 1866, in Ogdensburg. ... (MAD: much more on descendants, not copied)
      Pg.1048-1049: SETH MATHER, retired contractor and builder living at Orleans, was born in Frankfort, Herkimer county, New York, October 28, 1838. (MAD: more on lineage of Seth Mather, not copied) Seeley B. Mather, the father, was reared to farm life, and pursued his education in Schuyler, New York, ... to Utica, New York, in 1844, died age 66, married Maria Salisbury who was born in Jefferson Co., NY, in 1815, dau. of George Salisbury, 3 children, two living, Seth and Orvilla, a resident of Philadelphia, New York. ... Seth Mather spent his early years in Utica ... in 1882 to Orleans ... Mr. Mather was married in 1865 to Lucy Duncan, who was born in Canada, a daughter of Dr. Alexander Duncan, who in early life took up his abode at Mather's Mills, near Adams, New York, and there engaged in the manufacture of furniture. He died at the age of ninety years, and his wife at the age of ninety-one. In the family were three children: Mrs. Mather; Reuben, who is living in Adams, New York; and Grace, who resides in Belleville, New York. To Mrs. and Mrs. Mather were born four children: Bert, who is living in Lafargeville, New York; Newell, a resident of Utica; Frank, who resides on the home farm; and Lee, in Utica. Frank married Jessie Ford and they have two children.

"The growth of a century : as illustrated in the history of Jefferson County, New York, from 1793 to 1894" by John A. Haddock; pub. Albany, N.Y.?: unknown, 1895, 1005 pgs. (LH3325, HeritageQuest images 6/2007; FHL film 851,120 item 1 and 934,833 item 4)
      Pg.138: Land Titles. ... Meeting of the commissioners of the Land Office ... 8 Aug. 1789, resolved ... on the 19th of Nov, 1789, survey for Peter Penet of a tract ten miles square, as elected by John Duncan, his agent (of the lands ceded by the Oneida Nation of Indians to the people of this State, by their deed of cession, dated the 22d day of Sept. 1788), ... and the said John Duncan, having as agent as aforesaid, made application to the Board for letters patent ... do prepare letters patent to the said Peter Penet. Jan. 23, 1729, Peter Penet made John Duncan his attorney and the latter received, Nov. 19, 1789, a patent for a tract ten miles square, which, on the 13th of July, 1790, he conveyed for the nominal sum of five shillings to James Watson and James Greenleaf of New York. ...
      Pg.376n: Some County Officers. EDGAR CLARK EMERSON, the present judge of Jefferson county, ...
      Another important case was that of Arthur M. Duncan, indicted for murder. In September, 1884, one Van Schaick disappeared very mysteriously from the place where he was at work in the town of Adams. On the night of his disappearance, he had an interview with Duncan, selling him a horse and buggy, and taking Duncan's note in part payment. Duncan and Van Schaick were last seen together that night at the barn where Van Schaick worked, hitching up the horse. About a week afterwards, Van Schaick's trunk was found empty in an out-house, about half a mile from where he worked. The neighbors organized a thorough searching party, and during the search they sent for Duncan, he being the last person seen in company with Van Schaick. Duncan told the searchers there was no use in searching for Van Schaick, as he had got into trouble and had gone West. The searchers then disbanded. About a week after this, a brother of Van Schaick received a letter, mailed in Syracuse, purporting to come from his brother; the letter contained the note which Duncan had given for the horse, and directed the brother to collect the note and send the avails, along with his clothes, to Sturgis, Mich. The brother forwarded the trunk of clothing as directed, but it was returned as uncalled for. In the spring of 1885, some little children playing near a school house, about two miles from where Van Schaick worked, found some flowers growing up through a brush-heap, and on going to pick the flowers, discovered beneath the brush the skeleton of a man. The school teacher was a sister of Van Schaick, and on going to the brush-heap she identified the clothes as those of her brother. Judge Emerson was at once appraised of the finding of the body, and he forthwith telephoned to Adams to have Duncan arrested, and it was done promptly. An investigation developed the fact that on the day the letter was mailed at Syracuse, Duncan was in that city, and that he had himself procured the writing of that letter. He was indicted for murder in the first degree, tried and convicted of murder in the second degree. He was defended by able counsel, the trial occupying over four weeks, and 200 witnesses were sworn. The case attracted wide interest among the lawyers, one of the ablest of whom, declaring it the finest case of circumstantial evidence he had ever seen tried. Duncan is now serving a life sentence in Auburn prison.

1893 "A Memorial and biographical history of McLennan, Falls, Bell and Coryell Counties, Texas : from the earliest period of its occupancy to the present time, together with glimpses of the future prospects, also biographical mention of many of the pioneers and prominent citizens" pub. by Lewis Publ. (Houston, TX, library book 976.4 M, from Lucille Mehrkam 2/1984; FHL film 1,000,605 item 1)
      Pg.378: Rev. JAMES A. DUNCAN, rector of the Parish at Temple and Belton, Bell Co. TX. Born at St. Andrews, Fifeshire, Scotland, the eldest son of David and Mary A. (Gregg) Duncan. ... James attended school at St. Andrews and when education was completed he entered the English Navy and served Her Majesty's goverment four years. At the experation of that period he resigned his position and emigrated to the United States. Here he settled in New Orleans, LA, in 1848. He resumed his study of theology. In 1849 he united with the Episcopal Church at Algiers. In 1853 he went to Canada but at the end of year returned to LA. The following year he purchased land in Grimes Co. TX and for 22 years made this his abiding place. .... Mr. Duncan has been twice married; at Watertown [Jefferson Co.], NY, he was united to Miss Marion Locke, daughter of Capt. Locke, a member of a Scotch regiment, who lost his life in the Island of Ceylon. Mrs. Duncan died in Dec. 1888 at Belton leaving five (sic) children: Silas A. Duncan, Eliz. wife of J.W. Martin, James E. Duncan, Alex Perry Duncan, Emma wife of Louis Eilers, and Louisa who died in Canada. Mr. Duncan was married Oct. 6, 1891, to Mrs. E.T. Young.


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