Duncans in Centre Co. PA


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

Last revised November 21, 2010

Formed 1800 from Lycoming, Mifflin, Northumberland, Huntingdon
Clinton formed 1839 from Lycoming, Centre


1810 Centre Co. PA Census
Pg.173  Saml. Duncan         00100       - 00201            Ferguson
   188  James Duncan         12020       - 30010            Aaronburg

1820 Centre Co. PA Census
Pg.286  James Duncan         300101      - 12101            Hains
   292  Thomas Duncan        000100      - 10110            "

1830 Centre Co. PA Census
Pg.363  David Duncan         0000,11     - 0011,2           Gregg
   413  James Duncan         0103,0000,1 - 0001,001         Hains

1840 Centre Co. PA Census
Pg. 75  James Duncan         0000,2000,01 - 0000,1          Haines
        O.P. Duncan          1100,1       - 2001,11    (next to James)
        (MAD: 1838 Union Co. PA census; 1860 Stephenson Co. IL census)
   115  David Duncan         1220,201     - 0101,11         Gregg

1850 Centre Co. PA Census
Pg.65, #812, David DUNCAN 54 PA merchant $44000
                  Susan 44 PA
                  Robert 19, James 15 PA
                  Thomas 13 PA
                  Elizabeth HAYES 25 PA
                  Catharine REPEKA? 25 PA
                  Sarah YAKLY 22 PA
                  Sarah MAY 14 PA BLACK
Pg.169, #194, John J. DUNCAN 27 PA w/others

1860 Centre Co. PA Census
Boggs Twp.
Pg.361, #1537-1583, John M. McCOY 43 PA iron master $24000-$1,000
                  Jane Ann 40 PA
                  Frances (f) 16, Mary 13 PA
                  Wm. P. DUNCAN 22 PA clerk
                  Nancy WILSON 40 PA servant
                  Ann DAVIS 20 PA
                  Thos. SCHOCKINCY? 25 IRE
Gregg Twp.
Pg.489, #276-284, Robert H. DUNCAN 29 PA merchant $46000-$35000
                  Mary L. 25 PA
                  David W. 1 PA
                  Susan M. 54 PA
                  Mary E. 19 PA
                  Amanda WALTERS 18 PA servant
                  Eli C. McCLINKE 21 PA clerk
                  John WARDS 19 PA clerk
                  Charles WALTERS 50 PA day laborer
                  Harriet (WALTERS) 15 PA
Haines Twp.
Pg.503, #1306-1337, Mary GRAHAM 54 PA (blank) $0-$600
                  Francis J. (m) 23 PA
                  James DUNCAN 18 PA
Penn Twp.
Pg.754, #870-892, Wm. C. DUNCAN 40 PA gentleman $25000-$2000
                  Mary Jane 33 PA
                  Margaret Jane 12 PA
                  John Foster 6 PA
                  Anna M. 4/12 PA
                  John V. FOSTER 30 PA merchant $0-$6000
                  Sarah RARICK 22 PA servant
                  Ralph MUSSER (m) 16 PA servant
                  (MAD: 1870 Union Co. PA census)
Pg.754, #871-893, James M. DUNCAN 45 PA gentleman $0-$0
                  William L. MUSSER 50 PA innkeeper $2000-$1000
                  Rebeca (sic) 36 PA
                  Sarah J. 17, Ema (f) 12 PA
                  Wm. L. 10, Allice R. 6 PA
                  Agnes 4 PA
Walker Twp.
Pg.952, #1946-2009, Andrew GREGG 60 PA ironmaster $0-$2500
                  Margaret 55 PA (blank) $16,000-$0
                  Anna 29, Julia 24 PA
                  Susan 20 PA
                  Patrick BERIV?? 45 PA servant
                  Ann STOUT 15 PA
                  Peter C. JOHNSON 35 PA clerk
                  John J. DUNCAN 37 PA (blank)

1870 Centre Co. PA Census
Gregg Twp.
Pg.461-462, #29-30, DUNCAN, R.H. (m) 39 PA merchant $75,000-$35,000
                  Louise 31 PA keeping house
                  Wallace (m) 10 PA
                  Louise 4, Alexander (m) 1 PA
                  Mary E. 36 PA
                  FIDDLER, Katherine 19 PA domestic servant
                  MINNICH?, Mary J. 15 PA domestic servant
                  DUNKLE, Louise 11 PA nurse
                  PORTER, George S. 30 PA clerk in store
                  VanVALZAH?, John F. 26 PA clerk in store
Harris Twp.
Pg.510, #27-27, RECKERD, John 23 PA laborer $0-$0
                  DUNCAN, James 35 PA laborer
                  HOGAN, Martin 40 IRE, parents of foreign birth
                  RECKARD, Emily 37 PA keeping house
                  Robert 9, Matilda 7 PA
                  Agness 1 PA
Rush Twp.
Pg.673, #153-153, DUNCAN, James 58 PA laborer $0-$150
                  Catharine 43 NY keeping house
                  David 22, Richard 16 PA laborers
                  Electer (Electos?) (f) 12 PA at home
                  Catharine 7, Anna 3 PA at home
Bellefonte, S. Ward
Pg.763, #91-90, HOUSEL, Lewis 48 PA landlord $0-$10,000
                  Elizabeth 50 PA keeping house
                  and others, including
                  DUNCAN, William 32 PA machinery mafr.

1880 Centre Co. PA Census; partial (HeritageQuest image 3/2007)
Bellefonte Borough, South Ward, pg.29, S.D.7, E.D.226
Pg.242A, #188-209, FOSTER, Samuel, w/m age 57 mar. retired farmer PA PA PA
    Jane B., w/f 55 wife mar. keeping house PA PA PA
    Edward, w/m 27 son mar. miller PA PA PA
    Jane A., w/f 30 daughter-in-law mar. PA PA PA
    BAUER, Charles, w/m 24 boarder single Professor of Penmanship PA Spain France
    DUNCAN, John M., w/m 27 boarder single Prof. in Academy MD MD France
    BELCHER, John, w/m 28 boarder single teacher PA PA PA
    OGDEN, Phoebe, w/f 40 boarder mar. teacher NJ NJ NJ
      (MAD: John M. Duncan in 1900 St.Louis Co. MN census)


Centre Co. PA (no source) (from index cards of Kit Smith 8/1983)
      Bk.B, pg.190- Thomas Duncan, late of Aaronsburg; will dated 27 Sept. 1843, prob. 18 Oct. 1843. My late son Thomas had: John, James, Elizabeth w/o John Hale; my children David, James M., Oliver Perry, Wm. O.; daus. Isabella Caldwell, Mary Graham. Exrs David Duncan, James M. Duncan, Oliver Perry Duncan. Wit. Chas. Coburn, Emanuel Ettinger.
      Bk.B, pg.191- John Irvin, late of Harris Twp., will dated 9 Sept. 1843, prob. 23 Oct. 1843: Wife (not named); dau. Susan, 1/2 to children by Thomas Duncan (not named), 1/2 to her children by 2nd marriage (not named). Wit. James Watson, Robert S. Watson.


Cumberland Co. PA Deeds
      S-53/55: 5 Dec. 1807, Samuel Robinson of PA, Practitionery of Physic, and wife Mary Serena to James Duncan of Cumberland Co. PA, Attorney at Law, for $1, sell messuage and tract or parcel of land on the River Mississippi at or near the Tunica Village containing 500 acres more or less, being the same premises which Lucetta Pollock of City of Philadelphia and now decd. by her will devised to the said Mary Serena Robinson, and also all other lands etc. within the bounds of the Government of Baton Rouge or other dominions of his Catholic Majesty or within the Mississippi Territory or other Territorial Government of the US, and also all houses, lots of ground and tracts of land situate in the counties of Cumberland, Center, Northumberland, Lycoming, Bedford, Mifflin and Westmoreland in the State of Pennsylvania or in other parts of said state which James Pollock late of Borough of Carlisle devised to afsd Mary Serena and others and whereof a moiety became vested in said Mary Serena on the decease of the afsd Lucetta Pollock ... together with all improvements ... Samuel Robinson and wife Mary ... /s/ Saml. Robinson, Mary S. Robinson. Wit. Craven N. Luckett, James Green, for Samuel Robinson; Arch. Loudon and H.H. Brackenridge for Mary Serena Robinson. Recorded 16 Jan. 1808. (FHL film 21,055; SLC 9/9/2010; edges of pages very dark to very light)

Philadelphia Co. PA Will (FHL film 21,731; see Philadelphia Co. PA for more)
      1-26 to 34, #110: 5 Dec. 1801, will of Margaret Duncan of City of Phila., widow, (lots of religious terms). .... Remainder of estate, including two tracts in Centre Co., one tract in Dauphin Co. and any bonds that may be due me when I die, to be sold to pay debts. To my granddau. Ann Timothy 500 lbs to erect a building. I discharge my children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren and my son or sons in law from payment of any bonds, etc. Appoint son Matthew Duncan and son in law William Bailey as executors. Wit. Peter Lohra, Silas E. Writ?, Jas. Humphreys Jr. Rec. Dec. 1, 1820.

Mason Co. KY Wills (FHL film 281,824)
      G-79: 13 Dec. 1825, David Duncan; son James Duncan and also note on him 24 Feb. 1794; 4 children of my son David Duncan decd, viz, Lucius, Alfred, Maria and Greer, $20 each if it can be made out of a debt due me from their father dated 14 Dec. 1805; son Ennis Duncan $100 to be credited on a note assigned to me on him by Joseph Duncan dated 10 May 1815; 2 daus. Elizabeth and Jane keep property they have acquired for themselves since they have become of lawful age; daughter Nancy Lindsey $2; 1/8 part to the seven children of my son William Duncan decd to be equally divided; 1/8 part to son Martin Duncan; 1/8 part to dau. Polly Campbell; 1/8 part to dau. Nancy Lindsey or her children; 1/8 part to dau. Elizabeth Duncan; 1/8 part to dau. Jane Duncan; 1/8 part to son Benjamin Duncan; 1/8 part to son Joseph Duncan. Son Joseph Duncan trustee for dau. Nancy Lindsey; son Joseph Duncan and such other person as he may choose if he wants as executor. Wit. Benjamin Umstatta, Jas. Morris.
      Codicil: Nancy Lindsey to have share equal with her sister Polly Campbell, no restrictions. Daus. Jane and Elizabeth executors with son Joseph. 3 Feb. 1826. Wit. Jas. Morris, Benjamin Umstatte.
      Codicil: Son Joseph spent much time at my business; divide property into nine shares, Joseph to get two shares. 9 April 1827. (David Duncan signed this codicil by mark). Wit. Jas. Morris, Charles Burgess. Probated June, 1827.

HISTORIES before 1923

1883 "History of Centre & Clinton Cos. PA" by John Blair Linn (Los Angeles Public Library book 2/3/1982)
      (MAD: Haines Township was originally in Northumberland Co.; see Mason Co. KY)
      Pg.301: Aaronsburg: The First Store-keeper. -- James Duncan was the first store-keeper in 1790, and April 1, 1798, a post-office was established at Aaronsburg, and Mr. Duncan appointed postmaster. He was born in Scotland in 1758, and came with his father to the place where Lewisburg now stands some years before the Revolution. His father erected a cabin there in 1773, in connection with William McMurray, lying between Millheim and Aaronsburg. On account of Indian troubles, David Duncan and his family returned to York County in 1782, and subsequently removed to Fredericksburg, Va. Two of his sons, David and Enos, removed to Kentucky and were progenitors of well-known families in that State and Louisiana.
      James, having had some altercation with his father, wrapped his clothes in a handkerchief, had one of his brothers row him over the Rappahannock, and walked to Lewisburg, where he worked as a day laborer. His father wrote to him to sell the tract of land above mentioned, and allowed him all he received over fifty dollars. With this start he went to Northumberland, selected a small stock of goods, which he could carry on horseback, and made his way to Aaronsburg in the year 1790. He was the first sheriff of Centre County, Oct. 28, 1800, built Elk Mills, at Millheim (now Mussers) in 1817, and rebuilt Spring Mills in 1822. He took John Forster into partnership, and the firm of Duncan & Forster was known all through Western Pennsylvania. Even after stores were established at Bellefonte, people passed them by to deal with Duncan & Forster, on account of superiority in quality, cheapness in price of the latter's goods, and long credit - usually a year - they gave their distant customers. There is yet a razor in use, in possession of Hon. James Macmanus, purchased fifty years ago at their store, which in time gone by was borrowed and used by lawyers traveling the circuit, and which the late W. M. Potter, Esq., always borrowed when he left home for other counties.
      After conducting a successful business for fifty years, James Duncan, Esq., retired from business in 1840, and died Oct. 14, 1843, aged eighty-five. He was married five times. His first wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Wilson, who lived half a mile west of Lewisburg. She died at Aaronsburg, Feb. 8, 1797, aged twenty-eight, leaving two children. Thomas, who died Oct. 5, 1825, aged thirty-one, leaving a widow, Susan Irvin, now dead, who afterwards married James Potter, Esq. (3d). Her children by Thomas Duncan were the late Mrs. John M. Hale, of Reading, and John Duncan, both deceased. David Duncan, Esq., who died Sept. 6, 1855, at Spring Mills (father of Robert H. Duncan), was Mr. Duncan's other child by Elizabeth Wilson.
      Mr. Duncan's second wife was Jane Cook (nee Dundass), by whom he had the late Mrs. Isabella Caldwell, of Lewisburg, Mrs. Mary Graham, late of Aaronsburg, O.P. Duncan, now of Hastings, Neb., James M. Duncan, Esq., and W. Cook Duncan, of Lewisburg.
      After the death of his wife Jane, Sept. 20, 1820, Mr. Duncan married a Mrs. Pedan, of Columbia, who died Sept. 15, 1823. He subsequently married Mrs. Sophia Maxwell (mother of Hon. William Maxwell, late president judge of Mercer County) who was a daughter of George Lashell, of Union County, who died in 1837; when, fifth, he married Mrs. Martha McClelland, who died Feb. 13, 1847, aged sixty-five.

"Commemorative biographical record of central Pennsylvania : including the counties of Centre, Clearfield, Jefferson and Clarion : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, etc." by Moses Mendenhall, Mary Mendenhall, Tomas Carlton, Thomas Temple, et al; pub. Chicago: J.H. Beers, 1898, 1941 pgs. (LH11366, HeritageQuest images 6/2007; FHL film 1,000,533)
      Pg.110: JAMES POTTER, son of Judge James Potter, was born at Potters Mills, Centre county, December 1, 1789. On December 20, 1814, he married Maria Wilson, daughter of Gen. William Wilson, and by her he had the following children: James, Susan (married to O.P. Duncan), William W., John, Dr. George L., and Andrew Gregg. For his second wife, James Potter married Susan Irvin, widow of Thomas Duncan (deceased), by whom he had children as follows: Thomas D., Irvin W., Maria (married to Dr. Hendricks), Annie A. (married to Dr. W.C. Spaulding), Jacob Lex, Charles H., and Mary Ellen (married to Simeon H. Crane and residing in Chicago). The father of these, in connection with his brother John, was extensively engaged in mercantile and manufacturing business. In 1856 he removed to Watertown, Wis., and afterward to Madison, Ind., where he died March 22, 1865. (MAD: much more on other members of the Potter family)
      Pg.375-376: J.W. HARTER ... born in Gregg township, Centre county, April 5, 1855, ... John Harter, the grandfather of our subject, was born on a farm south of Aaronsburg, and in that village was educated. He married Barbara Musser, a daughter of Philip Musser, a farmer living near the cemetery at Millheim, Centre County, ... For twenty-one years the grandfather operated a rented farm belonging to James Duncan, but the last eleven years of his life were passed upon a farm of 133 acres near Spring Mills, which he purchased and greatly improved ... his death which occurred in 1855.

1889 "Biographical Annals of Deceased Residents of the West Branch Valley of the Susquehanna" by John F. Meginness (from Florence Dyess 9/1987)
      Pg.105. Duncan, James - located where Lewisburg, Union Co., now stands in 1773, and built a cabin in connection with William McMurray. Owing to the Indian troubles, they returned to York Co. in the year 1782, and afterwards went to Fredericksburg, VA. Having had some disagreement with his father, he wrapped his clothes in a handkerchief, had one of his brothers row him across the Rappahannock, walked to Lewisburg, and worked there as a laborer. His father allowed him to sell the tract of land he had, taking to himself all over fifty dollars. With the balance he went to Northumberland, bought a stock of goods such as he could carry on horseback, and went to Aaronsburg in 1790. In 1800 he was the first sheriff of Centre Co., built Elk Mills in 1817, and rebuilt Spring Mills in 1823, and, taking John Foster into partnership, Duncan & Foster became a well known mercantile firm. He retired from business in 1840, and died Oct. 14, 1845, aged 95. (MAD: see 1883 "History of Centre & Clinton Cos. PA" by John Blair Linn; says he died Oct. 14, 1843 at age 85.)

"Pennsylvania: Genealogies chiefly Scotch-Irish and German" by William Henry Egle, 1886; 2nd edition 1896 (Placerville book GEN REF 929.109748 E)
      Pg.744: Thomas Wilson m. 1760 Elizabeth Hays; to Union Co. PA 1792; d. Buffalo Valley 1799. Widow in 1803 with sons William & Thomas to Beaver Co., PA, where she d. Dec. 1812. Issue:
      iii. Elizabeth, b. 1769; d. February 8, 1797; m. James Duncan, b. 1758 in Scotland; d. October 14, 1843; he was the first sheriff of Centre county in 1801; and had issue:
      1. Thomas Duncan, b. 1794; d. October 5, 1825; m. Susan Irvin (see Linn's History of Centre county, Pa., p. 204, for notice of Irvin Family); and had issue:
            a. Elizabeth L., d. June 23, 1880, at Reading, Pa.; m. John M. Hale; and had issue (surname Hale): ....
            b. James, d. at New Orleans, La.; an attorney-at-law; left issue, Maud.
            c. John, d. at Bellefonte, Pa.; s.p.
      2. David Duncan, b. 1797; d. September 6, 1855, at Spring Mills, Pa.; m. Susan Hayes, of New Berlin, Pa.; d. September 8, 1865; and had issue (surname Duncan):
            a. Robert H., of Milton, Pa.; m. Louisa, daughter of Dr. James Douglass; and had issue: D. Wallace, Louisa Dougal, and Alexander H.
            b. Dr. Thomas, surgeon United States army, 1861-5; d. July 27, 1867, in Mo.; s.p.
            c. Mary, of Spring Mills, Pa.


DUNCAN FOLDER, Heber G. Gearhart Collection, Genealogical Society of PA, (FHL film 525,548; This collection has a lot of material on Duncans in PA)
      Newspaper Clipping, Feb. 18, 1922, about death of Mrs. William P. Duncan. (MAD: very blotted; Centre Co. PA)

"The Story of Thomas Duncan and His Six Sons" by Katherine Duncan Smith, 1928, (Los Angeles Public Library book R929.2 D911; also from Wayne R. Johnson 8/1993, and John A. Duncan)
      This book contains information about descendants of Thomas Duncan, wife Jane, who died in 1776 at Carlisle, Hopewell Twp., Cumberland Co. PA.
      This book also contains on pg.137, extracts from letters of Aug. Duncan. (WRJ: brother of William A. Duncan, Congressman from Cattsburg, PA) of Falling Spring Place, Chambersburg, PA, March 11, 1895, about Seth Duncan, in Abbotstown then Lancaster Co., now [1895] Adams Co., in 1741; and his son General William Duncan who died in Philadelphia about 1885 near 100 years of age.
      Pg.97-99 contain the full copy of a letter from John G. Ford, of 713 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Feb. 15, 1896, also about Seth Duncan who emigrated from the county of Donegal, Ireland, to Pennsylvania, about year 1750 and first settled in Octorara Township in Lancaster County, then to York, PA, then to Abbotstown in York, now Adams County, and his descendants. His letter mentions David Duncan, who kept a large store in either Penn's or Sugar valley in Centre Co., Penna, and a few of his descendants.


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