DUNCAN-L ArchivesArchiver > DUNCAN > 2000-09 > 0968449123
From: "Mary Ann Dobson" <>
Subject: [DUNCAN] Benjamin and Abner Duncans
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2000 14:38:43 -0700
There were at least two pair of Benjamin and Abner Duncans in the early
One of them was Abner Duncan, born 1772 NC, of Johnson Co. TN in 1850, wife
Sarah, who had a son Benjamin Duncan whose widow Rebecca lived in Lee Co. VA
Abner Duncan's wife was given as Sarah Beard in a posting by Sherry Cook on
the Duncan mailing list in 1996. Sherry Cook listed birthdates of their
children as given in "The Dugger Family" by Frances Rowan, but there is at
least one discrepancy. One of the women listed as a daughter of Abner
Duncan and Sarah Beard was Nancy Duncan, b. Dec. 22, 1808, married Jan. 29,
1833, Caswell C. Taylor. However, this Nancy Duncan, wife of Caswell
Taylor, was an heir of Jeremiah Duncan, named as such in Rhea Co. TN Will
Book A, pg.425, on 6 April 1840. There were other females given as children
of Abner Duncan and Sarah Beard, but of the 11 children listed, the only
sons were named as Thomas Duncan, b. 10 Oct. 1811, and Andrew J. Duncan, b.
6 March 1819, married on 6 Feb. 1842 Bathsheba Rasor, d. 14 Oct. 1864. No
original source was given for the list of children or the maiden name of
If Frances Rowan or Sherry Cook are on this list, PLEASE pitch in with more
Abner Duncan's wife was given as a Miss Hatley in a letter dated Aug. 21,
1939, written by N.C. Duncan of Erwin, TN, to Mrs. Bonnie S. Ball of Toms
Creek, VA, in response to her inquiry of Dec. 1 1938 to Mrs. J.L. Duncan.
The letter said in part:
"Our father Franklin Duncan came from Johnson County Tenn. He had an
uncle Benjamin Duncan whose Fathers name was Abner Duncan. Benjamin had one
brother Andrew J. Duncan. Abner Duncan's wife was a Hatley. It looks as
though your Great Grand Father might be my Great Uncle. My Father Franklin
Duncan was Born in Johnson Co. Tenn. Dec 10 1830 He Died here in 1915 My
mother was Katherine Dugger Daughter of Jacob Dugger also of Johnson County.
This is about all the information I have just now probably could find more
"Hope this will be a part of the information you Desired
"P.S. My Father and mother was borned and raised near Butler Tenn.
their P.O. then was Ironville I understand it has been discontinued long
Mrs. Ball had sent me a copy of the original letter in 1986, but in 1989 was
no longer researching.
There was definitely a Benjamin Duncan connected to Abner Duncan in Johnson
Co. TN, as shown by the following land records. I'm leaving in the deeds by
Barsheba Duncan, widow of Andrew J. Duncan, just in case they help someone.
Johnson Co. TN Deeds from index
Deed Book 1, 1836-1845 (FHL film 944,471)
1-156: 25 March 1839, Johnson Hampton of Carter Co. TN to Benjamin
Duncan of Johnson Co. TN, for $100, 50 acres on Rones Creek, granted by TN
#13482 to Johnson Hampton 20 May 1779, beginning at a white oak near main
road that crosses Stone Mountain, except the iron ore which is for the use
of Ezl. Smith in contract for him; wit. Ezl. Smith, James R. Edmondson.
1-387: 24 Oct. 1838, bond of Benjamin Dunkin of Johnson Co. TN to
Elias Vines of same, for $600; to make title by 1 Jan. 1840 to 100 acres
whereon I the sd. Dunkin now lives, being part of the tract of land that
Abner Dunkin lives on which is to be divided by a line as it now runs
between them by a Staate (sic) line with that lane in part and 53 acres
adjoining the same on the East end and 10 acres on north side including
Fords mill adj. the first mentioned tract. Wit. Ezl. Smith, Daniel Cable.
/s/ B. Duncan. Benjamin Duncin appeared in court 14 Feb. 1839.
Deed Book 5 (FHL film 944,473 item 1)
5-129: 4 April 1866, Barsheba Duncan of Johnson Co. TN to D.F. Bash,
C. Philips, A.G. Gower, H. Hopper & Co. of State of KY, for one half dollar,
lease land in Johnson Co. TN for 99 years, land being 150 acres near main
road, corner of E. Smith and Vines, on waters of Roans Creek, to bare dig a
mine for coal, iron, salt water, oil or other minerals, for 1/10 part;
mining to commence within 5 years; /s/ Barsheba (X) Duncan, D.F. Bash & Co.
Deed Book 7 (FHL film 944,473 item 3)
7-297: 24 Feb. 1873, Barsheba (X) Duncan, admx. of Andrew J. Dunkin
decd, to A.B. Greenwell, for $150, 21-1/4 acres in 5th Civil District adj.
lands of Joseph Wagner, A.T. Smith and others, adj. side of the road, corner
to A.T.Smith and Joseph Wagner, the original line; wit. F.M. Duncan, Wm. H.
Johnson Co. TN was formed in 1836 from Carter Co. TN.
East TN Land Grants, Book 17 (FHL film 1,012,808)
17-524: 21 Aug. 1832, Grant #17639 to Benjamin Duncan, Carter Co.,
Entry #617 on 10 Jan. 1826, 100 acres on Branch Creek on south side of 50
acre survey where said Benjn. Duncan now lives, surveyed 20 Aug. 1827.
Carter Co. TN Surveyor's books, vols. A-(D) 1825-1901, including index (FHL
Vol.B, 1825-1839, page 32: Per Entry #617, Jan. 10, 1826, surveyed
for Benjamin Duncan 100 acres on waters of Rones Creek on South side of 50
acre survey where said Benjamin Duncan now lives; chain carriers Johnson
Hampton Senr. and Abner Duncan; 20 Aug. 1827.
Me again -- I did not find a record of 50 acres granted or sold to Benjamin
Duncan, but may have missed it or it wasn't indexed. Also, I don't have a
record of land granted or sold to Abner Duncan in the Carter or Johnson Co.
TN area. If anyone else has found these, PLEASE share.
There was another Benjamin Duncan in Carter Co. TN from 1818 to 1826 who
owned a town lot in Elizabethtown; this Benjamin Duncan went to Limestone
Co. AL (Carter Co. TN Deeds C-177 and D-109).
There is evidence that the Benjamin Duncan who had been in Johnson Co. TN in
1831 was the same Benjamin Duncan whose widow Rebecca lived in Lee Co. VA.
There is a marriage record for their daughter on 9 Aug. 1857 in Lee Co. VA
(Record Book 2, pg.4, line 5: Elbert E. Smith, 21 single b. Russell Co. VA
par. John & N. Smith, to Rosannah H. Duncan, 18 single b. Johnson Co. TN,
par. B. & R. Duncan; mar. by James J. Edwards. (FHL film 32,441) Rosanah
H. Duncan is on the 1850 census in Lee Co. VA with Rebecca Duncan.
There is a marriage record for their son on 4 Nov. 1871 in Lee Co. VA
(Record Book 2, pg.27, line 16): Elbert S. Duncan, 40 single b. Johnson Co.
TN, par. Benj. & Rebecca Duncan, to Catharine Burton, 25 widow b. Lee Co.
VA, par. Jeremiah & Alice ?? Fugate. Elbert Duncan is on the 1850 and 1860
census in Lee Co. VA with Rebecca Duncan.
Mrs. Ball said in 1983 that on a marriage record in Lee Co. VA for one of
Benjamin Duncan's children, it had Benjamin Duncan as father and near it
were the letters "Ashe Co. N.C." Benjamin Duncan married Rebekah Bedwell on
11 June 1829 in Grayson Co. VA, Return Book 4 pg.18, by Rev. Isaac Moore,
recorded in Return Book 4 pg.18 ("Carroll/Grayson Co. VA Marriages" by John
Perry Alderman). There is also information on this family in "Bedwell
Family" by Larry King, 1982, although there may be a few mistakes.
The other Benjamin Duncan (Sr.) and Abner Duncan combination stayed in
Virginia, but we haven't identified Benjamin Duncan (Jr.) after 1828.
Benjamin Duncan, born perhaps ca 1770, was in Washington Co. VA in 1811
(Deed Book 4, pg.435). He died about 1812 leaving a widow Susanna (Cox) and
at least 9 children living in 1828. Six of their children are identified in
One of the sons was Benjamin Duncan (Jr.) born before 1810, an adult in 1828
when he joined with several other heirs to sell the land of Benjamin Duncan
Sr. (Washington Co. VA Deed Book 13, pg.419). He was probably one of the
two sons born 1800-1810 living with Susannah on the 1820 census in
Washington Co. VA. This Benjamin Duncan hasn't been identified positively
later. It is possible he moved to Indiana as did other Duncans from
Washington Co. VA about 1825-1835.
Another son was Abner Duncan, born 1796 VA, in the War of 1812, who married
first on 5 Oct. 1815 to Rachel Ward, and second on 19 April 1837 to Mary
Fulton, died 2 March 1869 apparently in Washington Co. VA; his widow Mary
lived in Lee Co. VA according to his pension papers.
Another son was Henry Duncan, born 18 April 1808, died 24 April 1886. Henry
Duncan's death certificate in Fayette Co. IN named his parents as Benjamin
Duncan and Susanna Cox.
An Abner Duncan and a Benjamin Duncan were both in the War of 1812 in
Bradley's Regiment of the VA Militia.
Some of the daughters of both Abner (Sr.) of Johnson Co. TN and Benjamin
(Sr.) of Washington Co. VA have been identified, but I've tried to confine
this to the sons, primarily those named Benjamin or Abner.
I hope this helps a little to sort out the two families. There are times I
wish these people would stay put!
Regards, Mary Ann (Duncan) Dobson, the Genealogy Bug