James Duncan was born around 1769 in Northern Ireland. He was a Presbyterian of Scots-Irish heritage and settled in North East Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania in 1797. He married Nancy Beatty, a Scots-Irish Presbyterian of Milroy, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, in 1799. Her family had emigrated from Donegal, Ireland. James served as a Ruling Elder of the First Presbyterian Church in North East Township for sixteen years and also fought in the War of 1812. James died in 1861 at the age of 92 and is buried with his wife Nancy at North East Cemetery.

James and Nancy had at least seven children, including William, Hugh, Alexander, Archibald, and Robert B.

Hugh Duncan was born in 1799. He married Rachel Glass and moved to Poland, Ohio. They had seven children: Harrison, Mary Jane, Andrew Jackson, William Wallace, Sarah, Emma, and Charles. Sadly, Harrison, Sarah, and Charles passed away when they were each about four years old.

  • Mary Jane Duncan married John Dunlap, a hardware merchant from Ireland.  They lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and had 11 children, four of which lived to adulthood. 
  • Andrew Jackson Duncan married Sarah Elizabeth McKinley, the sister of President William McKinley.  Andrew and Sarah had 4 children. (A diary of Andrew Jackson Duncan can be found at the University of Michigan William L. Clement’s Library, for more information click here)
  • Emma Duncan married Clark Stouch.  Emma passed away at 33 years old; I’m not sure if she had any children.

William Wallace Duncan, son of Hugh Duncan and Rachel Glass, was born October 1838 in Poland, Trumbull County, Ohio. A physician by profession, William Duncan moved from Poland, Ohio to Fayette County, Illinois when he was in his late 20’s. He married Jennie Salina Ford 21 September 1869.

William died on 31 May 1907; the cause of death was “lack of nourishment, caused by paralysis and rheumatism with complication,” having suffered for three years. He is buried in Oakridge Cemetery in Effingham, Illinois.

Jennie, William’s wife, was born December 1846 in Ohio to Barnabas S Ford and Eliza Ann Slusser. After William died, his wife Jennie lived in Effingham for a while and then moved to Los Angeles, California with her daughter Blanche and son-in-law George Foley. Jennie lived to 90 years old and is buried with her husband in Oakridge Cemetery in Effingham, Illinois.

William Wallace Duncan and Jennie Salina Ford had three children:

  1. Nellie Mae Duncan, born 4 July 1871 in Vera, Illinois; married Charles McElhiney on 12 April 1903; died 5 September 1950 in Toledo, Illinois.  Nellie and Charles did not have any children.
  2. Blanche E Duncan, born abt 1874 in Effingham, Illinois; married George B Foley in 1921 in Los Angeles, California; died in 1959.  Blanche and George did not have any children.

3. Charles Andrew Duncan was born 22 June 1877 in Effingham, Illinois. Charles married Margaret A Rostron, daughter of James H Rostron of England and Annie Nora Cain of Ireland, on 9 August 1901.  Margaret was born September 1879 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

Charles was a stenographer; he worked as a mail clerk for the U.S. Railroad.  After marrying Margaret in 1901 in Illinois, the family immediately moved to Pennsylvania, where their first son was born three months later. They briefly moved back to Illinois and then to Indiana where they resided at 404 Pearl Street, Richmond, Indiana.  By 1920, Charles and Margaret had settled in Youngstown, Ohio.  In Youngstown, the Duncan family resided at 1415 Rigby Street and also 432 Florencedale Ave.

Charles Andrew Duncan and Margaret (Rostron) Duncan had five children:

Either John William Byron Duncan or Charles Robert Duncan (“Barney” or “Chuck”)
  1. Charles Robert Duncan, born 6 October 1901 in Pennsylvania; married Julia M Young 16 January 1940; died 18 August 1984 in Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio. He had two biological daughters prior to marriage, but did not have a relationship with them.
  2. James A Duncan, born 7 September 1906 in Effingham, Illinois; died 19 August 1976 in Youngstown, Ohio.
  3. John William Byron Duncan, born 20 April 1909 in Richmond, Indiana; died 24 July 1990 in Union County, Ohio.
  4. Mary Madonna Duncan, born 14 February 1914 in Richmond, Indiana.  Grew up in Youngstown, Ohio and then moved to Brooklyn, New York.
  5. Marcella A Duncan, born 17 July 1916 in Ohio; married Robert Grant in 1941; died 7 June 1972 in Youngstown, Ohio.

Duncan Photos (click here)

If you have any questions, comments or corrections, please let me know! My sources for information on the Duncans prior to 1860 mostly come from lineage books, such as this, and bible entries. Sources used for info after 1860 are far more accurate, such as birth, marriage, and death certificates.

Research Goals for the Duncan Lineage: 

  • Find out more about James’ involvement in the war of 1812.
  • James lived till 92 and spent most of his life in North East Township, there must be an obituary.
  • Rachel (Glass) Duncan instructed her children Mary and Andrew to leave everything to Wallace Duncan through a trust which he would receive regular payments.  I don’t who Wallace is, possibly the son of Emma Duncan and Clark Stouch?
  • Find more information on Jennie Salina Ford (obituary, death record, parents Barney S Ford and Eliza A information).
  • Order Ohio death certificates for Charles Andrew Duncan and his wife Margaret (Rostron) Duncan.

5 Responses

      1. About 1828, my DUNCANs left County Londonderry, Ireland and emigrated to Frampton, Quebec. Eventually they spread down into the states. I’m broadening my search as I look for some strays.

        I found some of the Pittsburgh DUNCANs and a W. R. DUNLAP in the oil business to be interesting reading. It was the DUNLAP & DUNCAN name which Google directed me to your blog. Unfortunately, I see no connection of my DUNCANs to any of the Pittsburgh DUNCANs or your Ohio DUNCANs.

  1. Candace Perry

    I am a descendant of Hugh’s brother John (born 1809). This is a hugely frustrating family, as there should be more documentation than there is!

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