Tag Archives: Robert Duncan

1829 Will of John Duncan of Nelson County

The Duncan and Lewis families were relatives of my Linton family.  They settled in northern Nelson County, in the Bloomfield area, near the Spencer County line.  Port Gibson, mentioned in the will, is located in Mississippi.

In the name of God amen.  I, John Duncan, of the county of Nelson and state of Kentucky, knowing that it is appointed once for all men to die, being weak in body but of good mind and memory, blessed be Almighty God for the same, do make and publish this my last will and testament, in the manner and form following.  First of all, I recommend my body to the earth to be buried in a decent Christian-like manner.  As it respects such worldly property with which it has pleased God to bless me, first, I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife, Mary Duncan, all of my estate during her life, both real and personal, of which I die seized or possessed with, or whatever part she chooses to keep, if she sees cause not to keep all, whatever part she sees cause not to keep, to be divided among my children equally at my death, and as for my estate both real and personal, of which I die seized or possessed, I do at my beloved wife’s death give, will and bequeath to each and all my children an equal proportion of all my money, goods and chattles, both real and personal, of which I may die seized or possessed.  At the death of my beloved wife, I do give, will and bequeath to my son, Charles Duncan, a Negro woman by the name of Eliza, about nineteen years old, which is now in my daughter Rebecca Dye’s possession, John Dye, her husband, has hired and her time is not yet out.  I do also give, will and bequeath the said negro woman Eliza and her increase forever to my son Charles Duncan, for my daughter Rebecca Dye’s particular use, during her natural life, and at her death to descend to her children, and the remainder, whatever more come to her, my daughter Rebecca Dye.  I do give, will and bequeath to my son Charles Duncan, for my daughter Rebecca Dye’s particular use during her natural life, and at her death to descend to her children.  And it is my will and desire that the whole of the land shall be divided equally in quantity and quality, as there is a great difference in the value of the land, and for the remainder of my estates, both real and personal, of which I may die seized or possessed with I do give, will and bequeath each and every one of my children an equal proportion of all my money, goods and chattels, both real and personal of which

I may die seized or possessed, my daughter Elizabeth Coursey that is now living near Gibsonport, it is my will and desire that her part shall be in money or something else to suit her as I do not wish for any of the Negroes to go down to that country.  I give and bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Coursey her proportion of my estate during her life and at her death to descend to her children, and I do hereby constitute, ordain and make this my last will and testament, and I do hereby disannul, disallow and revoke all other wills by me formerly written.  And I do appoint my beloved wife, Mary Duncan, my two sons, Robert and Charles Duncan, my Executrix and Executors, to this my last will and testament.  In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty-first day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine.

John Duncan

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the above named John Duncan to be his last will and testament in the presence of us:

John Saunders, Thomas Dawson, Searles Lewis

At a County Court held for Nelson County at the courthouse in Bardstown on Monday the 12th day of April 1830.

This last will and testament of john Duncan, deceased, was presented in court and proved by the oaths of John Saunders, Thomas Dawson and Searles Lewis, the subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded and on the motion of Charles Duncan, one of the executors therein named (the other two having refused to act), he, having given bond with Robert Duncan, John Duncan, Robert Smither, Thomas Huston, James Tyler, Alexander McMeekin and James Thomas, his securities, gives bond in the penalty of $20,000 conditioned according to law and took the oath the law in  such case directs.  It is ordered that a certificate of probate of said will be granted him.  Attest.  Nathaniel Wickliffe, Clerk of the Nelson County Court, appointed by said court 12th day of May 1830.

Will Book F, Pages 438-439

Duncan Family of Jessamine County

In an earlier post I shared photos of the small Duncan Cemetery located on Main Street in Nicholasville.  Today I share more information about the family, from one of the biographies gathered and written by W. H. Perrin, J. H. Battle and G. C. Kniffin, published in 1887.   Biographies were written and accumulated over the state and country during this time period, to save the historical information of local, ordinary people.  I have found these to be useful not only in my Kentucky research, but also in Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska.  Remember to use these biographies as a beginning point, going back to original research to back up what is written in these biographies from over a century ago. 

To see more photographs of this cemetery go to the Duncan Cemetery blog written in April of this year.

from Kentucky – A History of the State; Perrin, Battle, Kniffin, 1887

Jessamine County

Duncan Family

It has been truly said, ‘Those lives that are without striking incidents are nevertheless worthy of record.’  That portion of history which is denominated biography has particular claims upon the historian, and truth is but a matter of common honesty.  Rev. William Duncan was born in Perthshire, Scotland, January 7, 1630.  He fell a martyr during the religious troubles that afflicted Scotland at the time Charles II was restored to the throne of his ancestors.  Rev. William Duncan had a grandson, William Duncan, who was born in Scotland, April 19, 1690, and settled in the colony of Virginia in the year 1719.  He was married to Ruth Rawley February 11, 1722.

Rawley Duncan, born in Culpeper County, Virginia, November 23, 1724, was the grandfather of the late William Duncan of Jessamine County, who died in 1863, and was born in Jessamine County, January 1, 1788.  William was married to Miss Nancy Blackford, daughter of Benjamin Blackford, in 1813.  The following are the names of his children in their order:  Ryan, born November 6, 1814; Margaret, January 14, 1817; Catherine, July 17, 1819; Sally Ann, October 21, 1821; James B., February 7, 1824; Robert, September 8, 1826; Benjamin S, February 13, 1829; Charles W., April 28, 1831, and Mary D., September 25, 1834.  Robert and Benjamin are the only sons now living.  Mrs. Kate Bourn and Mrs. Sallie Scott, the only daughters.

William and Nancy Blackford Duncan’s stones are the two taller ones in the middle row.  William  Duncan, born January 1, 1788, died September 6, 1863.  Nancy, wife of William Duncan, born December 17, 1791, died June 24, 1860.

Robert Duncan was married to Miss Virginia Nave, youngest daughter of Jonathan Nave, in 1865.  The names of his children are Maggie Florence, Robert Jacob, Lizzie, Miranda and Emma Besueden.  Benjamin S. Duncan was married to Lucy A. Funk, youngest daughter of John Funk, May 22, 1856.  His children are:  Allen B., Carrie B. and John W. Duncan.  Allen B. Duncan married Miss Georgia Proctor, daughter of J. W. Proctor, cashier of the First National Bank of Danville, Kentucky.  Carrie B. Duncan married David Bell, son of Dr. Bell and grandson of the late Judge Robertson, both of Lexington, Kentucky.  J. W. Duncan is not married.

Charles Duncan, the grandfather of Robert and Benjamin, was born at Culpeper C. H., Virginia, October 8, 1762.  He settled in Jessamine County in 1787, where he reared a large family, and died during a visit he made to Washington, Indiana, July 12, 1829.  Sallie A. Duncan, daughter of William and Nancy Duncan, was married to Robert Carlisle, in 1851; he was a native of Fayette County, Kentucky.  His father was Robert Carlisle, who was born in Virginia, and John G. Carlisle is a nephew of Robert Carlisle, Sr.  R. G. Carlisle was a school-teacher in this county about 1850.  He was born in 1820, and his death occurred in 1864.  One child born to Robert G. Carlisle survives, Lizzie G., married to James A. Hulett, of Jessamine County.  Sallie A. Duncan’s second marriage was to Willaby S. Scott, who was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky, in 1815, died in 1882, leaving three children, Sallie, Carlisle and Eliza.  Mrs. Scott owns seventy acres of fine land in Nicholasville Precinct.  B. S. Duncan owns 380 acres in the same precinct.


Duncan Cemetery On Main Street In Nicholasville

The small, iron fence-enclosed Duncan Cemetery on the corner of Main Street and Duncan Street reminds me of the Linton family cemetery in Washington County – just a simple family cemetery, but one with lots of stories and history.

William Duncan, born January 1, 1788, died September 6, 1863.

William Duncan and Nancy Blackford married in Jessamine County, Kentucky, December 22, 1813.  Between the twenty year span of 1814 and 1834, the couple had nine children.  A family Bible gives births, marriages and deaths, which came in handy since a few of the stones were difficult to read.

Nancy, wife of William Duncan, born December 17, 1791, died June 24, 1860.

Nancy Blackford Duncan’s parents are also buried in this cemetery – Benjamin Blackford and Catherine Sadowski.

In memory of Benjamin Blackford, born February 19, 1762, died November 21, 1842, aged 80 years, 8 months and 2 days.

In memory of Catherine Blackford, born October 6, 1770, died February 8, 1832, aged 62 years, 3 months and 2 days.

Rion Duncan was born November 6, in the year of our Lord 1814.  Departed this life September 5, 1849.

Rion Duncan was the eldest son of William and Nancy.  He married Louisa Tompkins.

Louisa Duncan, born February 26, 1816, died April 19, 1853.

In memory of Margaret Duncan, born January 14, 1817, departed this life January 3, 1848, aged 30 years, 11 months and 2 days.

Margaret was the oldest daughter of William and Nancy.

James Blackford Duncan, born February 7, 1824, died August 16, 1854, son of William and Nancy.

Charles W. Duncan, born April 28, 1831, died January 14, 1852, son of William and Nancy.

Alexander Crockett Duncan, born in Russell County, Virginia, June 30, 1787, died May 10, 1857, aged years, brother to William Duncan.

Ann, wife of James B. Duncan, died March 20, 1849, aged 48 years. 

This Ann cannot have been married to the James B. Duncan in this cemetery due to the age difference.  They are not buried side by side.

Information taken from the Bible of William and Nancy Duncan:

  • William Duncan was born January 15, 1788, and died September 6, 1863.  He married Nancy Blackford December 22, 1813.
  • Nancy Blackford Duncan was born December 17, 1791, and died June 24, 1860.


  • Rion Duncan was born November 6, 1814, and died September 5, 1849, from cholera.  He married Louisa Tompkins June 20, 1837.
  • Margaret Duncan was born January 14, 1817, and died January 3, 1848.
  • Catherine Duncan was born July 27, 1819.  She married James Bourn January 21, 1847.
  • Sally Ann Duncan was born October 21, 1821.  She married Robert Carlisle April 9, 1851.
  • James Blackford Duncan was born February 7, 1824, and died August 16, 1854.
  • Robert Duncan was born September 8, 1826.  He married Virginia Nave November 28, 1865.
  • Benjamin Sandusky Duncan was born February 13, 1829.  He married Lucy A. Funk May 22, 1856.
  • Charles William Duncan was born April 28, 1831, and died January 14, 1852.
  • Mary Deziah Duncan was born September 25, 1834.  She married James Carlisle October 5, 1854.

Nancy’s parents:

  • Benjamin Blackford was born February 19, 1760, and died November 21, 1842.
  • Catherine Sadowski Blackford was born October 6, 1770, and died February 8, 1832.