The Duncan's of Trimble Co., Kentucky
The Duncan's of Trimble Co. Kentucky

Our Duncan family descends from Rev. William Duncan. I have spent a lot of years tracing this Duncan family (which is my maiden name). I haven't had names of the children of most of the families that lived and remained around Trimble Co. There are people that I've never fully documented, though I have tried, but would definitely love to know if information is available on them.

James Duncan and wife, Asenath Browning lived in Gallatin Co. in 1810, and he was b. Culpeper, VA July 18, 1746 and died Gallatin Co., KY on November 22, 1823. I have searched (from a distance), and did find where Asenath sold their property in 1834. I don't know what happened to her after that time, where he was buried or anything more about them. The other couple that I've had no luck whatsoever in finding were the parents of Eliza Jane McCormic, that married Frederick Duncan. Their marriage license shows that both of them were born in KY, though they married in 1831 in Jefferson Co., IN, and lived there (owned land) for a few years following their marriage. Though I've hunted in both Jefferson Co., IN and Trimble Co., KY, I've not found a trace of a McCormic(k) family in either places.

William, son of James and Asenath Browning Duncan, b. in VA and died in 1857 in Trimble Co., KY, m. Polly Connell, dau. of Jesse Connell, Sr. & his wife, Nancy Lawson. I have the names of Polly's siblings, but nothing more on her family. I know Polly's father came from So. Carolina and served in the Revolutionary War, and that they lived around Gallatin (early) and Trimble Co., later.

Children of William and Polly Connell Duncan were:
Francis Duncan m. Patience Coleman (moved 1842 to MO, 3 children) and I do have a few records on that family. Died Gentry Co.MO.
Frederick K. Duncan, m. Eliza Jane McCormic(k) (to MO in 1852 - and hold a lot of records. There's a lot left to research, but not in KY.
I've lost his daughters, Sena, Rachel, & Cornelia after his death in 1875, and have never got a lead as to where they went.
William Duncan eventually m. Mrs. Sally Young, but he must have lived with his parents until 1850 or so. Nothing on him.
Jane Duncan Coleman m. Wm. H. Coleman. I've found some records over the years on this Coleman family. I don't know whether they are complete or not, but at least some.
Then, Sena Duncan m. James Chowning. Yes, Tellitha was the mother of James Chowning. I have her will, and notice of where she died. I've never found what relationship there is between James Chowning and Thomas Chowning. They could have been brothers, but her will gave everything to James, and Thomas wasn't mentioned, so I just don't know.

I mistakingly have thought for several years that the Marian Ann that married Thomas Chowning was the daughter of Frederick. Recently I was able to prove that she was not, but instead was the dau of William & Polly Connell Duncan. This Marian Ann lived at home with her father and mother until the 1850 Census at least. Frederick's daughter (who I formerly believed was this Marian Ann was only M.A. Duncan on what records I could find. This M.A. Duncan was only 7 years younger than Marian Ann. This M.A. Duncan married Thomas D. Elliott in 1853 in Harrison Co., MO, and her name was Mary Ann Duncan. I hold records on her children.

I have little information on the children of James and Asenath Browning Duncan, except to know who they married.

Francis Duncan, b. Mar. 19, 1772 Culpeper Co., VA. (Have not found any record of him in or around Gallatin or Trimble Co., KY)
Reuben Duncan, b. Jan. 3, 1774 m. Mrs. Johnston (Sally) Young.
Mary Duncan, b. Feb. 27, 1776, m. Rev. George Strother (I have bits and pieces on this family, but it's not all put together).
William Duncan, b. May 17, 1778 Culpeper Co., VA m. Polly Connell, dau. of Jesse Connell, Sr. & Nancy Lawson. Hold some records of this family, his Will, etc., and have been told tht Polly died between 1830 & 1840 - No record of her death.
James Duncan, b. May 16, 1780 Culpeper, VA m. (1) Lucy Pryor; and (2) Catherine Pryor, both daughters of Samuel Pryor. (Hold some records on James' family, but not complete)
Ann Duncan, b. Mar. 10, 1784 m. Willis Jackson (Have no research on this family at all).
Willis Duncan, b. Mar. 21, 1786, Culpeper, VA m. Martha Pryor. (Have recorded what I could find, but nothing much of this family.
Sallie Duncan, b. June 22, 1788, m. Capt. Jack Pryor. (Haven't researched this family at all.

In a book on the History of Harrison Co., MO, it states that one F. M. Duncan came from Gentry Co., MO to Harrison Co., MO. and he committed suicide. This F. M. happens to have the same initials as my Francis Marion Duncan, and I've been questioned about it. I know my Francis Marion Duncan died of pneumonia in Lawrence Co., MO, one day before his 30th birthday, leaving a wife and 5 children.

In 1842, (according to a Gentry Co., MO book) a John Duncan moved to Gentry Co., later married Mary A. Wood, and they had several children. Francis, son of William and bro. of Frederick, also left KY about 1842, first going to Clay Co.,MO, later to Harrison Co.,MO for 1-2 years, and by 1850 was in Gentry Co. MO. (The 1850 Census doesn't show them living near to one another, but I can't determine who this John Duncan is. Some of his children's names certainly match up with our Duncan lineage. I've thought that he possibly might have been a son of Willis, Reuben, or James & Lucy or Catherine Pryor, but have not been able to list their immediate children, so I don't know where he fit in.

Note: The Duncan Information provided here was updated 21 April 1998 with the following information:

Here is some proof of why I believe William Duncan, father of my Frederick and his siblings, Francis, Marian Chowning, Seny Chowning, Jane Coleman & William Duncan died about 1857 or 1858. Have not found a will for him yet.


Deed Book F, Page 14: 26 May, 1859 (hardly readable in places) This INDENTURE made and entered into this 26th day of May, 1859 between William B. Duncan (gh-note the middle initial "B") and William L. Coleman and Jane Coleman, his wife, Witnesseth that whereas WILLIAM DUNCAN father of said WILLIAM DUNCAN and JANE COLEMAN, dec'd....of in and to a certain tract or parcel of land lying and being in the County of Trimble and State of Kentucky, and on the waters of Corn Creek. Whereas WILLIAM DUNCAN hath bought out all of the undivided interest of all of the Children of said WILLIAM DUNCAN, deceased (except his sister, JANE COLEMAN) to wit FREDERICK DUNCAN, FRANK DUNCAN, MARIAN CHOWNING, ANY (Should be SENY CHOWNING, and they have conveyed their undivided Interest to the said WILLIAM DUNCAN, which land is bounded as follows, to wit: Beginning at the two poplars and a dogwood, thence S. 76, W. 246 poles to a Gum and ... in Lerez? Barnes Line thence N. 14 W. 140 poles to a white walnut, ash and Sugartree, thence N. 60 E. 40 poles to a white oak and sugartree, thence N. 30, E. 36? poles to an Ash, thence N. 45 E. 40 poles to a gum? and sugar tree, thence N. 5, W. 32 poles to a Buckeye &, N. 29, E. 14 poles to a red and white oak, thence S. 76, E. 40 poles to a Red Oak, thence N. ?0, E. 86 poles to a White Oak, Hickory and Mulberry, thence S. 14, E. 158 poles to a small poplar and Aston?, thence S. 57, E. 34 poles to a Sugar tree and a Stone, thence S. 5, W. 51 1/2? poles to a large Poplar and a Stone Thence S. 38, W. 7 poles to a Stone, thence S. 14. E. 23 poles to the beginning containing 306 acres and 51 poles.

And whereas the said WILLIAM L. COLEMAN and JANE COLEMAN, his wife and WILLIAM DUNCAN have agreed upon and made partition of the same tract of land amongst themselves in manner and form following, to wit, the said JANE COLEMAN is to take, have and hold as her share and part thereof, Fifty two acres, bounded as follows: To wit: Beginning at an oak on the back branch, thence N. 28 1/4, E. 98 poles to a stake// on the Branch near a Walnut, thence N. 66 1/2, W. 27 poles to a Sugartree, thence N. 11, W. 6 1/2 poles to the Mill Race, thence with the Race S. 66 1/2, W. 39 poles, thence S. 7 1/2, W 13 poles to where the water crosses the Race, thence S. 45, W 123 1/2 poles to the beginning, and the said WILLIAM DUNCAN is to take and hold as his share and part thereof, 254 acres and 51 poles, the Remainder of the aforesaid tract of lan being five shares to wit: FREDERICKS, FRANKS, MARIANS, SENYS, and his own, and the said WILLIAM DUNCAN, does by these presents, quit claim, release, ?? convey and corm unto the said JANE COLEMAN, her heirs and assigns forever, all the Lot, tract or parcel of land set apart to her as aforesaid with the apurtenances thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining and the said WILLIAM L. COLEMAN and JANE COLEMAN, his wife, do by these presents quit claim, release, convey and confirm with the said WILLIAM DUNCAN, his heirs and assigns forever, all the lot tract and parcel of land set apart to him as aforesaid, with the appertenances thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining. In Witness thereof, the parties have hereunto set the hands and seals the same day just written. ST of KY, Trimble County WILLIAM L. COLEMAN (SEAL), JANE COLEMAN (SEAL), WILLIAM DUNCAN (SEAL), I. William Samuel, Clerk of County Court for the County aforesaid, do certify that the foregoing deed has this day acknowledged by the .... .... to be their act and deed, whereupon said deed together with this certificate has been duly admitted to Record in my Office. Given under my hand, the 26th of May, 1859. W. SAMUEL, Clk. *******************************************************************************

Trimble Co., KY ... Book E. Page 226: 5 MARCH, 1858

FRANCIS DUNCAN & PATIENCE (gh-COLEMAN) DUNCAN, his wife & FREDERICK DUNCAN & ELIZA, his wife of Gentry & Harrison Counties, Missouri, sell to WILLIAM DUNCAN of Trimble County for $400, the undivided interest to them to the folowing tract of land in Trimble on the waters of Corn Creek, being the same which WILLIAM DUNCAN, deceased lived at his death. (our portion by 1/6 part each) of said tract, bounded on the north by Moses Tandy's heirs, south by John A. Bain, East by Gettings, Rowlett on the west. Containing 300 acres. Said FREDERICK and FRANCIS being sons of WILLIAM DUNCAN, dec'd. (This was excerpted by Donna Thompson for me, so isn't complete)

In other records, William paid James and Seny Chowning notes for a total of $500 for their part of the land. William gave notes to Thomas and Marion Chowning for $156.66 on 10 Feb., 1859, $166.66 due 10 Feb. 1860, and again $166.66 to pay on 10 Feb. 1861.


I have lots of records regarding the Duncan family, and some on the Coleman and Chowning families. The BIG BIG bunch of records that I don't have, and have not been able to document, were records on my JAMES DUNCAN and his wife ASENITH (SENA/SCENA/SCEENY) Browning Duncan. According to everything I've found so far, he died in 1823 in Gallatin Co., KY. I did find one record where Asenith Duncan sold land, which I assumed was their homeplace in 1834. I have never found a trace as to what happened to her from that time on. I've got Tax Lists showing a James and a William DUNCAN in 1802, but can't be absolutely sure that this was my JAMES DUNCAN.

I've always been unsure as to whom Frederick's and Eliza Jane McCormic ? Duncan daughter, only referenced as M.A. Duncan on the 1850 Census as 1835. I was contacted last year by Maggie Beckstead and Betty Lou Goodrich of Moses Lake, WA, and they were hunting for their Mary Ann Duncan, who was their great grandmother, trying to find their family.

After a bit of research, we finally proved that my Mary Ann Duncan moved to Harrison Co. MO in 1852 with her father, mother, sisters, Rachel, Cordelia, Sena, and brothers, William Garnet and Francis Marion Duncan.

Mary Ann Duncan, dau. of Frederick and Eliza Jane Duncan married Thomas Davis Elliott, b. 6 Jan. 1820 in Gallatin Co., KY. (He had been married before and has about 4 children before his 1st wife died). Mary Ann and Thomas married in Harrison Co., MO on 6 Dec. 1853. They had five more children, and eventually moved to Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai Co., ID where most of the family died and are buried.


The travels of Frederick & Eliza and his brother, Francis & Patience Coleman Duncan is as follows: Francis & Patience left Trimble Co. KY ca 1842 and went to Cass Co., MO. They later, about 1852/3 moved to Gentry Co., MO, and this was about the time that Frederick and Eliza Jane made their move to Gentry Co., MO. Francis & Patience made their last move over into Harrison Co., MO. Francis died in 1872 and Patience (Coleman) dau. of Wyatt Coleman, died in 1878 both in Harrison Co. MO. They had 3 children, John, James and Elizabeth Duncan, m. Rice.

Apparently, when their father, William Duncan died...(1857/8?) they returned to Trimble Co., KY together as Eliza Jane was definitely named on the above records. I've never found one record on her since that time.

Sometime between 1858 & 1860 (not found on Census), Frederick and his family moved to Madison Co., Iowa, where his two sons married. By 1876, the family had moved down to Cass Co., MO, then to Lawrence Co., MO, where Frederick and his son, Francis Marion Duncan died, and were buried there in Rock Prairie Cem.

My biggest unanswered questions are:
Where can I get help in Gallatin, or do you have any references available that would prove my James (1746-1823) & Asenath Duncan being the parents of William and all of his siblings?

Eliza Jane McCormic m. Frederick Duncan in 1831 in Jefferson Co., IN, just across the Ohio River. Both said they were born in Kentucky, her in 1814 and Frederick in 1807. After their marriage, they had property over there, and eventually sold it and moved back into Kentucky after their oldest daughter, Lucy Jane (that married Hugh McIntire) was born. I've never found anything that tells of Eliza Jane's death, somewhere between 1858 and 1860 sometime.

Georgia Helderlein passed away December 2016. Her work remains here in her memory.

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