OVERVIEW[edit | edit source]

From Laughlin 1845.

  • John Duncan (sometimes spelled Dunkin erroniously), my maternal grandfather, was a native of Chester Co., Pennsylvania, and married Eleanor [Sharp]...before the families emigrated to Virginia about 1764 or 1765.
  • He and his family with many of their relatives removed to Kentucky by way of Cumberland Gap and Crabb Orchard, and settled in the country around about where Lexington now stands
  • He located and settled on a little river called Kingston's Ford of Licking, I believe.
  • In the year 1780-or between 1779 and 1781my grandfather and his family, and all his friends, with all persons captured in Riddles and Martin's Station, old and young, black and white, were carried as prisoners by a party of British and Canadians, and a large number of Indians, and carried to Canada. There, they were retained as prisoners until the close of the war when they were exchanged and returned to the United States to Western Virginia, from whence they had removed four or five years before.
  • My grandfather on returning to Virginia, settled on the north bank of the south fork of Holson river, above the mouth of Spring Creek, just above an island where he died about the year 1818 his wife having died in 1816.

Vita[edit | edit source]

  • Born: c.1744. "John Duncan (sometimes spelled Dunkin erroniously), my maternal grandfather, was a native of Chester Co., Pennsylvania, and married Eleanor, sister of the foregoing John Sharp, before the families emigrated to Virginia about 1764 or 1765."Laughlin 1845. Assuming he was age 20 at marriage and that the marriage occurred immediately prior to the move c. 1764/5, we can assume a DOB of c. 1744, or perhaps a bit earlier. Hamilton gives the DOB as 1743.
  • Married:
  • Died: c1818. "My grandfather on returning to Virginia, settled on the north bank of the south fork of Holson river, above the mouth of Spring Creek, just above an island where he died about the year 1818 his wife having died in 1816". Laughlin 1845.
  • Burial:

Parents[edit | edit source]

Spouse(s)[edit | edit source]

  • Eleanor Sharp (?-1816) "John Duncan...my maternal grandfather, was a native of Chester Co., Pennsylvania, and married Eleanor [Sharp]...before the families emigrated to Virginia about 1764 or 1765." Laughlin 1845

Child List[edit | edit source]

Halderman's extracts of the prisoners captured by the British may be the best source for the family of John Duncan. that document lists John, Eleanor, and children, giving their ages. John is shown as being age 40. Assuming that he was born c.1744, one can back out the DOB's of the children. McLaughlin 1845 Describes his mother as being aout 7 or 8 at the time of capture, impl;ying a DOB of 1773 or 1772. She is shown as age 9 at the time of Halderman's list, implying that the list was drawn up c. 1781. The DOB's worked out here may be off by a couple of years.

Combining Halerman and Laughlin gives the following list of children, DOB's and spouses.

  • Elizabeth Duncan (1766-?) "the eldst" per McLaughlin
  • John Duncan, Jr. (1768-?) = 1817 Polly Laughlin, "Eldest son"
  • Margaret Duncan (1770-?)
  • Joseph Duncan (1772-?)
  • Mary Duncan ((1775-?) (Laughlin 1845 indicates a DOB of 1773)
  • Sarah Duncan (1777-?)
  • Anne Duncan (1779-?) = William Martin bef 1797. described by Laughlin 1845 as "an older sister of Eleanor"
  • Faithful Duncan (1782-?) =Abram Locke
  • Eleanor (aft1782-?) = c1808 Samuel Campbell in Washington county, Va. Describd by Laughlin 1845 as "youngest of my mother's sisters"
  • Polly = James Hignight (listed in McLuaghlin, but he also lists "Mary", thought to be his mother, who married a Laughlin 1845 . Unresolved problem.

From Laughlin 1845:

  • His eldest son, John, afterwards married my father's sister, Polly, in Kentucky about the year 1817,
  • My uncle Joseph [Duncan]... in Coffee County, Tennessee. Joseph was my grandfather's second son.
  • My mother, at the time of the captivity of the family, was about seven or eight years old and retained to her death a distinct recollection of the capture of the fort, given up by what was suspected to be Riddle's treachery, and of the voyage down Licking, down the Ohio, and up the Miami, and across the wilderness. She perfectly recollected the clear, limpid water of the lakes, and of the appearances of the Canadian population, their customs and manners, and much in regard to the shipping on the lakes, and of the surprise with which she passed through Philadelphia, and along Market Street on their return home, it appearing to her youthful and backwoods imagination that Philadelphia was surely the largest city in the world at that time. She lived afterwards, however, to be extensively read, even in her younger days, in history, geography, travels etc. and when I was a child, often recounted all the adventures of this captivity, with her fears, feelings, etc. on the various occurrencies of the scenes through which the family passed.
  • The daughters of my grandfather Duncan, the sisters of my mother, married as follows, as nearly as I can ascertain.
    • Elizabeth, the eldest, who was nearly grown at the time of the Canadian captivity, after the return of the family, about the year 1787, married Thomas Laughlin, my father's elder brother.
    • Polly, also older than my mother, married James Hignight, who died in Powell's Valley some years since, about 8 miles east of Cumberland Gap, in Lee County. He left a numerous family.
    • Faithful, another sister, married Abram Locke, who in 1820 removed from Lee Co. Va. to Chariton, Missouri, where he and his wife both died near the close of the year 1843 or early in 1844, leaving a large family and a handsome estate in lands.
  • Eleanor, another, and the youngest of my mother's sisters, married Samuel Campbell in Washington county, Va. about the year 1808-and removed to Chariton, Missouri, with my uncle Locke, and he and his wife, surrounded by numerous children, some married, still reside there.
  • Anne, an older sister than the last mentioned, married William Martin in Washington, Va. some time before the year 1797, and in 1798 removed with my father from Virginia, and Uncle Thomas, to what was then Knox County, Ky.

My mother's elder brother, John [Duncan], married my father's sister, Polly [Laughlin]. He removed to Kentucky about the time my father died, and died in Whitley Co. near Williamsburg on his farm, and his widow, and nearly all her children-all except one-now live in Missouri, not far from Wm. Martin.

Joseph [Duncan], my other uncle of my mother's brothers, as before stated, lives in Coffee County, Tennessee, where his wife (Ann [Laughlin] a daughter of my grandfather's brother James Laughlin) died about 16 years since.

One of my mother's sister, Peggy [Duncan], not mentioned before in connection with her marriage, removed to Ohio just before the late war, with her husband, John Laughlin, called Big John, who was a son of my grandfather's brother, James [Laughlin], and who was not herin mentioned in connection with his brothers, James [Laughlin]and Alexander [Laughlin].... This John Laughlin and his wife both died in Ohio before 1820 as I learn.

My father I have stated, was born on the 4th of November 1773, in the same state. They were married in Washington County Virginia, at the place where my grandfather lived and died after the Revolution, sometime in the year 1794. I was born of that marriage, on the 1st day of May, 1799, in the same state and county.

John Duncan 40 Virginia 26 June 1780--Taken from their farm the man not in arms Elinor Duncan his wife 38 Elizabeth Duncan 18 John Duncan, Jr. 16 Margaret Duncan 14 Joseph Duncan 12 Mary Duncan 9 Sarah Duncan 7 Anne Duncan 5 Faithful Duncan 2

Ancestry[edit | edit source]

From Hamliton 1975. "Captain John Dunkin (1743-1818), who settled in Elk Garden about 1769, was an only son of Thomas Dunkin. Earlier in life, this Thomas Dunkin had immigrated from Scotland to Ireland, where he later married Elizabeth Alexander (born about 1710), also of Scottish descent. About 1740 he emigrated to Pennsylvania, eventually settling in Lancaster County where he died in 1760, leaving a wife, one son, and four daughters.

Captain John Dunkin, subject of this sketch, married Eleanor Sharp, daughter of John Sharp, and sister of John, Jr., Thomas, and Benjamin Sharp. The latter was a King's Mountain soldier. The Sharp family were also immigrants from Pennsylvania, who settled near Wallace, in Washington County, Virginia, before moving on to Kentucky and farther westward. Captain Dunkin died on Spring Creek in Washington County, Virginia, in 1818. His wife Eleanor had died in 1816."

There are numerous family lineages that identify the Thomas Duncan who settled in Chester Co. PA with the line of Duncans who settled in Culpeper Co. VA. This is examined with little analysis at http://www.dsa.duncanroots.com/past%20articles/00/Jan00.htm

From that source, some examples...

  • John C. Underwood. (undated). I have long since secured the authentic ancestry of my wife. THOMAS DUNCAN was one of the brothers who came from England with William of Culpeper et. al. and my researches caused me to write you that he removed to Pennsylvania. This is a fact whether your Thomas or not, and it is presumable he was.
  • The Duncans landed at Brockheaven -- the earliest port of the Potomac River (now Alexandria), thence went to Culpeper on the Northern Neck of Virginia, where William married and permanently settled and two of the brothers removed to other States, Thomas to Pennsylvania and Charles to South Carolina, I think.

  • George K. Smith, Feb. 13, 1906. Years ago I corresponded with Samuel Duncan of Kentucky who wrote he owned a Bible containing names, dates, etc., of the Duncans who came to Virginia in 1722. A Thomas Duncan was of this colony and many Duncan descendants claim he went from Virginia to Pennsylvania and was Thomas Duncan who died in Cumberland County in 1776. My research has revealed no proof of this nor have I seen proof from any source. Thomas and William Duncan were in Maryland in 1700 and William, Thomas and John Duncan are found in early Maryland.

Without concrete evidence of such a connection, it seems difficult to accept this as factual. The significance of this is that the John Duncan who was captured by the British at Martin's Station in KY, and later lived in Washington County on Sharps Creek, is probably not related to the line of Duncans who derive from the Culpeper line, and settled at Dungannon in Washington County.

Family History[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • Laughlin, Samuel Hervey 1845. A Diary of Public Events and Notices of My Life and Family and Of My Private Transactions including Studies, Travels, Readings Correspondence, Business Anecdotes,Miscellaneous Memoranda of Men, Literature, Etc From January 1st, 1845 to August, 1845 and Sketch of my Life from Infancy (See http://www.rootsweb.com/~varussel/families/samuelherveylaughlindiary.html)
  • Hamilton, Emory L. 1976. Captain John Dunkin of Elk Garden. Historical Sketches, Volume 10, 1976, pages 22-28, published by The Historical Society of Southwest Virginia. See http://www.shawhan.com/dunkin.html. Hamilton appears to have used Laughlin 1845 as a basic source of information for this family.

Contributors[edit | edit source]

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.