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Featured Folk of Craig County

William Duncan.(1761-1825)

A large number of Duncan families originate from Facquier County and they were among the early settlers in the New River area of Virginia and North Carolina. William Duncan was living on the frontier by 1786 when he was married to Mary Kirk, whose parents were settled there by 1782. A list of Daniel Trigg's Company (of Montgomery Co. militia), March 31, 1781, includes Privates William D----n?, John Duncan, and Thomas Kirk. Many Duncanís appear in the muster records of the Virginia frontier as early as 1770.

These records highlight his land holdings and indicate he may have settled along Sinking Creek as early as 1779: (1) William Duncan, Botetourt Co., 42 acres on Sinking Creek of New River (Book 44-279; Jan. 21, 1800). (2) Surveyed for William Duncan, 150 acres by virtue of two entrys, one for 50 acres made 30 Dec. 1798 on land off Treasury Warrant #2407 issued 31 Jan. 1798, the other entry for 100 acres made 29 Dec. 1800 on Warrant #39 issued 15 Oct. 1779, in Montgomery Co. on waters of Sinking Creek on south side, waters of New River, adj. corner of land he bought from Rector, line of Adam Manns. Dec. 30, 1800. Rec. 22 Dec. 1801, Grant issued 17 Sept. 1802 (Book 44-387). The passing of this land to subsequent generations documents many of William Duncanís descendants. In 1779 John Duncan who may be the father of William also moved west, but settled across the New River in what is now Floyd County.

During this time it is important to note that this area along Sinking Creek was in Botetourt County, then Montgomery County, and then Giles County before Craig County was formed.

In these late 1700ís three Duncan families were settled in Giles County. In addition to William, the others were Charles (1761-1838 ) and Landon (1786-1867). Landon was a distinguished minister whose family had located to Stokes County, NC before moving to Giles County. All three of these Duncans married Kirks, another family from Facquier County. William and Charles were possibly sons of John L. Duncan (1745-1833) who settled further west. John, William, and Charles all served in the Revolutionary War and presumably settled in the western frontier after the war. This may be the best explaination for why William and Charles would settle apart from their father. Several of Williamís descendants were named John L. Duncan, including two first cousins that lived next door to each other.

The earliest documentation that is possibly for this William Duncan are in muster records. (a) William Duncan - Soldier in Capt. Lewis' Co. of Regulars in "last war." Botetourt Co. VA, March 1780. (b) "Land Bounty Certificates - William Duncan, Soldier in Capt. Lewis's Co. of Regulars in last war - Botetourt Court, March, 1780" (c) William Duncan, 1786, Co. & Mil. Dist. 46, Capt. Looney. Dist. 46 is present day Giles & Craig Co. and he was the only one listed therein. The Montgomery County list of taxables for 1790 (formerly upper district of Botetourt and now lower of Montgomery) includes William Duncan, William. He is also on lists for 1792 and 1793.

The 1815 Tax List gives a more precise location - Sinking Creek, Little Creek & Ridge that divides Spruce Run from Sinking Creek & North of Gap Mountain. This record lists the following:

James Duncan, 1 wm; 0 s; 1 h; 0 c (Giles Co. survey book 1, : James Duncan, 37a on Sinking Creek corner William Duncan, 1815.

William Duncan, 1 wm; 0 s; 3 h; 8 c (Giles Co. survey book 1, pg. 259: William Duncan, 36a on south side Sinking Creek, 1817.

Lawson Duncan, 1 wm; 0 s; 1 h; 0 c

As William grew old his passing down of land to his children documents his family:

24 April 1821, William Duncan Sr. to William Duncan Jr., both Giles Co., for $1, the tract on Sinking Creek, one of which tracts contains 150 acres granted to said William Duncan Sr. by patent 30 Dec. 1800, corner of the land he bought of Rector, and also tract of 42 acres grant to William Duncan, assignee of Uriah Rector by patent 24 Aug. 1783, 30 acres of which tract of 42 acres is supposed to be included within the conditional line mentioned in the deed of John Lawson Duncan, land adj. John Lawson Duncan.

24 April 1821, William Duncan Sr. to John Lawson Duncan Jr. both Giles Co., $100, 62 acres on Sinking Creek, one tract of 50 acres grant to William Duncan 1 Aug. 1809, corner Obadiah Rose' land, and part of another tract which contains 42 acres, 12 acres to John Lawson Duncan, near the line of said William Duncan.

16 April 1825, Isaac Harless & wife Dicy, John Keffer & wife Sariah, Randolph Hughs & wife Peggy, Mary Duncan, Lausen Duncan & wife Hannah,William Duncan & wife Elizabeth, deed to James Duncan, all Giles Co., $1, 90 acres on southeast side of Sinking Creek on a line of Peterson Smith's survey, division line between Joseph Anderson and Barnabas and John Lenegan. Testified to before John Kirk and James Wilson, Justices; the wives were examined separately and relinquished dower rights. "This deed of bargain & sale from the heirs of William Duncan decd to James Duncan was acknowledged & ordered recorded." This final record indicates that William Duncan had died in 1825 or possibly late in the previous year.

Another generation of this family is similar documented as the land was passed down again.

2 March 1846, William Duncan of Giles Co. VA to his seven sons, James Allen Duncan, William McHenry Duncan, John Lawson Duncan,Benjamin Duncan, Josephus Duncan, Chester Ballard Duncan, and Elisha White Duncan of same, for $1, 3 tracts total 216 acres on Sinking Creek where Wm. Duncan now lives, one of 150 acres which was conveyed to said Wm. Duncan by Wm. Duncan Sr. 24 April 1821 adjacent land Wm. Duncan Sr. bought of Rector, line of Adam Hanns; and 30 acres of another tract of 42 acres in the same deed, which conveyed the above100 acres, the 30a is the west end of said 42 acre survey, the remaining 12 acres was conveyed by Wm. Duncan Sr. to John L. Duncan; and 36 acres grant to said William Duncan 1 Oct. 1818 adjacent said Duncan's land.

A Summary of this family is given below:

First Generation

William DUNCAN, SR. Birth: abt 1761. Death: aboutt 1825 Giles Co., VA. Mary KIRK. Birth: abt 1759. Death: 30 Aug 1846 Giles Co., VA. Father: Thomas KIRK (b abt 1727). Mother: Margot DUNCAN? Marriage: 3 Oct 1786 Montgomery Co., VA

1. John Lawson DUNCAN. Birth: abt 1789. Spouse: Hannah TILLET (m 12 Dec 1817)
2. James DUNCAN. Birth: abt 1793. Spouse: Rachael Rebecca ANDERSON (m 18 Jan 1816)
3. Sally DUNCAN. Birth: abt 1797. Spouse: John KEFFER (m 30 Apr 1817)
4. Elizabeth DUNCAN. Birth: abt 1800.
5. William DUNCAN. Birth: 1801/2. Death: aft 1870. Spouse: Elizabeth BANE (m 17 Apr 1824). Their marriage is documented by a bond, April 17, 1824. William Duncan and Elizabeth Bane, surety William Bane and David Johnston.
6. Dicey DUNCAN. Birth: abt 1805. married Isaac Harless.
7. Peggy DUNCAN. Birth: abt 1805. married Randolph Hughs
8. Mary DUNCAN. Birth: abt 1807.

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