Robert B. Duncan appears to have been the brother of my William Duncan. All the files and stories I had seen before named William's parents as Robert Duncan (from Scotland) and Lucy Boyles or Broyles. That was pretty much it. I had the clues they were from PA/NY. What I had seen so far indicated that William was born in Genesee County, NY. But I pretty much dead ended there. There were a few clues along the way that William had a couple brothers, but not much info on them either. Well, it appears that facts about William's father and grandfather have gotten mixed up in the passage of time.
In the files that I had Smart Matches with was a list of names of William's brothers and sisters, it named his parents as Anna Boyles and Robert Duncan (born in PA) then went on to name the grandparents as Robert Duncan (born in Scotland) and Agnes Singleton. The files also listed 8 brothers and sisters for William!! The files didn't include much about William, I still don't have absolute proof that this William is the same as my William, but going by the parents names may be the best I get.
I started looking into the siblings of William to see if I can verify anything more and to gather more clues. I have found some really interesting things. William's brother (younger than William by about 2 years) became rather successful in Indiana, and I have uncovered a biography and a sketch of Robert B. Duncan in the History of Indianapolis & Marion County Indiana. This is what it said. It was loaded with clues!
Robert B. Duncan is of Scotch descent, his grandfather, Robert Duncan, born in 1726, a native Scotchman, having emigrated to America in 1754, where he engaged in the pursuit of his trade, that of a tailor. He married Agnes Singleton, born in 1742, also of Scotch parentage, and had children, - Robert, James, John, and three daughters. Robert was born in Pennsylvania, Sept. 28, 1772 and during his youth resided in that State, after which he removed to Western New York and engaged in farming pursuits. He married Miss Anna Boyles, and had children, - James, Ester, William, Robert B., Margaret, John, Samuel, Jane and Annie. The death of Mrs. Duncan occurred in 1822, and that of Mr. Duncan Jan. 6, 1846. Their son Robert B. was born in Ontario County, N.Y., June 15, 1810, where the earliest seven years of his life were spent. In 1817 he removed to Ohio and settled near Sandusky, his residence until the spring of 1820, when the family emigrated to Connor’s Station, in the present Hamilton County, Ind., then an unsurveyed prairie. Various employments occupied the time here until 1824, when he became a resident of Pike township, Marion Co., and engaged in the pioneer labor of clearing ground and farming. The year 1827 found him a resident of Indianapolis, where he entered the county clerk’s office as deputy, and remained employed until March, 1834, when he was elected to the office of clerk of the county., and held the position for sixteen successive years. Mr. Duncan had meanwhile engaged in the study of law, and immediately, on the expiration of his official term in 1850, began his professional career, confining himself mainly to business associated with the Probate Court and to consultation. Mr. Duncan was early in his political career a Whig, and continued his relations with that party until later indorsement of the articles of the Republican platform. With the exception of his lengthy period of official life as county clerk, he has never accepted or sought office. He was reared in the stanch faith of the Scotch Presbyterian Church, and still adheres to that belief. Mr. Duncan was married in December, 1843, to Miss Mary E., daughter of Dr. John H. Sanders, of Indianapolis, to whom were born children, - John S. (a practicing lawyer), Robert P. (a manufacturer), Anna D. (wife of William T. Barbee of Lafayette, Ind.), and Nellie D. (wife of John R. Wilson, of Indianapolis). Mr. Duncan enjoys the distinction of being the oldest continuous resident of the county.
Transcribed from History of Indianapolis & Marion County Indiana by Berry Robinson Sulgrove. Illustrated. Printed in 1884 in Philadelphia by L.H. Everts & Co.
Other interesting facts I have found connected with Robert B. Duncan is through his wife Mary Elizabeth Sanders. I haven't looked into this very much, it was just a peek, but it seems pretty clear that the Sanders family was descended from Squire Boone, the brother of Daniel Boone. I don't know much about Elizabeth's father, yet, but for a short time their former home was used as the Governor's Mansion. Elizabeth had 4 sisters, the youngest was Jemima. Jemima was married to Dr. Richard J. Gatling (the inventor of the Gatling Gun). Just a tidbit I thought my sons would find interesting.
As for the other siblings, this is what I have so far. (everything is assumed approximate here, it's still being researched. I just want to get this info on the web and hope other researchers find it and contact me. So please, if any of these people are in your tree, anywhere, let me know! If you have any information that can help prove any of this or dispute it, please let me know!)
Children of Robert Duncan (1772-1846) and Anna (Lucy) Boyles (1777(?)-1822)
James Duncan- born 1804. It appears he married Mary Beck 10 Sept 1830.
I found some will information that is unclear if it's for this James or the James, son of Robert and Agnes. I'll try to include that later.
Ester Duncan- born Dec 20, 1806. Married 1) William Robinson. I found the name of one child of theirs so far, Frances A., who married a David Bovee.
Esther married 2) John McManis who was a vet of the war of 1812.
Esther was buried in Pine River Cemetery, Richland County, Wisconsin. A note on the records I found say she "died very suddenly while her daughter [Frances A. Bovee] was being buried.
It is recorded that William C. Robinson died May 19, 1842 in Indiana
John McManis is buried in the Bovee Cemetery in Richland County, Wisconsin. It is estimated that he died between 1880 and 1896.
*William Duncan- (my ancestor) born October 14, 1808 in Genesee County, NY. Married 3 times 1) Amanda Hutsell (my ancestor), 2) Sarah Catherine Hines 3) Susan Trammell (also my ancestor). William reportedly died Jan 5, 1879, though I have yet to find record or grave.
Robert B. Duncan- (I believe B is for Boyles) born June 15, 1810 in Ontario County, NY. married Mary Elizabeth Sanders in December 1843. They had children: 1)John Sanders Duncan, a lawyer, 2) Robert P. Duncan a manufacturer, 3) Anna D. Duncan who married William T. Barbee of Lafyette IN., and 4) Nellie D. Duncan who married John R. Wilson of Indianapolis. Robert B. Duncan died 1897.
Margaret Duncan- born April 20, 1812. died January 12, 1888. She was married to Aaron Stearns Glidewell. I found her grave in Deep Springs Cemetery in Sullivan County, Missouri. They had at least one child, by the name of John T. Glidewell (1840-1902).
John Duncan- born March 31, 1814, died December 27, 1863. He married Amaretta Ridgeway. I found John's grave in Wilson Cemetery in Monon, White County, Indiana.
Samuel Brady Duncan- born March 4, 1816. died April 16, 1906. I found this page with Samuel's obit and and this page with some family info, including names of children. Samuel was married to Elizabeth Hornbeck in 1843. Seems he went to Iowa in 1853 and lived in Winterset. It says he was buried in the Winterset Cemetery, but I'm not finding either on Find A Grave.
Anna B. Duncan- born 1820 and died 1911. She married Durfee Bovee in 1837. Durfee was the son of Elisha Bovee and Catherine (Durfee) Bovee. So far I have found two children of Anna and Durfee: 1) Elisha Bovee (1840-1913) who married Victoria Potter and 2) Samuel Durfee Bovee (1845-1923) who married Emily West. I found Samuel Durfee Bovee's grave on Find A Grave in the Oaksdale Cemetery, Whitman County, Washington. I found record of Anna and Durfee Bovee's graves in the Bovee Cemetery in Orion Township, Richland County, Wisconsin.
(I peeked at all the internments of the Oaksdale Cemetery in Washington, and there is a bunch of Byrums which I am pretty sure are other descendants of my Byram ancestors on my dad's side of the tree. Many of the memorials were created by a lady I have cooresponded with already! Small world!)
Emily T. Duncan- born 1829. d. 1863. Married James L. Shaw. I found Emily and James' graves in Pretty Prairie Cemetery in Battle Ground, Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Her memorial says she was the daughter of Robert and Hanna Duncan.
Robert Duncan and Agnes Singleton (grandparents of William Duncan, parents of the Robert Duncan who married Anna Boyles)
The History of Indianapolis, mentioned above, tells me that Robert, the grandfather of my William, was born in 1726 and was from Scotland. It says that his wife, Agnes Singleton was born in 1742 and was of Scotch parentage.
The files I found on My Heritage and it's also mentioned in the History of Indianapolis that Robert and Agnes had three sons and three daughters, but only the names of the sons have been mentioned. They are:
*1) Robert Duncan 1772-1846 married to Anna Boyles (also seen listed as Lucy Boyles and Hanna Boyles last name has also been listed as Broyles).
2) John S. Duncan 1786-1864 (not to be confused with Robert B. Duncan's son by the same name who became a lawyer in Indianapolis like his father) I found a Find A Grave page for a John S. Duncan at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, IN. The birth date is unknown, death date given as May 4, 1864. John was married twice 1) Elizabeth 2) Maria (last name of either not yet known.)
3) James L. Duncan no dates have yet been found on James. The My Heritage file had the same birth dates (June 15, 1786 in PA) and same death dates (May 4, 1864 Marion, Grant Indiana). I find it highly unlikely they were born on the same dates AND died on the same dates, so until I verify both, it is assumed it is a simple error in their files. The wife of James is only listed as Elizabeth.
I did find a couple mentions in the History of Indianapolis of John and James Duncan, but it is not yet certain it is these two.
As for the will information mentioned above with James, son of Robert and Anna, here is what I found.
it says: (do they mean "son of Robert Duncan and Agnes Singelton"?
James Duncan, d. 1855 Marion Co. IN, uncle of Robert B. Duncan and son of Robert Duncan and Anna Boyles of Ontario Co. NY
Marion Co. IN Will Books
C-90: James Duncan of City of Indianapolis, Marion Co. IN, feeble in body; to my daughter Elizabeth $100 out of residue of personal estate after debts if there be sufficient; and that her minority shall be no bar to her receiving and receipting the money, and if necessary, she shall receive so much of my real estate or the proceeds to make up the money; the remainder divided between my wife (unnamed) and all my children, including said Elizabeth, as the law directs. Appoint my nephew Robert B. Duncan exec. 22 Feb. 1855, /s/ James Duncan, wit. Mary E. Duncan, Robert B. Duncan. Proved 9 Jan. 1857. (FHL film 499,449, SLC 9/17/91)
Well. lots of digging and sorting to do. I do hope this draws in some responses from other descendants! This has taken me all day to post, so I hope I haven't made any serious mistakes.