Skip to content
January 18, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County: The Duncan Family

Marcus M. Duncan (1808–1864).

Mardisville Cemetery. Talladaga, Alabama. Courtesy

In 2017, Slate River Ramblings published posts about the Clay family and their home, Pleasant Grove.

At that time, Slate River Ramblings reader Dave Duncan commented with more information about Junius Clay, who became the guardian for Duncan orphans in Buckingham County.

This handwritten note was found on the back of a letter dated Oct. 1, 1921, Violet Bank Studio, Petersburg, VA.

I wish I could give you the information desired as to George Duncan. This is all I know. My grandfather Marcus Monroe Duncan was the son of George Duncan. He was born in Buckingham Co., VA. He & his brother George & sister Eliza were left orphans at an early age, Mr. Junius Clay being guardian. The Buckingham records were destroyed & our family Bible burned. I think my gr. gr. grandfather was also George Duncan of Albemarle or Fluvanna Co.—his wife Ann & his lands on both sides of the river— Hardware, I think. The family tradition is that he was a Rev. soldier. So he would probably be listed from one of those 3 counties as a soldier.

Thanking you for any trouble,

Sincerely yours,

Alice V. D. Pierrepont.

When Marcus M. Duncan died in 1864, Junius Clay was married and about sixty-years old.

Does a Slate River Rambling reader know what became of the Duncan orphans or more about the life and death of Marcus M. Duncan?


Leave a Comment
  1. Lisa / Jul 11 2020 3:12 am

    Trying to find information on my great grandfather Samuel Duncan. Born in the 1860s in Buckingham Va. He named his first son George. Came across this page while searching and wondered if there was a relation. Parents may have been Sam and Pollie Duncan. I thought I came across a census at one point listing Sam as an orphan with his brother George. Email

    • Joanne Yeck / Jul 11 2020 7:06 am

      Thanks for your comment. Here’s hoping another member of the Duncan family sees you query!

    • Deb Duncan Kaiser / Jul 11 2020 12:22 pm

      Hi, Lisa – I am going to email you from my personal email so that we might collaborate more. I believe we will likely have a common ancestor of John Duncan of Buckingham County born sometime around 1735, perhaps in Goochland County. I have been researching my direct paternal line for over 5 years and have a lot to share to maybe piece together more information about your GG Samuel Duncan.
      If anyone else has information regarding the Duncans of Buckingham County, I would be most interested to collaborate with you as well.
      Thank you.

      • Joanne Yeck / Jul 11 2020 1:36 pm

        Thanks, Deb, for getting in touch with Lisa. Have fun with your Duncan family!


  2. Katherine Rodela / Mar 31 2020 1:15 am

    I notice this is from over 2 years ago–we are digging through family history and searching under “Marcus Monroe Duncan” from Alabama. According to family research my husband’s ancestors were enslaved by Marcus Monroe Duncan on his plantation in Talladega, AL. The people who were enslaved were: James Duncan and his family. His eldest son Richard is my husband’s great-great grandfather. Marcus M. Duncan senior has a few children, including a Marcus Duncan junior who passed in 1900. I believe James Duncan (they took his name after the Civil War and end of slavery) lived close to the white Duncan family and were sharecroppers who farmed their land. Marcus M. Duncan senior seemed to be a man of influence (pre & during Civil War) and was even discussed in Confederate Soldier’s diary (mentioning a “Runaway Jim” who the family believe is actually James). has an extensive record, which we were able to trace to Marcus Duncan’s plantation.

    • Joanne Yeck / Mar 31 2020 5:43 am


      Many thanks for your comment which add a personal touch to this post. Here’s hoping other Duncans find your information here.


  3. Joanne Yeck / Jun 27 2019 1:40 pm

    Thanks, Deb. Let’s hope someone who knows more sees your post!


  4. Deb Kaiser / Jun 27 2019 1:03 pm

    Just to append to my above comments, I have been researching the Huguenots of Manakin Town for some time now. I have also found evidence of Duncans in Goochland County in 1737-1741 (Martin, John and David) through the Goochland County Wills and Deeds, v.02. Still searching but there might be some connection also to a Bonion or Binion or Binnion who are listed together of Huguenot settlers in the James River area – source the Douglas Register.

  5. Joanne Yeck / Mar 5 2019 2:58 pm


    I hope you enjoy the book!


  6. Deb Duncan Kaiser / Mar 4 2019 9:44 am

    I have traced my father’s paternal line back to the Duncan’s of Buckingham County. In collaboration with living cousins, some who are y-DNA related to my brother, we have determined it is very likely our 5th Great Grandfather was John Duncan and my line is through his son James and grandson, David Duncan, born in Prince Edward County in 1756 and who married Elizabeth Finnell in Garrard County in 1811. Y-DNA connections are through Edward Duncan, who married Elizabeth Curd and his son, Joseph Curd Duncan and also through Jess Duncan, who appears to have moved on to Shelby County, K. I am very interested in sharing information with others who are researching the Duncan’s of Buckingham County.
    Our Buckingham Duncan ancestors married into descendants of the Huguenots who came to the James River area in 1700-1701…the Bondurant, Agee and Foure (Ford) families. There was an Ester Duncan on one of the ships, but I have not been able to prove anything further.

    • Joanne Yeck / Mar 5 2019 5:53 am


      Many thanks for your comment. Please search the Slate River Ramblings archive for more information about our Huguenot families in Buckingham County.


      • Deb Kaiser / Mar 5 2019 10:23 am

        Thank you, Joanne. I have ordered your book as well and look forward to learning more about Buckingham County history.

      • Deborah Kaiser / Mar 31 2020 11:43 am

        I just noticed a typo in my comment. My 3rd GG David Duncan was born in Prince Edward County in 1786 (NOT 1756).

        My 3rd GG left Buckingham County and married in Garrard County, KY in 1811. I don’t think the James Duncan you referenced was related to my line.

        Based on what you have written, the line you are referencing might be that of Rev John D Duncan (b 1730 Glasgow City, Scotland; d. 1806 Augusta County, VA).

        My John Duncan, father of my 4th GG James, died in Buckingham County in 1796. I am still trying to find out where he was born and the exact year.

      • Joanne Yeck / Mar 31 2020 2:59 pm

        Thanks for the correction and clarification.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: