Elijah Duncan Sr

This information is contributed by Bartholow

Elijah Duncan Sr - The DUNCAN name was sometimes spelled Dunkin or Dunkun in the early records documentating his life. We are fortunate that Elijah was a Revolutionary War soldier and applied for pension benefits. After obtaining copies of these papers from the National Archives, we find that Elijah was born in April 1757 in Fairfax Co, VA. This birth was recorded in a Bible in the possession of John Davis of Virginia. He states that he enlisted in 1776, he thinks, but it being so long ago he was not certain of the year. He enlisted from Caswell Co, NC and served in the 10th, 9th, and 5th regiments of the North Carolina Cont'l line regular troops for 18 months before getting a man to finish his enlistment. Although he received a written discharge it has been lost.

In 1783, Elijah received a land grant along the Dan River in NE Caswell Co, North Carolina. He soon sold this land but remained in the area until about 1788. During this time he probably met and married his wife. Unfortunately we have not found a marriage record for them and her name is very difficult to read on the documents that we have found. Our best deciphering is Cate, though some Duncan researchers have interpreted it as Cole. Cate and Elijah soon became the parents of three daughters; Nancy born about 1781, Abbey born about 1783, and Catherine born about 1785. A son, Richard was born about 1787, followed by another daughter, Jane, and a son Elijah Duncan Jr.

In 1800, Elijah Duncan Sr. moved to Rutherford Co, NC and from there to Smith Co, Tenn in 1807. When he sold his property he used the letter "A" laying on its side for his mark. Elijah may have had Quaker roots, as the custom of laying down your mark when selling property was a practice utilized by many Quakers.

Smith County later became DeKalb Co in Tennessee. He remained there for the next 33 years. When he was 76 years of age, Elijah applied for a pension for Revolutionary War Service and was awarded $60 per year. A copy of Elijah's will is filed in the DeKalb County Will Book A, page 23. It is water-stained and difficult to read. This will was proved in court first Monday in January 1841, DeKalb Co, Tenn. A later document found in the archives states that Elijah's wife, while living when the will was written, was deceased at the time of his death. It states that Elijah died in the year 1840 on the 14th day of December. That he left no widow but the following children and only heirs viz Elijah Duncan, Jane Gambel formerly Jane Duncan, Nancy Barr formerly Nancy Duncan, Catharine Owing formerly Catherine Duncan, Abby Davis formerly Abbey Duncan and Richard Duncan.

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