It has been believed, based on information published in the book "Stallard Connection" 1981, that Jael Duncan Stallard, the wife of Samuel Stallard, had the following ancestery going back to Rev. William Duncan of Scotland.
Although Rev. William Duncan is a well documented and no doubt colorful figure, recent research by the genealogist Dr. John A. Robertson of Scotland has cast serious doubt as to whether the reverend's descendents ever immigrated to Virginia. Thus, the ancestors of Jael Duncan should be carefully re-established.
Nancy Reba Roy, in her monograph entitled "Descendants of William Duncan, The Elder" published in 1959, describes the descendants of William Duncan born in 1692 down to Jael's marrage with Samuel Stallard. Some doubt can be cast on the validity of her research because 1) she claims that William the Elder is the grandson of Rev. William Duncan of Scotland and 2) she makes the unfounded claim that Walter Stallard immigrated from England and settled in Rappahannock Co. VA in 1640. For the time being, we can only assume that Jael's grandfather was indeed William the Elder, but unfortunately we can't go farther back. Can anyone trace William the Elder farther back?
Dr. Robertson reports that:
Dr. Robertson concludes that for the ancestry of Jael to be correct:
A summary of the various documents, as reported by Dr. Robertson, follows.
It seems very likely from these documents, as the author of the article in the Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae suggests, that Mr. William  Duncan had a son Alexander, to be identified with the minister of Kilburnie in Ayrshire 1680-88 who later became an Episcopal minister in Glasgow and was consecrated a bishop of the Episcopal church in 1724, dying in January 1733, his testament (with that of his son Mr. Robert Duncan who died June 1734) being recorded at Glasgow 22 May 1735. However, no proof of relationship between Mr. Alexander Duncan and Mr. William  Duncan has been found.
The following is the relevant part of a 'service of heir', in which a jury decides that one person is the legitimate heir of another.
It is the decision of a 15-man jury sitting in the Burgh Court of Glasgow on 24 September 1725. The original document is in the Scottish Record Office, reference C24/59. The copy in the bound volumes, which is what I saw, was recorded on 19 October 1725, being the 10th service of heir recorded in that month; the ref. is C22/59 folios 623 to 624.
The jury decided that -
John Duncan, bearer of these present documents [i.e. the documents proving his right to inherit] is the legitimate and nearest heir of the late William Duncan , his full brother, who died in the faith and peace of our sovereign lord [i.e. king George] and was the legitimate son of William Duncan , who was the eldest legitimate son of the late Mr William Duncan , minister of the word of God at Killpatrick.
Also, that the said John Duncan is of legitimate age [to inherit].
The original Latin text is:
[The jury decided] quod quondam Gulielmus Duncan filius legitimus Gulielmi Duncan qui fuit filius legitimus natu maximus quondam Magistri Gulielmi Duncan ministri verbi Dei apud Killpatrick frater germanus Joannis Duncan latoris presentium obiit ad fidem et pacem SDN et quod dictus Johannes Duncan est legitimus et propinquior haeres dicti quondam Gulielmi Duncan ejus fratris et quod est legitime aetatis.
Sasines (land transactions) for Mr William Duncan and his family for the period 1688 to 1761. There are no earlier sasines for them.
They all concern a so-called 'ten-shilling land', the lands of Lochbrae, lying in the parish of Easter Kilpatrick, being part of the Regality of Lennox, in the County of Dunbarton. 'Ten-shilling land' refers to the assessed value of the property at some remote time. The lands of Lochbrae were a part of the 'five-pound land' of Killermont, so the lands of Lochbrae are a tenth part of the lands of Killermont.
Land-holding in Scotland since about the year 1150 has been by 'feudal tenure'. Almost all the land in Scotland belongs to the king. He grants land, by royal charter, to those he favours. These people can then make grants of all or part of their lands to third parties. These third parties become their 'vassals', while the people who hold charters from the king become the 'superiors' of the third parties. In principle, the third parties can themselves grant some or all of what they hold to fourth parties; there's no limit in principle to the length of the chain of ownership.
These are NOT tenancies; all the people concerned have HERITABLE rights in the land. Everyone concerned has to make a small annual payment to his immediate superior, a so-called 'feu-duty'. Those who hold land directly from the king usually have to pay the least, e.g. a silver penny or a white rose, 'if asked'. One cannot make any major changes to land that one holds - e.g. create a new village - without the permission of the superior.
It is of course possible to buy the 'superiority' from your superior, so that you move up one step closer to the king. It is also common to resign lands back to the superior, so that a new charter may be granted to you, or to someone to whom you wish to give the land.
The superior of the lands of Lochbrae at the time of the sasines below was Laurence Colquhoun of Killermont (and perhaps later his son of the same name).
Summary of the Duncan sasines:
The dates at the start of each are the dates of recording in the register. The order of the last two have been switched to show the actual order of events:
This grants the ten-shilling land of Lochbrae to Mr William Duncan, minister of the gospel at East Kilpatrick, in life-rent, and to his grandson William Duncan in fee. In other words, Mr Duncan has bought the land for his grandson, whose property it becomes. But Mr William wishes to keep the income from the land for himself during the rest of his own life (i.e. until 1692, if he really did die in 1692). The sasine mentions Mr William's spouse as of 1688, calling her 'Joneta McCartour' once, and 'Joneta McCarthour' once, i.e. Janet McArthur. There is no way of telling from the document whether she was Mr William's 1st wife or mother of his children. However, the document does at least prove that Mr William had a grandson called William by 8.12.1688. There is no way of telling the age of the grandson; a one-day old child could have been granted ownership of the land, though he would not have been able to administer the land himself until he was 14 years old.
This relates that John Duncan, full-brother and heir of William Duncan, becomes owner of the land. We know from the service of heir [above] that Mr William's grandson, William , died before 27 September 1725, without legitimate surviving issue. The reasonable assumption is that William  died shortly before that date rather than a long time before, i.e. in 1724 or early 1725, probably aged about 40.
This relates that John Duncan sold (or otherwise handed over ownership) of the land to Mr Alexander Duncan, in life-rent, and Mr Alex's daughter Grizell Duncan, in fee. John does this WITH CONSENT OF HIS FATHER, William  Duncan, and the sasine includes the relevant prior agreement of 20 November 1725, signed by William Duncan and John Duncan. So William  Duncan, father of William  and of John, was alive and in Scotland on 20 November 1725. It is also clear from this that Mr Alexander Duncan must be a close relative of Mr William Duncan. Given that Mr Alex graduated from Glasgow University on 20 July 1675, it seems reasonable to agree with the author of the article about Mr Alex in the 'Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae' that Mr Alex was Mr William's son - a younger son, as we know that William  was Mr William's eldest son.
Grizell Duncan is granted the tithe sheaves, and other sheaves, of the ten-shilling land of Lochbrae, in consequence of a charter granted to her father and herself of 3 March 1731. This is of no great importance. The tithes (or 'teinds' as they are usually called in Scotland) are often granted separately from the land itself.
This is a sasine in favour of Andrew Stalker, bookseller in Glasgow, of an annual rent of 5 pounds and 10 shillings from the lands of Lochbrae, granted by Mrs* Grizell Duncan, residing in Glasgow, lawful daughter of the deceased Mr Alexander Duncan, minister of the gospel in Glasgow. This reason for this grant need not concern us. Possibly Grizell has borrowed money from Stalker, and this is a way of repaying it. She retains ownership of the land. But it's useful in showing that she was living in Glasgow. * 'Mrs' is just a courtesy title; it doesn't mean she was married.
This document records that Grizell Duncan, lawful daughter of the deceased Mr Alexander Duncan, sometime minister of the gospel at Kilburny [in Ayrshire], thereafter minister of the episcopal congregation at Glasgow, resigns the lands of Lochbrae to Laurence Colquhoun of Killermont. i.e. she has resigned the lands back to the superior, for the new grant that follows:
Sasine in favour of John Duncan, of the lands of Lochbrae. John Duncan (full brother of the deceased William  Duncan, eldest lawful son of the NOW DECEASED William  Duncan, who was eldest lawful son of the deceased Mr William Duncan, minister of the gospel at Easter Kilpatrick) is granted the lands of Lochbrae. The document enlarges on this. It says John holds a charter in his favour as heir of his brother, granted by Laurence Colquhoun of Killermont, immediate lawful superior of the lands of Lochbrae. It explains that this Laurence had ratified a grant of the lands by John Lennox of Lochbrae (the previous owner) to Mr William Duncan and his grandson [i.e. the 1st sasine above]. It states that the grandson, William , was the eldest lawful son of William  Duncan and his spouse Margaret FORBES.
Dr. Robertson remarks that:
I noticed that there are several McMurdie testaments in the 1670s and 1680s in Dumfriesshire, and there's clearly some family tradition among some Duncan descendants of a Dumfries connexion, so this may be a better place to look for the correct ancestry than Dunbartonshire or Perthshire.
I would have thought that if a Haldane of the Gleneagles family had married Mr William, there would have been some record of her existence, but there does not appear to have been any Sarah or Susan, or indeed a Richard who is said to have been her father. [Source: John Haldane in Arizona - firstname.lastname@example.org]
One small comment on arms - I don't think you can conclude anything from similarity of arms. Once one man called Duncan - e.g. James D. of Mairdrum who died in 1601 without legitimate male issue - had a coat of arms, any later grant of arms to another Duncan might well be based on the same elements. It doesn't necessarily indicate kinship. There are several Robertsons who had similar arms with wolves' heads, but these Robertsons were not all related to one another, beyond being fellow Scots.
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Last revision Jan. 20, 2002.