Thank you for this information -- it is both useful, and confusing! ;-)
The first confusion is the Jones family living with George and Margaret in 1880 -- why do you think this family might be a Loner family?(I'm a Loner, and I don't have any reference to this family in my records.)
The second thing is that in the 1880 census, the relationship of the three girls to Elizabeth Duncan is "other".The two older girls are found in the 1870 census with "J.J. Duncan" and wife "Martha".I really need to know if Elizabeth was their mother or their step-mother (sigh).
The third thing is the confusion between "M.E." (or Margaret E.) Duncan and Elizabeth M.And in some ways, this "confusion" is helpful!Margaret E. Duncan (her maiden name) was the daughter of George A. Duncan and Elizabeth (Eakin?).She was born in 1842, and married John Brock, who was killed in the war (1864, I think).(I have documentation on all this, but it's not on my computer.)Margaret E. Duncan also had a brother, John R. born in 1838 (the same year as "J.J.") and might have been Elizabeth's first husband.
According to her death certificate (which my Aunt has, but I don't) Elizabeth M. Alewine, was born a "Freeman" daughter of Stroder and Malinda Freeman, who lived near the Duncans in the 1850s according to the Census.
My grandfather and his younger siblings were orphaned when he was 11.They always believed that Elizabeth Alewine was their grandmother, and were terribly hurt that she didn't take them in when their parents died.The 1880 census throws some confusion on that.But if Elizabeth Alewine really WAS the mother of Dora, Cora and Saphronia (and maybe the "M" stands for "Martha") -- then I can add another branch to my family tree.Do you have any idea who Mrs. Tildon Smith was?Elizabeth Alewine is buried next to Saphronia Duncan, so I'm guessing it was her daughter.
So... I guess I'm speculating on all this.I do thank you for the information -- it's given me much food for thought.