This web site and it’s work are dedicated to the memory of my father, Martin Ebert Duke, the fourth son of George W Duke, whose life long ambition was to go to Tennessee and visit the Dukes he had heard of and was convinced that they were his kin.
Ebert died in 1958 of colon cancer without fulfilling his ambition.
In 1971, I, Arthur A (Buddy) Duke, began to gather all the information I could obtain from everyone that I thought might know something about the Duke family.
My greatest human resource of information came from my dear and precious great half uncle, Hobart Bernard Godwin, half brother to my grandmother, Arbelle Virginia Godwin Duke, George W Duke’s first wife.
At this writing, 1976, Hobart is still living in Sikeston, MO at the age of 78 or 79.
Note: Hobart died in a nursing home in Sikeston, MO on August 30, 1984 at the age of 87.
Hobart was born near Bowman school, southeast of Sikeston, MO, in 1897. He traveled back and forth to Tennessee where he lived with his half brother, Riley Parsons, until about 1930 when he settled around Sikeston, MO. I can truthfully say that of all the people, relatives and friends, that I have ever known, no one brought as much happiness to us poor country kids than did Uncle Hobart.
Those sacks of candy, his French Harps, his old straw Katie, I remember it all so well.
I can remember so well how he and dad used to sit until 2 in the morning talking, usually about the bible. But many times laughing together about the things that had happened to them and others when they were younger.
Bless his heart, I love him so much.
Others who have been so helpful in preparing this work and whom I love with all my heart is Birdie, (Duke) Beck, Lee Duke, Emeriel Duke (deceased) Cecil Godwin, Rosie (Bohannon) Kern, Alcy Duke (deceased), Ora Mae (Duke) Mays, of Parsons, TN, James Harold Duke, Nashville, TN, Delia Cunningham, Hustberg, TN, Porter Breeden, Hustberg, TN and many others who supplied bits of information so important to this work.
Research for this work has led me to many Tennessee Cemetery’s, Court Houses, and churches, etc.
It has especially led me to many distant cousins with whom I have made acquaintances.
The most interesting thing I have learned from this experience is that no matter where you go I find Dukes. They love each other and I love every one of them.
Arthur A “Bud” Duke