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Dr. Samuel Duncan (b. 1745, d. June 30, 1784)
|Dr. Samuel Duncan|
Samuel Duncan1829, 1830 was born 1745 in place of birth unknown1831, and died June 30, 1784 in Brunswick, ME1832, 1833, 1834.He married Hannah Donnell on 1770 in Massachutes1835, daughter of Benjamin Donnell, Sr. and Sarah Kingsbury.
Notes for Samuel Duncan:
The following biographical sketch appeared in "History of Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell, Maine," (1878), pp. 728-9:
DUNCAN, DOCTOR SAMUEL.
Doctor Duncan, or Dunkan, as he himself spelled the word, was settled for a short time as a physician in Bath, on High Street. He next lived in Topsham for a little while, and moved to Brunswick in 1770, and practiced his profession there until his death. He lived in the old Gideon Hinkley house, now owned by Chapin Weston, near Harding's Station. The north room of this house he used as his office, in one corner of which stood a skeleton which was the terror of all the children of the neighborhood as well as many of the older persons. He was said to be very skillful in his profession, and had quite an extensive practice in West Bath and in Harpswell as well as in Brunswick. He received pay in 1770 from the town of Harpswell for attendance on some of the poor of that town. He was a representative to the General Court in 1781.He died in 1784, in the prime of life, and was buried in the old burying-ground in West Bath.
The following is from Parker McCobb Reed, "History of Bath and Environs:Sagadahoc County, Maine, 1607-1893.(Portland:Lakeside Press, 1894), pp. 44-45.
During the Revolutionary War era, the people of old Georgetown, MA (now Bath and environs) arrayed themselves solidly on the side of resistance, and maintained their patriotism throughout the long contest that followed.There was not a known Tory in all the town.When the authorities of the state issued a call to all the towns within its jurisdiction to respond to the aggressive step that had been taken, the citizens of the town enthusiastically adopted the patriotic sentiments that had been boldly avowed by the authorities at Boston.
At a town meeting March 16, 1773, Samuel McCobb, John Stinson, William Swanton, Dummer Sewall, and Thomas Moulton were appointed a committee to take into consideration a letter of correspondence from the town of Boston and prepare an answer.
December 6, 1774, William Butler and John White were appointed a committee to examine into the town stock of ammunition and make return of their doings at the next annual meeting.
In 1775, John Wood, Phillip Higgins, Theophilus Batchelder, Elijah Drummond, Samuel McCobb, Jordan Parker, John Stinson were appointed a committee to see that the resolves of the Continental Congress be complied with.[This was in relations to resistance to the "Force Act" of the English parliament.]
At the same meeting in 1775, it was voted "that the inhabitants of Georgetown have leave to join with Brunswick in building a bridge over Stephens River somewhere against Dr. Duncan's land."
Dr. Samuel Duncan served in the Revolutionary War in the Maine Militia.The Lineage Book of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Vol. 44, p. 341, 43001-44000 lists Samuel Duncan has having served as a surgeon in Col. Samuel McCobb's regiment of Maine.(Army 1st L.C. Regt., 1781, see History of Bath, Maine, by Owen, p. 138)
Surgeon, Col. Samuel McCobb's regiment, engaged May 5, 1781; service, 6 months, 25 days, in Eastern department.Roll sworn to at Georgetown.[Source:Secretary of the Massachusetts Archives, Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors, of the Revolutionary War, p. 52.]
Buried in Witch Spring Cemetery, in West Bath, Maine.The large table grave is the most prominent in this small cemetery -- the only one above ground there.It is surrounded by a short fence, and is marked by the Sons of the American Revolution.
On his gravestone at Witch Spring Cemetery, reads as follows:
In Memory of Mr. Samuel Duncan Phisician who departed this life June 30th 1784 at the age of 39.It was his talent skillfully to impart the various blessings of the healing art.With tender sympathy he saw each grief and every sufferer found from him relief.Depart dear friendsDry up your tears We will be here Till Christ Appears Here also lies buried Philina Duncan daughter of Samuel and Mrs. Hanna Duncan who died in the year 1775 at age 2 yr. 8 mos.
Witch Spring Cemetery is located on the west side of Berry's Mills Road in West Bath, south of Old State Road 1, just north of Hill Road.This burial ground is the oldest one in the West Bath area, and many of the earliest residents are buried here.
He was a physician and moved to what is now West Bath, Maine in 1772 from Topsham, ME.
An estate notice for "Dr. Samuel Dunkan" was published 24 Sept. 1785 in the Falmouth Gazette, Kennebec (Co.?), Maine.(Source:Vital Records from Maine Newspapers 1785-1820, p. 174).
The birth records for his children in Brunswick, Maine spell his last name as "Dunken."The legislative records for his service in the General Court of Massachusetts in 1781 also use the "Dunken" spelling.
The following is from Parker McCobb Reed, "History of Bath and Environs:Sagadahoc County, Maine, 1607-1893.(Portland:Lakeside Press, 1894), p. 423-4:
"Samuel Duncan, physician, was a descendant of the old Duncan family of Scotland, several families of whom emigrated to this country and settled in Massachusetts in the early part of the Eighteenth Century.In about 1775, Samuel moved to this section of the state, purchased a farm in what is now called "Harding," on the New Meadows River, and erected thereon a large, two-story house, which is still standing, in a good state of repair, and until recently occupied by the family of Chapin Weston.Doctor Duncan had an extensive practice, and had been called "Old Dr. Duncan" for some years, although he was but thirty-nine years of age at the time of his death, which occurred June 30, 1784.He kept his hair clipped and wore a white wig, as was the custom, which, no doubt, contributed to his venerable appearance.He was buried in the old cemetery, near Witch Spring, in West Bath.His family consisted on one son and two daughters:Samuel Eaton, Hannah, Lydia."(pp. 423-424).
[Jon Duncan's note:according to the burial records of the Witch Spring Cemetery, which we located at the Patten Free Library in Bath, Maine, Dr. Samuel Duncan and his wife Hannah also had another daughter, Philena, who was buried with him at the Witch Spring Cemetery.The Town Records of Brunswick, ME Vol. 1, pg. 383, also reflects the birth of Philena.]
In an earlier passage, at p. 383, that follows below, Reed appears to confuse Dr. Samuel Duncan with his son, Samuel Eaton Duncan:
"Dr. Samuel Eaton Duncan lived in the house now owned by one of his descendants, Chapin Weston, near the Harding Station of the Main Central Railroad.The doctor came from Topsham, and bought the farm on which this house stands, in 1772, and died there, June 30, 1782 [JAD note:he died in 1784] at 39 years of age.His practice extended to Bath.Dr. Duncan is the ancestor of all those who are residents of Bath of that name.He had the reputation of possessing great skill in his profession.He was born in 1743 and married a daughter of Benjamin Donnell, Sr. In 1748 he was living in the house situated on High Street, south of South Street." (p. 383).
Surgeon Samuel Duncan appears on a list of field and staff officers of the Eastern Department who were discharged December 1, 1781.(p. 64).
Wheeler and Wheeler, in "The History of Brunswick, Topsham and Harpswell" (1878) says the following about Dr. Duncan:
"[1777.]At a special town meeting, held in February, 1777, Deacon Snow and Captain Robert Dunning were elected to fill the places of Deacon Stanwood and Captain Curis, and at the annual meeting, March 4, Major Nathaniel, Larrabee, Doctor Samuel Dunken, Captain Robert Dunning, Robert Spear, and Andrew Dunning were chosen a Committee of Correspondence, etc.
[1779.]Brigadier Thompson, William Standwood, and Doctor Dunken were chosen a committee to supply the families of those men who went from this town into the Continental service with such necessaries as they might need. The town also voted an appropriation of 200 pounds for that purpose.(p. 127).
.At a meeting in October, Brigadier Thompson, Doctor Dunken, and John Given were chosen as a committee to procure the beef which had been demanded by the General Court for the supply of the army. They were instructed that, if they were unable to procure the whole amount, they should, with the selectmen, make known to the General Court the reasons why they were unable to furnish all, and were authorized to make up the deficiency in the amount, in money. The selectmen were instructed to assess sufficient to cover the amount paid out by this committee. (p. 129)
[1781.]At a meeting held on the twenty-fifth of December, Samuel Stanwood, Captain William Stanwood, Jr., William Woodside, Aaron Hinkley, Doctor Samuel Dunken, and Captain James Curtis were chosen a committee to prepare a petition to the General Court, concerning our present circumstances and our inability of paying our taxes in specie, and to lay the petition before our March meeting, for approbation or amendment. [p. 129]
DOCTOR SAMUEL DUNCAN came to Brunswick from Topsham in 1770, and was in practice until his death, in 1784.He was a young man, but was called a skillful physician, and he had an extensive practice. He lived at new Meadows. [p. 312].
DOCTOR DUNCAN is supposed to have located himself in Topsham before he went to Brunswick. If so, his stay could not have been for more than a few weeks. Both of these last (Doctor Duncan and Doctor Osborne) are said to have died at New Meadows, from consumption. [p. 313]
A description of Doctor Duncan's home appears at p. 646-7, where the author describes various Brunswick buildings that were still standing at the time of his writing in 1878.That description follows:
The next oldest house in town [Brunswick, Maine] is the HINKLEY HOUSE, now owned and occupied by Chapin Weston. It is just north of the railroad, near Harding's Station. It was occupied by Doctor Dunken (sic) as early as 1775, and probably about 1770, as this latter was the date of his marriage. It was occupied, before Dunken had it, by Gideon Hinkley. Hinkley's first child was born in 1758, and his last one in 1770. If the house was built by Hinkley, it was probably erected about 1756 or 1757, and on that supposition would now be one hundred and twenty years old. It may, however, have been built before Hinkley's time, as Thomas Westbrook owned the lot in 1737; and if the house was built by the latter, it would be nearly one hundred and forty years old, which would make it an older house than the Robert Thompson house just described [as the oldest standing in Brunswick in 1878].
Jacob Weston, grandfather of Chapin, bought this house in 1783 or 1874, and it has remained in the Weston family ever since. It is similar in appearance and in construction to the Thompson house, and it does not therefore require a more particular description. [The description of the Thompson house appears at p. 646, and it states that it has a chimney about four feet square at the top, the bricks are laid in clay. The flooring boards are sixteen to eighteen inches wide and are treenailed instead of nailed. The west room, or parlor, is panelled on the sides and ends up to the windows, and is plastered above. The sides of the building on the north and east are bricked between the studs as high as the ceiling of the lower story. This was done for warmth. In the corner of the parlor is a buffet with shelves, etc., elaborately moulded by hand. The frame of the house is of massive timber. the door-hinges are of wrought-iron, large clumsy, and of curious construction.]
The following source should be consulted from the Maine census of 1762:
Samuel Duncan found in:
Colonial America, 1607-1789 Census Index
The following information was provided by the Maine Maritime Museum, Bath, Maine.No citations for the sources of this information were provided:
DUNCAN, Dr. Samuel (Frequently spelled "Dunkan," or "Dunken.")
Born 1745.POB Unknown.
Married Hannah Donnell (b. Oct. 6, 1751 in York, ME d. Feb. 24, 1827 in Bath)
Died June 30, 1784, reportedly of consumption.Buried in Old Churchyard of 2nd Parish of Georgetown ("Witch Springs"), West Bath, Maine.
Children:Philena (b. Jan. 24, 1773, d. Sep. 19, 1775)
Hanna (b. Oct. 4, 1775. d. ?
Samuel Eaton (b. Aug. 25, 1779, d. May 7, 1855)
Lydia (b. Nov. 10, 1782, d. June 24, 1820)
Origins and source of medical training still unknown.
Resided briefly in Topsham (1770).Paid that year by town of Harpswell for attending poor patients.
On Mass. tax lists for Brunswick in 1771.
By 1772-75, had settled on Brunswick side of New Meadows River (Harding Station), roughly midway between Bath and Brunswick.
In 1777, elected to Brunswick Committee of Correspondence.
In 1779, part of 3-member committee aiding families of Brunswick men serving with Continental Army.
In 1780, served on committee to procure beef for the army.On Dec. 25, signed petition stating that Brunswick could not meet its quota in either meat or cash.
In 1781:1)Represented Brunswick at General Court of Massachusetts.
2)Served as surgeon with Col. Samuel McCobb's regiment of LincolnCounty militia, May 5 - Dec. 1, 1781
Reputed to have had great professional skill. Was one of first physicians to practice in Bath area.Known as "Old Dr. Duncan" since he kept his hair short and wore a white wig.Office in his home at New Meadows contained a skeleton that frightened local children.
Whole (?) p. 47:note Hinkley house was sold to Jacob Weston cir. 1783-84.(possibly Hannah sold it after Dr. Sam died.)
Lincoln County courthouse says Hannah remarried March 17, 1789 to a Dr. Caleb Samsen (or Sampsen).1790 Census shows him in Bath.Size of family (illegible) with Dr. Sam's.No mention of Dr. Sampson in (illegible) save for Lemont (illegible).Saying he came to Bath in 1788.No word of any children by this 2nd marriage.
1800 Census lists Hannah Sampson as head of household.1 man in family, presumably Samuel E.1 other woman, age 16-26, presumably Lydia.
Courthouse also indicates Hanna divorced Dr. Sampson (illegible) after he (illegible) off to New York with an Irish girl named Jane Plant!
A note from the Town Clerk of Brunswick, Maine, to Duncan family researcher Jon Duncan dated December 2, 2003 states that the Town of Brunswick does not have a record of the death of Dr. Samuel Duncan (or Dunken).However, they did produce a birth record for his children which included Dr. Samuel Duncan and his wife Hanna.
No information has been found so far about Dr. Samuel Duncan's parents or his lineage. However, according to "The Duncan Family," by the National Genealogical Research Institute, Washington, DC, pp. 27-29, there were only 10 immigrants with the surname Duncan who came from Europe prior to the year 1800. Of these, only five emigrated prior to the birth of Samuel Duncan (b. 1745). Doctor Samuel Duncan is most likely to be a descendant of one of these five.These were:
Alexander Duncan, a minister who emigrated from England to Carolina in January 1716/17. (The date of the immigration makes this a possible immigrant ancestor of Dr. Samuel Duncan, but the Carolina emigration makes this one less likely).
George Duncan, an indentured servant, who immigrated to Georgia in January 1738 at the age of 38. (A possible ancestor of Samuel Duncan, but the Georgia emigration makes this less likely, and as he was an indentured servant in 1738, just seven years prior to the birth of Dr. Samuel Duncan, it seems unlikely that this is the relevant immigrant ancestor.)
Nathaniel Duncan; who died around 1668. He emigrated from Exeter, Devonshire, England, to Dorchester, Massachusetts, on board the ship Mary and John in 1630; admitted freeman on 6 May 1635; member of the artillery company in 1638; captain, auditor general, and representative; moved to Boston around 1646; married Elizabeth (—?—); children were Nathaniel and Peter. (This one seems to have a high likelihood of being the immigrant ancestor of Dr. Samuel Duncan, due to the Massachusetts emigration destination. The age would suggest at least three generations prior to Samuel Duncan)
Peter Duncan, born 1624, died around 1676; emigrated from Edinburgh, Scotland to Nomini Creek, Virginia, in 1650; bought land in 1655; married to Bessie Caldwell in 1646; had a son John and possibly others. (Possible immigrant ancestor of Dr. Samuel Duncan, but less likely due to emigration to Virginia).
Samuel Duncan; emigrated from Ashford, Kent, England, to Cambridge, Massachusetts, on board the ship Hercules between the years 1620 and 1650. (This one is highly likely to be the immigrant ancestor of Dr. Samuel Duncan, based on the landing at Cambridge, Massachusetts, where we know Dr. Samuel Duncan to have lived at one time, and due to the given name, Samuel. The date of immigration would be from 95 to 125 years prior to the birth of Dr. Samuel Duncan, making this at least three generations prior to Dr. Samuel Duncan).
Although "The Duncan Family" limits the Duncan ancestors to just these 10, there appear to be more Duncan surname immigrants prior to 1800 that were not included in that publication. "Immigrants to New England, 1700-1775" (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1979) also lists the following:
George Duncan of Londonderry, N.H., who immigrated from Ireland cir. 1740; son of George Duncan of Ireland; m. 1 (unknown); m. 2 Margaret Cross; Children: John, George, William, Robert, Abraham, Esther, James. Citing: Parker's Londonderry, p. 269; Merrill's Acknowth, p. 212; Cochran's Antrim, p. 468; Chase's Haverhill, p. 628. (If the list of children is correct and complete, then he was not the father of Samuel Duncan. Depending on his age at the time of his immigration, he could be a grandfather or other ancestor, however.)
George Duncan, of Londonderry, N.H., immigrated from Ireland cir. 1740, son of George and Margaret (Cross); m. Letitia Bell; Children: John, George, James, Josiah, Elizabeth, Letitia; d. 1780-5 at age about 70.– Parker's Londonderry, p. 270. (If the list of children is correct, it appears that he could not be father of Dr. Samuel Duncan. But it also appears that he immigrated at the age of about 30, so it is possible that he could be Dr. Samuel Duncan's grandfather.)
John Duncan, of Worcester, Mass. (Also called Dunkin); from Ireland in 1718; Children: Simeon, John, Samuel, Daniel, a daughter; son-in-law James Hawes, weaver; will probated Feb. 5, 1739/40. Worcester Probate Records; Lincoln's Worchester, p. 49. (This one died several years before Samuel Duncan's birth and therefore cannot be the father of Dr. Samuel Duncan, but he could be a grandfather or other ancestor).
More About Samuel Duncan:
Appointed 1: 1779, Brunswick, ME, part of 3-member committee aiding families of Brunswick men serving the Continental Army.1836, 1837
Appointed 2: 1780, Brunswick, ME, committee to procure beef for the army.1838, 1839
Burial: Aft. June 30, 1784, Witch Spring Cemetery, West Bath, ME.1840
Elected 1: 1777, Brunswick, ME Committee of Correspondence.1841, 1842
Elected 2: 1781, General Court of Massachusetts.1843, 1844
Military service: Bet. May 05 - December 01, 1781, Maine Militia, Revolutionary War.1845
Occupation: 1760, physician, Bath, ME.1846
Probate: September 24, 1785, Estate Notice published in Falmouth Gazette, Kennecunk, ME.1847
Residence 1: 1770, Topsham, ME.1848
Residence 2: 1771, Brunswick, ME.1849
Residence 3: Bet. 1772 - 1775, Brunswick, ME.1850
More About Samuel Duncan and Hannah Donnell:
Marriage: 1770, Massachutes.1851
Children of Samuel Duncan and Hannah Donnell are:
- +Hannah Duncan, b. October 04, 1775, Brunswick, ME1852, 1853, d. February 14, 1848, Bath, ME.
- +Samuel Eaton Duncan, b. August 25, 1779, Brunswick, Cumberland Co., ME1854, 1855, 1856, d. May 07, 1855, Bath, ME1857, 1858, 1859.