James Cation Duncan is my great grandfather on the Scottish branch of the family tree. His parents, Eliza Cation and Thomas Duncan as well as three of his (James’) older brothers (William, Thomas Cation, and John) were born in Scotland, emigrating to the US in 1842. Another brother, David, was born in Peoria, New York in 1846. The family continued to move west settling near Ottawa, Waukesha county, Wisconsin. Another boy, Frank, was their first child born in Wisconsin in 1848.
James Cation, known as J.C., was born 3 March 1851 in Ottawa, Wisconsin. His birth was followed by a brother George in 1854, a sister Eliza, who died as an infant in 1856, and a sister, also named Eliza, born in 1858.
Two of J.C.’s brothers, William and T.C., enlisted to fight in the Civil War. William died from fever, T.C. returned. J.C. studied at Milton College in Wisconsin, graduating in 1869. Soon after that the family moved to Osage, Mitchell county, Iowa.
On 21 May 1875 James married Anna English, daughter of Samuel and Mary English. She was born 4 May 1856 in Iowa. Years later her brother Frank would marry J.C.’s sister.
According to a county history, J.C. went to Chicago in 1877 to study medicine – probably with his brother Thomas who was a prominent homeopathic doctor. He then returned to Iowa.
Annette Mary Jane Patchen always went by the name Nettie – even in legal papers. [There was a genealogy lesson for me here – I had been looking for her full formal name].
She was born 2 December 1858 in Cassell Prairie, Wisconsin to Cassie Ann Rosenberry and Orson Patchen. Her father died from illness in the Civil War in 1862. Her mother married again, this time to Michael Gallagher, who also died in the war.
Before 1870 Cassie married her third husband, Lewis Abbott who had been married previously and had adult sons. The Abbotts lived in Iowa.
In 1878 Cassie and Lewis have a daughter, Lillian. Nettie’s famly consists of her mother Cassie, stepfather Lewis, brother Clarence, and half-sister Lillian.
On 8 April 1880 James Cation Duncan and Nettie Patchen marry in Osage, Iowa. He is 29 years old, she is 21.