Duncan & Patchen – Part 2 Family Life

jcd and nettie smMy great grandparents, Nettie Patchen and James Cation Duncan married in 1880 in Iowa.  James had a son, Clifford, 4, from his first marriage.

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On 11 December 1881 in Osage, Iowa J.C. and Nettie’s first son, Howard William, was born.  I don’t know where the name Howard comes from.  I think the William part came from J.C.’s brother William who died in the Civil War.  This doesn’t follow traditional Scottish naming patterns.

Standing Mamie English, Clifford Duncan, Eliza Duncan English, Frank English, James Cation Duncan, Nettie Patchen Duncan.  Seated:  Eliza Cation Duncan, Belle English, Thomas Duncan, Howard Duncan.  About 1882.

Standing Mamie English, Clifford Duncan, Eliza Duncan English, Frank English, James Cation Duncan, Nettie Patchen Duncan. Seated: Eliza Cation Duncan, Belle English, Thomas Duncan, Howard Duncan. About 1882.

In one county history it states that J.C. returned in 1882 to Chicago to continue his medical studies.  It was in Chicago that James Edgar (Ed) Duncan was born on 3 December 1885.

Sometime after 1887 J.C. graduated from Chicago Homeopathic College and moved to LaMoille, Illinois in Bureau county.  It was there that their third son, my grandfather, Thomas LeRoy, was born on 22 November 1889.

James, Thomas, and Clifford Duncan

James, Thomas, and Clifford Duncan

On 19 May 1894 Nettie’s mother, Cassie Abbott, died in Osage, Iowa.  Her youngest daughter, Lillian Abbott, came to live with the Duncans.  She was 16 years old.

L-R: J.C. Duncan, Lillian Abbott, Howard or Ed Duncan, Thomas, Nettie, and Clifford Duncan.  About 1900.

L-R: J.C. Duncan, Lillian Abbott, Howard or Ed Duncan, Thomas, Nettie, and Clifford Duncan. About 1900.

In October 1896 the family moved to DeKalb, Illinois.  J.C. re-established his medical practice there.

duncan house maybe abt 1900a

Duncan house about 1900. Not sure which Duncan family this is, but one of ours! I don’t recognize the man in the swing.

The photos I have are labelled “Duncan House 1900.”  The photos are special to me because they are ‘snap-shots’ – not formally posed in a studio.

duncan house interior abt 1900

christmas 1900 DeKalb

Christmas 1900 DeKalb, Illinois. J.C Duncan on the right, close to the camera.

Also in the 1900 census, J.C. and Nettie live with the three younger boys.  Within the year before the 1900 Federal Census (June 1900), James’ son, Clifford, married Mabel Farmer.  In the census, they are listed as living with her parents in DeKalb.

Also in that year, Nettie’s sister, Lillian married Edward Z. Mercer. In the census she is shown as living under her married name with her parents and also living with her husband and his mother at a different address.  Census information can be “interesting” – that is to say inaccurate because the person giving the information may not know the answers to the questions.  And yet, all the blanks are filled in.  Take census information with a grain of salt.

JCD obit

On 6 November 1901 James Cation Duncan, 50, died from Bright’s Disease (commonly described any kidney disease at the time).   He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in DeKalb.

The three boys at home were teenagers.

jc duncan stonePart one of the Duncan – Patchen series can be found here.

Part three is here.

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5 thoughts on “Duncan & Patchen – Part 2 Family Life

  1. Pingback: Duncan & Patchen – Part 1 (& English) | This I Leave

  2. Pingback: Duncan & Patchen – Part 3 Nettie | This I Leave

  3. I shared these photos with my sister-in law Jameanne Duncan Hamilton Owen this week and she was delighted to see her family. She is the only child of Clifford James Duncan and the first wife, Anne, of James C. Duncan. She was adopted by the Hamilton family after living with them for a number of years. She is a retired nurse living with her husband, Bob Owen in a retirement community of Santa Rosa, CA. We would like to hear from any familly member who has more info on the Duncan family. Valerie

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