Eliza Cation and Thomas Duncan lived in the Ottawa/Eagle area of Wisconsin from the late 1840s to the late 1860s. During this time Thomas applied for US citizenship. On 20 September 1855 he filed a declaration of intent. This document gives his year and country of birth and his date and place of emigration. It also has his signature – one of my favorite things.
By the time of the 1880 Federal Census Thomas, 64, and Eliza, 63, are living alone in Osage, Mitchell county, Iowa. The children have all left. T.C. wed Emma Osborne in 1866. David married Helen Barlass about 1870. Frank married Martha Pennell in 1872. John married Anna Hopkirk in 1874 when he was almost 32 years old. James wed Anna English in 1875 and after her death married Nettie Patchen in 1880. The only daughter, Eliza, married Frank English in 1877. George was the last to marry – to Ella Whitbeck about 1878.
About 1880 a formal photograph was taken of the family. I’ve posted it before and probably will again as it show so many generations in a high quality print. My guess is that it was taken in Iowa based on the people present.
In 1886 Eliza wrote a letter to her sister and brother in Scotland. The family of Isabelle Cation Barclay saved the letter. I began to transcribe it, but the quality of the copy, Eliza’s punctuation and handwriting made it unlikely I could do a good job. But here’s a photo of it. It’s nice to see her handwriting. And it has her signature.
At this time they are living in Mendota, Illinois with their son Frank Duncan – and using his stationery for her letter. They had emigrated from Scotland and lived in New York, a couple of places in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. Several of their sons were doctors and I think at least the last years of their lives were lived in comfort.