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John Duncan
(Bef 1730-)
Elspet Davidson
(Bef 1733-)
John Duncan
Katherine Grant
Alexander Duncan
Elspet Duncan
(1764-Bef 1826)
John Duncan


Family Links

John Duncan 1 2

  • Born: 19 Dec 1789, Cullen, Banff, Scotland 3 4
  • Christened: 22 Dec 1789, Cullen
  • Died: 28 Aug 1833, Broom, Cullen 5 6

  General Notes:

Firstly, re: John Duncan, the doctor's firstborn.
The Cullen Baptism OPR for 22/12/1789 reads: "Mr. Alexander Duncan surgeon in Cullen has a child by his wife Mrs Elspet Duncan born 19th named John designed after John Duncan Esq. of Jamaica grandfather to the child and John Ross Esq. Professor of Oriental Languages King's College Aberdeen. Witnesses John Wilson Esq. Cullen and Abraham Leslie of Kindrossie, Mrs. Innes of Jamaica and Mrs. Wilson at Cullen, grand-aunts to the child."

Elspet's son John Duncan
John-the-son, born 1789, evidently followed his father Alexander's calling. He is first listed in the National Archives list as being an active Royal Navy surgeon from 9/3/1810 (at age 21) and first positively identified as a naval surgeon in the Cullen OPR at age 32 when he was a witness to the baptism at Cullen on 10/4/1821 of Mary Ann Gray, the second daughter of his half-sister Ann Duncan.

In continuing my investigation of John-the-son, I first wondered whether he had ever married and had children. However, I have since discovered that John Duncan, surgeon RN died at Broom on 28/8/1833 leaving no will but an estate valued for probate by Walter Gray on 29/11/1833 at His estate fell to his sister Catherine Duncan-Fraser as next of kin and we can infer that he never married and left no descendents. (PTG)

[RB - Could John Ross be the brother of the Factor James Ross - as wqell as the reference above we have these below (needs looking into):

[PTG 2008] Nellie and Alex the merchant lived in Farskan, on the site of the present Cullen Hotel. The letter from Rev Geo Grant to James Ross dated 1777 fits my surmise that they were in Jamaica at some time between 1774-1789. Isn't it nice to have a win sometimes!

I copied images from the Cullen OPR film for the following records.
Witnesses for their daughter Magdalene born in Rathven manse 15/6/1764 included Andrew Hay of Runfries, John Duncan in Broom, James Ogilvie of Logie and Alex Grant of Tochineil.
Witnesses for Mary Innes, born 10/9/1766 and named after the Countess of Findlater, included Lord Deskford, Mr John Ross his governonr (?), and Miss Mary Murray and Miss Mary Abercrombie of Birkenbogg
On the same page in 1766:
The Reverend Mr Robert Grant Minister of Cullen and Mrs Elizabeth Duncan his wife had a child born August 4th and baptised 7th named Mary designed after the Right Honble the Countess of Findlater and The Honble Miss Marg Murray Niece to the Countess who were witnesses to the Baptism as were also The Right Honble The Lord Deskford & Messrs John and James Ross at Cullen House.


1 ImportPTGray database.

2 PTG Database April 2007.

3 PTGray, Their son John 19/12/1789 also a surgeon RN was named for his
grandfather John Duncan of Jamaica (OPR comment)
I asked Aberdeen and NE Scotland FH Soc (ANESFHS) about Jamaica and
received the following friendly response:

>I can find no trace of a property named 'Jamaica' in either Cullen,
>Portsoy or Fordyce on any of the maps or indexes I have. This is not to
>say, however, that a house may informally have been known as
>The Duncan family in coastal Banffshire and East Moray were all noted
>seafaring merchants and shipbuilders, and many of the Duncan families
>from further west at Garmouth and Kingston, and at Buckie, all had
>links with, and houses in Jamaica or other parts of the West Indies,
>and many made those their principal residences. I doubt that we will
>ever be able to prove it, but I would suggest that we are talking about
>the West Indies rather than a house name.

I put out a feeler to JAMAICA-L AT but no response yet.

4 Scotland's People - Index,, 22/12/1789 DUNCAN JOHN ALEXANDER DUNCAN/ELSPET DUNCAN U CULLEN 150/00 0004.

5 PTGray, At age 32 John the son witnessed the baptism of his half sister Ann
Duncan's daughter Mary Ann Gray at Cullen on 10/4/1821 (OPR)

6 Scotland's People - Index,, Will / Inventory.