Monday, May 27, 2013


© Kathy Duncan, 2013

Willie Sargent Chapman, Jr.
World War I

My grandfather, Willie Sargent "Bill" Chapman, in his World War I uniform. He was born 16 December 1892 near Mt. Pleasant, Texas to Willie Sargent and Mary Charlotte "Maggie" (Cawthon) Chapman. He moved to Red River County Texas in 1910 where he spent most of his life. He married Bertha Brown, daughter of Toy M. and Henrietta Elizabeth "Bessie" (Kelley) Brown on 28 September 1920 in Clarksville, Texas. He married Mrs. Irene Raney on 8 December 1974 in Dekalb, Texas. He died on 25 June 1987.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


© Kathy Duncan, 2013

The tornado in Moore, Oklahoma that wrecked so much damage yesterday has prompted me to get off my duff and post Browning Duncan's family bible leafs.

I hoped for a couple of decades that a bible record for Browning and Rebecca W. (Pettus) Duncan would make a miraculous appearance. Finally, my distant cousin Larry Duncan of Waldron, Arkansas told me that there was, in fact, an existing Browning Duncan bible and that is was owned by a Duncan descendant in Moore, Oklahoma. The 1999 tornado hit shortly after that, and Larry told me that their house had been destroyed and that the bible was probably lost. Some time later he was able to report that the bible had survived, but it was water damaged. The family who owned the bible had their hands full with rebuilding their home.

The quest for the bible went on the back burner. Time went by. Larry Duncan died. I resolved myself to never seeing a copy of the bible. Then a research cousin, Gloria Mayfield Duncan, went on an epic summer research trip in 2009. In the genealogy files of a deceased relative, Gloria found photocopies of what appeared to be Browning Duncan's bible. Not content to stop there, she went in search of the original. She tracked down the bible's owner and learned that only the family record pages had really survived and had been placed inside a book to dry after the tornado. Then they had been misplaced.

Gloria's photocopies, which she shared with me, may be all that survives of the original Browning Duncan bible. With that in mind and imminent bad weather blowing into my area, I decided to take the bible digital and preserve it here.

Browning Duncan's Bible
click on image to enlarge

The top of the leaf above reveals the birth of Rebecca W. [Pettus] Duncan:

Rebecah W. Duncan was Born September the 5: 1804

In all probability, Browning Duncan's birth was recorded above hers in the damaged area of the leaf.

The leaf continues with the births of Browning and Rebecca W. (Pettus) Duncan's children:

Mariah E. Duncan was Born January the 19: 1826
Isaac Duncan was Born Febuary the 15: 1828
Samuel K Pettus Duncan was Born October 9: 1830
William W Duncan was Born November the 30: 1832
Charles K Duncan was Born March the 10: 1836
John P Duncan was Born January the 7: 1838
Susan G Duncan was Born Febuary the 17: 1841
Sarah M D Duncan was Born September the 23: 1843
Browning M Duncan was Born November the 11: 1845

The children's middle names are not all known, so their middle initials offer tantalizing clues for possibilities:

We know that Samuel K. Pettus Duncan's full name was Samuel Knox Pettus Duncan based on other records. This bible record, however, documents that the rarely occuring P initial stands for Pettus. He was named for several people--his grandfather Samuel Knox, his grandfather William Pettus, and his uncle Samuel Knox Pettus.

William W. Duncan's middle initial may have stood for Wadkins.

Charles K. Duncan's middle initial is known to have stood for Kavanaugh. Sometimes his middle initial appears as a C, which also stands for Cavanaugh. His grandmother Susannah Kavanaugh Duncan's family used both spellings of Kavanaugh.

John P. Duncan's middle initial might have stood for Pettus.

Susan G. or J. Duncan's middle intitial is a mystery.

Sarah M.D. Duncan's middle initials are very interesting. Do they offer a clue as to the identity of her great-grandmother Sarah Duncan's maiden name? The elder Sarah Duncan was the wife of Charles Duncan. She has been mistakenly identified as Sarah Kavanaugh, daughter of Philemon Cavanaugh. However, Sarah Kavanaugh was married to a Strother. Charles Duncan's wife Sarah is thought by many to have been a Browning. Primary documentation has not been found yet to support that theory. The initials M. D. do not reveal anything either.

Significantly, Browning M. Duncan's middle initial may be pointing us in the same direction as Sarah M. D. Duncan's middle initials.

The bottom of the leaf continues with the births of grandchildren:

William F. G. Mcaleb  was Born July the 14: 1850
Mary J. Duncan was Born December the 31: 1850
Louizar R. Duncan was Born June the 24: 1851
------- M. Mcaleb was Born the 15 of April: 1853

Browning Duncan's Bible
click on image to enlarge

The leaf above contains marriage records followed by death records:

Browning [?] Duncan & Rebecah W. Pettu
Married December the 25..1823
Isaac Duncan & Martha Sales was Married September the 12: 18_ _
James Mcaleb & Mariah E Duncan was Married Septem__ the 18: ____
Samuel K Duncan & Susan Leonard October the 14: 1850
Sarah M D Duncan Departed this life November ----------
Browning M Duncan Departed this life January th 1 1863
Browning Duncan Departed this life April th 21 1864

Browning and Rebecca (Pettus) Duncan probably married in York County, South Carolina. This is the only record of their marriage date since South Carolina was not keeping records of marriages at that time.

Baby Sarah M. D. Duncan died in Dyer Co., Tennessee. Her broken tombstone can still be seen in a heart sickening pile of broken tombstones in what is left of the Pettus Cemetery on the border of Gibson and Dyer Counties in Tennessee. 

This is the only death record of Browning Duncan. No place of burial has been found for him. 

Significantly, the death of Rebecca W. (Pettus) Duncan is not recorded in the bible. This suggests to me that she survived Browning, or her death is recorded in a damaged area of the bible. The bible evidently passed to son Charles Cavanaugh Duncan. This may suggest that Rebecca was making her home with him after Browning's death, or both Browning and Rebecca may have been living with him. The Civil War would have been going on at this time, and life would have been especially difficult for the elderly couple given the harsh living conditions in that area of Arkansas. 

Browning Duncan's Bible
click on image to enlarge
The leaf above lists the births of Charles C. Duncan's children. He was a son of Browning and Rebecca (Pettus) Duncan:

Marthy J. Duncan was bornd March the 6, 1859
Amanda E. Duncan was bornd June the 3, 1860
Mary Fanney Duncan was bornd Janury the 29, 1863
William Browing Duncan was bornd Febury the 2, 1867
John Wesley Duncan was bornd March the 19, 1869
Marian Frances Duncan was bornd Febury the 20, 1872
Isac Milton Duncan was bornd January the 17, 1875

The bottom of the leaf records these additional births:

Charles Robert Fry Was born the 3 of July 1879
Euss M Duncan was bornd December ------ 1894
Milton Duncan 
baby was bornd Augut the 24 1901

Browning Duncan's Bible
click on image to enlarge

An additional leaf records the birth and death record of a McKee family:

-----McKee was Born March the 11th 1791
--mes McKee was Born October the 5th 1783
--ail Morrison McKee aws Born Jan 22d 1786
--ry McKee was Born March 11th 1789
--liam McKee was Born September 4th 1795

Margaret McKee Deceased this life Septem 15th 1795
Mary McKee Deceased this life October 2d 1795

No known connection has been found. Possibly the bible was purchased at an estate sale and used by the Browning Duncan family.

The bottom of this leaf is from a much later time period and contains information about the Cherry family:

Jermyn Mell Cherry Deceased this life Nov 10th 1927
Husband of Pearl Duncan Cheery Age 32 years 4 m & 2 days

This evening my thoughts are on a family and an old bible that have already survived one terrible tornado. I'm hoping they have come through this one as well. 

Notation: Browning Duncan was the son of Isaac and Susanna (Kavanaugh) Duncan.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


© Kathy Duncan, 2013

The leaf above is from the Thomas Resin Galt Bible. Transcription:

Thomas R. Galt was born Feb . 7. 1860
Florence May Galt was born Aug 29 - 1870
Beulah Frances Galt was born Sep 7 - 1891
Junius Deloss Galt was born July 26 - 1893
Juanita May Galt was born July 3 - 1895
Ruth Ann Galt was born sep 4 - 1897
Marie Ellen Galt was born Aug 14 - 1899
Thomas Martin Galt was born Dec 4 - 1903
Alta Naomi Galt was ___ June 10 - 1908
Charles Calven Gal_ was born Mch 2 - 1910
Mother Past away Nov 3st 1934
age 64 years 2 Month and 3 days

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


© Kathy Duncan, 2013

The photo above is of Rev. Thomas Galt's sons. From left to right: James Junius Galt, Elijah Lamb Galt, John Galt, Rev. Thomas Galt, Jr., and Martin Happer Galt. Elijah Lamb Galt was the son of Rev. Thomas Galt's second wife, Margaret Moore. The rest of the brothers were the sons of Rev. Thomas Galt's first wife, Sarah Happer.

If records are correct and John Galt was the first brother to die on 30 Oct 1899, then this picture predates that.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Thomas Resin Galt and Family

© Kathy Duncan, 2013

Seated: Thomas Resin Galt and wife Florence May Brown
Children, left to right: Junius and Beulah c. 1894

In this family photograph, the youngest child and eldest son, Junius Deloss Galt, was born 26 July 1893 in Appleton City, Missouri. Therefore, the photograph was probably made in 1894.

Junius's elder sister Beulah Frances Galt was born 7 Sept 1891 in Farmingdale, Sangamon County, Illinois. She is two, almost three years old in this picture.

Thomas Resin Galt, born 7 Feb 1860, near Springfield, Illinois is about 34 years old, and Florence May (Brown) Galt, born 29 Aug 1870 is about 24 years old.