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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Craighead County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Robert Y. Duncan, an active and progressive farmer, and proprietor of a cotton-gin and grist mill, was born in Perry County, Ala., July 23, 1844. His father was Samuel A. Duncan, a native of South Carolina, who located in Alabama when about eighteen years of age. He was a planter until thirty-five years old, when he began contracting and building railroad bridges and houses. In December, of 1880, he was working on a dwelling in Birmingham, Ala., and fell from a scaffold, living only three hours afterward. He was married to Mary Ann Roberts, also a native of South Carolina, and they were the parents of fourteen children. Nine of them are still living, but only Robert Y. is in Arkansas. The mother is sixty-seven years of age, and still resides in Alabama. Robert Y. was reared in his native State, and coming to Arkansas with some friends when twenty-four years of age, arrived at Jonesboro November 17, 1868. In the spring, he rented a farm and worked it for one year. In August, 1869, he was married to Matilda R. Lynch, daughter of Aden and Susan Lynch. In the fall of 1871 he bought eighty acres of his present farm and built his home. He subsequently bought forty acres of adjoining land, making a farm of 120 acres, forty of which are cultivated. In 1879 he built a good cotton-gin, and in 1886 opened a grist-mill in connection, and these have proved successful. To Mr. and Mrs. Duncan have been born nine children: Ruby A. J. (deceased), Samuel A., John J., Thomas M., Essie B., Effie Y., Robert M., Taylor A. and Rufus Elbert. Mr. Duncan is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Jonesboro Lodge No. 129, and has been president of Pine View Wheel No. 881, since its organization in 1886. He was in Company A, Fifty-third Regiment, Twenty-fourth Alabama Battalion, and during his eighteen months’ service was mostly in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. He and his wife, oldest daughter and two oldest sons are active members of the New Salem Methodist Episcopal Church.

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This family biography is one of 98 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Craighead County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Craighead County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Craighead County, Arkansas family biographies here: Craighead County, Arkansas Biographies

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