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Below is a family biography included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.   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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ALEXANDER CHRISTY DUNCAN was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., April 19, 1845. His grandfather, John Duncan, was an Irishman of Scotch descent, who narrowly escaped being beheaded during the Irish rebellion. Thomas John, son of the latter, enlisted as a private in the British army, in which he served eighteen years, the greater part of the time in the East Indies, rising to the rank of captain of the Royal Scots. His adventures were many and interesting. A sword which is still preserved in the family was presented to him by Donna Isabella, queen of Spain. On his return from the Indies, at the age of thirty-five, his company was quartered in the barracks at Edinburgh Castle. There he met the youngest daughter of Col. Alex. C. Dingwall, who had been major of the Scots Greys at the battle of Waterloo, and was at that time keeper of the crown of Scotland. Capt. John Duncan and Clarinda Dingwall were married, and after years of travel they came to America in 1832. Capt. Duncan was for years a well-known merchant of Pittsburgh, where he died in 1882, aged eighty years. His widow died at the home of her son Alexander, in Wilkinsburg, in July, 1888, aged seventy-three. They left five sons and one daughter. Alexander C. Duncan was reared and educated in the city; served eight years as a law clerk for the well known attorneys, Kennedy & Doty; established the Merchants’ Law and Collection Bureau in 1875, afterward known as Duncan Bros., and in 1887 sold an interest to Henry King, the firm being now Duncan & King. The Merchants’ Law and Collection Bureau is now a well-known institution of Pittsburgh, and has a world-wide reputation for its efficiency. In 1887 Mr. Duncan bought a residence in Wilkinsburg. The family is identified with the Episcopal Church, and Mr. Duncan is a member of the Masonic fraternity. In May, 1866, he married Miss Hattie V. Kennedy, of Allegheny, a daughter of Samuel Kennedy, a Baltimorean, and Elenore Kennedy, of Irish birth. Mr. and Mrs. Duncan are parents of four children: Alexander C. Nellie B., Donald Dingwall and Hattie V. Mr. Duncan was a member of the One Hundred and Thirty-sixth regiment during its nine months’ service under Col. Thomas Bayne, and took part in the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.

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This family biography is one of 2,156 biographies included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.

View additional Allegheny County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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