born about 1813 in Scotland
died 1857
©   Kurt Müller 2011
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Alexander Duncan
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born 1813 in Glasgow, Scotland, and died 1857
Possibly he was a son of James Duncan and Agnes Hood (this origin is not safely confirmed, though).
He marrried

Caroline Franklyn

on 21st  October 1836 in Sydney, Australia;
they had 8 children (or more; see below), among them

Grace Duncan


Grace Robertson

's mother

So Alexander and Caroline had evidently migrated to Australia, married, had two daughters, returned to England, had a third daughter and crossed the Atlantic; Grace was their fourth daughter; then they travelled the relatively modest distance to Pennsylvania, where their first son and sixth daughter were born. It is easy to imagine Caroline as typically pregnant, at sea and constantly looking round in case small children disappeared overboard.

Scottish records show 7 people called

Alexander Duncan

born in the possible timespan (17/9/1812 to 16/9/1813).
Three of them were born in Aberdeenshire, the same county as the Robertsons. The only records of immigrants of this name come from the lists of prisoners transported to the colonies, and he would have to have been very young indeed to match them. So his precise origins remain a mystery."

John Humphreys


all the rest of this page

"Caroline Franklyn and Alexander Duncan were married at St James' Church, King Street, Sydney on 21st October 1836. It was an Anglican church, and had been consecrated 12 years previously (1824); it is now the oldest church in Sydney still in existence.

St James parish lies to the east of St Philip; it includes Sydney Opera House; Royal Botanic Gardens, The Domain, the part of Hyde Park north of Park street [all open parkland]; Circular Quay, and Martin Place. The parish is bounded by the area which was originally the Tank Stream (now Pitt Street near Circular Quay), and George Street in the west. It is bounded by Park Street and part of William Street in the south, and Young Crescent and Woolloomooloo Bay in the east.

Groom: Alexander DUNCAN, bachelor, Parish of St Philip

Bride: Caroline FRANKLYN, spinster, Parish of St Lawrence
Married: 21 October 1836
[in] Parish of Saint James
in the County of Cumberland
authority: License
consent: not stated
Minister: Robt. Cartwrighy, Chaplain
Denomination: Church of England
Winesses: W.Beaver of King Street
Vincent Geo. Williams of Elizabeth Street

The official details from New South Wales:

Groom:                Alexander DUNCAN, bachelor, Parish of St Philip

Bride:                 Caroline FRANKLYN, spinster, Parish of St Lawrence
Married:                   21 October 1836
[in]                        Parish of Saint James in the County of Cumberland
authority:                License
consent:                not stated
Minister:                Robt. Cartwright, Chaplain
Denomination: Church of England
Witnesses:        W.Beaver of King Street, Vincent Geo. Williams of Elizabeth Street


Alexander Duncan

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Family history Müller - Humphreys

Free inhabitants in West Philadelphia in the County of Philadelphia,
State of Pennsylvania […] 16th Day of September 1850

Alexander Duncan


37  M   Bookkeeper   1600         Scotland

Caroline Duncan        32   F                    England

Caroline Duncan            10   F                         N.S.Wales     /
Agnes         9   F                         N.S.Wales     /
Eliza         8   F                         England         /
Grace         6   F                         New York


Franklin         5   M                         Pennsylvania  /
Kate         2   F                          Pennsylvania

"1600" is the "Value of real estate owned", presumably dollars. The oblique strokes belong to a column "Attended school within the year". Free presumably means the census excluded slaves.

The US 1850 Census (16 Sep 1850) allows a reconstruction of the family's movements in the following years, via the order of the children's birthplaces. In New York births, marriages and deaths were not recorded at the time. However John found them in the Pennsylvania Census data:

Picture below:
St James Church, Sydney,
designed by the New South Wales Government Architect Francis Greenway.
In the collection of the National Library of Australia (Lithograph by Robert Russell, C.1836).
The Church is at the western end of King Street.