Austin Peay Duke, Sr., born about 1806

by Gary D Duke 2005

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Austin Peay Duke was born in South Carolina, probably Kershaw County, in 1806. His parents were Moses Duke and Nancy Burge. His name was derived from relatives of his mother. Nancy Burge’s parents were Burrell Burge and Elizabeth Ford. Her father Burrell died in 1797 when Nancy was still a minor and she had four younger siblings. Nancy’s grandfather, Richard Burge, her mother Elizabeth and Elizabeth’s brother Nathaniel Ford, all became legal guardians of these minor children. Another sister of Elizabeth Ford Burge was Martha “Mary” Keziah Ford who had married Nicholas Peay. Mary Ford & Nicholas Peay had a son named Austin Ford Peay. This Austin Ford Peay, due to deaths and remarriages, later became the guardian of the four youngest siblings of Nancy Burge Duke. He was rewarded for these efforts when Moses and Nancy named their second-born son “Austin Peay Duke”

Austin Peay Duke grew up in Kershaw County and continued living there in his father’s house until about 1831 when the entire family moved away from South Carolina.

Austin’s known siblings were:

Richard 1804 SC

Austin 1806 SC

Bartlett Smith 1810 SC

Burrell Burge 1813 SC


and there were two others unknown

Austin’s Aunt Elizabeth, sister to his father, was married to Thomas Lloyd Foster and they had recently moved to Marion County, Alabama, in the northwestern portion of Alabama, near to the Mississippi State line. Austin’s father and older brother Richard who was already married, decided to join the Fosters in Alabama.

I don’t yet know the reason but, when his family all moved to Alabama, Austin moved at the same time........but not to the same place. He went to Lowndes County, Alabama, about 1832. What was he doing there? A man named Elias Duke lived in Clarke County, Alabama, in 1830 and he “may” have been an Uncle, brother of Austin’s father, Moses. There was a man named Joel Duke in 1830 Wilcox County, Alabama, who was probably a cousin. We know that Joel Duke, born about 1811 in South Carolina, a son of William Duke, later lived in Lowndes County and died there in 1854. Another Joel Duke had lived in Tatnall County, Georgia since the early 1800's. It has even been rumored that “Joel Duke” was a brother of Austin’s father Moses. I mention all these Joel Dukes because it will be seen there was a Joel or two around where Austin lived in Alabama.

In Lowndes County, on 2-28-1837, Austin Duke married Lucinda Grace Edwards. Her father was Isaac P. Edwards and, in 1840, I cannot find Austin in the census but I note that Isaac Edwards lives there. Isaac is 50-60 years old and there are six females and seven other males in his household. Four boys and four girls are under the age of ten ! The oldest female is only 20-30 years old. My guess is that Isaac’s wife has died and he has several grandchildren, including Austin & Lucinda, living with him.

In the 1840 Pike County census, there is a Joel Duke, 20-30 years old, with a young wife and two boys under five years old. There is also a William Duke living near to Joel....this William is 40-50 years old and may be Joel’s father.

By 1850, Austin Duke has moved his family into nearby Pike County where, on 9-24-1850, they are found in the census as follows:

Austin P. Duke 44m SC

Lucinda 28f AL

Isaac 12m AL

Parthenia 11f AL

Mary 9f AL

Bartlett 7m AL

Margaret 4f AL

Rubin 2m AL

David 4/12 m AL

Not far away from Austin’s family lived this man: (relationship unknown)

William Duke 31m SC

Keziah 26f SC

William 2/12 m AL

John Lee 35m SC

During the years from 1833 through 1850 while Austin was living in central Alabama, his father and brothers were all living several counties to the north and west, on the Mississippi/Alabama border. In fact, his father Moses had died in 1841 and his mother Nancy died in mid-1850. If Austin made trips to visit his family we have no record of it.

We know that Austin moved from Pike County, Alabama, to Jasper County, Mississippi in late 1854 - early 1855 - because he had a son born in Alabama in 1854 and a daughter born in Mississippi in 1855.

His son David died in Jasper in 1859 of unknown causes.

On May 2, 1859 Austin received a land grant of 80 acres in Jasper County (nwsw 4n 10e section 34 and swnw 4n 10e s34)

On Oct 1, 1860 he got 40 more acres (nwsw 3n 10e s1)

By the time of the 1860 census, Austin was living in northwestern Jasper County near the town of Montrose (Mount Rose?) with his very large family as follows: (Names are shown as in census - parentheses are full names added by me)

A. P. Dukes 53m SC (Austin Peay)

Lucy 38f AL (Lucinda Grace)

B.S. 14m AL (Bartlett Smith)

P.G. 21f AL (Parthenia Ann)

Mary 17f AL (Mary Caldonia)

R.W. 10m AL (Reuben Watts)

A.P. 8m AL (Austin Peay)

E.B. 6m AL (Eugene B.)

Lucy 5f MS (Lucinda Ann)

J.G. 3m MS (George F.)

M.V. 2f MS (Martha Victoria.)

T. B. 1m MS (Thomas B.)

U.A. Blackwell 2f Ms

I.M. Dukes 23m AL (Isaac Moses)

Two houses away lived:

M.I. Alexander 58m NC

M.I. Alexander 38f NC

M.L. Alexander 22m NC

C.C. Alexander 21m NC

M.A. Duke 14f AL (Margaret Ann)

It is my assumption that the Blackwell child is a daughter of Parthenia although I find no record of her marriage and her name is still listed as Duke in this record. I don’t know why Margaret lives with the Alexander family but she is Austin’s daughter.

There is one other Duke family in 1860 Jasper County:

M.R. Duke 54f TN

D.L. Duke 22m MS

B.F. Duke 16m MS

C.C. Duke 14m MS

M.L. Roach 34f Ms

Looking back to 1850 I find:

Simeon Dukes 60m SC

Mary R. 40f TN

William W. 16m MS

Daniel 12m MS

John 10m MS

Benjamin L. 7m MS

Christopher C. 4m MS

Victoria 2f MS

Austin’s son Isaac was 23 and son Bartlett was 16 when the Civil War began. His next oldest son Reuben was only 11. I have not found any War record for Isaac but Bartlett joined the “Jasper Greys” of the CSA on May 6, 1861 when he was only 16 years old. David L. Duke, 23 years old from the other Jasper Duke family was a Lt, then Cpt, in the “Greys”. Austin was killed on 8-6-1864. If Isaac fought in the War, he managed to survive it.

After the War, Austin and most of his children moved to Union Parish, Louisiana.......or was it Union County, Arkansas? “Counties” in Louisiana are called “Parishes” and Union Parish in Louisiana and Union County in Arkansas are actually adjacent to each other, separated only by the State Line. Because of this, records of the family from after 1867 show they moved back and forth across the line but remaining in “Union” County/Parish.

(See several marriage records below)

In the 1870 census, I find a Union Parish, La, town of Lapile, “Arthur P. Duke, 63m SC, lived kids. I am certain this is actually Austin but it will be seen that Lucinda was still alive.....where was she? Though Reuben has recently married, there were six siblings younger than him and all of them show up in marriage records in the coming years........looks like a census taker screw-up.

In 1870, also in Union Parish, Marion Post Office, are these families:

Isaac M. Duke 33m Al

Mary L. 25f Al

Palestine M. 2f La

Thomas P. 4/12 m La

John Wood 69m Ga (undoubtedly Mary’s parents)

Jenette Wood 65f Ga

William Pelgreen 52m SC

Sarah 50f NC

Harriet A. 23f Al

Georgia Ann 16f La

Fanny 14f La

William 12m La

Reuben Duke 21m La

Fanny Willson 21f Al

Caroline Harrison 16f La

(another mystery. Reuben married Fanny Pelgreen in 1868. But, Fanny

Pelgreen here is still only 14 two years later. I presume the 21yr old Fanny is his

wife but why is she listed as “Willson”? Who is Caroline Harrison?)

John J. Lewis 32m Ms

Margaret 23f Al (daughter of Austin Duke)

Laura Ann 4f Ms

Sarah 2f Ar

William 6/12 m La

Austin Peay Duke died 2-2- 1876 in Union Parish and is buried there in Union Cemetary. His grave and the grave of his son Thomas are:

A.P. Duke died 2-2-1876 Age about 70 years

Loucinda J. Duke 1856 - 1932 “wife of Thomas B. Duke”

Thomas B. Duke 1859 - 1936 “husb Loucinda J. Duke”

In the 1880 census, many of the family members are still in Union Parish, living in the town of Lapile.

Eugene B. Duke 25m AL AL AL

Rachel 25f AL AL AL

Florence 5f AR

Griffin 2m AR

Alonzo 6/12 m AR

Lucinda Dukes 62f AL SC SC (lives alone)

R. Dukes 33m AL AL AL

R. Francis 34f AL SC SC

Mary M. 8f AR

Samuel 3m AR

Austin Duke 28m AL SC AL

Sallie 27f MS AL AL

John 4m AR

Hiram 1m AR

Back in Smith County, Mississippi, is:

Isaac M. Duke 42m AL SC AL

Mary C. 34f AL Va Va (wonder what happened

to their kids?)

Of course, the 1890 census was lost so, jumping 20 years to 1900 we find in Franklin County, Texas, town of Winnsboro:

Benjamin Fleming 04-1858 head AL GA GA

Martha V. 11-1858 wife Ms SC AL

Cora (adopted) 01-1888 dau AL

Reford (adopted) 10-1842 son AL

Lucindy Duke 01-1822 Mother AL SC SC

(Winnsboro is a small town of 3500 people only 12 miles from where I presently live. It is built right at the corner where three counties intersect......part of Winnsboro is in Wood, Franklin and Hopkins Counties)

In 1900 Wood there is also J.L. Duke, born 8-1864 AL with his wife & family. Also in Wood is Mattie Duke, a woman, born 1-1865 in TX with parents born AL. In Hopkins is W.E. Duke, a man born 7-1852 in MS with three kids born 1878 to 1882 in LA. Also in Hopkins is W.M. Posey, 7-1856 with wife Caroline, 7-1870, three kids and Laura Duke, mother-in-law, born 12-1850 in AL with both parents born SC.

It is reported that Lucinda Grace Edwards Duke died in Winnsboro 5-17-1903 and is buried there in Bethel Cemetary. (I’ll check this out)

I present the complete family of Austin Peay Duke as follows:

name Dob state spouse

Austin Peay Duke 00-00-1806 SC Lucinda Grace Edwards

Lucinda G. 02-05-1822 AL Austin Peay Duke

Isaac Moses 04-22-1838 AL Mary L. Wood

Parthenia Ann 06-07-1839 AL ____ Blackwell?

Mary Caldonia 04-22-1843 AL W.B. Alderson

Bartlett Smith 12-24-1845 AL (Killed in War 1864)

Margaret Ann 05-24-1847 AL John Lewis

Reuben Watts 06-27-1848 AL Fannie Pelgreen

David 00-00-1850 AL (Died when 9 yrs old)

Austin Peay 06-17-1851 AL Arah A. Joiner

Eugene B. 01-05-1854 AL Rachel Knowles

Lucy Ann 03-04-1856 MS

George F. 00-00-1857 MS Martha J. Knowles

Martha Victoria 00-00-1858 MS B.F. Barefield

Thomas B. 00-00-1859 MS Lucinda Cary

I am still working on this, locating and identifying the family of Austin Peay Duke. In that regard, I noted and record the following:


Lowndes County

05-05-1832 Bethaney Duke m John T. Waller

02-26-1835 Amelia Dukes m Wiley Lansden

07-22-1835 Joel Duke m Gatsey Paine (Betsy?)

02-28-1837 Austin P. Duke m Lucinda Edwards

11-24-1842 Elizabeth Dukes m William Chesser

12-15-1842 William Dukes m Kieseer Payne (Kesiah?)

03-18-1846 Nancy Dukes m Benjamin G. Jeffcoat

12-25-1851 Parthenia Dukes m Arthur Cothron

Barbour County

01-11-1852 Louise Duke m James Safeter

09-10-1852 Joel Duke m Angelina Ainsurph

11-18-1852 Rhody Ann Duke m Hugh Gillis

Bibb County

12-28-1837 Littleton C. Duke m Chinese Tucker


Union County

11-27-1856 Theresa Duke m William T. Davis

01-26-1862 Mary E. Duke m W.B. Alderson

11-02-1867 L.C. Duke m N.J. Nelson (Littleton C. Duke)

12-28-1867 Miss H. Duke m Isaac Davis

12-01-1868 Reuben Duke m Fannie Pelgreen

07-23-1872 Austin P. Duke m Arah A. Joiner

01-27-1876 Eugene B. Duke m Rachel Knowles

01-11-1877 Martha V. Duke m B.F. Barefield

03-29-1877 G.F. Duke` m Martha J. Knowles

01-10-1878 T.B. Duke m Lucinda Cary

As is seen, many of the children of Austin Duke are included in this list of marriages.

(In 1870 Union County, AR, lived Littleton C. Duke, 27m AL, wife Nancy 23f AL, and dau Mary, 2 born AR)