An Extract From:
"We Are All Margaret Haldane's Bairns"

By John Duncan,

of Melbourn, Australia 2001

Transcribed for the web,
by his American Cousin,
Colleen Cahoon, of Texas

Having just completed a family tree of over 800 members and 268 families, it occurred to me that, by using my acquired knowledge of members, and utilising the few biographies in my possession, that I could now tackle a written history.

It is my understanding that genealogists ignore the female line of decsendentcy when compiling a family tree, but as I do not consider myself as a genealogist, I have no qualms about breaking that rule, and making it the main reason for writing this history.

When I first set out to compile my family tree, I naturally termed it the Duncan family tree, but I soon came to realise that it involved many other surnames than my own. It was quite easy to discover a common denominator that linked all these family surnames together, as the vast majority of the members listed had all a common female link to a Scottish lady called Margaret Haldane, who lived in Glasgow in the nineteenth century.

Many, but not all, of the Duncans listed on the tree, are descendants of Margaret Haldane; certainly all of the Australian McColl clan are, together with the Cahoons and Nicholsons of the U.S.A., the Robinsons of England, and although their addresses are not known, the descendants of Jim Faulds, also of England.

The Duncan families include my own in Victoria, Australia, as well as those of my deceased uncles, Malcolm McMillan Duncan and James Duncan resident in Brantford and Montreal, respectively in Canada.

Whilst the theme of this history is descendants of Margaret Haldane, I would be failing my own grandchildren if I did not include those Duncan, Miller, and Petran families, to whom they separately own their kinship, so I have described these relatives in separate chapters.

With Scottish families in particular enjoying the [19th and 20th century?] custom of passing on family names, often using the surname of the female line as middle names, this leads to much confusion in identifying members having the same names. For example, my father’s name is Dugald McMillan Duncan, a name which is also shared with my brother, and a great-uncle.

So, to avoid any confusion in this family history, I have adopted the same identification system used in my family tree, i.e. a numbering one, thus, I shall be referred to as John Duncan #26, and I trust that readers shall not be too annoyed by my decision.

In compiling both the family tree and this history, I have not attempted a search of public records, as these are mainly in Scotland, and the cost is prohibitive.

Indeed, for all the information that I have compiled, I am deeply and thankfully indebted to Annie Archibald McColl Nicholson of Danvers, Massachusetts, U.S.A., who, as I write, is now sadly confined to a nursing home, incommunicado, her son, the Rev. David Owen Nicholson, my uncle Malcolm McMillan Duncan, sadly deceased, of Brantford, Canada, Jean Gribben of Numurkah, Victoria, Australia, the late Kathleen Robinson of North Anston, England, and also Anne Millie Petran of Doncaster, Victoria, Australia.

It intrigues me that for the larger part of my life, the Stewart name related only to the maiden name of my “cousin, Anne, yet I now find that many Stewart descendants have been keeping in touch with each other over the years, mainly by letter, but on occasion even by overseas travel - even up to the present day.

Finally, I advise that it has given me personally, an immense amount of pleasure and satisfaction, to compile all this family data, and I trust that this record of our family shall be both informative and give satisfaction, to my own grandchildren and also to all others, and I trust that someone shall continue to update this record from where I finished, as I believe that it is important to understand our roots, and learn from past experiences.

John Duncan, ** Please see notes below for update...
3 Sunrise Court,
Gisborne, Victoria,
Australia, 3437,

01 Dec 2001

John Duncan, passed away peacefully at Goonawarra Nursing Home,
on Friday Mar. 12, 2010, aged 83 years.
Loved husband of Matilda.
Much loved father, of Alan and Dorothy, father-in-law of John.
Devoted Poppa of Natalie, Andrew and Jenna.
Always Remembered.

Published in Herald Sun on March 15, 2010
Dearly missed by his Texas born cousin,
this webmistress,
Colleen Cahoon.

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