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Thomas Duke (abt. 1743 - abt. 1830)

Thomas Duke
Born about in Lunenburg Co, VAmap
Ancestors ancestors
[spouse(s) unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died about in Morgan, Georgia, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 2 Apr 2016
This page has been accessed 466 times.


Thomas Duke. Given Name: Thomas. Surname: Duke. Suffix: Rev War Patriot - DAR #A034519. [1] The suffix Rev War Patriot - DAR #A034519 is non-traditional and may be too long for the WikiTree suffix.

Thomas was born about 1734. He passed away about 1829.

In northeast Georgia, Indian lands surrendered to Georgia became the large counties of Franklin which in turn was subdivided into Franklin, Jackson and Clarke and three counties now part of SC; Wilkes which in turn became Wilkes, Oglethorpe and Lincoln; Baldwin which became Morgan; and Washington became Greene. The point of knowing this is that Thomas Duke senior and his extended family lived and did business in all of these counties, often staying in the same location while the county around them changed names, so records in all of these counties were researched.

The large, wealthy Duke family living in this area, included Thomas Duke senior believed to be the father of Hardeman Duke of Clarke Co, AL. Based on the research of Cheryl Duke, Thomas is thought to be the father of Charles, James, Thomas, Jane, John T., Henry, Lucy, Elizabeth, Hardeman and Mariah.

Based on research primarily in land deeds transcribed and copyrighted by Joe Lineberger and Jeanie Smith Zadeck as well as other legal records and family histories found online, this researcher constructed a family for Thomas Duke senior. Because of the repeated use of given names in the immediate generation after Thomas senior, the analysis is not likely perfect but it provides a path for further research.

Thomas Duke senior was noted in the records of Wilkes Co as early as 1780. John Hardman was a legal witness for Thomas Dukes senior on a complex land deal in 1786. Thomas also purchased land on Hardman Creek in Jackson Co.

As far as Thomas Duke senior esquire is concerned, he was quite wealthy. Although there is no indication he was generous with his children during his lifetime, his will has not been located. His land conveyance record does not indicate he was generous with his children, hence there is no record of him gifting large acreage to any sons or sons-in-law.

Thomas was noted as a Revolutionary War veteran from Oglethorpe Co with two land lottery draws, however this researcher has not seen his military record. He was first referred to with the honorific esquire in 1794 and first used senior in 1796. Although researchers Lineberger and Zadack found many records for Thomas there are many others not yet located.

Thomas Duke is acknowledged in the will of his brother Henry Duke, dated in 1780. Henry was hanged by Tories. Will of Henry Duke. To son Charles 500 acres of land wherever he chooses, slaves, etc. . . . Brothers Thomas and James Duke, and Stephen Heard, executors. Signed 4-4-1780. Probated 11-14-1782. Burel Smith, John Cole, and John Legett, testators. [s] John Satterwhite, Joseph Davenport and Francis Davenport." [2]

Thomas senior acquired 3,761 acres and sold 5,595 acres in his geographical area in the available records, thus there are either other unavailable records, or perhaps his first large land grant is not known or he inherited land – neither of which are indicated in the land sales. Thomas' land transactions were often on the same creeks with the same neighbors and immediate family as witnesses, and sometimes as buyers. Thomas himself lived on the north end of a large tract on Dry Fork of Long Creek, which was noted at times in 3 different counties, and also had land holdings on Little Troublesome, Indian and Buffalo creeks in Oglethorpe. He purchased land with and sold to sons and sons-in-law; some of these conveyances may have been gifts. In his later years Thomas moved to Morgan Co. Thomas served as a justice of the peace from 1798 until at least 1827 in Oglethorpe and Morgan counties.

Thomas married Elizabeth, who was also noted as Eliza and Betsy; because of his age when he married Elizabeth this may not have been his first marriage. Elizabeth is thought to be the mother of his children, and if she is, the children likely married in 1768 or earlier. In 1786 Elizabeth was first shown on an extant land sale record; doubtless records before then which could better establish their marriage have not yet been identified. Elizabeth, who was able to sign her name, participated in a land sale on 7 Sep 1802 but was not party to a 2 Feb 1803 sale, so she was likely dead by then.

Thomas later married Nancy Morgan of Jackson Co, GA on 1 May 1808 in Jackson Co, GA. The most likely option is she was the Nancy Morgan, the wife of Thomas Morgan. In 1802 Thomas Duke senior conveyed a tract of land he received from his son James which was bounded by land owned by Thomas Morgan. Thomas and Nancy Morgan witnessed a Jackson Co, GA land sale for Thomas Duke in 1803; Thomas Morgan's death would need to be found to prove this hypothesis. This Nancy Morgan could not sign her name in 1803 and Nancy Duke could not sign her name on any documents from Feb through 7 Apr 1809, so they may be the same person. Alternatively, Nancy could have been Thomas Morgan's daughter or sister. Nancy may have died between Apr 1809 and Sep 1812 when Thomas next sold land and Nancy was not a co-seller, although Thomas was still residing with a female over age 45 in 1820, so Nancy may have still been alive and her release of dower in the 1812 sale not recorded.

Published genealogist Jean Holly Day stated Nancy Morgan was born 6 Feb 1763 and died after 1809 in Morgan Co, GA and Nancy was the daughter of William and Joyce Morgan of Morgan Co ( The sources provided for this family were not specific to Nancy. In such a case Nancy would have married for the first time at age 45, which was not likely at that time.

In addition, to his thriving land transactions, Thomas Duke was the surviving co-partner of the firm of Francis Gordon and Angus Bethune in Oglethorpe Co, GA in 1809 – 1810. Thomas was appointed as a justice of the peace in by 1798. Landed gentlemen often kept taverns in their homes and Thomas was no exception. His tavern license was renewed to keep a public house of entertainment as noted in the court minutes for 1794 – 1808; tavern licenses were usually an annual requirement but his other tavern license records if they existed have not been identified. Thomas was last noted at the estate sale of his probable grandson on 19 Dec 1929 in Morgan Co, thus he likely died circa 1830. Unsourced documents indicated Thomas was born in 1834, possibly in Brunswick, GA.

Of the children of Thomas senior:

--John T. Duke married Mary Wootten 17 Apr 1792 in Wilkes Co, GA, thus he was born about 1771 or earlier about 1769. In 1814 Thomas Duke senior conveyed John T. Duke of Morgan Co 50 acres where William Duke was living; the transcription does not show an economic transfer, so this land may have been gifted by Thomas to his son. As shown on an 1808 deed, John Duke and John T. Duke were sometimes used interchangably in records and referred to the same person. In 1808 John and his wife Mary sold the land on which they were living in Clarke Co in two transactions, one of which was to William Marten, who may have been to his brother-in-law William Morton. By 1820 John T., over age 45, with a young family of 3 under age 10 was living two doors from Thomas Duke, believed to be his father. John T. was likely named for his paternal uncle and his full name may therefore be John Taylor Duke.

--Jane “Jenny” Duke, born 1771, on 20 Jul 1789 married Matthew Stone, who was noted born 28 Feb 1763, Oglethorpe Co, GA. In 1796 Matthew Stone of Jackson Co and Thomas Duke senior of Oglethorpe Co purchased 300 acres on the Oconee River in Jackson Co and in 1798 Stone and Duke sold this land. Later in 1798 Matthew and Jenny sold her brother John T. Duke 400 acrees on the Oconee River with her brother James and father Thomas Duke, justice of the peace, as witnesses. After that point, discord began and Thomas Duke senior got court-ordered attachments against the property of Stone in 1802, 1803 and 1806. An unsourced family history by an accomplished researcher stated Mary Jane Duke was born 16 Mar 1771 in Georgia, had 13 children and died 1813 in Catahoula Parish, LA; of note, Catahoula Parish is the family home of the Simeon Duke family who also had a daughter Ethia Jane 1829-1901.

--James Duke is likely the James who married Elizabeth Martin on 3 Mar 1794 in Olgethorpe Co, GA indicating James was born in 1773 or earlier. Thomas Duke senior was not noted with any legal transactions with the Martin family. In 1801 James received a 450-acre grant on Buffalo Creek which he conveyed for $100 to his father, as witnessed by his brother Henry, and his father sold 150 acres of the land in 1802 for $300. Under these circumstances James must have owed his father money. James Dukes was on the list of 1803 Jackson Co, tax defaultors in William Camp's District, Jackson Co. James was residing on an 80 acre tract on Marberry's Creek in Jackson Co which Thomas senior purchased in 1805 from Thomas Camp. James' brother Charles sold land on Camp Branch in 1805.

--Thomas Duke junior was born circa 1775 based on his service in the War of 1812 which ran from Jun 1812 until Feb 1815 and his father Thomas first using the designator senior in 1796 indicating his namesake son had reached the age of majority. Thomas and his presumed wife were living in Oglethorpe Co with a female age 16-25 in 1820. In 1824 Thomas junior and Nathaniel Smith, both of Oglethorpe Co, and Harrison Smith of Pike Co sold 200 acres they acquired from the Isham Smith estate. According to the research of Cheryl Duke, Thomas was married to Mary Smith, so this Smith inheritance was on behalf of his wife, however their marriage record has not been discovered. Other legal interactions between the Dukes and Smith families included: Thomas junior's uncle Capt Henry Duke used Burel Smith as a witness on his 1780 will, probated in 1782; Arthur Smith of Randolph (Jasper) Co bought land in 1810 which originally belonged to William Duke; and Charles Smith junior sold his inherited land from Isham Smith estate in 1827 with Thomas Duke senior as a witness.

--Hardman Duke was born about 1777 or earlier and his records are detailed on his profile.

--Charles Duke was identified by Cheryl Duke as marrying Nancy Elliot on 4 Apr 1800 in Greene Co, GA, so he was likely born about 1779 or earlier. Nancy's parents Thomas and Abegail Elliott together with Charles and Nancy all of Clarke Co, sold land on Camp Branch, Rose Creek and the Oconee River; neither Charles or Nancy could sign their names. Charles died in 1850 in Floyd Co, GA. That Charles married Nancy Elliot was critical information because there were two other contemporary men related to Charles with the same name. The second Charles was his first cousin Charles who married Dolly before Oct 1797, sold land in 1797 that he inherited from his father Capt Henry Duke on Fishing Creek, and died by 1805; this Charles was well cited in his father's will and lawsuits related thereto as well as land sales tracing his inheritance. The third Charles, or perhaps Charles son of Thomas in a second marriage, was married to Mary / Polly Shearer, the daughter of James and Ann Shearer, as shown by Polly's father's estate settlement in 1808 – 1810. Of note, there were no land sales to or from Thomas Duke senior to the Elliott family.

--Lucy Duke married William T. Morton in Oglethorpe Co, GA on 23 Apr 1798, thus she was likely born about 1780. William resided in the same area as Thomas Duke senior on Dry Creek and in 1804 Thomas sold him land on Dry Fork adjoining land of Lucy's brother Henry in Oglethorpe Co. In 1803 Joel Morton sold land to John Duke, both being from Clarke Co. In 1805 William became embroiled in a court case over a deed from his brother-in-law John Duke which John apparently could not be made good. Over the years the Duke family had other legal transactions the Mortons; on 1 May 1796 William Duke, likely the brother of Thomas Duke senior, and Josiah Morton of Jackson Co purchased 690 acres on the North Fork of the Oconee River, after which Thomas bought out Josiah's half a year later. In 1808 John Duke sold the land where he lived in Clarke Co with Joel Morton as a witness.

--Elizbeth “Betsey” was born in 1780, married Welcome Parks 2 Oct 1801 in Oglethorpe Co and died 1827 in Jasper Co, GA. Welcome was born 4 Oct 1781 and died 16 Mar 1850, Coweta Co GA according to find-a-grave. The Parks family long served as legal witnesses for Thomas Duke senior's land transactions beginning in 1794 with John Ball Parks and then Payton Parks in 1797. By 1802 Bird Parks, a justice of the peace, was Thomas' primary Parks legal witness with Welcome joining Bird in that capacity in 1804 – 1809; Bird Parks could have been Welcome's brother or father. Elizabeth and Welcome's daughter was Lucy Parks Glenn.

--Henry Duke, born about 1782, was found less often and in less significant county records. Henry Duke served as a witness for one of his parents' land sales in 1797, indicating Henry was born 1776 or earlier; it is less likely that this is a record for his first cousin Henry because the land sold was in the area where the family of Thomas Dukes senior lived. Henry Duke was living in Oglethorpe Co in 1800 with his presumed wife and one young child. In 1802 Henry witnessed his brother John T. conveying land to their father Thomas. In 1804 Henry was residing on Dry Creek adjacent to his father Thomas and his brother-in-law William Morton. Henry witnessed his father's 1805 land transaction. On 1 Jan 1807 Henry Duke married Mary Stephens in Jackson Co, GA; this could possibly be either Henry the son of Thomas with a second wife or Thomas' nephew. In 1807 Henry from Oglethorpe Co had 2 opportunities to particpate in the land lottery. Henry was conveyed a tract of land where he was residing in Morgan Co from his father Thomas Duke of Morgan Co in 1818; no money was shown in the transcription so this may have been a gift. Henry, age 68 and thus born about 1782, resided with Polly and four children in Jackson Co in 1850; he was divorced from Polly in 1857 and given permission to remarry. Henry is often confused with his first cousin with the same name who was the orphan son of Capt Henry Duke and for whom Thomas Duke senior served as guardian. A clear differntiating factor is his orphan cousin Henry inherited and sold land on Soap Creek.

--Mariah Duke was likely also known as Polly and there were two so-named women in the area who married in the general time frame of Thomas' other children. The most likely person to be his daughter was the Polly Duke who married William Killgore on 21 May 1807 in Wilkes Co, GA, thus she was born about 1789 or earlier. This potential birth date puts her outside the range when Thomas and Elizabeth's other children were born in 1769 through 1782, however the Killgores lived next to Thomas Duke and Mary may have been born earlier and married at an age older than 18. In 1789 Robert and Ann Killgore sold 50 acres adjacent to land of Thomas Duke. Another Polly Duke who married Miliken Patrick on 23 Mar 1799 in Oglethorpe Co, GA was likely born 1781 or earlier. In 1804 William Duke sold land on Dove's Creek and the Apalachee to John M. Patrick of Clarke Co, who could potentially be the same man as Miliken Patrick.

As far as the birth family of Thomas Duke senior is concerned, there are conflicting family lineages online for his ancestors. However the northeast Georgia records detail some of his relationships. Thomas lived in northeast Georgia near his brothers Henry, James and his possible brothers William and John Taylor Duke. Legal documents clearly state Thomas, James and Henry were brothers as noted in Henry's 1780 will, and that Henry and William served together in 1776.

Henry was granted 1000 acres on Fishing Creek near Michel Cups in what became Wilkes Co and then Lincoln Co. Henry was killed in the war and his then-living parents were asked to live with his family in his 1780 will. Henry's wife Lettice and their children Charles, Miriam/Mary, Thomas and Henry, all of whom reached the age of majority by 1795, have many legal records in the area which will not be detailed herein; in addition Henry had an illegitimate daughter with Nancy Cups. Thomas served as the guardian for his brother Charles' children who generally lived at some distance from Thomas and his family.

Capt. William Duke may have been another brother of Thomas, James and Henry but he was not mentioned in Henry's will although William served under Henry during the war. William, the husband of Winniford, had similar standing in the community as Thomas Dukes senior with land transactions from 1784 – through at least 1802 and perhaps as late as 1817; the period 1802 -1817 is unclear as to which William is involved of several possible men. William lived in Wilkes/Jackson/Clarke counties.

Before 1790 William was living adjacent to Thomas Duke senior on Dry Fork of Long Creek in Wilkes Co and in 1794 he was noted living on Fishing Creek in said county; this may not indicate a residence change. William was appointed a justice of the peace in Jackson Co, the same year his presumed brother Thomas was appointed to that position in Oglethorpe Co.

Another early arrival in the area and likely father of the above brothers was John Taylor Duke of Wilkes Co, noted as a planter. William Duke discussed above and Taylor appraised an estate in 1774. John Taylor Dukes sold 844 acres in Greene Co in 1787 from land he was granted in 1785 and sold another 350 acres on Fishing Creek the following year. These were the only available records for John Taylor Duke.

In comparing the above research to unverified research in a report on the ancestors of Thomas Duke senior entitled “Descendancy of Col Henry Duke Esq and Elizabeth Soane” (, the report states John Taylor Duke (~1707 Prince George Co, VA - ~1790 Wilkes Co, GA) and Jane Anderson had sons named Edmund, James, Robert, Thomas, Henry and Robert Taylor Duke; of those men James, Thomas, Henry and their father died in the same area in northeast Georgia. John Taylor senior's ancestors are detailed in the above linked report.

The above report is based in part on copyrighted material from:

Data Abstracts of the Georgia Duke(s) Families, Joe Lineberger. Copyright 2002 by Tony Cox. All rights reserved. Copyright must appear on all copies. Transcribed from the original records. Abstracts of Thomas Duke senior and junor of Oglethorpe Co, GA (some different from Lineberger abstracts.) Contributed by Jeanie Smith Zadach,, Data may be used by non-commercial entities as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or for presentation by other persons or organizations

Research Notes

Thomas may have been married to Elizabeth Watson.

Descendants of this Thomas Duke have yDNA classed as Group 4 in the Family Tree DNA study of Duke families[3]. The group is descended from that originating in the 17th century with Thomas Duke of James City County, VA. This large extended family includes that of Washington Duke of American Tobacco fame. This Thomas Duke was the half-first cousin of John Duke of Flat River, NC, probable grandfather of Washington Duke.


  1. Source: #S923 235. Certainty: 3
  2. Wilkes County, GA Wills, Folio 24. "Appraisal. 4 January 1783 of the estate of Henry Duke.
  3. DukeStudy. Family Tree DNA.

Son of John Taylor Duke Sr (Rev War Vet) (1705-1797) & Jane Taylor-Duke

  • Source: S923 The Duke Family, II Evelyn Duke Brandenberger Publication: Houston, TX: D. Armstrong Co., Inc., 1995. Italicized: Y Paranthetical: Y

The above biography is based in part on copyrighted material from:

  • Data Abstracts of the Georgia Duke(s) Families, Joe Lineberger. Copyright 2002 by Tony Cox. All rights reserved. Copyright must appear on all copies. Transcribed from the original records.
  • Abstracts of Thomas Duke senior and junior of Oglethorpe Co, GA (some different from Lineberger abstracts.) Contributed by Jeanie Smith Zadach,, Data may be used by non-commercial entities as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or for presentation by other persons or organizations
  • Georgia Census, 1790-1890
  • Georgia, Wills and Probate Records, 1742-1992

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Comments: 3

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Duke-1908 and Duke-3122 appear to represent the same person because: They are the same person. Same birth/death dates and similar sources.
posted on Duke-3122 (merged) by James Dukes
edited by James Dukes
some facts need to be checked before Merge of 1909 to 1908 b/c there is some incorrect info. found during the Merge. for example: child is older than mother.

Will research & correct before merge. thanks

posted by Misti Collins
Duke-1909 and Duke-1908 appear to represent the same person because: Duplicate with same dates and locations
posted by Topher Sims

D  >  Duke  >  Thomas Duke