November 24, 2014


Update for John Duke Isle of Wight VA Descendants (Group 2)

By Judy Dukes [email protected]


Unless otherwise indicated, all information in this update is documented.


As far as we know, we are still all descended from John Duke of IOW VA., b abt 1640.  He died before 1689. His wife was Elizabeth unknown, who later married a Mercer.  There was one son, John Duke II, married to Bridget unknown before 1689. 


John Duke II had three sons named in his will (part of it is missing) and other sons and daughters who mentioned but not named in the will because they were minors. 


James was the first son named.  This writer has spent hundreds of dollars on hired researchers who havenÕt been able to determine any further information about him, other than that he was definitely alive in 1752 and that his land was mentioned in 1764, in Brunswick County
VA.  A James was mentioned for jury duty in 1739 in Bertie County, NC.


John, who later became known as John Duke the Elder, married to Ruth unknown, had three sons named in his will and might have had a son John killed in The Revolutionary War.  Known sons were Benjamin, who went to Georgia and many of whose descendants have been traced, but not all; Simon, who stayed in NC and many of whose descendants have also been traced; Joel, who went to Georgia and whose descendants are not clearly identified.  The fact that he was known as John Duke the Elder does not mean that he had a son John.  It just means that there was a younger John Duke in the area, which could have been John Duke, son of William (see further down).


Robert, known as Robert of Northampton County, had seven sons named in his will.  The descendants of his sons Samuel, James, and Joseph are fairly well known.  This writer recently acquired a copy of a document in which John Dukes of Dobbs County NC testifies that he was b 1733 and that his father was Robert Dukes of Northampton County.  He had at least 3 sons in the 1790 census whose descendants are not known. Robert Jr. died in Northampton County in 1792, apparently without heirs.  Nothing further is known about Benjamin or William.  Again, this writer has spent hundreds of dollars on research in Northampton County.  Judging from the number of Dukes who were there from about 1800-1850, either Benjamin or William or both remained in Northampton County.  Documents from about 1800-1811 show that a Herrod Dukes and a William Dukes (who died about 1806, I think) were brothers, but thereÕs no indication as to the father of these two men.  William did have heirs, but whether they were sons or other relatives is not known.


William Duke of Brunswick was most likely one of the younger sons of JDII.  He had two sons, William and John, whose descendants have been fairly well traced.


It is quite likely that the Benjamin Dukes who died in Bertie County in 1740 was also a younger son of John II.


One thing to keep in mind is that although these men appear in several different counties in North Carolina, they really didnÕt move that often.  The counties changed names. 


Another thing is that many of these Duke/s fathers, sons, uncles, and cousins went to Georgia very early, and records are scarce, and since they kept naming themselves the same names, research is difficult.  I have not hired any research done in Georgia.  There is still a lot of investigating to be done in Northampton County. Tennessee is another possibility, although records are a little better there.  One branch definitely went to Muhlenberg County, KY.


From these places, they spread out into the rest of the country.


One further note—a man who has recently tested into this group traces his line back to some immigrants from Ireland; however, he is doubtful about the earlier portion of his line.


I sponsor a Yahoogroup for these descendants.  It doesnÕt get much activity, because weÕre all pretty well stumped, but anyone who wishes to join can contact me at my email address above.