He came with his brother Thomas came at an early date to explore the western wilderness. About March 1, 1779, a company of venturesome pioneers set out from Shepherdstown, VA to make their way by following "Boone's Trave" to the Kentucky territoy. Traveling with them were surveyors and guides who had made the difficult journey before. In the company were the Margans, Bedingers, Swearingens, Captain John Strode and his son-in-law, Captain James Duncan, and others. When they reached Boonesborough, after a narrow escapte from m,assacre at the hands of the Indians, they found the settlement in such a precarious condition for want of defenders they decided to remain there for a time to protect the women and children.
James Duncan moved his family to Kentucky in the spring of 1784. He served as a Captain in the Revolution; his original oath of allegiance, a treasury bill issued him for service as captain and never cashed and other valuable documents preserved in the family of his descendant, James Duncan Bell, recently have been placed in the Duncan Tavern Museum located in Paris, KY. Land grants for 1500 acres in Fayette county, KY were issued him in 1783 and he was one of the first settlers at Lexington, the county seat. He was one of the original proprietors of the little town of Hopewell (later Paris) . He served as Sheriff of Bourbon county;presided over the first Court of Quarter Sessions, and was a member of the convention that framed the second constitution of Kentucky. He was a large land owner and lived on Kennedys creek on the Winchester Road, now the property of A.B. Hancok. He married Dec. 9, 1777, Elizabeth Strode, b. Dec. 25,1757, daughter of Capt. John Strode, founder of Strodes Station. The mother of Elizabeth was Mary (Boyle) Strode. Capt. James Duncan died Oct. 16, 1817 and his wife, Elizabeth Strode Duncan, died July 2, 1825.
More About James Duncan: Date born 2: February 17, 1748/49, Sheperdstown VA. Died 2: October 16, 1817, Hopewell (called Paris later) KY.
Children of James Duncan and Elizabeth Strode are: