Early McDuffies

Story by Fred Gahimer

Tradition has it that the McDuffies were descended from the General McDuff who defeated McBeth and saved the throne of Scotland for Malcolm. He was the first Earl of Fife, and was rewarded with a grant of land in fee simple, and “fee” (or “fie”) was tacked onto the end of their name. A coat of arms was given to the family at the same time, which in Scotch heraldry was a lion rampant with a sword in his paw, guarding the crown and Kingdom of Scotland, having three hawks under his feet, representing the three witches who were met by McBeth, and a thorne bush representing Birnam Woods. Motto: “Pro Rege”. This ancient clan played an important part in the affairs of Scotland in those days, having the privilege of crowning the King, of leading the Scottish army, and privilege of sanctuary at the cross of McDuff in Fifeshire.


Marriage Bond of Robert McDuffie and Sallie Taylor 

[back of paper] 
Robert McDuffey 
To M. Bond 
Sallie Taylor 

[front of paper] 

Know all men by these presents that we Robert McDuffy & Jacob Taylor are hereto and firmly bound unto his excellency Christopher Greenup, esq. Governor of Kentuckey and his successors in the Sum of fifty pounds Current money for payment well and truly to be made and done to our Governor his successors and we bind ourselves & every of our heirs Extrs & adtrs jointly and Severally firmly by these presents Sealed with seals and dated this 1st day of May 1806. 

The condition of the above Obligation is Such that Whereas a Marriage is shortly intended to be solemnized Between the above Robert McDuffy & Sally Taylor now the above Obligation to be void else to remain in force. 

Robert McDuffie (seal)
Jacob Taylor (seal)

Witness Present 
W. Moore, clerk 

May the 1st, 1806 
This is to certify that I Robert McDuffie senear (senior) do give william moore the clerk of our county harrison leave to give Robert McDuffie, Jun. Lisence to Marry Sally S. Taylor given under my hand and seal

Robt McDuffie (seal) 
Jacob Taylor Richard Taylor


Gabriel Columbus McDuffie was born in Harrison County, Kentucky on May 12, 1791, the second son of Robert and Rachel McDuffie. His siblings included Robert, Jr., Fielding, Enoch, James, Rachel, Roberta, and Nancy. He married Priscilla Evans in Harrison County, Kentucky on February 13, 1812. She was born in Bourbon County Kentucky on September 20, 1790.

Their children included Rachel, Ursula, Polly, Priscilla, Nancy, Joshua, Walter, and Gabriel “Newton”. Nancy married John Waggoner, and a large group of Waggoners, Ritchies, and McDuffies emmigrated to Orange Township, Rush County, Indiana in 1826.

Gabriel was an elder and pastor in the Christian Church, and was responsible for organizing the Christian Church at Arlington in September, 1835, the Big Flat Rock Christian Church east of Gowdy in April 1851, and was a pioneer minister of the Plum Creek Christian Church. He was also a teacher in the early schools.

Priscilla died in August, 1849.

Gabriel married Mary Collins on June 6, 1850 in Posey Township, and settled on a farm there.

Mary Collins had been born in Fleming County, Kentucky on October 15, 1818. When she was seven years old, she came with her parents to Rush County, Indiana, whither they arrived on October 11, 1825. They settled in Posey Township where she grew to womanhood.

Gabriel and Mary had one child, Mary Asborene, born on March 24, 1851. The child died on November 3, 1853.

Gabriel died on January 30, 1864, and was buried in the Nelson Cemetery on the Marge Nelson property on the south side of SR 52 about a mile west of Arlington.

Mary died in 1900.

The McDuffies changed their name to McDuffee in Rush County. Both Robert and Gabriel McDuffie are believed to be brothers of Nancy (McDuffie) Waggoner. There is some argument among researchers about whether she was the daughter of Robert and Rachel (Murlie) McDuffie or his son Robert McDuffie and Sallie Taylor. The present consensus is that it is Robert and Rachel.