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Fonds Level Description

Accession Number: 84-011


Reverend Peter McLaren Duncan fonds. -- 1872-1929. -- 30 cm of textual records. -- ca. 300 photographs ; ca. 40 glass slides + 3 albums. -- 2 ribbons.

Biography / History

Peter McLaren Duncan (born ca. 1835] was the son of James Duncan, a blacksmith of Carrying Place, Canada West, and Catharine McLaren of Brighton, Canada West. Peter McLaren Duncan married Leonora Singleton of Brighton, Ontario. Peter was a minister of the Presbyterian Church in Colbourne. Of their children, it is known that there was a son, P.W. Duncan, who immigrated to the United States in 1895, and a daughter, Alice Duncan, who was an artist of some renown, and who married John MacDonald. Alice and John had no children. Peter McLaren Duncan died in approximately 1912 and his wife died between 1925 and 1930.

Custodial History

This fonds was in the custody of B.K. Van Buren before it was donated to the Trent University Archives.

Scope and Content

This fonds includes correspondence, receipts and other records of Reverend Peter McLaren Duncan, Leonora Duncan, James Duncan, and Annie Duncan. Also included are sermon notes, assessment notices, insurance policies and the marriage register of Colborne Presbyterian Church from 1896 to 1912. The fonds also includes an autograph album of Leonora (Singleton) Duncan, Brighton, Canada West.


Title based on content of fonds.

This fonds was donated by B.K. Van Buren, Port Hope, Ontario.

Restrictions: N

Finding aids: Y

For related records see: 75-1033.

Finding Aid

Loose on Shelf

Photographs: - 1 red velvet album - all pictures unidentified.

Box 1


1 leather album - most pictures unidentified, those identified include: Mrs. Bradbury, John Singleton, M. Franklin, Nancy Vaustom, Nulands, Mrs. John Meade, Bentia, Theresa, Clarke Moses, Mrs. Ed Penton, Edward Penton, D. Rolls, Mrs. Powers, and Mrs. Luckwood.

1 small album with broken binding - all pictures unidentified.

Approx. 160 loose photographs: some of Duncan family members and friends including: Miss Ann Leighton, Kate and Alice Duncan, Mr. Moses A Teacher, Mrs. J.D. Duvey, Arthor F., Mr. Franklin, Mr. Morgan Claremont, James Henry Sandford, Alice Duncan as a baby, L.H. Duncan, John F. and Etta A. Meads, Miss Jane Pugh, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Hashin, Bertia, Mrs. A. Davidson, Leorna H. Duncan (supposedly with Rev. Duncan), Will Lexsmith, Mr. Lloyd, Lorna Foster, and Mr. Fonclay's residence. However, most photos are unidentified; several tintypes included.

Bound Volumes:

Marriage register - Colborne Presbyterian Church, December 15, 1896 - November 14, 1912. Lists the name, age, birth date and place, occupation, and town of residence for the bride and grooms wed at the church between the dates listed above..

Index to sermon topics.

Autograph album - belonging to Leonora (Singleton) Duncan.

20 notebooks: receipts, diaries, sermon notes.


4 folders - a miscellaneous collection which includes land and insurance documents, personal letters, business papers, receipts, parish business, temperance papers, and sermon notes.

Folder 1: 1864 - 1906

Folder 2: 1907- 1933

Folder 3: Undated

Folder 4: Broadsides - (Re: Church events and gatherings). Very fragile, ask for assistance.
Note: Two broadsides have undergone conservation treatment and are encapsulated in mylar. We acknowledge with appreciation the assitance of Dorothy McCord and Fleming College's conservation class, summer 2011. These broadsides have been removed to the Large Material Cabinet - Drawer 29.

Glass Negatives:

5 small boxes - seems as though Rev. Duncan used the glass negatives as slides that he projected somehow on a sort of overhead during his church services.

Small Box 1: Glass negatives containing copies of sheet music supposedly used during church services.

Small Box 2: Glass negatives that have been hand written, containing notes to assist his sermons, some are inserts from the bible.

Small Box 3: More hand written glass negatives.

Small Box 4: Glass negatives that contain actual pictures and inserts perhaps photocopied from the bible.

Small Box 5: Little red box contains more hand written glass negatives, and is dated 1917.