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Descendants of William Diuguid of Scotland

From 1304 England to Colonial Virginia and Frontier Illinois

It is through the Diuguid line that our family can establish connections to the British and European monarchies. Our ancestor William Diuguid (Sr.) married Jean Henry, the seventh great-granddaughter of James "Fiery Face" Stewart II, King of Scotland. His son, William Diuguid (Jr.) married Ann Moss, descended from the Cloptons and Edward I, King of England. There is some support for the belief that the Diuguids were French Huguenots, while the name has been found in English records since 1304 AD.

Eleanor Harris MacRae, was a long-time Diuguid researcher of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and she inspired me in my research. She wrote William Diuguid of Buckingham County, Virginia, which contained information on the marriage of William Diuguid to Jean Henry, establishing a royal connection. This prompted me to contract with a family historian in Scotland to verify the Diuguid/Henry marriage and to pursue other lines of investigation.

William Diuguid (Sr.). was born 23 October 1687 1 in Aberdeen, Scotland. He married Jean Henry (sometimes Hendrie or Henrie), aunt to Patrick Henry the American statesman, on 27 October 17162 in Aberdeen, Scotland. William and Jean Diuguid had two sons, George and William, and no information can be found on George. William (Jr.) left Scotland and arrived in the American Colonies before 1745. He settled in Goochland County, Virginia. There he met Ann Moss, the only child of Alexander Moss and his wife, Elizabeth Clopton (Walker). Elizabeth Clopton was the widow of William Walker and a daughter of William Clopton Gent. who was born in 1655 in County Essex, England. The Clopton line has been traced back to Edward I, King of England. Sir Walter Clopton signed the Magna Carta on 15 June 1215. In this document King John, forced by his rebellious barons, conceded the rights of the subjects to be respected and circumscribed by law. These basic rights formed the foundation for most modern democracies today.

William and Ann Moss Diuguid settled in Goochland County. Without moving, the family home was eventually located in four counties. Part of Goochland County later became part of Albermarle County; in 1761, three years before the death of William Diuguid, part of Buckingham County; and in 1845, Appomattox County. During the Civil War and at the time of Lee's surrender, the village of Appomattox Courthouse (now known as Old Appomattox Courthouse), was the Appomattox County seat. At midnight on February 26, 1869, the courthouse, a Greek style wooden building, and all the records within were burned in a large fire.

The county seat was moved afterwards three miles south on the railroad from Richmond to Lynchburg to Appomattox Station. The old courthouse, never more than a small village, today contains about dozen ante-bellum buildings. The loss of these records made early Diuguid research difficult. Diuguid research can also be difficult because the name is easily and regularly misspelled, especially in census records.

William and Ann's great-grandson, William Henry Diuguid Sr. and his wife Catherine Malinda Churchill, had nine children.

Rear (L-R): Anna Christy Phelps, my father Harold B. Phelps Jr., Anita Diuguid Houck, Linda Diuguid Grace, Dalton Grace, Ted, and Harry Houck. Front: Ruth Diuguid Cunningham with her two granddaughters Darlene and Barbara Lane. Little Rock, Arkansas in 1935.

Family historian Eleanor MacRaen of Virginia Beach wrote that a few descendants of Capt. George E. Diuguid still lived in Buckingham County until a few years ago. Today there are no Diuguids living there. A few hundred Diuguids remain today and are spread across the United States.

In Salem, Virginia, it is said Diuguid Lane was the home of Harriett and William Diuguid. There is a deed on file in Salem, Va., Roanoke County Court House (Book F, page 273), dated 21 July 1858, stating that William Diuguid bought from William Deaton and wife, Mary K., lot 53, Salem, Va. "being fronted on Main Street, sixteen poles deep" to back on Clay Street. William paid a portion of the price and gave William Deaton a lein of $400.00, due on 1 July 1858, for the balance.

1 Baptisms Register, Parish of Old Machar, Aberdeen, County of Aberdeen, Scotland.

2 Marriage Register, Aberdeen, County of Aberdeen, Scotland, 168. A/13.

4 Personal letter to the author (April 25, 2005)

Some information from William Diuguid of Buckingham County, Virginia, by Eleanor Harris Macrae. Privately published. n.d.

The descendants of Susan Diuguid and George Anderson Spiller are courtesy of Karen Lucas Lawless of Kingwood, Texas.