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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the Putnam County, Missouri History published in 1888 by Goodspeed.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details in a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

A. J. Crist, a successful farmer and stock raiser of Lincoln Township, was born July 28, 1836, in Marion County, Ind., and is the third child of James M. and Amanda (McIlvain) Crist, who had in all ten children. James Christ was born March 10, 1807, in Indiana Territory, now Dearborn County, Ind. He went to Marion County, Ind., and about 1853 to Putnam County, Mo.; in 1857 to Kansas, and in 1859 returned to Putnam County, where he resided until his death. He began life for himself when hardly of age, with no money, so that his property was the result of his own unassisted toil and good management. At the time of his death he owned 240 acres of good land, well-improved and cultivated, besides property in Unionville. During the Rebellion he served his country in the Missouri State Militia. He was an active, zealous and faithful member of the Missionary Baptist Church for nearly fifty years, and was a deacon of same over forty years. He helped to organize the Baptist Church, which he attended, and furnished the greater part of the money and material required for the building. He was a highly respected citizen and always ready to aid educational and philanthropic enterprises. He was married in 1831 to Amanda McIlvain, by whom he had ten children, five of whom are still living. Mrs. Crist died August 10, 1873, and Mr. Crist was married a second time on April 30, 1874, to Miss Mary E. Rogers, a native of Kentucky, and daughter of Isaac and Lucy M. (Baird) Rogers, natives of Albemarle County, Va., and Barren County, Ky., respectively. The father was of Welsh-English and the mother of German descent. Isaac Rogers was a son of Achilles and Mary (George) Rogers, natives of England and Wales, respectively. To Mr. and Mrs. Crist two children were born: Lillie May and James M. James M. Crist, Sr., was a son of George and Elizabeth (Lord) Crist, natives of Pennsylvania, and early settlers of Indiana. A. J. Crist, the immediate subject of this sketch, moved from his native county to Howard County, Ind., from there to Miami County, and from there to Putnam County, Mo., in October, 1854. In 1857 he went to Kansas, but in 1865 returned to Putnam County, where he has since resided. Although when a young man he began life poor, he is now worth 120 acres of good land, the result of industry and good management. In 1863 he enlisted in Company I, Fourteenth Kansas Cavalry, and upon the close of the war was mustered out of service at Port Gibson, Cherokee Nation. On December 10, 1857, he married Miss Louisa Rennels, daughter of Adolphus Rennels, and to this union two children have been born: Melissa and Emily O. Mr. and Mrs. Crist are both active members of the Missionary Baptist Church. In politics the former is a Republican, and he is a member of the G. A. R.

This family biography is one of 139 biographies included in the History of Putnam County, Missouri published by Goodspeed in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Putnam County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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