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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the History of Livingston County, Missouri published in 1886 by National Historical Company.  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.

ABRAHAM BROWN, SR. (Retired Farmer, Dawn). Like many and perhaps the most of the representative citizens of Livingston county, Mr. Brown descends from Virginia ancestry, his birth having occurred February 1, 1816, in Monongalia county, (now) West Virginia. His father, Emanuel Brown, was twice married, his first wife, Elizabeth Henkins, bearing him eight children, of whom Abraham was the eldest. Miss Nancy Stewart was the maiden name of his second wife and she became the mother of two children. In 1826 he moved from his native state to Washington county, Pa., and from there to Champaign county, O., in 1848, later removing to Marshall county, Ill.; he died in Christian county, Ill., at an advanced age. Abraham in growing up, early learned what hard work meant. His education was rather limited, but he remained with his parents until some twenty years of age, assisting about the farm in a saw and grist mill, and in 1835 he was married in Washington county, Pa., to Elizabeth Blayney, originally from Ohio. Thirteen years later moving to Morrow county, O., he remained there occupied in farming until 1859, when he came to this county, and this has since been his home. His first wife died in Ohio in 1851, leaving the following children: Elizabeth, who married Robert Reed, of Dawn, and is now deceased; Nancy J., wife of Wiley Elliott; Minerva, deceased; Mary M., wife of J. J. Nellis, well known throughout this county; John E., married Margaret Flynn, and resides at Dawn; Catharine L., married Adam Blayney, of West Virginia; Susanna, deceased; Abraham, married Elizabeth Baker, and lives in the county; Harriet V., is now Mrs. Albert Snyder, of Kansas. In 1852 Mr. Brown's marriage to Mrs. Mary Watson was consummated, she having been a native of the Keystone State, and by this union there were two children: William W., who married Nellie Lewis, now living in Monroe township, this county, and Amy, the wife of John Glick, was killed in the cyclone of 1883. Two of Mr. Brown's sons were in the Union army during the war, John E. and Abraham. Mr. B. has followed farming and stock raising all his life until recently, when he has retired from active labor. He now makes his home at Dawn, living in the enjoyment of his extensive acquaintance and the love and esteem which is universally accorded him. Since the war he has been a Republican, though formerly a Whig. His Union proclivities during that struggle frequently led to insults and narrow escapes from bodily injury, and on one occasion he was captured by guerrillas and all but killed. All his life he has been a zealous laborer for the church, and for years he bas been prominently identified with the Presbyterian denomination. On celebrating his seventieth birthday recently four generations were present, who presented him with a pair of gold spectacles, and at his death they are to go to the next oldest relative, and so on for generations.

This family biography is one of 351 biographies included in the History of Livingston County, Missouri published by National Historical Company in 1886.  For the complete description, click here: Livingston County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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