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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the Vernon County, Missouri History published in 1887 by Brown & Co.  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.

ALBERT J. STALEY (Postmaster, Schell City). Mr. Staley, the present efficient and popular postmaster at this place, was born in Smyth county, Va., July 25, 1840. Francis P. Staley, his father, was also a native of the Old Dominion, and so was his mother, whose maiden name was Jane M. Aker. The former is still living at a good old age, and during life has attended principally to the mercantile business. Seven children constituted the family of this couple, of whom Albert J. was the fourth, being the third son. As he grew towards manhood in the State of his birth he, too, became familiar with merchandising in its various details, and was engaged in following this occupation at the outbreak of the war, when, joining himself to that section in which his interests had ever been he became a member of the 4th Virginia infantry, of the C. S. A. Among some of the battles in which he took part were those of Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Winchester, Cold Harbor, the Wilderness, Gettysburg, and many others. During the period in which he was in Stonewall Jackson's command he never missed but one battle participated in by that noble general; his total term of service was from April, 1861, until captured at Gettysburg, following which he was retained as prisoner until being exchanged only a month before Lee's surrender. After returning from the army Mr. Staley remained in Virginia until 1870 when he came West, stopping a short time in St. Louis and then moving to Boone county, from whence he went to Taylorville, Christian county, Ill. In 1877 he took up his location at Schell City and here his home has continued to be, the greater part of his time having been spent in the mercantile business as clerk. It was while occupying this position that he gained such a sincere and general friendship and popularity, and in the fall of 1885 when a new postmaster was to be chosen at Schell City, Mr. Staley was made the unanimous choice of the people for that place - a fact that speaks volumes for his standing and character as man and citizen. The duties of this office he is now discharging with fidelity, his official term having commenced October 1, 1885. In 1871, Mr. S. was married to Miss Jane M. Whitecraft, of Kentucky. They have two children: Walter E. and Mamie E. He belongs to the Masonic Order and also to the A. 0. U. W., in which he is a Select Knight.

This family biography is one of 430 biographies included in the History of Vernon County, Missouri published by Brown & Co. in 1887.  For the complete description, click here: Vernon County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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