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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the Cooper County, Missouri History published in 1919 by Historical Publishing 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.

Amos O'Neal, a veteran of the Civil War, and a retired farmer and land-owner of LaMine township, is a native of Virginia. He was born in Raleigh County, Va., Feb. 16, 1841, son of Jesse and Mary (Shumate) O'Neal, the latter of whom also was born in Virginia, who came to Missouri in the '50s with their family, and here spent their last days.

Jesse O'Neal was born in North Carolina in 1808, and was a farmer all his life. He married in Virginia, and there resided until the '50s, when with his family he came to this State. He first tried Moniteau County, but not being wholly satisfied with conditions there, came to Cooper County in 1856, and the next year bought a tract of land in LaMine township, paying $12.50 an acre for the same, and there spent the remainder of his life. He died in 1869. His widow died in 1885. She was born in 1812, a daughter of Daniel Shumate. Jesse O'Neal and his wife were the parents of 12 children, of whom Amos was the sixth in order of birth, and three of whom are still living.

Amos O'Neal was 15 years of age when he came to this county with his parents in 1856, and here he grew to manhood, attending the district school in LaMine township. He was 20 years of age when the Civil War broke out, and in 1861 he enlisted in the Confederate Army as a member of the Second Missouri Cavalry, with which he served most of the time under Gen. N. B. Forrest, though a part of the time the command was in the brigade of Gen. Sterling Price, west of the Mississippi. Mr. O'Neal was taken prisoner at Bahalia, Miss., and was a prisoner of war for nine months, when he was paroled on account of illness. During his long military service he one time came very near death, when his horse was shot from under him by a cannon ball. Another time a minnie ball struck a stirrup and knocked it off. Upon receiving his discharge at the close of the war, Mr. O'Neal returned home, arriving by boat at Arrow Rock, July 4, 1865. The next year he returned South, where he remained for three years, when he returned to Cooper County, married in the fall of 1869, "settled down" on the farm and has ever since been quite content here to reside. Mr. O'Neal has a well improved farm of 205 acres. For some years past he has been living practically retired, the operations of the farm being carried on by his eldest son, S. A. O'Neal, who is married and lives on the place. Mr. O'Neal is one of the veteran farmers of the county, whose memory extends back to the days when oxen were used in farming, and he has many interesting stories to tell of the days now long gone. He is a stanch democrat, and is a Baptist.

Oct. 2, 1869, Amos O'Neal was married to Lucinda Cramer, who was born in LaMine township, Oct. 19, 1851, daughter of Gabriel and Mary (Jeffress) Cramer, and who died on Oct. 22, 1914. To this union nine children were born, namely: Sanford Alonzo, who is farming the home place; Edward Lee, a merchant, farmer and stockman living at Blackwater; Silas, also of Blackwater; Gabriel, deceased; Riley, deceased; Aubrey, of Kansas City Mo.; Nora, deceased; Grace, wife of D. L. Edson, of West Boonville, and Freeman, who is now (spring of 1919) with the American Army in Europe. Freeman O'Neal enlisted in the Medical Corps of the National Army for service in the World War in 1917, and sailed for overseas in July, 1918. Sanford A. Freeman, who is looking after the affairs of the home-farm, married Agnes Reynolds, who also was born in this county, and has two children, Alma, wife of H C. Minard, and Amos, who during America's participation in the World War served as a member of the S. A. T. C. at Missouri State University, Columbia..

This family biography is one of 676 biographies included in the History of Cooper County, Missouri published by National Historical Company in 1919.  For the complete description, click here: Cooper County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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