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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the Polk County, Missouri History published in 1889.  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.

Edward H. Devin, an old settler and farmer of Polk County, Mo., is the son of William R. and Rebecca (Oliver) Devin. The father was a native Virginian, born in 1801, and when a young man went to Tennessee, where he married Miss Oliver. After making several moves, they settled in Lincoln County, Tenn., where they remained until about 1834, and then came to Missouri. They stopped in Pike County, but the following year came to Polk County, where the father followed farming for many years. Aside from this he kept store in Bolivar for four teen years. He held the office of county treasurer of Polk County for a number of years, was collector a term, was representative a term, and also filled the position of county judge for a number of years. In his political views he affiliated with the Democratic party. He died in 1876, and his wife about five years later, and both were members of the Primitive Baptist Church. In their family were twelve children, six sons and six daughters. Edward H. Devin was born in Lincoln County, Tenn., January 10, 1830, was reared to farm labor, and received a limited education in the old subscription schools. He remained at home until February, 1853, when he married Miss Mary E. Jarnagin, a native of Tennessee, born March 16, 1837. Four children were the fruits of this union Unity O., Ida C, Nathaniel S., and Eddie E. After marriage Mr. Devin settled on his present property, and here he has since remained. He is the owner of 200 acres, and, although he commenced life with little means, he is now in very comfortable circumstances. In 1856 he moved to California, mined for sometime, also handled stock, and returned home in 1858. He is a Democrat in politics, is a Mason, and a member of the Missionary Baptist Church.

This family biography is one 132 biographies included in the History of Polk County, Missouri published by Goodspeed in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Polk County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

   View additional Polk County, Missouri biographies here: Polk County Missouri Genealogy


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