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

James A. Claxton, farmer and stock raiser of Gasconade Township, Wright Co., Mo., was born in Bedford County, Tenn., in 1826; son of James and Temperance (Ratcliff) Claxton, and a grandson on the mother's side of Joshua Ratcliff, who was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, where he was wounded, and when he died, at the age of ninety, the scar was to be seen upon his breast. The paternal grandfather was a native of North Carolina, and one of the first settlers of Tennessee. He was of Dutch descent, and lived to be eighty years of age. James Claxton, father of our subject, was born on the road from North Carolina to Tennessee in 1801, and grew to manhood in the last named State, where he was married, and where he followed farming until the fall of 1853. He then moved to Missouri, located in Greene County, and in 1858 came to Wright County, Mo., where he died on the 6th of October, 1871; he was the owner of 600 acres of land, and was in quite comfortable circumstances. He was allowed a pension for services rendered under Jackson in the Black Hawk War, but did not draw it. Temperance (Ratcliff) Claxton was a native of North Carolina, and died in Missouri November 23, 1877. They were the parents of eleven children, James A. Claxton being the fourth child in order of birth. He was reared on a farm in Tennessee, and married Miss Eliza Jane Harrison, daughter of Edward Cannon and Eliza Jane (McClane) Harrison, who were married in Bedford County, Tenn. The former, a resident of Northern Missouri, was born in North Carolina in 1799; his wife in South Carolina in 1800. Mrs. Claxton bore her husband eleven children, nine now living: James Cannon, born January 20, 1849; William Calvin, June 16, 1853; Newton Cyrus, February 15, 1855; Dudley C., May 12, 1857; Margaret A., February 26, 1859; Henry C., April 21, 1861; Hepsey B., August 12, 1864; John R., February 27, 1870, and Edward D., December 28, 1871. Those deceased are: Manday M., born September 21, 1851, died December 24, 1868, and Jasper, born January 16, 1863, died March 27, 1863. James A. Claxton came to Missouri in the fall of 1852, and remained in Pulaski County one year, in Greene County five years, and then moved east of his present farm, where he remained for some time before he moved on the farm where he now resides. He has been on this farm for twenty-one years, and has 698 acres of good land. During the Civil War he was in the State Militia. He is a Democrat in his political views, and a good citizen. All the children are married with the exception of two.

This family biography is one from 57 pages of biographies included in the History of Wright County, Missouri published by Goodspeed in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Wright County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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


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