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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Lafayette County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed in 1890.  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.

John M. Lewis. Prominent among the worthy agriculturists of Walker Creek Township is Mr. Lewis, whose birth occurred in Covington County, Miss., October 10, 1844. His father, Benjamin Lewis, was born in Marion County, Miss., on December 29, 1820, of Scotch descent, being a son of Martin and Sarah Lewis, his father having served in the Revolutionary War. He was a farmer by occupation, and in 1853 he left his native State and came to Arkansas, locating in this township, on the farm where his widow now lives, which still comprises 320 acres, the larger portion of it having been divided among the children. He departed this life on May 4, 1867. He stood high in Masonic circles, and was a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, as is his wife. She was born in Covington County, Miss., on February 26, 1827, and was the daughter of John and Polly A. (Gilliland) Terrill, both of Irish descent, born in 1785 and 1800, respectively. She was united in marriage to Mr. Lewis on November 16, 1843, and became the mother of six children, three of whom are still living, the subject of this sketch being the eldest; John M., Vernon (a farmer of this township), and Addie M. (now Mrs. Welbourn, also of this township). When John M. Lewis was nine years of age, his parents came to Arkansas, and here he grew to manhood. In 1861 he enlisted in the Fifteenth Arkansas Infantry, in which he served until the close of the war, participating in the battles of Forts Henry and Donelson, Holly Springs, and Port Hudson. At this latter battle he was captured and paroled, and after remaining in parole camp for four months was transferred, and then engaged in the battles of Poison Springs, Mummís Mills, Prairie Dam, and Jenkinsí Ferry. He was captured at Fort Donelson and taken to Chicago, where he was held nine months. He returned home in June, 1865, and immediately after commenced farming. He has been twice married: First, on June 9, 1867, to Miss Mary T. Byrne, a native of Tennessee, who died in 1868, leaving one daughter, since deceased. His next matrimonial venture was on September 25, 1872, when Miss Lucinda Taylor became his wife. She was a daughter of William and Louisa (Hartsogg) Taylor, and was born in Mississippi in 1849. The fruits of their union have been two children; Benjamin A. and Samuel T. Mr. Lewis owns a fine farm of 160 acres, with about seventy-five acres under cultivation, and his entire time and attention is devoted to the proper tilling of the soil. He and wife are both consistent members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and are well known throughout the community, where they are highly respected. He belongs to the Wheel, and in politics is a stanch Democrat, and has held the office of school director for fifteen years.

This family biography is one of 44 biographies included in the Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Lafayette County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Lafayette County Arkansas History, Genealogy and Maps

 View additional Lafayette County, Arkansas biographies here: Lafayette County, Arkansas Genealogy


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