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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Polk County, Arkansas published by Southern Publishing Company in 1891.  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.

Malcomb McAllister, farmer, Eagle Hill, Ark. Mr. McAllister was born in Blount County, Tenn., on April 3, 1831, and is a son of James B. and Margaret (McRae) McAllister, natives of Tennessee and North Carolina, respectively. The parents were married in the former State, and when Mal comb was eighteen months old they moved to Carroll County, Ga., where they passed the remainder of their days. The father was a farmer all his life and in 1836 and 1837 was a soldier, assisting in removing the Indians west of the Mississippi. He died in 1860, at the age of about sixty years, and his widow followed him to the grave in 1870 at about the same age. Her death occurred in Carroll County, Ga. Both were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and he was an exhorter and class leader for many years, also superintendent of the Sunday-school. As a farmer he was practical, industrious and successful. In politics he was a Democrat. Of the ten children born to his marriage, Malcomb was the fifth in order of birth. He was educated in Georgia, and when twenty-one years of age commenced for him self as a tiller of the soil. This he has since continued. He then read medicine from 1857 to 1859 under Dr. J. G. W. Brown, and in 1859 and 1860 he attended the medical college at Macon, Ga. Later he commenced practicing in Benton County, Ala., and in 1861 returned to Georgia. He enlisted in the Seventh Georgia Cavalry, Confederate Army, and remained with the same all through the war, serving principally in Virginia, and being at all times in the thickest of the fight. He was in quite a number of battles, and in numerous skirmishes and raids from Cape Fear to James River. He was on the raid when his command captured 2,700 head of cattle at Petersburg, on the James River, from the rear of the Union Army. He was one of the forty detailed to go home after horses, and while there the army surrendered. After the war Mr. McAllister went to Hunt County, Tex., and after residing there one year moved to Polk County, Ark., locating on the head of Mountain Fork. There he remained for nearly two years, and then moved to Scott County, Boles, where he remained for another year. He subsequently moved back to this county and located on the head of Mountain Fork in 1875. He there has 160 acres of land, and has about 40 acres under cultivation. He abandoned the practice of medicine about ten years ago, and now gives his attention strictly to agricultural pursuits. In 1884 he was elected justice of the peace, and re-elected in 1890. When about thirteen years of age he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and has been a great church worker ever since. He was married on May 5, 1851, to Miss Nancy J. Chance of Georgia, and she died at this place on December 4, 1884. To this union six children have been born: Martha H. (wife of James Watson, a farmer of this county), J. D. (now in Texas), Mollie (wife of William McBride now, in Texas), Sarah Alice (wife of John Coffman, a farmer of this county), Willie (at home), and Patty (also at home). Mr. McAllister was married again on November 8, 1885, to Mrs. Sarah C. Tyson of Rush County, Tex. She is also a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Mr. McAllister is a Democrat in politics. 

This family biography is one of 31 biographies included in the Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Polk County, Arkansas published in 1891.  For the complete description, click here: Polk County Arkansas History, Genealogy and Maps

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

        

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