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Below is a sample of a family biography included in The History of Grundy County, Missouri published by Birdsall & Dean in 1881.  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.

MRS. MARY JONES. Mary Wooley was born in Garrard county, Kentucky, January 24, 1810. Her father, William Wooley, came to Kentucky from Virginia at a very early day; he died in February, 1830. Her mother's maiden name was Mary Sutton, and she was also a native of Virginia, and became the wife of William Wooley on May 26, 1807. They had a family of nine children, the subject of this sketch being next to the eldest daughter. On April 2, 1829, Miss Mary Wooley became the wife of James Simpson, a native of Kentucky, born in 1807. In the fall of 1838 this young couple, together with his mother, five sisters and one brother, came to Missouri; they remained one winter in Chariton county, and in March, 1839, landed and made a permanent settlement in Grundy county, and this venerable old lady still lives there, never having moved from that now beautiful location, which on that dreary March morning in 1839 was an unbroken wilderness, Her husband died July 23, 1857. She was married December 15, 1858, b. John H. Jones, a native of Virginia, born in September, 1807. He died February 16, 1872. Mrs. Jones is a member of the Baptist Church and a very intelligent lady; although now in the seventy-second year of her age, is remarkably well preserved both mentally and physically. She has passed through the many stages of development of Grundy county from its first beginning up to its present prosperity. She settled here when this was a wilderness inhabited only by Indians and wild animals. As an incident of courage and the realities of pioneer life we give the following: One morning in 1839, while Mr. Simpson, her husband, was attending the land sales she treed a catamount and kept it treed until her sister went after "Uncle Billy Cornwell" to come and shoot it, which was successfully done. This Christian lady is certainly entitled to stand in the front rank of the old pioneers. Her sister Elizabeth was born in Kentucky in 1891, and married O. P. White, a native of Illinois, born in 1819. The family of Mr. White have long kept house for Mrs. Jones, and she still resides with them. Mr. and Mrs. White have five children; namely, William, born September 8, 1841; Sophia, born August 3, 1844; Sarah E., born November 8,1847, died January 8, 1861; James O., born October 4, 1850; Eliza C., born July 22, 1855; and Georgia A., born October 9, 1861.

This family biography is one of 424 biographies included in The History of Grundy County, Missouri published in 1881.  For the complete description, click here: Grundy County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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