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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the History of Randolph County, Missouri published in 1884 by National Historical Company.  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.

MATTHEW H. NEAL, (Farmer and Stock-raiser). Born in Fauquier county, Va., July 25, 1840, Mr. Neal was a son of Thomas and Mary (Rodgers) Neal, who removed to Missouri when Matthew H. was still in infancy, locating in Marion county. The father bought land in that county and engaged in farming on which he lived until his death, which occurred in 1854. Matthew H. grew up on the farm in Audrain county and when the war broke out in 1861, was in his twenty-first year. The same year he enlisted in the State Guard and served under Gen. Price for a term of six months, that being the period of his enlistment. During this time he was in a number of engagements, including the battle of Lexington and others. Returning to the county after the expiration of his term of service, he engaged in farming and has since followed it. On the 15th of April, 1871, Mr. Neal was married to Miss Mary A., daughter of Thomas Irons, of Randolph county. Her father was from Virginia to this State, but originally from Scotland. Mr. and Mrs. Neal have six children: Nancy E. and Susan M., twins; John T., Wesley, Zula and Sarah. After his marriage Mr. Neal located on the farm where he now resides. He has 210 acres of good land, all but 40 acres of which are improved. His improvements are of an excellent class. Mr. Neal is a man of industry and takes a public-spirited interest in local affairs. He has served as clerk of the school board for five years. Mr. Neal is a member of the A. O. U. W. at Renick.

This family biography is one of 335 biographies included in the History of Randolph County, Missouri published by National Historical Company in 1884.  For the complete description, click here: Randolph County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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