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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Lee 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.

Robert J. Bickerstaff is a native of Georgia, in which State he remained until thirteen years of age, going thence to Chambers County, Ala. After a twenty-three years’ residence there he came to Arkansas, and settled in this county (then a part of Monroe), arriving February 26, 1859. Here he first engaged in farming, but later carried on the mercantile business in Moro, from 1871 to 1874, since which time he has resumed tilling the soil. Mr. Bickerstaff was born in Jasper County November 28, 1823, and was a son of Robert and Nancy (Roberson) Bickerstaff. Robert Bickerstaff was born in the State of Pennsylvania in 1774, but removed to Georgia about 1790, where he was married in 1797 or 1798. He was a son of a colonel in the Revolutionary War, and he himself was a soldier in the Indian War under Gen. Jackson, and was killed by the Indians at Fort Henderson in May, 1836. Mrs. Bickerstaff was born in Ireland in 1778, came to this country at the age of fourteen, and died in Georgia in 1834. They were the parents of fifteen children, six sons and nine daughters; two of the sons only are living, the subject of this sketch, and Pollard B., a farmer of Montgomery County, Ala. Robert J. Bickerstaff was married in Alabama, on January 31, 1848, to Miss Mary Dazier, of the same county as himself, she having been born June 28, 1828, as a daughter of Woody and Eliza (Compton) Dazier. They became the parents of eight children, seven sons and one daughter, four of whom are still living: Herschel, Robert, Mary L. (wife of John H. Sims) and Andrew, all farmers of this county, though the latter is also employed in Government work. Mr. Bickerstaff enlisted in 1862 in Company C, of the Twenty-third Arkansas Infantry, and after the reorganization was in the Trans-Mississippi Department, serving until the close of the war, having been thrice captured but each time made his escape. Mr. Bickerstaff owns a 240-acre farm, covered with valuable timber, with the exception of ninety acres under cultivation, and he also owns land in Van Zandt County, Tex. Although not taking an active part in politics, Mr. Bickerstaff has held the office of justice of the peace for the past two years. He has been a member of the Masonic order for forty years, and has also belonged to the Missionary Baptist Church the same length of time. Mrs. Bickerstaff is connected with the same church.

This family biography is one of 104 biographies included in the Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Lee County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Lee County Arkansas History, Genealogy and Maps

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


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