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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the Johnson County, Missouri History published in 1881 by Kansas City 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.

THOMAS L. McMULLIN. farmer, section 27, P. O. Holden, Mo. Was born in Lincoln county, Kentucky, August 36,1837, and came with his father to Missouri in 1840. His father, Dillord McMullin, was a native of Virginia. At an early day he emigrated to Kentucky, where he resided until he came to Missouri, and settled with his family in Ray county, where he now lives, and is a farmer and extensive grain raiser. Thomas L.'s early education was very limited, but he employed all his spare hours in reading, and storing his mind with useful knowledge. At the age of nineteen years he commenced business for himself. He was married to Miss Martha Bailey, of Indiana, on July 7th, 1858. He then engaged in the raising of tobacco, corn, and hemp, in which he was quite successful, and which he continued to follow until 1862, when he became a government employee, and crossed the plains as a teamster, where he was detained for two years, and then returned and volunteered in Co. B, 44th Mo. Infantry, and served about twelve months, and participated in several battles, among which were those of Rolla, and Franklin, and Cedar Point. He was honorably discharged in August, 1865, when he returned home and went to farming again, which he followed until February, 1873, when he removed to Johnson county, and settled on a farm known as the old Johnny Windsor farm. He sold this and bought near Columbia; in two years he sold out, and bought a farm near Pittsville; selling this he bought another near Holden, known as the Fichlen farm; disposing of this he bought the place known as the Dan Hogan place, near Rock Spring church, and planted on it one of the oldest apple orchards in Johnson county. The farm consists of 409 acres of land, well improved, with three springs of excellent water, and plenty of stone, coal, and rock quarries. Mr. McMullin has had nine children, eight of whom are living; Mary A. (now Mrs. Scritchfield,) John D., Thomas C., Gelina, Martha M., Wm. P., Geo. D., Lethe J., and James H. Mr. and Mrs. McMullin, and three of their children are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and contribute liberally to its support. Mr. McMullin commenced life in very meager circumstances, but by industry and perseverance, associated with good judgment has succeeded well in his line, and is a good neighbor, and has set a good example of what can be done by energy and perseverance.

This family biography is one of 594 biographies included in the History of Johnson County, Missouri published by Kansas City Historical Company in 1881.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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