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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the History of St. Clair County, Missouri published in 1883 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.

WASHINGTON LEE GILBERT, a native of Lincoln County, Kentucky, was born December 14, 1837, being the son of John C. Gilbert, a stone mason by occupation, who was born in Amherst County, Virginia, in 1784. When eighteen years of age, or in 1802, he removed to Lincoln County, Kentucky, where he was married February 14, 1835, to Elizabeth Huston, of that county. They had four children, two of whom are living: Sarah A. and Washington L. Walter H., who was born February 3, 1836, died September 9, 1862, having been murdered while plowing, and William A., born December 10, 1839, died October 8, 1857. Mrs. Gilbert died July 22, 1846. In March, 1854, Mr. G. removed to Johnson County, Missouri, and that year entered 120 acres of land, subsequently locating 120 acres more, with land warrants granted him for service in the war of 1812. He died September 10, 1868, after a residence of fourteen years in Johnson County. The subject of this sketch was married May 26, 1861, to Miss Elizabeth J. Helms, and they have been blessed with six children: Ann E., born May 3, 1862, (wife of Thomas L. Harris, of Johnson County); Patsey G., born April 24, 1866; John H., born July 1, 1867; Clay W., born November 23, 1868; Susan B., born October 5, 1870, and Sally L., born May 9, 1872. August 1, 1862, Mr. Gilbert enlisted as a private in Co. D, Sixteenth Missouri infantry, second brigade, under Captain David Baker for three years, his company surrendering about that time at Shreveport, Louisiana. He reached home in June, 1865, resumed agricultural pursuits, and remained upon a portion of the homestead until March 5, 1881, when selling the property, he came to this county, settling in Polk Township, where he has since been engaged in farming and stock raising. Mrs. Gilbert and her eldest daughter are connected with the Christian Church, of Bear Creek. He is a Democrat.

This family biography is one of more than 300 biographies included in the History of St. Clair County, Missouri published by National Historical Company in 1883.  For the complete description, click here: St. Clair County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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