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Below is a sample of a family biography included in The History of Southeast Missouri published by Goodspeed in 1888.  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.

Elisha H. Launius, farmer at Bloomfield, was born in Stokes County, N. C., April 26, 1841, and is the son of Jonathan and Elvira (Jones) Launius. both natives of North Carolina. The paternal grandfather came from Germany and settled in North Carolina, where he died. Jonathan Launius immigrated to Gibson County, Tenn., in l843, and there purchased a farm, where he remained until 1858, when he immigrated to Stoddard County, Mo., moving there in wagons. He located in Bloomfield, built a blacksmith shop, and there carried on his trade for four years. He then purchased a farm near Castorville, engaged in farming, and continued at this two years, when he removed to Scott County, and carried on blacksmithing again for two or three years. He then came back to his farm, where he remained until his death in 1868. The mother died in 1870. They were the parents of seven children, two now living. Elisha H. and Louisa (wife of Samuel Worley). Elisha H. was about seventeen years old when his parents came to Stoddard County. He remained with them until the breaking out of the late war, when he enlisted in Jeff. Thompson's State Guards, and served six months. He participated in Big River Bridge engagement and in several skirmishes. In November, 1862. he enlisted in Company I, Price's command, and was in the battle at Cape Girardeau. In July. 1863, he was captured by Davidson's command near Wittsburg, Ark., and was taken to Alton, Ill. where he was kept for eight months. He was taken from there to Fort Delaware, where he was kept for twelve months and then exchanged. He then heard of the surrender and came home, where be engaged in agricultural pursuits. July 9, 1865, he married Miss Sarah Barharm, who bore him two children. James N. and Thomas H. Mrs. Launius died November 19, 1870, and he married a Miss Hannah Barham, in October, 1871. who bore him two children, one boy and one girl, John W. and Lizzie A. After marriage Mr. Launius located on his present farm where he has since lived. He owns 163 acres of land, about 100 of which are under cultivation and well improved. He is a member of the Agricultural Wheel, and he and wife are members of the Baptist Church.

This family biography is one of 1705 biographies included in the The History of Southeast Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: History of Southeast Missouri Region

To view maps of each of the 15 counties in Southeast Missouri, click here: Missouri County Maps


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