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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the Portrait and Biographical Record of Northern Missouri and published by C. O. Owen & Co., in 1895.  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.

JAMES LONERGAN, ESQ., is one of those progressive, wide-awake farmers who find both pleasure and profit in cultivating the soil and by means of dignity and ability tend to raise the standard of their occupation. Mr. Lonergan is one of the old and honored residents of Pike County, and was born in the southern part of Ireland, in County Tipperary, April 5, 1819. To his parents, William and Mary (Quinn) Lonergan, were born thirteen children, of whom he was the eighth. Of this large family five only survive, who are: Bridget, wife of John Quinn; Johanna, married a Mr. Bannan, of Pennsylvania; Col. P. F., who lives retired in Dwight, Ill., with one of his sons, a prominent physician of that place; John V. Lonergan, a machinist of Fort Wayne, Ind.

The father of our subject was also a native of the Emerald Isle, and after attaining mature years was married to Miss Quinn, likewise of Irish birth and parentage. His business was that of a general merchant and the income derived thereby was fairly good. Later in life, accompanied by a portion of his family, he emigrated to America, locating in Canada. After two or three years' residence there, and being satisfied that he desired to make it his future home, he returned to Ireland and in 1830 brought the remainder of the family over to the new home, located near Montreal. But he remained here only three years, when he crossed the line into the States and took up his abode at Pottsville, Pa., where he was destined to spend his last days. He died in 1840. He was a very wide-awake and progressive man, and ere he had spent many years in this country he became a naturalized citizen, and was a supporter of all movements pertaining to public welfare. After his removal to Pottsville he retired from active life and prepared to pass his declining years in ease and comfort. He was noted for his hospitality and had many friends in the community in which he lived.

James Lonergan, our subject, was a lad of about eleven years at the date of the removal of the family to America and his education, which was limited, was acquired in the common schools of this country. He was a youth of push and energy and when seventeen years of age left the parental roof and began in life for himself. Turning his face westward, he came to St. Louis, Mo., arriving there in the spring of 1836. Apprenticing himself to a carpenter he spent three years in that city mastering the trade, and in 1839 removed to what is now Red Bud, Randolph County, Ill. There he began life under brighter auspices, reaping the full benefits of his early labors as a carpenter.

In 1841 our subject was married to Miss Bridget O'Neill, the ceremony being performed on November 26. In 1849 he purchased the land on which Red Bud now stands, which he cleared from the thick undergrowth of trees and bushes and built thereon a carpenter shop. The hamlet soon grew into a village, thus furnishing him plenty of work, and from this time on prosperity attended his efforts. In 1850 he was honored by being elected Justice of the Peace, and for his efficient services in the performance of the duties appertaining to that office he was, after four years' service, elected the second time, but prior to the expiration of this term his removal from Red Bud compelled him to tender his resignation.

In October, 1854, our subject went to Louisiana, where he located and lived for ten years. During that time he was interested in various enterprises, which proved successful, and in 1864 he purchased and removed to his present farm, where he has since lived. In 1876 he was elected to the Magistracy of his district and for four successive terms of four years each filled the office faithfully, discharging the duties thereof in a capable and satisfactory manner.

To Mr. and Mrs. Lonergan there have been born eight children, only one of whom survives, Mary Ann, wife of James Hickson, a progressive farmer of this county. Shortly after his removal to Louisiana a cloud of sorrow darkened the home of our subject in the death of the wife and mother, who passed away February 23, 1856.

Esq. Lonergan during the years of his residence here has, by his upright life, gained the respect and confidence of all who know him. He is liberal in his contributions to all worthy enterprises and has done his share toward the development of this section. He is ever ready to assist suffering humanity, and has lightened many a heavy heart by words of cheer and comfort. In his political affiliations he is a stanch supporter of Democratic principles, and in his religious views is a devoted member of the Catholic Church.

This family biography is of a Pike County family and is one of 553 biographies included in the Portrait and Biographical Record of Northern Missouri published in 1895.  For the complete description, click here: Pike County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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