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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the Rogers' Souvenir History of Mercer County, Missouri by W. B. Rogers published in 1911.  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.

WESLEY SOMERVILLE was, before his death, a respected citizen of Mercer county. His father, Archibald Somerville, and his mother Mary (Armstrong) Somerville, were both natives of Northern Ireland, coming to America about the beginning of the 19th century. Wesley was born March 17th, 1817, in Johnsburg, Warren county, New York. He was a farmer, had but little schooling but was a great reader and well informed man. He was married to Nancy Noble July 22, 1850, and of this union were five children, all born in Warren county, N. Y. Mary, the eldest child, became the wife of John W. Calvert and died in 1883, leaving one child, Wesley N. Calvert, now of Anthony, Kansas. Lee and Emma, two other children, died while young in years. Oliver B. Somerville, another son, is now living near Princeton. James H. Somerville, the youngest in the family, is living at Mercer, Mo. The family moved to Mercer county in October, 1869 and have since resided here. Wesley Somerville cast his first vote for Martin Van Buren, and later on became a strong Abolitionist. He was connected with the under-ground railway system that transported many promising-looking colored boys and girls to Canada. He was converted in his young manhood days and kept up family worship even to the day he died, which occurred February 17th, 1904.

This family biography is one of 303 biographies included in the Rogers' Souvenir History of Mercer County, Missouri by W. B. Rogers in 1911.  For the complete description, click here: Mercer County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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