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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the Jefferson County, Tennessee portion of the History of East Tennessee published by Goodspeed in 1887.  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.

William A. Moore was born in Jefferson County, Tenn., near the French Broad River, December 25, 1815. He is the son of Elijah and Mary (McClanahan) Moore. The father was born in Mecklenburgh County, N. C, in March, 1792. At the age of seven his father brought him to Tennessee, where he gave him his early training on the farm. The father of our subject was a farmer and stock raiser. He was a soldier in the war of 1812, and later a captain in the State militia. He died at his home in Jefferson County, Tenn., at the age of forty-one, in 1834. The mother of our subject was a native of Jefferson County, Tenn., born in 1794, and died in 1859, at the age of sixty-five. Our subject is one of a family of five brothers and one sister, and is the eldest. He was reared on the farm, and received such an education as his county could give. His father died when he was eighteen, and he took charge of the home farm, and thus began his occupation which he has followed all his life. On February 8, 1838, he was united in marriage with M. J. W. Rodgers, born May 16, 1819, and died August 24, 1854. To this marriage were born two sons and one daughter—one died in infancy, and the two yet living are Thomas E., born April 2, 1845, and Sarah I., born March 1, 1851. November 14, 1855, our subject married for a second wife Margaret A. Cowan. To this wife were born Andrew C, born July 6, 1858; Lucy D., born February 22, 1860; William A., born June 25, 1866. September 1, 1869, the son, Thomas E. Moore, was united in marriage with Martha E. Houston, and Sarah I. Moore was united in marriage with Robert A. Lyle, March 14, 1871. Our subject, at the time of his first marriage, had very limited means with which to farm, but by energy and skillful management he has been a successful farmer and business man. He has had many obstacles to contend with. He has been a friend to many, and has often involved himself greatly to favor others. He has ever been enterprising, and manifested an untiring energy. He has been a Christian man since early life, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is a Past Grand Master Mason. Our subject, before the war, had accumulated considerable wealth, but the war reduced him very much. Since the war he has been financially successful, and he is now one of the ablest men of his county, and is still an active and thorough farmer.

This family biography is one of 938 biographies included in the History of East Tennessee published in 1887.  For the complete description, click here: History of East Tennessee

Additional family biographies from the History of East Tennessee can be viewed here:  My Genealogy Hound


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