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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Garland County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed in 1889.  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 Farr was born in Henry County, Ala., July 14, 1837, and was the son of Insell Farr and Narusus McCloud, natives of Edgecombe County, S. C., and Henry County, Ala., respectively. The former was born August 12, 1781, and the latter June 19, 1816. He was of Scotch-Irish descent, and was a blacksmith, wood-worker and silversmith by trade, being also engaged in the mercantile business in Henry County, Ala., for a short time. Emigrating from South Carolina to Georgia, he carried on blacksmithing, and later went to Alabama in 1830. In 1850 he moved from Alabama to Florida. His first wife was Mary Smith, of Georgia, who became the mother of ten children: Tillman, Anderson, Larkin, James, Columbus, Toliver, Mary, Margaret, Darkes and Susan. Mrs. Farr’s death occurred about 1830. In 1835 Mr. Farr married Miss McCloud, who bore a family of nine children, five boys and four girls: William (the subject of this article), Insell, James, Basil, Daniel, Sarah, Rachel, Lizzie and Lydia. Mr. Farr was in the Indian War of 1835. His death occurred in Washington County, Fla., in 1857, his wife dying in Jackson County, that State, in 1862. William Farr began work for himself by hewing timber, after which he followed the carpenter’s trade, and was subsequently employed as overseer of an extensive plantation in Florida. He was educated in the common schools of Florida, where he was afterward married to Miss Sarah L. Murphy, daughter of Batt Murphy, in 1868. They have eight children, four boys and four girls: William T., James I., Lydia L., Nannie E., Daniel J., Martha N., John S., and Mary J. Upon leaving Florida Mr. Farr came to Arkansas, April 24, 1871, and located in what is at this time Garland County, where he bought a quarter-section of land, thirty-five acres of it now being under cultivation. Mrs. Farr was born in Georgia in 1849. Her father married Elizabeth Joiner, also a native of Georgia, in 1841, and they became the parents of five children, three boys and two girls: James, Stephen, Charles, Sarah and Martha (wife of W. D. L. Boswell). Mr. Murphy died in Georgia in 1852. Mr. Farr is a member of the Masonic order, and he and his wife are both members of the Missionary Baptist Church. Mrs. Farr is an active worker and member of the Union Temperance Society. They are well known and highly respected hereabouts.

This family biography is one of 55 biographies included in the Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Garland County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Garland County Arkansas History, Genealogy and Maps

View additional Garland County, Arkansas biographies here: Garland County, Arkansas Genealogy


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