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Below is a sample of a family biography included in the Morgan County, Missouri History published in 1889 by Goodspeed.  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 H. Goddard, a prominent old pioneer of Morgan County, Mo., was born in Knox County, Tenn., December 17, 1817, and came to Morgan County in 1847, locating at Versailles. His parents, T. C. and Mary (Cunningham) Goddard, were born in the "Old Dominion," and died in McMinn County, Tenn., at the age of ninety-three and eighty-four years, respectively. The latter was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at the time of her death. William H. Goddard was reared on a farm, and learned the tanner's trade in his youth, but has never followed the latter occupation to any great extent. From 1841 to 1847 he was employed by the Rice & Fitzgerald Clock Company, and during this time traveled all over Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas, his headquarters being at Jackson, Miss. In 1847 he came to Morgan County, Mo., where he took the agency for a clock company, and was engaged in this occupation until the fall of 1849, when he clerked in a general mercantile establishment for several years, and then became a partner in the business, remaining as such until 1856, when he was elected by the Democratic party as sheriff and collector of Morgan County, and held the office by re-election until 1860. When the war broke out he enlisted in Company D, Col. Kelley's regiment, Missouri Home Guards, and afterward joined the Confederate service under Col. Burns, and during his four years' service participated in the following battles: Boonville, Carthage, Wilson's Creek, Lexington, Springfield, Pea Ridge, Prairie Grove, Helena, Little Rock and others. After a time he was appointed quartermaster and commissary at Dangerfield, Tex., which position he held until the close of the war. In July, 1865, he came to St. Louis, and after remaining several weeks returned to Versailles, and was engaged in clerking three months. Since 1866 he has resided on his farm, with the exception of from 1874 to 1880, when he served as sheriff and collector of Morgan County. He has been a Democrat all his life, and socially is a member of the A. F. & A. M. January 27, 1853, he was married to Miss Mary E. Chaney, a native of Cooper County, Mo., by whom he is the father of eight children: Julia Ann, wife of T. Duff, of Versailles; Harriet, wife of A. M. Estes, of Versailles; Henry T., John J., Sterling P., Joseph H., James O. and Lucinda C. Mr. Goddard enlisted in the Mexican War, being captain of a company, and went to the front, but was sent back to the frontier to settle some Indian troubles, and assisted in moving some of the Indians to their reservation. He was in the service ten months.

This family biography is one from 75 pages of biographies included in the History of Morgan County, Missouri published by Goodspeed in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Morgan County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Morgan County, Missouri Biographies here: Morgan County, Missouri Genealogy

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