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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Monroe County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of 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.

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John William Mayo, a farmer and stockman of Monroe County, now residing with Wiley T. Washington, his son-in-law, on Section 24 of Jackson Township, is a son of James and Sarah Eliza (Cokely) Mayo. The founder of this branch of the Mayo family came to America in 1730, as far as is known, and the Cokely family also emigrated from England, probably before the Revolutionary War. Benjamin Cokely, John W.’s maternal grandfather, married a sister of Com. Dale. Sarah E. (Cokely) Mayo had two brothers: Benjamin and William. The subject of this sketch was married to Miss Emma Ann Winston, on February 8, 1842, at the home of the bride’s parents near La Grange, Fayette County, Tenn. She was a daughter of Thomas J. and Elvira (Jones) Winston, of Fayette County. In 1850 Mr. Mayo removed to Arkansas, and located in Monroe County, where he bought a farm of 160 acres, engaging in the occupation to which he had been reared. He located on Section 30, Jackson Township, in 1859, and now owns 355 acres, with 140 acres under cultivation, upon which are five tenant houses, and his land is in a high state of improvement. Mrs. Mayo died December 2, 1888, having borne a family of children as follows: Laura C. (born February 22, 1843, married Wiley F. Washington, October 16, 1860, and died January 18, 1887, leaving eight children, three living), Winston (born March 5, 1846), Sarah Olivia (born March 27, 1848, married Oran Washington February 18, 1874, who died January 2, 1875; their only child, Oran, Jr., was born January 3, 1875. She became the wife of W. F. Washington, December 25, 1887, and has one child by this union, Lawrence, born August 4, 1889), John J. (born December 19, 1849, married Miss Lou Walker, who bore one child, John W., January 1, 1876; after her death Miss Elam became his wife in 1878, and they have four children: Alice Vivian, Sarah Olivia, Emily and Bettie), William Jones (born January 24, 1852), Mary Louisa (born October 13, 1854, died October 10, 1859), Henry (died in infancy), Harriett Ann (born October 20, 1856, died September 27, 1871), Nathan (born February 12, 1862 (deceased), and Lucy. Mr. Mayo is a prominent Democrat, though he cast his first presidential vote for William H. Harrison. He is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, as are also all of the grown children, and some of his grandchildren, he having belonged since 1865. He had a fairly good education in youth, and is a popular man and a good citizen.

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This family biography is one of 86 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Monroe County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Monroe County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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