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Below is a family biography included in the book, The History of Adair County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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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James Newton was born in Lancashire, England, March 14, 1831. He is of English parentage, both his father, Thomas Newton, and his mother, Elizabeth Drakefoot, having been born in England, in which country the latter died. His father was a hatter by trade, and James began to learn that business at the age of ten. He served an apprenticeship of eight years, at the expiration of which, in company with his father and others, he emigrated to the States on an American vessel leaving Liverpool. The trip was uneventful and consumed five weeks and three days. His destination was Philadelphia, where he had a brother, who was employed in a cotton factory. James obtained work in the cotton factory, remaining there for several years, and after accumulating a small sum of money he started for the west. Before leaving Philadelphia he married a Miss Catherine Crawford, a native of Scotland. They had several children, of whom two — a daughter, Agnes E. (is teaching school in Missouri), and an older son, K. C., is in Southern California. He settled in Lafayette County, Wis., where his father, brothers and sisters also lived, and where he engaged in farming until 1869. In February of that year he moved to Missouri, bought new land, and located upon the farm on which he now resides. It is a place of 200 acres, 160 of which are improved. The house is a good substantial one-and-a-half-story building, with ordinary stabling, surrounded by fine apple orchards and other fruit trees. The greater part of the farm is utilized for meadows and pastures, as most of his time is devoted to stock raising and dairy products. R. D. Newton, one of his sons, died in Missouri, in 1883, at the age of twenty-five. Another son, R. T., was accidentally shot by a gun in the breast, and lived but half an hour after. A daughter, Amelia M. Newton, died in May, 1886, at the age of twenty-three. His wife died in Missouri, in August, 1876. James Newton married his second wife on the 24th of December, 1876, who is now living in Adair County. She was the daughter of Isaac W. Jones, one of the pioneers of the county, and a successful farmer. Elizabeth Jones was born in Tennessee, and at the age of sixteen moved to Missouri, spending her life in Adair until her marriage with James Newton. Mr. Newton is a Presbyterian and Mrs. Newton belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Mr. Newton bought a land warrant while in Philadelphia, and commenced farming on forty acres, and although he had no previous farming experience, his property is now entirely free from any encumbrance, and he is one of the most influential and successful men of the county.

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This family biography is one of 150 biographies included in the Adair County, Missouri portion of the book,  The History of Adair, Sullivan, Putnam, and Schuyler Counties, Missouri published in 1888 by Goodspeed Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Adair County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Adair County, Missouri family biographies here: Adair County, Missouri Biographies

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