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Below is a family biography included in The History of Benton County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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 Ranken, whose success in farming and stock-raising has made his name well known throughout the county, was born in Germany August 9, 1835, and is the son of Claus and Katie Ranken, both natives of Germany, where they died, the father in 1865 and the mother, previous to this, in 1848. John Ranken attained his growth in his native country, and was there married, in 1858, to Miss Anna Maggie Greemkan, who was also a native of Germany. In the fall of 1867 Mr. Ranken and family immigrated to the States, purchasing a farm in Benton County, Mo., and there located. In 1881 he settled on his present farm, which consists of 350 acres of land all in one tract, with about 135 cleared and in cultivation. Mr. Ranken has a large brick residence and good barns and out-buildings. He and wife are members of the Lutheran Church. To their marriage were born eight children: Claus, Katie (wife of Henry Allday, of Kansas), Martin, John, Fred B., William and August. All but Kate are single and at home. When he first settled in the county Mr. Ranken bought eighty acres of land, but by economy, industrious habits and good business ability he has accumulated considerable of this world’s goods, and is now prepared to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

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This family biography is one of 86 biographies included in The History of Benton County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Benton County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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

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