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Below is a family biography included in The History of Dallas 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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James M. Stafford is one of the oldest settlers of Dallas County, Mo., and was born in Hardeman County, Tenn., February 5, 1827, and is a son of Bird and Lucy (Parker) Stafford, both of whom were born in North Carolina, and died in Dallas County, Mo., whither they had come from Hardeman County, Tenn., in 1840. March 3 he landed on the place where he died. The father was a soldier in the War of 1812, and, although previously a Democrat, during the late war was a strong Union man. He was a successful blacksmith and farmer, and in 1863 was married to Miss Eliza Wingo, but died three years later. To his first union eleven children were born, James M. and L. L. being the only ones who are now living. The former served during the Mexican War, and was in a number of fierce battles with the Indians on the plains. After the war he returned home and began working at the carpenter’s trade, but afterward engaged in farming and blacksmithing. He was without means on starting in life for himself, but his labors have been attended with good success, and he became the owner of 600 acres of land, but has given all but 360 acres to his sons. He served for a short time during the late war, a part of the time acting as orderly sergeant. May 30, 1850, he was married to Avaline Maddux, a daughter of Nathaniel and Rebecca Maddux, natives of Polk County, Tenn., and early settlers of Dallas County. Mrs. Stafford was born September 21, 1832, and died in Dallas County, Mo., August 4, 1871, having borne a family of twelve children, ten of whom are living: Amanda M. (wife of George T, Edmisson), Lucy E. (wife of E. D. Fortner), Newton C., Laura E. (wife of J. M. Bennett), Rebecca J. (wife of Thomas Routh), Martha A. (wife of J. L. Hardison), John P., Harriet T. (wife of William Norton) and Margaret S. (wife of George S. Wingo). Nathaniel Bird, William A. and Sarah E. are deceased. December 25, 1873, Mr. Stafford wedded Mary B. Harmon, a daughter of James Harmon. She was born in Missouri, and died in Dallas County November 25, 1882, having borne five children: Lydia L., Felix C., Hettie B., Floyd and Mary Ellen. Mr. Stafford is an elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and is a Democrat in politics, and a member of the Masonic fraternity.

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This family biography is one of 74 biographies included in The History of Dallas County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Dallas County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Dallas County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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