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Below is a family biography included in The History of Pulaski 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. Rollins, a farmer and stock raiser of Liberty Township, is a son of Harrison and Elizabeth (Hobbs) Rollins, and was born in Russell County, W. Va., in 1830. The parents were natives of Virginia, the father born about 1790, and the mother in 1799, and they spent their entire lives in their native State. Harrison Rollins, who was a farmer, was of French descent; he died in 1856, and his wife about twelve years later. James M. Rollins was the second in a family of eleven children, six of whom grew to maturity. He received his education in the common schools, and in 1851 he married Sarah J., daughter of Rev. Elisha and Emily Martin, natives, respectively, of Virginia and North Carolina, who afterward settled in Virginia, where Mrs. Rollins was born and reared. The parents subsequently removed to Tennessee, which was their home until their death; the father was a Baptist minister for many years. Of the nine children born to Mr. and Mrs. Rollins, six sons and two daughters are now living, all in Pulaski County. After his marriage Mr. Rollins lived about two and a half years in Tennessee, when he returned to Virginia, where he lived until 1859; he then went to Pulaski County, and for two years rented a farm, on which he improved 100 acres. In 1861 he settled on his present farm, which was then nearly all forest; he owns in all 540 acres, and has 200 acres cleared and well improved. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company M, Third Iowa Cavalry, and operated principally in Missouri and Arkansas; he was present at the battle of Little Rock, where his regiment was the first to raise the Union flag on the State House, and also at the battle of Saline. He was captured in Arkansas, May 4, 1864, taken to Camp Ford, Tex., and afterward to Camp Gross, and was discharged at New Orleans, after an imprisonment of seven months and ten days. He joined his command at Louisville, Ky., went to Tennessee, and after a visit home on furlough again joined his command at Atlanta, Ga.; at the close of the war he received an honorable discharge at Nashville, Tenn., and returned home. In 1868 he was elected sheriff and collector of Pulaski County, and was re-elected in 1870; he served as justice of the peace a short time after the war, and has been postmaster of Bellefonte since about 1875. In 1873 he established a store on his farm, which he successfully conducted until 1877. He is a Democrat in politics, and is a member of the Baptist Church, of which church Mrs. Rollins is also a member.

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This family biography is one of 80 biographies included in The History of Pulaski County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Pulaski County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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