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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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Rev. John J. Watts, school-teacher, farmer and minister, is a native of Warren, Lincoln (now Knox) Co., Me., born on the 27th of September, 1839. He is a son of William Watts, grandson of Samuel Watts, and great grandson of John Watts, and great-great grandson of William Watts. The latter was born in Casco, Scotland, March 4, 1720, and married Margaret McLellan, of Casco, Scotland, in 1740, very soon after their marriage coming to America, and settling in Boston, Mass. They had three children, and died there. Their oldest child, John Watts, was born in Boston November 8, 1742, married Elizabeth McNeal, of Boston, July 15, 1761, moved to St. George, Me., in 1764, and in 1774 removed to Warren, Me. They had nine children, and he died August 10, 1817. His widow died November 4, 1819, aged eighty years. Their seventh child was Samuel Watts, who was born in Warren, Me., October 15, 1777, married first Elizabeth Lermond, December 3, 1797, and second Nancy Jones in 1812. He had eight children by each wife, and died May 1, 1862. Elizabeth, his first wife, died March 27, 1812. His second child was William Watts, who was born in Warren, Me., April 6, 1800, married Deborah Jones January 29, 1833, had four children, and died March 2, 1871. His wife died December 24, 1860. Their fourth child was John Jones Watts, subject of this sketch, who was educated in his native town of Warren, and at the age of twenty years went to work in a ship yard, but at the breaking out of the war enlisted in Company B, Twenty-fourth Regiment Maine Volunteer Infantry. October 4, 1862, he received a commission of second lieutenant, which office he held during service. Owing to the expiration of his term of service (nine months’ call) he was honorably discharged at Augusta, Me., August 25, 1863, having served under Gen. N. P. Banks in the siege of Port Hudson, La. In the fall of 1863 he started for California. He worked in a saw-mill on Humboldt Bay for two years, and then returned home, but again went to California in 1868. At the end of one year he was called home by the sickness of his father, and remained until September 8, 1871, when he immigrated to Missouri and settled in Phelps County, Ten years later he located in Piney Township, Pulaski County, where he owns a good farm of 160 acres, eighty acres of which are under cultivation. In 1858 he experienced religion, and joined the Baptist Church in Warren, Me., and March 10, 1874, joined Beaver Creek Baptist Church, of Phelps County, Mo., and in 1877 was licensed by that church to preach, being ordained two years later. He has long been an instructor of the young, and is now teaching his eighteenth term of school. He first joined the Masonic fraternity in 1862 in his native town, but is now a member of the Spring Creek Lodge No. 347, of Phelps County, Mo. September 1, 1872, he was married to Miss Mary Jane Woolsey, who was born in Phelps County, Mo., January 10, 1858, and is a daughter of William and Matilda (Hudgens) Woolsey. She is a member of the Baptist Church, and is the mother of three children, one of whom died at the age of four years.

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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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