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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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Samuel F. Giddens was born in Knox County, Tenn., May 27, 1806. When fifteen years old he was thrown upon his own resources by the death of his father, Roger Giddens, and soon began an apprenticeship at the trade of carpenter in Knoxville, becoming in time an adept at his avocation. He resided for a while in Monroe County, and at the age of twenty-one was married to Elizabeth J. Brown, born in South Carolina in 1810. In 1830 he immigrated to Illinois, but finding the country sparsely settled and unprofitable to his trade, he returned to Tennessee, and was there when Gen. Scott removed the Indians west, being one of the many who dug for the supposed hidden treasures of the “red man of the forest.” In 1838 he resumed his trade as carpenter and millwright in Williamson County, Ill., doing considerable building in that locality, and in 1848 he moved to Walker County, Ga. This undertaking did not prove satisfactory, and in 1852 he located in Texas County, Mo. (then Pulaski, but now Phelps), where he built the principal part of the town of Relfe for Mr. Coppage (still living and ninety years of age). This place is now owned by the latter’s son-in-law. It was named by Mr. Giddens. In 1855, in company with others, he started for Kansas, but upon reaching Webster County heard of John Brown’s depredations in that State, and consequently stopped here until things were more quiet. During this time he resumed his chosen calling, and built the first house in Marshfield. In 1856 he settled in Johnson County, Ark., and followed farming and boat building until 1861, when, the war breaking out, and he claiming himself a Jefferson Democrat, he incurred the displeasure of the South, and was forced to hide, his wife following him, for safety. Four of his boys enlisted in the service. The suffering and tortures this respected and honored citizen was obliged to undergo cannot be imagined. He finally reached Pulaski County, Mo., and subsequently enlisted in the army as wagon boss, at which he was occupied at the time of his death, at the age of fifty-six, December 20, 1862. He belonged to the Missionary Baptist Church. His wife died in Texas County January 31, 1887. They were the parents of fifteen children, five boys and ten girls. Three sons, John B., Samuel B. and A. K., are ministers of the gospel. W. V. is a merchant, and William G. is the eldest and a farmer. The latter received a meager education in the subscription schools of his young days, and remained at home with his parents until twenty-one, when his marriage occurred to Miss Mary Ann Isbel, daughter of James and Nancy Isbel, born in Monroe County, Tenn. In 1850 Mr. Giddens moved to Illinois, in 1853 to Texas County, Mo., in 1854 started for Kansas, but stopped in Webster County, and in 1857 his wife died, having borne three children: Nancy E., wife of F. A. Dodson; John K., and Mary C., married Frank Tucker November 14, 1877, and died August 16, 1879. In 1858 he married Nancy C. Clark, daughter of Levi and Nancy Clark. She was born in Walker County, Ga., in 1831, and became the mother of nine children, six living: Deliah A., wife of George Rogers; George W., James F., Margaret; Amanda, wife of Andrew Musgraves, and Eliza A., wife of Price Williams. Mrs. Giddens died in Pulaski County January 1, 1873. Mr. Giddens married for his third wife, March 15, 1878, Mrs. Mary Tucker, nee Ready. They have one child, E. T. January 20, 1889, he immigrated to Miller County, Mo., where he has purchased land. He owns 380 acres, 200 of which are in cultivation. Himself and wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church. Politically he is a Democrat. John K. Giddens is the oldest son of William G. Giddens, and was born in Webster County, Mo., in 1854, remaining with his parents until he reached his majority, and only receiving one year and a half’s schooling. In 1876 he was married to Miss Susan Welch, who was born in Maries County, Mo., in 1858, and is the daughter of James and Marila Welch. She died in 1883, having borne two children, one of whom, Lidia May, born July 15, 1880, died July 4, 1881; Hattie P. was born September 9, 1883, and is still living. His second wife was Miss Thursia E. Lane, who was born in Hamilton County, Ill., in 1858. She is a daughter of Jacob C. and Nancy Lane, and is the mother of one child, Susie A. Mr. Giddens owns about 480 acres of land, and has about 150 acres under cultivation. Like his father, he is a Democrat in his political views.

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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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