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Below is a family biography included in The History of Franklin County, Tennessee published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1886.  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 F. ANDERSON, one of Franklin County’s oldest citizens, was born February 27, 1808 in Sullivan County, Tenn., being a son of Thomas and Mary (Davis) Anderson. The father was born in Abington, Va., and when a child immigrated to Sullivan County, Tenn., whence in 1812 he removed with his family to Bedford County, Tenn., and in 1819 near where Sherwood now is. Here he entered twenty-two acres of land and engaged in the pursuit of farming and hunting. He removed to West Tennessee in 1834, and afterward to Mississippi, where he died. The mother was born in Philadelphia. Her father was killed in the Revolution, and she then moved to Sullivan County, Tenn., with a stepfather. She died in West Tennessee about 1835. The subject of this sketch was eleven years old, when coming to Franklin County. In 1828 he bought ten acres of land on credit, and began the pursuit of farming. He surmounted the primitive and numerous obstacles in his road and continued to farm until he amassed an immense estate; at one time owning 26,000 acres of land. He was active in securing the building of the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railroad, and for many years was a director of that road. He now owns about 16,000 acres of land. He was married August 23, 1827, to Miss Mary Hendricks, a cousin of the late Thomas A. Hendricks. The fruits of this union were twelve children, two of whom are now living—Cyrena (the wife of Larkin Willis) and Thomas B. The mother of these children died about 1854, and on August 23, 1855, Mr. Anderson was again married to Mrs. Mary Stephens, nee King, the results of this union being nine children, seven of whom are now living—George C., Luke W., Lou H. (wife of Dr. Jones Keith), Fay (wife of Henry M. Bunn), Virginia L., Charles W. and May B. Mrs. Anderson was the mother of three children by her former marriage. Two of them are living—William Stephens and Elizabeth (Stephens), wife of James Brown. Mr. Anderson, wife, and several of the family are members of the Christian Church. Mr. Anderson has built a church of worship himself, to which he invites all Christian denominations. He also employs a minister, and he often says: “If the minister don’t preach to suit me, I’ll turn him off and hire another.” He is a Democrat in politics and is a member of the F. & A. M. He has the name of being “the most liberal man in Tennessee.”

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This family biography is one of 83 biographies included in The History of Franklin County, Tennessee published in 1886.  The History of Franklin County was included within The History of Giles, Lincoln, Franklin & Moore Counties of Tennessee. For the complete description, click here: History of Giles, Lincoln, Franklin , Moore Counties of Tennessee

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