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Below is a family biography included in the book, The History of Hardeman County, Tennessee published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1887.  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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Stephen N. Duncan, a farmer and mechanic of Whiteville, was born August 6, 1851, in Hardeman County. His parents were Henry W. and Margaret (Ruddell) Duncan. The father was born in 1800. He had been twice married previous to his union with Miss Ruddell. By his first wife he had one child, and eight children with the second wife. When about twenty years of age he settled in the western district, where Whiteville now lies. His chief occupation was farming. He also operated a grist and saw-mill, and kept a landing on Hatchie River. He began life a poor man, but by industry and good management amassed quite a snug fortune, and became the possessor of 1,900 acres of good land. He was a consistent, conscientious Christian. From religious principles, he never owned a slave. He met a sad and shocking death by drowning in Hatchie River in 1869. Mrs. Duncan was born in Kentucky in 1822, and died in 1852, leaving only one child, Stephen, our subject. He was but ten months old when his mother died. He was raised by his uncle, R. K. Ruddell. He received such educational advantages as the common schools of that day afforded. At the age of sixteen he began life for himself. After running a saw-mill for two years in Arkansas, he returned home and commenced farming. In 1873 he married Alice P. Andrews, who was born August 10, 1853. Of the three children born to this union only one is living—Mussie D. Mr. and Mrs. Duncan are respected members of the Methodist Church. In 1880 they located in Whiteville, where Mr. Duncan has since been engaged in mechanical pursuits, although still interested in farming. He owns 240 acres of fine productive soil. All of his life has been spent in Hardeman County, where he is well known and highly esteemed. He is one of the few surviving members of a prominent and once large family.

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This family biography is one of 101 biographies included in the book,  The History of Hardeman County, Tennessee published in 1887 by Goodspeed.  The History of Hardeman County was included within The History of Fayette and Hardeman Counties of Tennessee. For the complete description, click here: History of Fayette and Hardeman Counties, Tennessee

View additional Hardeman County, Tennessee family biographies here: Hardeman County, Tennessee

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