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Below is a family biography included in The History of Smith 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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J. D. Allen, a prominent farmer and stock raiser, one-half mile east of Dixon Springs, was born in Sumner County in 1835, a son of George W. and Louise F. (Douglass) Allen. His father was of Irish descent, born in Gallatin, Sumner Co., Tenn., about 1810. He was a lawyer of great brilliancy and prominence. He was attorney-general of Davidson and Sumner Counties for seven years, about 1840. He was the first judge of the Sumner County Court, which position he retained a number of years. He died in May, 1880. His wife was of Scotch origin, also a native of Sumner County, born near Gallatin about 1817, and died in 1849. She was the mother of four children. Our subject was educated in his native place, and at the age of seventeen began merchandise business for himself, the firm being Allen & Cantrell, in which he continued until the war, when he was appointed by Gov. Isham G. Harris to the commissary department, and ordered to Camp Trousdale; afterward was assigned to Robert Hatton’s regiment, Seventh Tennessee, and went to Virginia. He served as commissary all through the war. He was in the battles of Murfreesboro, Seven Pines, and all the engagements around Richmond and Bentonville. At the time of the surrender he was at Hillsboro, N. C. He was paroled and returned home, resuming his former business. Three years later he went to Brownsville; after one year in trade there he came to Smith County and purchased the farm upon which he now resides; it contains 250 acres, well cultivated, with a pleasant residence and all necessary outbuildings. He is a Democrat and respected, worthy citizen. In 1868 he married a daughter of Morgan David and Elizabeth Buford, Miss Clara V., born near Dixon Springs in 1846. To this union have been born Ella L., John H., George W. and Alice. Mrs. Allen is a member of the Christian Church.

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This family biography is one of 62 biographies included in The History of Smith County, Tennessee published in 1887.  The History of Smith County was included within The History of Sumner, Smith, Macon & Trousdale Counties of Tennessee. View the complete description here: History of Sumner, Smith, Macon and Trousdale Counties of Tennessee

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

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