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Below is a family biography included in The History of Weakley 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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Joseph E. Dent’s birth occurred in North Carolina in 1807, and he is one of eight children born to the marriage of John Dent and Eda Williams. The former was born in North Carolina in 1783, and was married when about twenty-one years of age. He died about 1845 and his widow a few years later. His father, John Dent, Sr., was born in Maryland, and served as a private soldier in the Revolutionary war. Joseph E. Dent was educated in the common schools, and when about nineteen years of age immigrated with his eldest sister, Mrs. Willis Cook, to Maury County, Tenn., and began working rented farms. In 1828 he came to Dresden and worked for several years at the carpenter’s trade, and in 1834 removed to Hickman, Ky., and after residing there until 1844 returned to Weakley County and took charge of his father-in-law’s farm for about three years. Since 1875 he has resided on his present farm of 210 acres. He also owns several other tracts of land amounting in all to over 500 acres of land. He was formerly a Whig in politics, but since the war has been strictly conservative. He belongs to the I. O. O. F. In January, 1830, he married Catherine Jones, daughter of Israel and Margaret Jones. They have no children of their own, but in 1852 they adopted an orphan boy, George W. Rachels, whom they reared and who is now living on the farm with themselves. Both Mr. and Mrs. Dent are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

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This family biography is one of 108 biographies included in The History of Weakley County, Tennessee published in 1887 by Goodspeed.  The History of Weakley County was included within The History of Gibson, Obion, Dyer, Weakley & Lake Counties of Tennessee. For the complete description, click here: History of Gibson, Obion, Dyer, Weakley, and Lake Counties of Tennessee

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