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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published by Biographical Review Publishing Company in 1896.  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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GEORGE W. COWING, a well-to-do farmer of Williamsburg, was born in that town April 22, 1842, son of William and Rebecca (Loomis) Cowing. His grandfather, Thomas Cowing, was probably born in Worthington, was a weaver by trade, and owned land in Worthington, where he died at an advanced age, having reared five children: Zalman, Emerson, William, Caroline, and Irene.

William Cowing, father of George W., when a young man, went to work in the Haydenville manufactory at Williamsburg, and remained there many years. At the time of the war he enlisted in the army, and while in the service was taken sick with fever, and died at the age of forty-six years. His wife had died in 1845. They were the parents of four children: Emory, George W., Mary, and Nancy.

George W. Cowing received a fair education in the schools of Williamsburg. He worked as a farm hand for some time, saving his earnings until he had accumulated some money. Then he purchased a place in Whately, and for two years was engaged in general farming. He then entered the employ of the Connecticut River Railroad Company, and was section master for nine years. In 1890 he bought the Lawyer White farm in Williamsburg. This property had been in the hands of the White family for one hundred and ten years. It comprises thirty acres of good land, quite conveniently located, being only half a mile from the post-office. There, in addition to the usual farming operations, he conducts a small dairy. He has made many improvements on the estate, which bear the stamp of his good management.

Mr. Cowing was twice married. His first wife, whose maiden name was Martha Burton, died at the age of thirty-five, leaving one son, Wilson, a book-keeper in the Haydenville Brass Works, and married for some time to Miss Gettie Black. Mr. Cowing’s second wife was formerly Miss Carrie Sleigher. No children have been born of this union.

In politics Mr. Cowing is a Republican. On the subject of religion his opinions are liberal. He is one of the representative citizens of Williamsburg, and is highly esteemed in the town.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published in 1896. 

View additional Hampshire County, Massachusetts family biographies here: Hampshire County, Massachusetts Biographies

View a map of 1901 Hampshire County, Massachusetts here: Hampshire County Massachusetts Map

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