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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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HUBERT M. CONEY, a successful attorney-at-law possessing the esteem and confidence of his neighbors, was born on his father’s farm in Ware, March 18, 1844, and is a son of John and Sophronia (Allen) Coney, and a grandson of William Coney.

His great-grandfather was a descendant of Nathaniel Coney, who came from Coney Green, England, in the latter part of the seventeenth century and settled in Stoughtonham, now the town of Stoughton, Mass., where he spent the remainder of his life. His descendants were among the best-known residents of that place for many years. However, as time went by, they gradually scattered throughout New England and Western New York. William Coney, son of Nathaniel, who was born in 1764, removed when ten years of age to Coy’s Hill in Ware, where he afterward became a practical farmer. He reared a family of six children, namely: Nathan; John; Calvin; Mrs. Caroline Goff; Theodosia; and Galacy, who married Darius Eaton. Nathan, the eldest, lived over eighty years; and, with the exception of Calvin, the youngest son, the rest enjoyed long lives. Their father’s death occurred in 1847, at the age of eighty-three.

John Coney, who was born in 1809, grew to manhood on his father’s farm. As his parents were in humble circumstances, his start in life was made without any capital. Beginning in a humble way, but with a resolute spirit, he advanced step by step until he was able to buy his father’s farm. Thereafter he gave his attention to the cultivation of the land, at which he was very successful. In 1871 he retired from his farm to the village of Ware, purchasing a home at 63 North Church Street, where his last days were spent. He died in 1884, seventy-five years of age. His wife, Sophronia Allen, to whom he was married in 1841, was a daughter of Chester and Anna (Rice) Allen. She bore him three sons, as follows: Hubert M.; George H., a successful carpenter and builder in Ware; and Charles E., who died unmarried in 1876, at twenty-six years of age. She still resides on North Church Street.

Hubert M. Coney acquired his early education in the public schools. With the purpose of entering Amherst College, he (although fitted for college) attended the Ware High School, working for one year of the period on the farm. The Civil War had, however, then begun; and his plans were changed by his enlistment, October 11, 1861, in Company D of the Thirty-first Massachusetts Infantry. He served as a private in the ranks until the summer of 1864, when he was sent on detached service as clerk at Cavalry Corps Headquarters, Department of the Gulf. He was honorably discharged November 20, 1864, and at once returned to his home. On March 1, 1865, he entered the hardware store of George Robinson, by whom he was employed until September, 1866, when he purchased the business. After carrying it on for six years he sold it to Robinson Brothers, and then engaged in the fire and life insurance business for a time. While so employed he studied law; and in March, 1876, he was admitted to the bar of Hampden County. He followed his profession in Springfield, Mass., until 1882, and afterward in Boston until 1889. Equipped with the knowledge and experience he had so acquired, he then opened an office in Ware. He was soon in possession of a large clientage and is now doing a prosperous business.

He was married on April 17, 1867, to Miss Eleanor Brainerd, of Ware, a daughter of Edwin L. and Eleanor (Lawton) Brainerd. They lost their only son, Edwin B., when he was fourteen years of age, his death occurring on the anniversary of their marriage, April 17, 1889. Mr. Coney has always taken a prominent part in political affairs, and served most acceptably in various official capacities. He was sent as a Representative to the State legislature in 1881 from Ward Two, Springfield, Mass.; and in 1872 he was chosen Town Clerk of Ware, serving in that position until 1876. He is a member of Eden Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of Ware, and Springfield Commandery Knights Templars, in which he has passed all the chairs except that of Eminent Commander. He belongs to the J. W. Lawton Post, Grand Army of the Republic, of which he was a charter member and is now a Past Commander. He is Judge Advocate of the Department of Massachusetts, and has been an aide on the staff of Commander-in-chief Lawler. Aside from being a leading lawyer of the town of Ware, Mr. Coney is a most genial and obliging gentleman, and has won many warm friends. He and his wife reside in their pleasant home at 16 Church Street.

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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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