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Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Berrien and Cass Counties, Michigan published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1893.  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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JACOB N. BURRIDGE, a well-known citizen and property-owner residing in Benton Harbor, was born in Braintree, Orange County, Vt., November 30, 1820. He traces his lineage through a long line of worthy forefathers to England, whence during the Colonial days members of the family emigrated to the United States and located in Vermont, becoming closely identified with the history of that State. The father of our subject, John Burridge, was born in the Green Mountain State, and in 1837 removed to Elkhart County, Ind., near Goshen. In 1860, he came to Berrien County, where his death occurred during the year 1866. He had married Miss Ruth, daughter of Isaac Pratt, a native of Vermont.

During the early part of this century educational advantages in Vermont were very meagre. The schoolhouses were primitive structures, and the method of instruction was scarcely less primitive than “the temple of learning” itself. The opportunities for acquiring knowledge enjoyed by Jacob N. Burridge were limited to the common schools of his neighborhood, but, such as they were, he availed himself of them to the utmost. However, his education has been gained principally in the school of experience, that vast school where all mankind are pupils.

At the age of seventeen, Mr. Burridge accompanied his parents to Indiana, where he aided his father in the work of clearing and improving a farm in Elkhart County. When eighteen years old he accompanied a party of sixteen to the Manitou Islands, where he chopped wood during the winter, in that way earning his first $100. In the spring of the ensuing year he returned to Elkhart County, Ind., where he bought one hundred and sixty acres and devoted his attention to general farming and stock-raising. In 1867, he removed to Benton Harbor, where he engaged extensively in fruit-raising until 1872, and since that time he has been dealing in real estate and residence property. He owns a number of lots and houses in the city, including his residence on Pipestone Street.

A pronounced Republican politically, Mr. Burridge is interested in all questions of public import, but is not a partisan in his preferences. Fraternally, he is connected with Benton Harbor Lodge No. 132, I. O. O. F., in which he is an influential member. Almost a half-century has passed since, in 1845, he married Miss Polly J. Foster, a native of Connecticut and a most estimable lady, who during their long wedded life has proved a devoted helpmate to her husband. She is a member of the Methodist Church. Mrs. Burridge is the daughter of David S. and Charlotte Foster, natives of Connecticut, who passed the closing years of their lives in Indiana.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Portrait and Biographical Record of Berrien and Cass Counties, Michigan published in 1893. 

View additional Berrien County, Michigan family biographies here: Berrien County, Michigan Biographies

View a map of 1911 Berrien County, Michigan here: Berrien County Michigan Map

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