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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published by John M. Gresham & Co. in 1891.  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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JOHN DONELSON, a prominent farmer of Busti, who came from Sweden while a young man, is a son of Gust and Annie (Samelson) Donelson, and was born in Sweden on the 15th of February, 1841, and is now in his fiftieth year. Gust Donelson was a farmer in the old country and possessed a fine voice, which he displayed in his village church choir for fifty years. He never came to America, being satisfied and contented with the home of his forefathers, and died in December, 1890, aged eighty-seven years. His wife Annie Samelson, died when fifty-two years old, trusting with a Christian’s faith in the church of her country.

John Donelson was reared in Sweden and acquired his education at its schools. In 1868 he came to America direct to the town of Busti, where he has since lived and followed farming. He owns a good farm of forty acres well improved, upon which he resides and makes a comfortable income.

One year after his arrival here (in 1869) he married Sophia Lawson, also a native of Sweden, and they are the parents of eight children: Henry A., Hattie, Elmer, Edward, Hilda, Alof, Esther and Arthur.

John Donelson is a republican and was elected to the responsible office of master of the poor in the spring of 1891 and is performing its duties creditably. He is a member of the Busti Swedish church, towards the erection of which he was a liberal contributor and served as a trustee for six years. He is one of the pillars of its support and is a liberal and generous man. He merits and has the respect of all his neighbors and is a good citizen.

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This family biography is one of 658 biographies included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published in 1891. 

View additional Chautauqua County, New York family biographies here: Chautauqua County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Chautauqua County, New York here: Chautauqua County, New York Map

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