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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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RANSOM J. BARROWS, the son of Levi C. and Abigail (Putnam) Ransom Barrows, was born in Luzerne, Warren county, New York, August 24, 1831. His grandfather, Abner Barrows, was a native of Vermont, but removed to this State, located near Saratoga Springs and pursued farming until his death, in 1849. He married a Miss Call and had four sons and two daughters. Levi C. Barrows was born at Luzerne, this State, in 1804, and came to this county in 1832, locating at Stockton for about one year and then removed to Jamestown, where he engaged in the lumber business and, in partnership with a Mr. John Scott, under the firm-name of Scott & Barrows, manufactured doors, sash, blinds and lumber. In politics he was a democrat, but became a whig and later a republican, being a strong sympathizer of the abolitionists. When the underground railway was carrying the blacks through to Canada, Mr. Barrows took pride in being known as one of its conductors and did much in advancing abolition principles. For some years he was a justice of the peace, serving in that capacity at the time of his death, March 10, 1863. In 1861 he transferred his business to his sons, Ransom J. and Henry R., who continued it about two years. He was a member of the Presbyterian church — for many years a deacon. In 1828 he married for his first wife Abigail (Putnam) Ransom, who bore him six children: Mary J., married to M. W. Hutton, of Jamestown, and is now dead; Maria, wife of Alexander Hawley who is the representative of one of the oldest families of this county; Ransom J., Sallie (dead), Henry R., who served as lieutenant of Co. A, 112th regt., N. Y. Infantry; and Orton, who died young. After Mrs. Barrows’ death, in 1846, he married Sallie Canfield and had three children: Halbert A., a resident of Jamestown; Herbert L., who lives in California; and Antoinette (deceased). He was a prominent and respected Mason, being one of the organizers of the first lodge of that fraternity established in Jamestown, and to the time of his death was active and enthusiastic in its work.

Ransom J. Barrows received a common-school education, and married for his first wife Mary J. Putnam, daughter of Union Putnam, of Stockton, in 1854, and she died in 1859, leaving two children: Jennie M., wife of M. P. Hatch, of Buffalo, and Minnie M., wife of Dr. W. M. Bemus, of Jamestown. His second wife was Ellen A. Breed, a daughter of Deacon J. C. Breed, who died in 1869. In 1873 he married Minerva C. Williams, and this last marriage has been blest with three children: Ellen A., Elma M. and R. Jay.

He is a Mason, and has held continuous membership for thirty-eight years in Mount Moriah Lodge, No. 145, of Jamestown. Mr. Barrows has held many offices of honor and trust in Jamestown, where he has resided for nearly sixty years.

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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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