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Below is a family biography included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1898.  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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JAMES ANDRESS, one of the oldest and most highly respected citizens of the county, whose sole occupation through life has been that of farming, is a son of Ebenezer and Valina (Phelps) Andress, and was born November 16, 1816, in the town of Cincinnatus, where he grew to manhood and still resides.

Ebenezer Andress, the father, a native of Vermont, was born in 1771, and came when a young man to Chenango County, N. Y., later to Cortland County, where he located on the Otselic River, about two miles below the village in 1808. He was a millwright by trade and followed that occupation until he came to this county, when he turned his attention to farming. He purchased a tract of land in the wilderness, consisting of something over 100 acres, cleared it for cultivation, and there reared his family. He was married to Valina Phelps in 1801, and to them were born seven children, two boys and five daughters: Hiram, born October 14, 1802, died June 16, 1845, a farmer of Delaware County, Ohio; Eliza, born July 24, 1805, died October 10, 1830, wife of James Clark; Belinda, born June 19, 1808, died March 6, 1841; Anna, born February 1, 1813, died August 5, 1838; James: Rebecca, born February 16, 1819, died two days later; and one that died in infancy.

James Andress was married in November, 1846, to Miss Polly Mosier, who died March 7, 1895. She was the mother of three children: Mary, born August 8, 1847; Morris, who died at the age of three years; and Irwin, born August 31, 1869. Only one child, Irwin, survives her. The boys of Mr. Andress’ early days did not have the advantages for education that are enjoyed by the boys of this period. He was educated in the common schools, reared upon his father’s farm, and finally began farming on his own account, having worked by the month for one year previous. For twenty years he operated his father’s farm, selling out at the end of that time and locating in the village of Cincinnatus. A life of enforced leisure was not congenial to him, after a life of industry, so in 1862 he purchased another farm consisting of ninety-five acres, and there he still resides, having cultivated it ever since its purchase. Politically, he has always been a Democrat, but has not been an office seeker, as political life holds no charm for him. He is a man who is possessed of the most excellent traits of character, whose friends are to be found in all parts of the county. He has lived an unostentatious, quiet life, but the high reputation which he has gained throughout the community, for rectitude and upright dealing, is but tribute to true worth.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published in 1898. 

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

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

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