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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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NORMAN C. BLACK, a prosperous farmer of the town of Scott, whose portrait is shown on the opposite page, was born in 1832, and is a son of Eli and Louisa (Hull) Black. The Black family is of New England stock, George Black, the grandfather of our subject, being born at Blandford, Hampden County, Mass. There he grew to manhood, married and spent most of his life. He was engaged in agricultural pursuits, but when the Revolutionary War broke out he cast aside his work and hastened to the aid of his country. He was in many fierce battles, and was with Washington’s army during the winter spent at Valley Forge, which was the darkest and most gloomy period of the struggle for Independence. It is almost impossible to realize at this day the sufferings of those brave men; they were but half clothed, and many of them left a trail of blood behind them, for they were without shoes, and the frozen snow and ice cut their feet. He also took part in the battle of Cherry Run. Mr. Black became the father of thirteen children, the record of whom is as follows: Reilly; Henry and Eli settled in the southwest part of the town of Scott; Russell and Archibald settled in Homer, but subsequently they sold their property and went to Ashtabula County, Ohio; Joseph finally located on a farm near Buffalo, N. Y.; William went to Cooperstown, Oneida County, N. Y.; Polly came to Scott, married Isaac Neff, and then removed to Wisconsin; James left home and was never again heard from; Lectia married a Mr. Morgan and lived in Tioga County, Pa.; and the other two died in Massachusetts.

Eli Black was the first of the family to come to this county, where he bought a farm of one hundred acres, thickly covered with timber. He then returned to Massachusetts, and the following year he again came to Scott, accompanied by his two brothers, William and Henry; Russell followed them shortly after. Eli Black cleared up his land and put it into a state of cultivation; he subsequently sold that farm and purchased the farm upon which his son, Norman C., now resides. In politics he was a Democrat, but all his brothers were Whigs. Mr. Black chose as his companion in life, Miss Louisa Hull, a daughter of Jerry Hull of the town of Homer. Three children blessed this union, namely: Dwight, who died at an early age; Norman C.; and Watson J., a leading farmer of Homer. Eli Black entered into rest in 1868, being survived by his wife, Louisa, who lived until 1883, when she also joined those gone before.

Norman C. Black has lived on the old homestead since he was two years of age. He has always followed the occupation of a farmer, and has been quite successful. He owns a fine farm of 167 acres, which is well supplied with buildings and other improvements necessary for carrying on farming so as to insure a reasonable profit. He is a man of intelligence, and takes an interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the farmer. In politics he is a stanch Democrat, and has served his district as road commissioner.

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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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