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Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published by Chapman Publishing Co., in 1895.  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 B. BEARDSLEY, deceased, was a well known citizen of Schuyler County, one who enjoyed the respect and esteem of many friends, and had a good reputation as a progressive farmer and true Christian. He was born in the town of Catharine, Schuyler County, May 23, 1824. His father, Stephen Beardsley, a native of Connecticut, came to this county in 1801, with his father, James, who purchased a large tract of land and embarked in farm pursuits, in which he continued until his decease. On Stephen’s removal here, this county was a part of Chemung, and in the early history of that county, as well as in Schuyler after its separation, he was a prominent figure and did his share in the development of the country. In the year 1819, on his marriage, Stephen left the home of his childhood, living with his wife’s family, and caring for her parents, who lived in North Settlement, where our subject was born and grew to manhood, assisting his father in opening up the new country. He received a limited education in the subscription schools, and remained at home until his marriage. That event occurred July 9, 1846, and united him with Miss Almira Hagar, daughter of William and Demaris (Rood) Hagar. Her mother was a sister of Judge Simeon Rood, a well known historical character of central New

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Beardsley commenced housekeeping in the town of Catharine, on the place then owned by his mother. After three years the homestead came into his possession, by inheritance and by the purchase of the interests of the other heirs. He resided there for some years and carried on the farm very successfully, then sold the place to Thomas Charles, and it is now owned by that family, and known as the Charles Farm. From that place Mr. Beardsley removed to Odessa, where he engaged in the mercantile business, and where he made his home for seven years. Selling out, he purchased land on Foot’s Hill, to which he removed and again engaged in farming. In 1870 he again sold out, and purchased the Grant Thompson Farm, one mile further north, and there he made his home until his death, October 21, 1893.

Mr. Beardsley left his home to attend the World’s Fair in Chicago, going first to Cato, Cayuga County, to take his married daughter, Mrs. Sarah Wood, who resided at that place. They proceeded on their way to Chicago, but at Battle Creek, Mich., were both killed in a railroad accident. The body of Mrs. Wood was so mangled as to be unrecognizable, but her remains were identified by her husband from the clothing she wore. The claim was disputed by a physician, who claimed the body as that of his sister and had it removed to his home, but burial was intercepted by a dispatch from the coroner, and the body was returned to Battle Creek. Mr. Wood established his claim, and accompanied the body to their old home, where it was laid away in the village cemetery to await the judgment day. She left five children, the eldest of whom was but thirteen years of age. The remains of Mr. Beardsley were brought to his old home and interred in Glenwood Cemetery, at Watkins.

An active, energetic, capable man, Mr. Beardsley took a prominent part in all public affairs. He was in sympathy with the work of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and assisted in the erection of the new church building at Odessa. A strong temperance man, for some years he was identified with the Good Templars. He and his wife had three children, namely: Stephen R.; Sarah D., who married Mr. Wood, and was killed, as before stated; and Stella I., wife of Charles H. Brown, a farmer living near the village of Odessa. On the death of Mrs. Beardsley’s father, in the summer of 1881, she came into possession of a desirable piece of village property in Watkins, where she now lives in comfort and retirement. After the death of her husband, she purchased the farm where they had toiled, and where she had seen her children happily married.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published in 1895. 

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

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

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