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Below is a family biography from the book,  The History of Crawford County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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 M. Dean, farmer and miller, and the son of Elisha and Caroline (Parsons) Dean, was born in Cherokee County, Ala., August 28, 1837. The great-grandfather Parsons was an Englishman, and was once shipwrecked and picked up. He was an heir to an immense inheritance but always refused to return and make claim thereto. He was captain of a ship, and was on his first voyage when he wrecked. Elisha Dean lived in South Carolina until his marriage, and then went to Alabama, where he conducted a farm six years, after which he lived twenty-five years in Mississippi. In 1868 he went to Polk County, Ark., and in 1869 bought land near Clear Creek, Crawford County, where he farmed until his death, May 20, 1875. He was born August 27, 1810. The mother was born November 1, 1814, in Pickens County, S. C., where she was reared, and married in her twentieth year. She is now enjoying a ripe old age, living with a son on her husband’s farm in this county. She is the mother of ten children, eight of whom are living: William J., James M., Emily C. (wife of William Davis), Sarah (wife of William Sutton), Margaret (wife of Mr. Bullion), Hosea P., Franklin P., Preston B. Those deceased are Mary A. and Thomas P. Elisha Dean, the paternal grandfather, was born in South Carolina, and when seventy years of age went to Mississippi, where he died in his ninety-ninth year. His first wife, whose maiden name was Jones, spent her entire life in South Carolina. He afterward married a lady whose maiden name was Heard. His maternal grandparents, James Parsons and wife, were born and died in South Carolina. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. James’ great grandfather Dean was an Englishman who immigrated to America about 1700. James M. Dean was reared upon a farm in Mississippi. He remained home until twenty-four years old, and in August, 1861, enlisted in Company B, Fourth Mississippi Volunteer Infantry, which was known as the “Yellow Jacket” Company, and during his engagement served in a number of important engagements, among which were the siege of Atlanta, Nashville, Franklin, siege of Vicksburg, Murfreesboro, Snyder’s Bluff, Duvall’s Bluff and Corinth. He was captured at Vicksburg, but was exchanged. In November, 1865, Mr. Dean married Naomi Mayfield, daughter of Pearson and Jane (Young) Mayfield, natives of South Carolina, where Mrs. Dean was born, October 10, 1843. She went to Mississippi with her parents when eight years old, and is the mother of two children, Virgie L., wife of Samuel A. Miller, of Van Buren, and Bettie May. Mr. Miller is the present senator from this district. Three years after his marriage Mr. Dean farmed in Mississippi, and in 1869 immigrated to Crawford County. He rented land the first year, and then bought land, which he has since improved. He now has 240 acres, seventy-five being well cultivated. Besides his farm Mr. Dean has a saw and grist-mill and cotton-gins. He is a strong Democrat. He is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and his daughters, Virgie and Bettie, belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

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This family biography is one of 222 biographies included in The History of Crawford County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Crawford County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Crawford County, Arkansas family biographies here: Crawford County, Arkansas

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