My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Hot Spring 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.

* * * *

Joseph H. Downey, the son of John and Mary Downey, natives of South Carolina, was born in Gwinnett County, Ga., in 1823. His paternal grandfather was a native of Ireland, who came to America prior to the Revolutionary War, and took part in that struggle. He first settled in South Carolina, where he engaged in farming. Afterward moving to Alabama, he died at the advanced age of one hundred years. When but seventeen years old Joseph H. Downey left home and enlisted in the army under Wood, serving through the Seminole War. At the close of this brief contest, he returned home and worked on a farm, and in 1838 was married to Ann Vandevier, a native of South Carolina. After this important event, Mr. Downey rented land a few years, when he moved to Georgia and bought property, remaining there until 1854, when he removed to Hot Spring County, Ark., four miles south of Malvern. Here he improved land on which he resided till 1856, then settling in Ouachita River bottom upon a landed purchase of eighty acres, which he improved. In 1857 he again changed his residence, this time locating on the property he now makes his home. He is the father of six children: William S. (killed at Gettysburg, a member of the Third Arkansas Infantry), George L., Whitfield, Lafayette J., Margaret J. and Sarah P. He has also reared three grandchildren: John T., William K. and Mary P. During the war he served in the Twenty-seventh Arkansas Regiment, Confederate army. Mr. Downey is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and has been steward and class leader for years. Always taking a great interest in churches and schools, he is a warm friend of educational and religious work. He is also a member of the Masonic fraternity.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 52 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Hot Spring County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Hot Spring County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Hot Spring County, Arkansas family biographies, click here

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.