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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Lawrence 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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William W. Baley, farmer and cotton ginner, was born in McNairy County, Tenn., in the year 1835. His parents were Benjamin and Nancy (Holman) Baley, of North Carolina, who had settled in Tennessee with their parents when children. Later in life they married and moved to Henderson County, remaining there until the war commenced, when they transferred their home to Ballard County, Ky., where the father died in 1867, at the age of seventy-four years. After his death the mother came to Arkansas with one of her sons and a daughter, and settled in Searcy County, where she died in 1870, aged sixty-eight years. She was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, in which she had been an earnest worker all her life. Mr. Baley is the oldest of five children yet living. Seven were born to his parents, but two of them have died. He was reared in Tennessee, and commenced farming for himself in Henderson County in the year 1855, where he remained until 1862, when the call to arms was issued, and on Jane 17 of that year he enlisted in Company K, of the Seventh Kansas Cavalry, and served three years and two months. He was in the foremost ranks of every battle in which the Seventh Kansas was engaged, and can recount some of the narrowest escapes a soldier ever had in time of war. Twenty-eight different times he was shot through the clothes he wore, the bullets not even scratching his skin, and on four occasions had the horse he rode shot from under him. His service through the war was honorable and brave, and the lustre of his valor can never be tarnished by time. He received his discharge from the army in November, 1864, at St. Louis, Mo., and joined his family in Kentucky. Five years later he moved to Thomasville, Mo., and from thence to Arkansas, coming here in 1870, and locating on Big Creek, in this county. He came to his present home in 1872, which, at that time, was but very little improved. Since then a great change has taken place in the condition of the land. He owns 160 acres, 125 acres of which are under cultivation. He also has a cotton-gin set up on his place and in 1888 ginned 312 bales of cotton. Mr. Baley’s wife was formerly Miss Jane C. Wadey, of Tennessee, born in 1829. They have a family of four children living: Richard M., Mary E., John G., Robert L. Mary E. is the wife of William B. Doyle, and the others are all married except the youngest. They have lost two children — Sarah Ann and Jeanette E. Mr. Baley and wife are members of the Christian Church, and the former of Dry Creek Masonic Lodge No. 453. In politics he is a Republican.

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This family biography is one of 111 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Lawrence County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Lawrence County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Lawrence County, Arkansas family biographies here: Lawrence County, Arkansas Biographies

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