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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Pike County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  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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Allen A. Gentry, another of the prominent planters of Pike County, Missouri Township, was born in Clark County, Ark., on March 18, 1820. His father, William Gentry, was born in South Carolina April 20, 1788, in which State he was engaged in tilling the soil until 1817, when he emigrated to Arkansas, locating in Clark County, remaining there until his death, in 1857. He married Miss Jane Narrad, and they were the parents of thirteen children—ten sons and three daughters —all of whom grew to maturity, except the three youngest. The children were as follows: Patsy H., John H., William C, James M., Allen A., Alford, Franklin, Jurissia R., Samuel W., Betsey J., George W., Rufus and Andrew J. Mr. Gentry, Sr., served in the War of 1812, enlisting as private in Carroll’s brigade under Gen. Jackson. He died in 1857; his wife died in 1852, a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The immediate subject of this sketch was educated in the private schools of Clark County, and when twenty-one years of age started in life for himself, choosing farming as his vocation. May 29, 1859, he married Mary A. Thomas, a native of South Carolina, and to this union have been born eleven children—five boys and six girls—namely: Jane G., Lilly M. (deceased), William L., Mattie, John T., Charley V., Mary, Emma, Jim T., Minnie O., Dora S., and Andrew J. (deceased). Mr. Gentry owns a well-stocked farm of 200 acres, with forty acres under cultivation. He is a member of Pike Lodge No. 91, of the Masonic fraternity, in which he held office as junior warden at Rome, in Clark County, Ark., and also tyler at Elmont, Los Angeles County, Cal. He served in the Confederate army, entering in 1863, under Col. Trader, in Company I, Sixteenth Arkansas Regiment. His regiment surrendered in Texas, and Mr. Gentry immediately returned home, resuming his former occupation, farming. In 1852 he emigrated to California, overland, remained there four years, and then returned to Arkansas. Both he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and are highly esteemed and respected by their neighbors.

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This family biography is one of 71 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Pike County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Pike County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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