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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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John W. Gilleylen, postmaster, and one of the leading merchants of Bills post-office was born in Monroe County, Miss., July 17, 1849. His parents, James M. and Eliza (Feddis) Gilleylen, natives of Mississippi (the former born in 1818), had a family of four children, viz.: Bedora C, John W., Thomas B. and Nancy E. The father was engaged in agricultural pursuits until the breaking out of the late war, when, in 1863, he enlisted in the Confederate service, under Gen. Samuel Gaston, and served until the close of the war, when he returned home and resumed farming, and died May 9, 1866. Politically he was a stanch Democrat. His wife died May 9, 1857, a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The immediate subject of this sketch was educated in the common country schools of his native State. In 1886 he emigrated from Mississippi to Arkansas, settling in Pike County, where he took up land and began farming. In 1879 he married Miss Margaret Conatscar, a native of Arkansas, and the fruits of this union have been these children, viz.: Bessie E., Hueston P. (deceased), Annie, Hittie and Jesse O. Some time since Mr. Gilleylen entered the mercantile business, beginning with a capital of $500, and his capital has since increased to $1,000. In connection with this business he owns a fine farm of 250 acres, with forty acres under cultivation. He is a Master Mason, belonging to Pisgah Lodge No. 250, and both he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

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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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