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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Prairie 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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G. W. Belcher is a farmer, stockman and miller of Belcher Township and was born in Perry County, Ala., in 1840, the eldest of eleven children born to the marriage of Thomas M. Belcher and Rachel Mayberry. The former was a Virginian, born in 1810, and was one of six children of Bevley Belcher. He was reared in Alabama and was married there in 1837 and for fourteen years was engaged in overseeing. He then engaged in farming and has made that his chief calling up to the present time. In 1851 he came to Prairie County, Ark., and entered 240 acres of land which he has since increased to 400 acres. He has been justice of the peace for about twenty years, and has held the position of postmaster four or five years. He is a Democrat and during the turbulent times preceding the Rebellion and during the war he was a strong Union man, and was greatly opposed to secession. His wife is a native of Alabama and both are members of the Missionary Baptist Church. Their children are: G. W., Martha (who died in Texas), Jane (deceased), Louisa (wife of William M. Shuford of Austin, Texas), James (deceased), Permalie J. (wife of M. C. Mayberry of Prairie County) and several children who died in infancy. G. W. Belcher attended school in Cotton Gin, Miss., until eleven years of age, but after his removal with his parents to Arkansas his school days were cut short and July 7, 1861, he enlisted in Company C, Second Arkansas, Mclntosh regiment, and for gallant and faithful service was raised to the rank of captain, in 1864, in the commissary department. Some of the engagements in which he participated are Oak Hill, Wilson’s Creek, Elkhorn, Farmington, Cumberland Gap, Richmond and others. In 1862 he was wounded in the left hand by a pistol shot and was in the hospital at Knoxville, Tenn., for some time. After the war he returned to Arkansas and was married in Claiborne Parish, La., 1866, to Miss Susan S. Hood, a daughter of Bryant and Polly Hood, of Georgia, and by her has four children: Ida, William M., John G. and Martha. Mrs. Belcher was born July 5, 1840, and died in September, 1889. She was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, as is Mr. Belcher, and was an earnest and consistent Christian lady. Mr. Belcher is a Democrat and has served in the capacity of school director for about fifteen years and he also belongs to the Masons, being a demitted member of Aberdeen Lodge. He is a descendant of some of the oldest settlers of the State of Arkansas and his grandfather Belcher was in the American Revolution. He is a wealthy farmer and of his 800 acres of land, 300 are under cultivation.

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This family biography is one of 94 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Prairie County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Prairie County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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