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Below is a family biography included in The History of Greene County, Illinois published by Donnelley, Gassette & Loyd in 1879.  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, JOSEPH DUNCAN, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 8, P.O. Roodhouse. Mr. Allen is a native of Greene County, born October, 1834, the seventh of a family of eleven children. As Jas. Martin Allen, the head of this family, was in all probability the first settler of White Hall, and the first settler who erected a dwelling there for the purpose of keeping an inn, a brief sketch of his life will prove interesting to many of the old settlers who are still living. A native of Tennessee, he was born in 1794; he found a home in Greene County as early as 1820, when the copper-colored face of the Indian was more frequently seen than the early settler; the prairie wolves were still numerous, and frequently made their way to the little log cabin, making the night hideous with their discordant notes. Shortly after his arrival he was married to Miss Elizabeth A. Morrow. For many years he kept the only inn, or tavern, on the property now owned by Mr. Adams, the country thinly settled, and the Indians, still numerous, acquired the habit of stealthily purloining small articles from his cabin; his family quite large. When the present town of White Hall was laid out, he concluded to settle upon a farm, and accordingly purchased a tract on Lorton’s Prairie. While here he made frequent trips to Alton to get his grist ground, awaiting patiently his turn at the rude horse mill. As the county grew in importance, he became a large property owner; his busy and eventful life was brought to a close in 1873. His wife, a lady of a most kindly disposition, passed away eleven months prior. The survivors of this family are: Elizabeth J., who married Hiram H. Lemon, a prominent farmer of Scott County; William P., who married Miss Clarinda Billings; Sarah Ann, who married James Alverson; Joseph D., who married Miss Nancy E. Goldsby; Samuel, unmarried; James M., who married Eliza Gilbreth; and John Newton, who married Miss Gracie Frazier.

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This family biography is one of 744 biographies included in The History of Greene County, Illinois published in 1879.  View the complete description here: The History of Greene County, Illinois

View additional Greene County, Illinois family biographies here: Greene County, Illinois Biographies

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