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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, W. J. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 14, P.O. Roodhouse. The above named gentleman, who takes a leading position as a farmer, was born in Greene County, on the old homestead of his parents, John and Martha Allen. While a youth, during the winter season, he attended school in a log cabin, where a window or series of windows the entire length of the cabin admitted the daylight, the seats constructed of slabs, while the writing desk was made of plank. In 1855 Mr. Allen was united in marriage to Miss Mary Shaw, a daughter of James Shaw. At this time, his capital, quite light, and having little if anything to lose, instead of renting property, like ninety-nine in a hundred would have done, he purchased 70 acres, thinking it as well to pay interest as rent. The result today shows the wisdom of the venture. After many years of patient labor he is now the owner of 280 acres of valuable land. Of this marriage seven children were born: Lizzie, James, Alonzo, Thomas, Dora B., Nancy J., and Sarah.

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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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