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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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BURNETT, DR. W. L., physician and surgeon. The above named gentleman is a native of Indiana, born in 1842. In an early day his parents, James E. Burnett and Martha, who were natives of Kentucky, moved to the State of Wisconsin. The head of the family was a gentleman of fine educational abilities and great force of character. In Wisconsin he became largely interested in mining, and subsequently in Iowa. In 1852, moving to Alton, Ill., he became a professor of book-keeping; many of the more noted western scholars acquiring their learning through his instructions; in 1856, the death of his wife occurred, who was the mother of our subject, she was laid at rest in the city of Alton. Subsequently James Burnett moved to Missouri, where he was stricken with paralysis, and there were passed the remainder of his days. W. L. Burnett received his education principally at Shurtleff College. When the war broke out, he enlisted in Company F. 27th Ill. Infantry; during the war, he became a participant in numerous noted battles, receiving a severe wound, he lay in the army hospital three months; subsequently he was promoted to an orderly sergeant. When the war closed he became a resident of Arkansas, where he engaged in the mercantile business until 1866, when he became a resident of Jerseyville, Jersey Co., where he took up the study of medicine, under Dr. T. O. Hamilton; in 1869 graduating from the St. Louis Medical College, and for several years practiced his profession in the town of Fidelity, Jersey Co., thence to the town of New Kane, where he has gained a good practice through his genial manners and knowledge of materia medica. In 1869, he was married to Miss Emeline Smith, by whom he had four children, three of whom are now living; Irene, Cora L. and Charles.

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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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