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Below is a family biography included in The History of McLean County, Illinois published by Wm. LeBaron, Jr. Co. 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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JAMES C. BURFORD, farmer, Sec. 3, Township 21; P. O. Farmer City; born in Harrison Co., Ind., June 23, 1843. His father, Cary L. Burford, was born in Kentucky, and emigrated to Indiana. He afterward lived a short time in Missouri, when he returned to Harrison Co., Ind., where he followed farming, and was also engaged in the merchandise trade, during which time his store was destroyed by fire, by which he suffered a loss of some $4,000. After living in Indiana several years, he came down the river upon a flatboat, taking with him upon the boat his cattle, horses, machinery, household furniture, etc. He then purchased 700 acres of land in Marion Co., and for eleven years engaged in farming and stock-raising, when he sold out, and, in 1865, came to McLean Co., where he purchased 640 acres of land upon Sec. 3, Township 21, West Township, upon which he then located, and followed farming and stock-raising until 1870, with the exception of one year’s residence in Le Roy. In the fall of the above year, he removed to Farmer City, where he built a double brick store, and, until 1877, was engaged in the general merchandise trade, when he was succeeded by four of his sons, viz.: C. S., J. M., W. T. and J. H. His business is now confined to the duties required of him at the First National Bank of Farmer City, of which he is Vice President and a large stockholder (to the amount of $10,000), the care of his farm and large amount of real estate which he owns in Farmer City. He was united in marriage with Annie Shields, Jan. 29, 1829. She was a native of Virginia. Their golden wedding anniversary was celebrated at their residence in Farmer City upon Jan. 29, 1879. It was largely attended. Eight of their nine children were present, and fourteen of the twenty-four grandchildren. They came representatives of all ages—from infancy to old age. They came to the number of upward of one hundred. They came from adjoining villages, counties and State, bearing costly presents of silver and gold, to pay their respects to this aged couple who together had traveled the path of life for half a century. Among the presents were a solid gold-headed cane to Mr. Burford from the Directors of the First National Bank of Farmer City; a complete solid tea service and two pairs of gold spectacles to the parents from their loving children; and many other presents of silver, as well as valuable books, pictures, etc. The parents are now 74 years of age, Mrs. Burford being but six weeks the senior of her husband. Ten of their twelve children lived to grow up, and all except the youngest were married in rotation, according to their ages. James C. Burford lived with his father until 20 years of age, when he engaged in farming upon Sec. 3, West Township, McLean Co., where he has since lived, and where he owns seventy-eight acres of land, upon which he has good farm buildings. His marriage with Lucinda Hattell was celebrated Sept. 27, 1870. She was born in Harrison Co., Ind., Jan. 18, 1850. Her father, Conrad F. Hattell, was born in Indiana, where he was married to Mary Sensey, who died in Harrison Co., Ind., in 1859. Mr. Hattell now lives in Indiana, where he has lived for a period of fifty-six years.

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This family biography is one of 1257 biographies included in The History of McLean County, Illinois published by Wm. LeBaron, Jr. Co. in 1879.  View the complete description here: The History of McLean County, Illinois

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

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