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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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THOMAS O’BRIEN, farmer, Sec. 14; P. O. Arrowsmith; the subject of this sketch was born in Ireland, April 28, 1831; lived with his parents, in Ireland, until 17 years of age, when he hired to J. Cull, a stockman, to drive fat cattle to market and fairs, looking after them while there; came to this country at the age of 21 years; came first to New York, stayed one year, then came to McLean Co. — farmed three years. Was then married to Mary Smith, April 28, 1856; she was born in Ireland, March 25, 1839. The fruit of this marriage is eleven children, of whom six are living, five dead — Lawrence, Thomas, John, Peter, James E. and Hugh; deceased — John died in 1853; Anna died in 1853, and one infant; Rosanna died in 1868, and Thomas in 1868. Mr. O’Brien owns seventy-seven acres of excellent farming land under good cultivation. He has held the office of School Director three years, which office he still holds. He had a brother killed in the late war. Mrs. O’Brien had a brother wounded in the battle of Prairie Grove, in Arkansas.

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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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