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Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  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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ANDREW DOUGLAS. The name of Douglas belongs to one of the most ancient and powerful noble families of Scotland. According to one tradition the family is descended from one Theobald, to whom Arnold, Abbot of Kelso, made a grant of land on the Douglas, or Black Water, in Lanarkshire, about the middle of the twelfth, century. Another story relates that their progenitor was an unknown chief, who received as a reward for success in battle, land in the same locality about 770 A. D. The best historians, however, trace the record back no farther than to William D. Douglas, 1175 to 1213. From him in direct descent come the men who have made the name of Douglas illustrious. “The good Sir James” fought with Bruce at Bannockburn, and commanded a part of the Scottish army. After the death of Bruce, he was intrusted with the King’s heart, which was to be taken to the Holy Land, but on the way thither he was killed by the Saracens. The Douglases became a powerful family, and in the fifteenth century there was a proverb extant, “No man may touch a Douglas nor a Douglas’ man, for if he do he is sure to come by the waur.” The Angus branch of the Douglas family became especially famous, and to its members was granted the right to cast the first vote in Parliament, to lead the vanguard in battle and to bear the crown in public solemnities. This last right was held by the family up to the present century. On the field of battle and in public service the Douglas family has been prominent, until the name is found on almost every page of Scottish history. They became divided into two branches, the Black and the Red Douglases.

Andrew Douglas, of this sketch, was descended from the latter, who followed peaceful avocations more than the warrior’s life. Springing up at a wild and romantic period in early Scottish history, the line is descended through a succession of powerful and warlike chiefs, who were connected with every hard-fought battle of their country. The vitality of the family has been maintained in a wonderful degree. In later years its members have become prominent in science, law and statesmanship, and many of its worthy representatives are numbered among American people.

Mr. Douglas whose name heads this record was born in Roxburghshire; Scotland, only five miles from the English border. There occurred the battle of Chevy Chase, between Earl Douglas and Lord Percy. This is celebrated in an old English ballad. The date of our subject’s birth was July 16, 1818, and his parents were James and Janet (Lowrie) Douglas. He obtained his early education in the schools of the neighborhood, which he attended until twelve years of age. The family numbered three sons and three daughters. The father was a farmer and miller. Andrew remained at home until twenty-five years of age, when he determined to seek a home in America. He was then joined by other members of the family, and in 1843 they landed in New York City. At once they came to Randolph County, Ill., where an uncle, Lot Douglas, had settled twelve years before. The family rented land for a time.

In January, 1848, Andrew Douglas wedded Eliza, daughter of John Craig, one of the early settlers of this county. She was born in Paisley, Scotland, May 13, 1809, and came to America in 1840. The young couple began their domestic life upon a farm which Mr. Douglas had previously purchased. They became the parents of two sons and three daughters: John, who married Eliza Towsley and lives in this county; Eliza, wife of John Chaplin; Andrew, who operates the old homestead; Sarah J., who became the wife of Charles Livsey, who died February 5, 1888, since which time she has lived with her mother; and Beulah M., who married Frank Labriere and lives near Chester.

In 1846 Mr. Douglas bought one hundred and twenty acres of land and entered other tracts, transforming the raw prairie into rich and fertile fields. In the home farm were three hundred and sixty acres, and in all he owned eight hundred acres of valuable land in Randolph County. He was a man of good business ability, and industry and enterprise were numbered among his chief characteristics. He inherited also some of the best qualities for which the Douglas family was noted, and throughout this community he was regarded as a man of sterling worth and strict integrity. He passed away March 19, 1879.

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This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

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

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