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Below is a family biography included in The History of Barry County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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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William McKinney, one of the pioneer settlers of Barry County, Mo., was born in Tennessee in 1804. His parents were James and Delila (Caldwell) McKinney. James McKinney was born in Culpeper County, Va. He went from his native State to Tennessee before Alabama became a State. When the latter was admitted to the Union he removed thither, and remained there until his death at the age of ninety years. His wife, who was the mother of nine children, lived to the extreme age of one hundred and three years. William McKinney was married in Alabama to Sallie Legg, a native of Tennessee. He immigrated with his family to Missouri in 1841. When he first located in Missouri he intended to remain but a short time, feasting on the abundance of wild game and honey found there. At that time there were not more than a half dozen families in Flat Creek Valley, which is now so densely populated. Being so favorably impressed with the possibilities of Southwest Missouri, Mr. McKinney concluded to settle. He purchased a claim from a “squatter,” which he afterward entered when land was thrown on the market. He is one of the oldest living settlers of Barry County, and has witnessed the vast commonwealth of Missouri develop from a wilderness to its present high state of cultivation and civilization. His wife died in October, 1865 aged fifty-one years, and Mr. McKinney is now living on the homestead with his oldest son, a bachelor in middle life and his daughter, Celia, widow of Joseph Vance. The family own 400 acres of well-improved land. Six of Mr. McKinney’s children are living viz.: John, Elizabeth (wife of Thomas Settles), Celia, Thomas, Nancy (wife of Newton Haley) and Edward. Some of the family are members of the Christian Church. Celia Vance’s two children, Joanna and John W., also live with their grandfather. Politically, William McKinney is a Democrat. He can remember the War of 1812.

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This family biography is one of 103 biographies included in The History of Barry County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Barry County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Barry County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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