My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the book, The History of Clark County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1887.  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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John Fortune was born in Wexford County, Ireland, in 1830, and is the son of David and Ellen Fortune, of Ireland. He remained with his parents until seventeen years of age, when he went to Quebec, Canada, then to Rochester, N. Y., remaining there five years, when he went to California via Panama route, on the steamer “Golden Gate,” which was wrecked in San Diego Bay. He then took another steamer for San Francisco, and arrived there some time after the wreck of the “Golden Gate.” He was engaged three months as telegraph operator at the Golden Gate light house, situated at entrance of the bay at San Francisco, at a salary of $150 per month, and from there went to the mines, where he followed mining for five years, and dug $12,000 worth of ore out of the ground, of which he lost $10,000 in mining speculation enterprises. He then came to the city of New York by water, and was partially shipwrecked off Cape Hatteras. He remained in New York three weeks, visiting relatives, after which he came to Clark County, Mo., and settled upon the farm where he now resides. On his way from New York City he was married to Margaret A. Canfield, daughter of James and Ellen Canfield. This union was blessed with four sons: David, James E., John T., and William. January 11, 1881, he lost his wife, and in June, 1881, he married Mary J. Alton, daughter of Patrick and Mary Alton, natives of Ireland, and has had two children by this marriage; Mary E. and Eugene. Mr. Fortune has been a farmer of Clark County for about twenty-nine years, and is now in possession of eighty acres of good land under a high state of cultivation. His life has been full of adventures and hardships, which we have not space to enumerate. He was in Company D, Second Cavalry Missouri State Militia, and served four years, taking an active part in numerous battles and skirmishes; he carries marks of the war upon his body, and he takes great pride in the fact that he was one of the preservers of the Union. The father, grandfather and great-grandfather also fought for human rights and liberty, and carried marks of wounds to their graves, of which our subject was an eye witness.

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This family biography is one of 232 biographies included in the Clark County, Missouri portion of the book,  The History of Lewis, Clark, Knox and Scotland Counties, Missouri published in 1887.  For the complete description, click here: Clark County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Clark County, Missouri family biographies here: Clark County, Missouri Biographies

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