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Below is a family biography included in The History of Franklin 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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John L. Criswell, a farmer of Franklin County, Mo., is a native of St. Louis County, Mo., and was born in 1817. He is the third of ten children of James and Elizabeth (Jump) Criswell, and was reared on the farm, receiving his education in the subscription schools of the county. He kept the ferry at Liletown, on the Osage River, farmed and worked at various occupations in different parts of Missouri until 1846. In the latter year he married Elizabeth, daughter of James Roack, and then settled on the Mackey claim, in a small log house surrounded by about twenty acres of land; here they lived about seven years, and accumulated considerable stock and personal property. In 1853 Mr. Criswell sold the farm, and entered eighty acres in Polk County, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits for a short time, but was unsuccessful. He then returned to Crawford County, and in 1856 moved to Franklin County, where, for about five years, he was employed in the Spring Creek Mills, his wife keeping boarders. They were successful financially, and in 1859 Mr. Criswell bought eighty acres of land, to which he has since added eighty more. To Mr. and Mrs. Criswell there were born six children, three of whom are deceased. Those living are James K. P., John, William and Kittie (the wife of E. D. Bray, a farmer of Crawford County). James is also married and away from home. William has never married, but owns a good farm, some stock, and some mining land near Stanton, and lives with his parents in Stanton; he has served as justice of the peace, and, like his father, is a Republican in politics. Mrs. Criswell is a consistent member of the Christian Church, and is one of the original members of the organization in Stanton. This worthy old couple are much honored and respected by all who know them, and their home is a favorite resort of the young people.

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This family biography is one of 305 biographies included in The History of Franklin County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Franklin County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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

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