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Below is a family biography included in The History of Jefferson 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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Danie Bonacker, farmer by occupation, a native of Germany, born in Hessen, March 8, 1827, is the son of Conrad and Elizabeth Bonacker. At the age of four years the father died and at the age of thirteen the mother also died, leaving two sons of whom he was the youngest. He was thus thrown upon his own resources at a very early age. He received a good education in the common schools; in the year 1848, February 13th, immigrated to America via Bremen and New Orleans, securing passage on one of the old-time sailing vessels which took eight weeks to make the trip. Not being satisfied with the Southern climate, he concluded to go north, stopping at St. Louis. He immediately came to Jefferson County, where he entered land or a homestead in Rock Township, and, after working three years as a farm hand for $4 per month, he began on his own responsibility. In 1851 he married Miss Catherine Miller, also a native of Germany, born also in Hessen. She died in 1859. Three children were the result of this marriage: August, Catherine and Dora. In 1860, he married Miss Caroline Riechman, also a native of Germany, born in Hanover. She died in 1876, leaving seven children, viz.: Daniel, Ernest, Louise, Caroline, Edward, Lydia and Benjamin; the first and last of these have died since their mother died. Mr. Bonacker has spared no pains in the education of his children. He lived on the homestead up to 1868, then moved to St. Louis, where he remained two years. In 1870 he returned to Jefferson County, settling on Big River, two miles from House’s Springs, where he has a farm of 200 acres of land. He was in Company B, Eightieth Missouri Militia, under Gen. A. J. Smith, during Price’s raid through Southeast Missouri. Politically, he is a Republican, and cast his first vote for Lincoln, in 1860.

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This family biography is one of 224 biographies included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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