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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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John M. Wilson, farmer and stock-raiser of Jefferson County, is a native of Abbeville County, S. C., born in 1818, and is the eldest of eight children born to Ephraim and Fannie (Link) Wilson, natives of South Carolina, where they were reared, and married about 1816. About 1820 they came to Jefferson County and were the first to settle on James Creek. After living there for about ten or twelve years they removed to McNairy County, Tenn., where they remained for about four years, and then returned to Jefferson County, Mo., where, with the exception of a few years spent in Arkansas, they made their home. The father was a farmer and mechanic, and was in good circumstances at the time of his death, which occurred in 1862. His father, John Wilson, was of Irish descent, and came to Jefferson County about 1820, where he died, after making several trips between Missouri and South Carolina. Both parents of John M. were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The subject of this sketch was reared at home and educated in the primitive log schoolhouses of early times. In February, 1839, he was united in marriage to Miss Adaline Graham, daughter of William and Margaret Graham, who were formerly of Tennessee, but pioneers of Jefferson County. Immediately after marriage Mr. Wilson located twelve miles west of Hillsboro, where he has lived for nearly fifty years. He has about 1,300 acres of choice land, and is one of the largest land-holders of Jefferson County. He has no children of his own, but has reared four and partly reared others. He is taking considerable pains in improving the stock of the community, especially cattle and horses of the Durham and Norman breeds, respectively. In politics Mr. Wilson is a life-long and stanch Democrat, and has voted for every Democratic president since attaining his majority. He and wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church.

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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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