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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 Nenzel is a native of Saxony, Germany, born in 1835, and a farmer of Rock Township, Jefferson Co., Mo. His father, John Nenzel, came to the United States about 1839, settled for some time in Maryland, but went from there to Ohio and from there to Franklin County, Mo., where the mother died about 1841. Soon after this the family moved to St. Louis, where they remained until about 1851, when they came to Jefferson County, and settled, on the approach of winter, in a cabin made of brush, etc., on the farm now owned by John, which was then a dense wilderness. Here the father died April 22, 1863. He was a soldier in the Mexican War, serving fourteen months, and the farm upon which our subject now resides is the land he selected as his war claim. He was a sturdy, honest farmer. The subject of this sketch was reared principally in St. Louis County, without an education, and came with his father to Jefferson County, where he was married, March 1, 1854, to Miss Louisa Hoebel, a native of Germany, but who came with her mother to Jefferson County a short time previous to her marriage. Twelve children were born to this union, nine now living, one son and three daughters residing in St. Louis. Three sons and two daughters make their home in Jefferson County. Since his marriage Mr. Nenzel has lived on the old home place which consists of 240 acres, three miles northwest of Antonia, forty acres in Meramec Township and eighty acres in Rock Creek, all the result of hard labor. August 14, 1861, he enlisted in Company B, Fourth Missouri Cavalry, and for three years operated near the Missouri and Kansas line. In 1861 he was made captive at Harrisonville, but was immediately paroled and returned home. He was afterward in Company C, of the Enrolled Missouri Militia, in Col. Rankin’s regiment. He is a Republican in politics, has always been an industrious farmer, and is respected by all.

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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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