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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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Judge M. F. Byrne, proprietor and three-fourths owner of the Byrnesville flouring-mill, is a native of New Orleans, born December 23, 1849, and the eldest of six children born to Patrick P. and Catherine (McGee) Byrne. The father was born in Ardee County, Ireland, and when fourteen years of age left the parental roof and came to the United States, where he found employment with a gardener in New York City. He soon afterward shipped on board a man-of-war, with which he was connected for two years, cruising in different parts of the world. He then settled in New Orleans, where he was married March 19, 1848. In 1850 he went to California, and spent about a year in successful mining, after which he returned to New Orleans, and from there he removed to St. Louis, in 1851. Two years later he removed to Washington County, Ill., where he farmed with his usual success until 1867, when he came to Jefferson County, and purchased what was formerly known as Yerk’s Mill, on Big River. He rebuilt the mill, made other improvements, and remained here until his death, which occurred in December, 1872. The mother was born at Dublin, Ireland, in January, 1829, and died November 6, 1880. Both parents were members of the Catholic Church. The subject of this sketch received a common-school education, and also graduated from Jones’ Commercial College, at St. Louis. On the death of his father, he was appointed administrator of the estate. For seven or eight years he operated a general store in connection with his milling, and then leased the store but still continued in charge of the mill. In 1875 a post-office was established and he was made postmaster, which position he has since held. In 1887 he improved the mill with a full roller system, and is crowded with business. In 1878 he was elected associate judge of the county court from the First District, and served with credit for one term of two years. He was elected, perhaps, by the largest majority ever given a candidate in the district. He is a Democrat in politics, casting his first presidential vote for Samuel J. Tilden, in 1872, and is a member of the Catholic Church. He is three-fourths owner of the old home farm, of 330 acres of the best land in the county, and also has one-half interest in several other tracts. He was a member of the convention which nominated delegates to the National convention nominating Gen. Hancock, and has also served other State and congressional conventions.

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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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