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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  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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GEORGE W. THOMAS. Since March, 1859, this gentleman has been a resident of Johnson County. He is a native of Virginia, and was born in Halifax County, February 21, 1833, being the sixth in order of birth of ten children born to Henry and Sallie (Thomas) Thomas, also Virginians. There the parents lived for many years after their marriage, and when ready to make a change in their location moved to North Carolina, where the father was engaged in farming and operating a distillery for six years. He then emigrated to Henderson County, Ky., and for eight years was one of the substantial citizens and progressive farmers of that particular locality.

His call to the better land came very suddenly, he dying of the cholera in 1847. His wife departed this life in the Blue Grass State in 1841.

In the parental family there were ten children. Susan, who married Jacob Glasby, died in Indiana. John departed this life aged twenty-five years. Sarah married James Cole, and after his decease became the wife of a Mr. Roe, who is also deceased; she makes her home in Union County, Ky. Henry was two years old at the time of his death. Elizabeth passed away at the age of fifteen years. James married a Miss Marcus, who since his death resides in Kentucky. Martha Jane died when seven years old. Mary Ann is now Mrs. Russell Comer, and they reside in South Water, Kan. Jacob O. was six years old when called hence.

Our subject was a lad of fourteen years when his father died, and, being then doubly orphaned and unfitted to care for himself, he went to live with William Martin, a resident of Henderson County, Ky. He remained an inmate of his household until attaining his majority, and then, meeting his uncle, Joel Thomas, who was passing through that county on his way to Missouri, he joined the little company and traveled on horseback five hundred miles in ten days. This was in 1853, and the destination of the party was Pettis County. Our subject hired out on reaching there, and was engaged as a farm hand until his marriage, March 11, 1857. On that date he was united to Lucy A. Divers, who was born January 30, 1837, in Franklin County, Va. She was the daughter of Bailey and Nancy D. Divers, also natives of the Old Dominion, where they were farmers. Several years after the birth of Mrs. Thomas they joined the line of emigration westward, and, reaching Pettis County, made that section their home until the decease of the mother. Mr. Divers died in Johnson County.

For two years after his marriage our subject lived on a farm in Pettis County, and in 1859 crossed the line into Johnson County, first renting in this township for two years. At that time there were very few people living in this part of the county, and Mr. Thomas had his choice of land. He made a good selection, and the tract of one hundred and thirty acres of which he is now the owner is classed among the best cultivated farms in the township. Only forty-five acres of this were under tillage when he purchased the place.

During the late war Mr. Thomas enlisted, in 1862, in the Union service, joining Company B, Forty-third State Militia Cavalry, under Capt. William Ramey and Colonel Spadden. On the expiration of his term of enlistment he was honorably discharged at Georgetown, Pettis County, this state, in February, 1863. After his return home he was again called upon to volunteer his services, this time as a member of the Home Guards.

Mrs. Thomas passed away on the home farm, November 26, 1894. Mr. Thomas, owing to advancing years, is not able to do much farm work, and consequently rents the greater portion of his estate, giving his attention to the cultivation of a few acres on which his residence stands. He is a member of the Baptist Church, and in politics is, and always has been, a Republican.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Johnson County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Missouri family biographies here: Johnson County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Johnson County, Missouri here: Johnson County, Missouri Map

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