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Below is a family biography included in the book, The History of Knox County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1887.  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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Thomas J. Black, farmer and stock raiser, was born February 12, 1838, in Quincy, Ill., and is the fourth of nine (four deceased) children born to John and Sarah (Taylor) Black, natives of Kentucky, but married in Quincy, where they came after reaching maturity. The father was a carpenter, and remained in Quincy, employed at his trade until 1839, when they moved to Knox County, Mo., and settled upon a farm where the father died in 1867. The mother still lives, and makes her home with our subject. The father was a skillful mechanic, but after coming to Missouri engaged in agricultural pursuits, in which he was successful, and at the time of his death was the owner of from 300 to 400 acres of land. Our subject was educated in the common schools of Knox County, and at the age of twenty, although he made his home with his parents, began life for himself by working on farms by the month, which he continued to do until he became twenty-two years old, when he married, and settled upon a portion of his father’s farm. His wife, Eveline (Taylor) Black, was born in 1842 in Iowa, and was married to Mr. Black in October, 1860. By her he had seven children (two deceased), and this lady died January 16, 1876. In 1879 he was united in marriage to Jennie Ross, daughter of Enoch Ross, and who gave birth to one child, and died in March, 1880. The living children of our subject are John W., Henrietta (the wife of C. Beck), Ella, Thomas Edward and Ambrose Everett by his first wife, and Zora by his second. After his first marriage he remained upon his father’s farm about two years, and then purchased one upon which he lived until March, 1885, by which time he had acquired all of Section 23, and a quarter of Section 26. When he moved to the farm, he had also purchased land in Sections 12 and 13, Township 61 north, Range 13 west, where he has since resided. He now owns the vast amount of 1,440 acres of land, 1,360 acres of which are enclosed and, principally, cleared and improved, and under a good state of cultivation; 840 acres are situated north of Hurdland, and the remainder is in one tract upon which he lives. He has been remarkably successful in his undertakings, and has accumulated most of his wealth by dealing in stock. He has 150 head of cattle upon his farm at present, and regards this as a very small number. He is one of the leading stock dealers of Knox County, and is a well respected citizen, honored and esteemed by the community. He is a Republican, and cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. His son, John, is a member of the Catholic Church, and his daughter, Ella, is a Methodist.

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This family biography is one of 204 biographies included in the Knox County, Missouri portion of the book,  The History of Lewis, Clark, Knox and Scotland Counties, Missouri published in 1887.  For the complete description, click here: Knox County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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

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