My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Laclede County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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 H. Cotton, farmer, brick and stone mason and plasterer, was born in North Carolina July 16, 1815, being a son of Samuel and Biddie (Purnell) Cotton, who were also natives of North Carolina in which State the father died. They were the parents of three children: Jacob (deceased), Elizabeth (who is supposed to be dead), and John H. The mother of these children was living when last heard from, forty years ago. At the age of six years John H. Cotton was bound out to a farmer by the name of Wilson Wiseman, with whom he resided until seventeen years of age; then he began the battle of life for himself, and went to Caswell County, N. C. Mr. Wiseman was to have given him educational advantages, but up to seventeen years of age he had received only a few months schooling, consequently he left and began the battle of life for himself. Mr. Cotton learned his trade in Caswell County, N. C., and continued to follow this occupation until 1849, when he came to Laclede County, Mo., with his second wife, whose maiden name was Henslee. He located on the farm now owned by Thomas Turner, but at the end of six months came to his present location, where he has a good farm under cultivation. Mr. Cotton married Mary Ballard (his first wife) August 28, 1838. She was born in Caswell County, N. C., December 23, 1813, and died there February 16, 1842, one week after her second child was born. The following are her children: Martha J., wife of Jacob Kapp, and Addison R. (deceased). November 28, 1843, Mr. Cotton married his second wife, Elizabeth Henslee, who was born in Caswell County, N. C., January 30, 1824. From this marriage there resulted ten children, six of whom are living, namely: Thomas B.; Artelia E., wife of Noah D. Light; Sarah A., wife of Job V. Chalfant; Nannie E., who is a school teacher; Elvira, wife of Edward Chalfant, and John M. The mother of these children died on the 20th of July, 1888, having been a member of the Baptist Church since she was nineteen years old, and a model wife and mother. Mr. Cotton is a member of the Christian Church, and belongs to the A. F. & A. M. and the Agricultural Wheel.

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This family biography is one of 99 biographies included in The History of Laclede County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Laclede County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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