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Below is a family biography included in The History of Lawrence 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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Finley L. Underwood’s ancestors came from England to the United States and settled in the colonies. John Underwood, the father of Finley L., was a Kentuckian, and was married to Nancy Blackburn, a daughter of John Blackburn, who was a lieutenant under Washington in the Revolutionary War. Mr. Underwood was a boatman on the Ohio River, and died of fever on one of his trips to New Orleans. Finley was eighteen months old at this time, and remembers the parting between his father and mother, which took place under a small beech tree. He was their only child, and was born October 24, 1814 and was reared in Kentucky. He learned to till the soil in early life, but received a limited education. He was married to Mahala, daughter of Nathaniel Dowden and twelve children, eight of whom are living, blessed their union. Those living are Elizabeth, Millard A., Susan, Josiah B., John W., Nathaniel D., George C. and Mary. In 1857 Mr. Underwood and family came to Lawrence County Mo., and settled on his present farm, which consists of 170 acres of fertile farming land. His wife died in 1878, and he then married Mrs. Mary J. (Coffinberry) Cole, and by her became the father of three children: Finley L., Fernie B. and one who died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Underwood are members of the Christian Church, and he is a Republican in his political views. During the war he enlisted at Fort Scott in Company C, Third Regiment Kansas Cavalry, volunteers, then transferred to Company D, Fifth Regiment. He was accidently wounded while in camp, being shot through the arm, and was in the hospital for several months. He then returned home and was captain of the Home Guards. He is now seventy-four years of age, but is remarkably active and well preserved for his years.

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This family biography is one of 272 biographies included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Lawrence County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Lawrence County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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