My Genealogy Hound

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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Martin Branstetter, contractor and builder, was born in Pike County, Mo., December 1, 1844, and is the son of Lemuel J. and Sina (Tombs) Branstetter, and grandson of Adam Branstetter, a native of Germany, and a hatter by trade. He settled in Kentucky, and in his later days removed to Pike County, Mo. Sina Tombs was the daughter of David Tombs, a native of Scotland, who made a settlement in South Carolina. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and came from Scotland for that purpose. Lemuel J. Branstetter was a farmer and stock raiser, and engaged in this business in Pike County, Mo. He died May 22, 1858, leaving three sons, all of whom grew to manhood and honored citizenship in their respective localities: Martin (the eldest), Simon O. (who died in Pike County, leaving a wife and child), and Lemuel Isam (who is now engaged in farming in Spring River Township). At the age of sixteen, Martin Branstetter began an apprenticeship at the carpenter trade at New Harmony, Pike Co., Mo., which he completed, and worked at his trade until 1874, when he moved to Lawrence County, Mo., and has been prominently identified with the building interests of this locality since. He was married in Audrain County to Miss Annie E. Sykes, daughter of Joseph B. Sykes, a mill wright and miller by occupation and a representative man from Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Branstetter are the parents of four sons: Raymond W., Murray, Elbridge and Byron. Mr. Branstetter and wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, in which they have held membership ever since their marriage. He is a Master Mason, and he has passed all the chairs in the I. O. O. F.; is a member of the Encampment, and also a member of the K. of P. He has been justice of the peace here for six years. His first employment after coming here was in connection with the building department of the Frisco Railroad Company, in which he was engaged in the depot and bridge building department. The Rolla depot and several others in the Indian Nation are landmarks of his handicraft and ability. After three years of this work he retired to private residence and school-house building, among which may be mentioned the Node school building, the Wilkes school building, etc., etc.

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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

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