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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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William B. Allen, another successful tiller of the soil in Mount Vernon Township is the son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Dougherty) Allen, whose sketch appears in that of L. W. Allen. William B. Allen was born on his father’s farm in DeKalb County, Tenn., in 1823, and there attained his majority. He received a common-school education, and in 1840 came with his father to Missouri. Here he married Miss Phinetta J. Shooks, daughter of Levi and Elizabeth (Kennedy) Shooks, who were old settlers in this county from Middle Tennessee, and of Irish extraction. To Mr. and Mrs. Allen were born six children: Elizabeth E., Charlotta J., Sarah C., Nancy T., William L. and Mary A. After marriage Mr. Allen settled on his present farm, and there he has since remained. He is a member of the old Baptist Church, and, like his father before him is clerk of the same. In political opinions he has been a Democrat, but now affiliates with the Union Labor party. In August, 1862, Mr. Allen enlisted in Company B, Seventy-sixth Regiment Missouri State Militia, and was appointed captain. He was in several skirmishes with the bushwhackers. In 1864 he enlisted in Company D, Forty-sixth Missouri Volunteer Infantry, and was appointed captain. “Mr. Allen is a representative citizen and a prosperous farmer has always been hard-working and industrious, and may well be called a self-made man. He has given his children forty acres of land each, 240 acres in all. Mr. Allen speaks of the old pioneer life although filled with privations and hardship, as a happy one, the people all being friendly and placing confidence in each other. He often went forty miles to mill, and all lived in log houses which they had built themselves. Mr. Allen is a noble representative of this hardy race of pioneers, and can look back with satisfaction to an honorable, well-spent life.

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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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