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Below is a family biography included in The History of Miller 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 T. Gilleland was born in the county where he now resides in 1832, and was the fourth in a family of ten children born to Samuel and Mary (Wellborn) Gilleland, natives of North Carolina and Kentucky, respectively. The father emigrated from North Carolina to Kentucky when a boy, and there grew up and was married, after which he came to Miller County, Mo., in 1828, and entered a tract of Government land, which he began improving. Here his death occurred in February, 1884, at the age of eighty-two years. His wife passed away in June, 1873. John T. Gilleland’s early days were spent in attending the early subscription schools, and in assisting in the development of the home farm, which was covered with timber. Upon reaching manhood he engaged in farming on his own account near his old home, and taught the first public school in the district where he now resides. His farm, when purchased, was in its primeval condition, but is now well improved, and consists of 305 acres, on which lead ore has been found and worked to some extent. He raises some stock, his sheep, hogs and cattle being of a good grade. Being exempt from regular service during the late war, he joined the State Militia, and labored hard in the interests of the Union. He is now a Democrat in politics, and is a member of the Agricultural Wheel. He was married in Miller County to Nancy Atkinson, a native of Kentucky, and by her is the father of the following children: William T., Mary S. (wife of John W. Miller), Emma J. (Mrs. Spaulding), James Monroe, Nancy Ellen and John Louis. Mrs. Gilleland is a daughter of Obadiah T. and Polly W. (Lovell) Atkinson, natives, respectively, of Virginia and Tennessee. They were married in Kentucky, and afterward moved to Missouri, settling in Pulaski County, where they remained one year, and then came, in 1839, to Miller County, where they entered Government land and remained five years. The following eight years were spent in Cole County, and they then returned to Miller County, where the father died in May, 1875. His widow still (1889) survives him. Mr. Gilleland after years of service in the Democratic party, is now a zealous worker in the Union Greenback Labor party. He and family are non-sectarian in religious belief, belonging to the Church of Christ, willing and desirous of being known as Christians. It is their wish to so live that in the last day they may meet those who have gone before in those heavenly mansions prepared for those that love the Lord. Mr. Gilleland is a charter member of the Agricultural Wheel, and president of Wheel No. 1,131. He was also a charter member of the Grange.

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This family biography is one of 120 biographies included in The History of Miller County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Miller County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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

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