My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Newton 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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James M. Colwell was born in Washington County, Penn., in 1840, and is of Scotch-Irish descent. His grandfather, Samuel Colwell, emigrated from Scotland, settled in Pennsylvania, was married here and reared a family. Andrew L. Colwell, son of Samuel, and father of James M., was born on a farm in Washington County, Penn., and here married Miss Isabel, daughter of James McGougal. This union resulted in the birth of the following named children: Robert, Albert, James, William, Henry and Martha E., all born in Pennsylvania. Mr. Colwell resided on a farm of 200 acres in Washington County, Penn. and was an extensive breeder of sheep, keeping on an average, 1,200 head. He died in 1872 at the age of sixty-two years. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, an industrious, upright man, and in his political views was a Republican. His son, James M., was reared on his father’s farm, and there remained until the breaking out of the late war, when he enlisted in Company G, First Regiment. West Virginia Volunteers, for three months. He was in the battle of Phillippi, and after this service he re-enlisted in the same regiment, Company B, for three years, and participated in the battles of Winchester, Bull Run, Slaughter Mountain, Cross Keys and Kernstown, near Winchester. Mr. Colwell was shot in the wrist, and was in the hospital at Harper’s Ferry, at Baltimore and at Philadelphia, where his arm was amputated. He was honorably discharged in 1865, after which he attended the commercial college at Pittsburg, and went into business at Hanlin Station for two years, he was also engaged in the mercantile business at Bryant, Fulton Co., Ill., for two years: and in 1870 he moved to Missouri, and settled on his present farm where he has since resided. In 1872 he married Miss Elizabeth Ann Hazard, and by her has had six children: Matty B., Ida L., James W., Elma E., Henry A. and Oris O., all born on Sarcoxie Prairie, Talmage Station. In his political opinions Mr. Colwell is a Republican. He has held time office of justice of the peace for ten years, and is a man of excellent reputation in the community in which he lives. He is the owner of 175 acres of hand.

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This family biography is one of 220 biographies included in The History of Newton County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Newton County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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