My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Washington 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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Smith G. Breckenridge was born in Columbia, Tenn., in 1816. The tradition of the family is as follows: By tracing the genealogy of the family back as far as possible was found an old Scotchman of the “Lowlands” by the name of Henderson. When the Highlanders invaded the Lowlands, he would so stubbornly defend the country and drive them back to the ridges that he was called Breakridge. Three of his sons came to America and assumed three spellings of the name, Brackenridge, Brickenridge and Breckenridge. George, the father of Smith G., belonged to the family using the last way of spelling the name. He was a native of Virginia, but, as the Indians moved westward, he followed close after them, and located in Kentucky. There he married Miss Elizabeth Cowan, who was of Irish descent. After marriage they removed to Murray County, Tenn. (now Marshall), and, on June 19, 1819, they landed at the farm where Mr. Breckenridge now lives, the place being settled in 1803. Both here spent the remainder of their lives, the father living to be eighty-four years of age. He represented this county in the General Assembly in 1831 and 1832, and when in Tennessee followed surveying. While here he was also engaged in mining, farming and speculating in land. Of their family of fourteen children, seven sons and seven daughters, only two are now living. The youngest of the children but one was Smith G. He was brought to this county when three years of age, and received a very limited education. He has made this county his home ever since. In 1843 he married Miss Jane Shelton, a native of Virginia, who bore him four children. After her death he married Elizabeth G. Phelps, in 1858. She was born in this county, and bore him seven children. Politically, he was a Whig, a Union man, and is now a Democrat. During the war he was captain of Company I, Thirty-second Enrolled Missouri Militia. He is an excellent farmer and owns 265 acres in this county and 160 in Reynolds County. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and his wife of the Methodist.

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This family biography is one of 138 biographies included in The History of Washington County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Washington County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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

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