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Below is a family biography included in The History of Darke County, Ohio published by W. H. Beers & Co. in 1880.  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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JASON DOWNING, farmer, Sec. 10; P. O. New Madison; was born in Chester Co., S. C., April 14, 1811; son of John and Margaret (Faris) Downing, both of Irish descent; Jason came with his parents to Darke Co., in 1817, and was raised during the early times, in Harrison Township, and is one of the most intelligent and best informed of the few now living, who were here at so early a day; his father having been a teacher in South Carolina, he received a fair education; he remained at home until about 27 years of age; his father had a blacksmith shop on his farm, and hired a smith part of the time; Jason spent considerable time in this shop, and obtained a pretty good idea of the trade, but thought he would try teaching school; after one term, he concluded that did not suit him, and he learned the brickmason’s trade, at which he became very proficient, and has followed it more or less all his life, having done some brickwork during the past year. Dec. 16, 1841, he was married to Rebecca J., daughter of John and Jane Beard, who were pioneers of Butler Township; after his marriage, they settled on the farm upon which they now reside; he had previously purchased it, put up a cabin and made some improvements, but when he was ready to occupy it, he built a house, which forms a part of his present commodious dwelling; the old cabin, now used as a sort of shop, is about the only reminder of those early days of hard labor and privations he so well remembers. The farm now consists of 120 acres, 80 of which are under cultivation; thus Mr. and Mrs. Downing were early settlers and are now among the oldest residents of Harrison Township, and have contributed their full share toward the growth and improvement of Darke Co. They are the parents of eight children, viz.: Robert, born Sept. 18, 1843, now married and resides in Sec. 9; Samuel, born April 17, 1846, died Aug. 24, 1852; Margaret J. born Oct. 12, 1848, now Mrs. George W. Miller, of Preble Co.; Sarah C., born June 1, 1851, now Mrs. J. E. Armacost, resides in Harrison Township; George W., born Sept. 22, 1853, still at home; Fanny E., born April 7, 1856, now Mrs. L. W. Armacost.

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This family biography is one of 659 biographies included in The History of Darke County, Ohio published in 1880 by W. H. Beers & Co.  For the complete description, click here: Darke County, Ohio History and Genealogy

View additional Darke County, Ohio family biographies here: Darke County, Ohio Biographies

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