My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  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 ELAM, one of the substantial farmers of Greene County, was born on a farm adjoining his present residence, July 7, 1848. The old home is five miles south of Xenia, on the Burlington and Xenia Pike, and was also the birthplace of Ambrose Elam, the father of our subject, who opened his eyes there February 7, 1817. Although he had received more than an ordinary education part of his studies having been pursued at Wilmington, Ambrose Elam made farming his life work, and was a leading and influential agriculturist. Starting with one hundred and twenty acres of land, he accumulated until his landed estate amounted to about three hundred and twenty acres. He served as Township Trustee for several years, and also made a race for Representative. He died July 11, 1878. His family consisted of eight children, the third of whom, John B. Elam, was graduated from Oxford, and from the Law Department of the Michigan State University, immediately afterward locating in Indianapolis for the practice of his profession. There he was elected States Attorney, and became a partner of Messrs. Harrison & Miller, who are now President and Attorney General respectively.

The grandfather of our subject was Josiah Elam, who was born in Culpeper County, Va., in 1753, and who served in the War for American Independence. He was also with General St. Clair in the Indian campaign in 1791, and while on a trip to Ohio with that general selected a location for a future home. In 1802 he took up one thousand acres of land on Caesar’s Creek, six miles south of Xenia, where he planted an orchard, which was one of the landmarks of the vicinity. He removed to the place in the spring of 1803, remaining there until his death, in 1821. He had six sons and four daughters, a son, John, serving in the War of 1812. His wife belonged to the Baptist Church.

The subject of this sketch was reared on a farm, and after obtaining a common-school education attended the Normal School at Lebanon. In 1870 he began farming for himself, and six years later purchased ninety acres of land, where he now resides. He was married, May 25th of that year, to Miss Ella Davis, who was born in Xenia, and who is a daughter of Newton and Catherine M. (Lloyd) Davis, also natives of this county, and is an intelligent and estimable woman. Their family comprises four children — Harvey W., Sarah L., Davis Babb, and Florence M. Both Mr. and Mrs. Elam are members in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Elam was formerly a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In polities he is a Republican. He is more than ordinarily well informed, carries on his worldly affairs successfully, and is respected by all who know him.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

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

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