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Below is a family biography included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.   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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REV. EDMUND BELFOUR, D. D., was born in Alsted, a suburb of Copenhagen, Denmark, Aug. 9, 1833. His father, who was well educated, came to this country in 1839, and the family followed two years later in the sailing vessel Isabella, which made the voyage to New York in nine weeks. Here the family settled. The boy Edmund was the youngest of seven children, and at the end of one year’s residence in New York he began to work in order to aid in supporting the family. It was not until his sixteenth year that he entered school, beginning at the very foundation. He expected to learn the machinist’s trade, but his pastor, Rev. Dr. C. Martin, who confirmed him at this time in St. James’ Lutheran Church, on Mulberry street, advised him and urged him to study for the ministry. By studying day and night he succeeded at the end of nine months in passing the examination for admission to the College of the City of New York. He completed his course in the summer of 1854, and received medals for proficiency in moral science and oratory. In the fall of the same year he entered the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pa. In the spring of 1857 he became the pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Schoharie, N. Y., and the Associated Lutheran Church at Central Bridge, also serving the parish successfully for eleven years. At the end of that time he became pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Easton, Pa., where he labored happily for nearly six years, when he was asked by the general council to go to Chicago to organize English Lutheran churches. He entered on this work Feb. 1, 1874, and succeeded in founding two congregations, Trinity on the north side and Wicker Park on the west side. But the climate bringing on a serious sickness, he accepted a call to the pastorate of the First English Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh, and began his labors there Feb. 1, 1880, having now held the position nine years.

During his ministry the congregation built its magnificent church and chapel on Grant street. Dr. Belfour’s ministry has been marked by persevering, conservative and successful labors, and has been singularly peaceful and happy. In his library are found books in eight or nine different languages. Twelve years ago he translated from the Danish “Pontoppidan’s Explanation of Luther’s Catechism,” which is now in its tenth edition.

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This family biography is one of 2,156 biographies included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.

View additional Allegheny County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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