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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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WILLIAM HENRY SEMMENS, merchant, post office Turtle Creek, was born at St. Just, Cornwall, England, June 4, 1854, and came with his parents to America the next year. His grandfather and father, both named William, were copper-miners, and located among the mines of that metal in Northern Michigan. William, Sr., came in 1867 to Wilkins, where he died five years later, aged seventy-two years. His widow, Grace, nee Ancell, died in April, 1888. William, Jr., now resides near his son. His wife, Elizabeth, born in Anguinn, died in 1884, at the age of fifty-three years. When eight years old William H. was set to work in a stampmill, picking particles of silver from the copper ore. When twelve years old he was placed at school for a year, and then returned to the mill. In the spring of 1869 he came to this county with his parents, and was employed for some time in the coal-mines and a steel mill. In 1882, in company with another, he established the mercantile firm of Morgan & Semmens at Turtle Creek, and five years later became the sole owner. He owns several houses and carries a large stock of goods. On the day he was twenty-nine years old he was appointed justice of the peace by Gov. Pattison, and the next year was elected to that position for five years. He is an active republican. In 1879 he married Nannie Colgan, who died ten months after, leaving an infant, since deceased. On the 21st of December, 1886, Mr. Semmens wedded Jennie Hunter, a native of Allegheny City, daughter of Samuel and Rebecca Hunter, of Ireland. Mrs. Semmens taught school three years in Patton and Wilkins. They have one son, William Henry. Mr. Semmens is a prominent member of the M. E. Church.

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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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