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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  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 WASHINGTON BISSON, son of Hilary and Hannah (Skeen) Bisson, was born September 17, 1842, near West Point, in Upper Gwynedd township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. He attended the public school on the Morris Road, which was then taught by the Rev. Reuben Kriebel, author of the Schwenkfelder Genealogical Record. On reaching his twentieth year he took a course at Bryant and Stratton’s Commercial College and School of Business in Philadelphia, remaining at that institution for one year. He then returned to his home to assist his father in operating the home farm, which contained thirty-one acres, known at the present time as Chestnut Grove, because of the many chestnut trees that at the present time adorn the premises. During the rebellion James was a member of a company in an emergency regiment, the company having been raised at Bethel, in the vicinity.

Mr. Bisson married, February 20, 1869, Catharine, daughter of John S. and Sarah (Kneedler), Dannehower, of Kulpville, Towamencin township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, and had one child: Lillie May, born September 15, 1884, died July 15, 1902. She was a girl of more than usual promise, and was greatly beloved by all who knew her. Her mother’s death, which occurred in September, 1901, much affected her.

In politics James W. Bisson is a Republican, and has always supported the principles and candidates of that party since he cast his first vote. He has served the community as school director for a period of six years, and has been auditor of Upper Gwynedd township, and inspector and judge of elections for more than twenty years. In all movements tending to the welfare of the community, he has been foremost. He has been road supervisor of the township for a number of years. The family are members of Bethel Methodist church, in the vicinity of their home.

Hilary Bisson (father) was the son of Evan and Ann (Reiff) Bisson. He was born the fifth of February, 1813, in Worcester township, not far distant from where he spent his life. He was educated in the schools of that day, and at the age of seventeen entered into an apprenticeship to the trade of a stone mason and worked at the business of masonry, contracting and building until 1850. Mr. Bisson was twice married. His first wife was Rebecca Eaton, and two children were born of this union: Evan R., and Phebe, who died in infancy. Evan R. Bisson was educated in the public schools of Gwynedd, and afterward learned the trade of carpenter in Philadelphia. He subsequently removed to Galena, Illinois, and there worked at his trade until the breaking out of the Civil war. In 1861 he enlisted in an Illinois Regiment, served four years and three months, and attained the rank of first lieutenant for bravery. After the close of the war he returned to Illinois and married Mary Mudget. About 1870 he removed to Nebraska and took up a tract of one hundred and sixty acres of bounty land. He built a sod house on this land, in which he resided for three years. Subsequently he erected the first frame building in Platte county, in which he now resides. Since his residence in Nebraska, he has purchased government land from time to time, and is now the owner of about a thousand acres. By his marriage to Mary Mudget eight children have been born to him, all of whom are living. In 1841, his first wife having died, Hilary Bisson (father) married Hannah Skeen, daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Zilling) Skeen. By this union the children born were: James W., subject of this sketch; and Elizabeth Virginia, born November 25, 1847, married Chalkley Jarrett, a farmer of Worcester township. She died September 30, 1903. Eleven children were born to them, four of whom survive, namely: Ella, married Havey Burke, who died July 2, 1904; James, married Elizabeth Quinn; Mary, unmarried; and Sylvania, unmarried.

Evan Bisson (grandfather), son of Charles Bisson, was a native of Worcester township, and followed the common occupation of the people of that section of the county-farming. He was an industrious and frugal husbandman, and acquired some landed estate.

Charles Bisson (great-grandfather) was a tailor by occupation. He was a native of France, and settled at Bethel, in Worcester township. He made his way among his German neighbors, married, and reared a large family.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

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

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