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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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JOHN FOULKE COMLY, son of Zebedee, is a descendant of an old family of Friends long settled in Montgomery county. His mother was Phebe Kneedler, of another old family which located in colonial times in that section of Pennsylvania. John F. Comly was born April 6, 1857, on the farm on which he now resides. His birth was in a log house which was erected in 1780, and which is still standing, being occupied by a tenant.

John F. Comly attended the public schools of North Wales until he reached his eighteenth year, when he entered as a student at the school conducted in Norristown for many years by Dr. John W. Loch and his predecessor, Rev. Samuel Aaron, known as Treemount Seminary. He continued at that institution for two years, after which he returned to the homestead and assisted his father in farm work, taking upon himself its management until the death of Zebedee Comly, his father, which occurred in April, 1880, when he came into full possession, conducting it as a dairy.

Mr. Comly married, February 14, 1893, Hannah Yerkes, daughter of Peter and Jane (Davis) Shoemaker, farmers, of Plymouth township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. The couple at once took up their residence at Comly Manse, as the farm is now known. Mrs. Comly was born October 6, 1856, and comes of an old Friends’ family, the Shoemakers being of German origin but domiciled in Pennsylvania from the time of William Penn, The mansion in which Mr. and Mrs. Comly reside was erected by his father in 1857, and is eligibly located at some distance from the highway, surrounded by ash, maple and pine trees, and a hundred acres of fine farm land which slope towards the Wissahickon. Mr. and Mrs. Comly affiliate with the Society of Friends, although not members of any denomination. In politics Mr. Comly is a Republican, but not a seeker after office or emoluments of any kind. He is, however, interested in the promotion of party success.

Zebedee Comly (father) was the son of Clement Comly. He was an industrious and prosperous farmer who accumulated a competence by industry and good management. In politics he was a Whig, and later in life a Republican. He married Phebe Kneedler, of Gwynedd township. Their children: Rebecca Jones, deceased; Joseph Kneedler, deceased; Catharine, married Justus Jones, son of Elias Jones, her husband being deceased, and she residing in Philadelphia; Ann, married Rev. George Diehl Foust, of North Wales, a minister of the Lutheran church; Clement, born June 4, 1847, married September 22, 1874, Elizabeth, daughter of George and Elizabeth (Scheetz) Sickler, of Camp Hill, in Whitemarsh township; Elizabeth Y., unmarried, and resides in North Wales; John F., subject of this sketch.

The Comlys have intermarried with many of the leading families of that section of Montgomery county, and are widely known and highly respected for uprightness and other excellent qualities.

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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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