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Below is a family biography included in the book,  Portrait and biographical record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties, Pennsylvania published in 1894 by Chapman Publishing Company.  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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JACOB F. RAFFERTY is one of the leading contractors for stone-masonry, excavations and similar work in Easton. Under his direction a number of the handsomest residences in this city and adjoining towns have been erected. He built the foundations for the high school, put up a church in Bethlehem, and is at present engaged in fulfilling a contract on the Easton Hospital.

The parents of our subject were Michael and Margaret (Clemens) Rafferty. The father came from Ireland when a boy, in the early part of this century. For a short time he lived in New York City, and then traveled over a large share of the country. He was a man of good business education, and a practical stonemason by trade. For some twenty years prior to his death he made his home in Ohio, where he operated a farm, of which he was the owner. His death occurred in February, 1877, at the age of eighty-four years. His wife died in the preceding May, in her sixty-ninth year. They were the parents of twelve children, namely: John; Mary Ann and Sallie, who died in infancy; Hannah, Felix, Jacob F., Margaret M., Ellen, Michael, Peter, James A., and Mary, the second of the name. The father was a member of the Catholic Church, and in politics was a Democrat. The birth of Mr. Rafferty occurred in Williams Township, Northampton County, on the 15th of May, 1837. His education was confined to the district schools of his native township, which he attended more or less until he was fifteen years old. He then went to the western part of the state, and for a number of years was engaged in the lumber business in Elk County. In 1878 he returned to Easton and learned the mason’s trade, which he has followed ever since. He soon became a contractor, and has met with good success in his chosen vocation. From time to time he has had awarded him extensive and responsible contracts on large public and private buildings, and has shown himself worthy of the confidence which has been bestowed upon him, for in the execution of his work he is thorough and painstaking. In 1894 he took into partnership with him his son, Charles, and the firm name became J. F. Rafferty & Son. Our subject is interested in various local industries, which he has helped to promote to the best of his ability.

On political questions Mr. Rafferty sides with the Democratic party. He has upon several occasions been called upon to serve in an official capacity, and for three years was a member of the City Council, and for two terms was City Assessor. He is a member of the German Reformed Church, and in his social relations is identified with Lehighton Lodge No. 244, I. O.O. F., and Easton Lodge No. 52, F. & A. M.

November 13, 1862, Mr. Rafferty married Miss Anna Louise, daughter of Michael Fraunfelter, of Easton. Their two children are: Alice, who is at home, and Charles, who is engaged in business with his father. The latter married Emma Ziegenhorn, and is a resident of this city.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the book, Portrait and biographical record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties, Pennsylvania published in 1894 by Chapman Publishing Company. 

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

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