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Below is a family biography included in The History of DeKalb County, Tennessee published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1887.  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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T. W. Fitts, a farmer and stock dealer of the Tenth District, was born March 4, 1823, in Smith County. He is the youngest of six children of Wootson and Tabitha (Winfrey) Fitts. The father was born in 1787, near Halifax, Va. He was lieutenant of a company in the war of 1812, was under command of Gen. Jackson at New Orleans; he came to Tennessee about 1822, and died near Eddyville, Ky., about 1850. The mother was born about 1787 near Petersburg, Va., and came to Tennessee after her marriage. Our subject had but limited educational advantages, but is a man of good practical understanding and business qualifications. In 1840 he married Miss Isabell Foster, who was born about 1812. She is still active and robust. To this union eight children were born of whom six are still living: Sanford (deceased); Jasper Newton; Durinda, now Mrs. Taylor; Golden; Nancy, afterward Mrs. Winfrey (deceased); Delia, now Mrs. Williams; Sarah, now Mrs. Hayes, and Martin. Mr. Fitts and children are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. The first year after marriage Mr. Fitts rented; he then bought an old soldier’s right to 640 acres; the following year he purchased 200 more, and finally became the owner of 1,300 acres of excellent land. Besides what he has given his family, he still has 1,000 acres, cultivated and improved, located in Cove Hollow, on the Smithsville and Temperance Hall road, three miles east of the latter place. He has always been a successful farmer and stock raiser, and made money rapidly, but has had security debts to settle, amounting to about $10,000. He has traveled quite extensively through thirteen States of the Union. He met with a severe accident before the war, which prevented him from entering the service. While riding a race horse, the animal fell, dashing Mr. Fitts’ head against a rock. Thirteen pieces of bone were taken from his forehead by Dr. Gray of Nashville, who received $1,000 for the operation. Although Mr. Fitts is not a church member, no man in the community has contributed more liberally to religious institutions and charity. He built and donated one church, and has given two building sites for others. During the war he supported seven families besides his own. He lost considerable stock and $8,000 in Confederate money. He has owned some of the most famous horses in the country. He raised “Dock Alvin,” “Tom Hal,” “Elizabeth Hill,” and partially raised “Queen Ariel.” He paid $1,000 for “Elizabeth Johnson” in Utah. When only two years old she won a famous race in Mississippi.

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This family biography is one of 45 biographies included in The History of DeKalb County, Tennessee published in 1887.  The History of Dekalb County was included within The History of Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Warren & White Counties of Tennessee. For the complete description, click here: History of Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Warren, White Counties of Tennessee

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