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Below is a family biography included in The History of Gibson 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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James L. Berry, dry goods merchant of Dyer, Tenn., was born in Rutherford County March 27, 1836, son of John C. and Nancy B. (Ramsey) Berry, native Tennesseans. James L. was brought to Gibson County when an infant, and was educated in Trenton. In 1858 he engaged in the stock business for himself, but soon came to Dyer and formed a partnership with B. F. Bobbitt in the grocery business, and was thus engaged until the breaking out of the war. He enlisted in the Forty-seventh Tennessee Regiment and served until September, 1864, when he was wounded at Jonesboro, Ga. He returned home and engaged in farming, and a year later resumed the grocery business with his former partner. In 1868, however, they dissolved partnership, and he continued the business with Benjamin Phillips and J. T. Grier. In 1872 Mr. Phillips died, and afterward a partnership was formed known as Berry & Grier. In 1873 Mr. Grier died, and the business was then closed out. Later he and J. M. Hutchinson engaged in milling and ginning, and the firm was in existence until 1876. Mr. Berry followed farming one year, and then entered into his present vocation, but continues the breeding of fine stock. In 1860 he married Mattie J. Grier, daughter of Jacob T. and Elizabeth Grier, of Gibson County. They have five children: Nettie L., Ninn L., an infant son, John C., and J. Thomas. Mr. and Mrs. Berry are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and he is a Democrat and belongs to the F. & A. M. and K. of G. R.

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This family biography is one of 242 biographies included in The History of Gibson County, Tennessee published in 1887.  The History of Gibson County was included within The History of Gibson, Obion, Dyer, Weakley & Lake Counties of Tennessee. For the complete description, click here: History of Gibson, Obion, Dyer, Weakley, and Lake Counties of Tennessee

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