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Below is a family biography included in The History of Maury 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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WILLIAM A. BARKER, a native of Maury County, born December 3, 1850, son of George Barker, who started out on life’s rough track for himself at the age of twenty-one. The father had a limited education, but enough for practical purposes. He was a farmer, a Democrat and a member of the Masonic fraternity, he was also a member of the Baptist Church. In 1846 he married Maria L. Byers, and by her became the father of three children: Nancy, William A. and George D. He died in 1861. The mother of these children was born in Virginia, August 15, 1820, and is the daughter of Anderson and Sarah (Dortch) Byers, natives of North Carolina. They were married there, but afterward moved to Virginia, where they remained for some years. They then moved to Tennessee, locating in Maury County. The mother died in 1861. The paternal grandparents of our subject were Alexander and Margaret (Dodson) Barker, who were born in North Carolina and Tennessee, respectively, the former in 1791 and the latter in 1801. They both lived to be old people, the grandfather dying in 1878 and the grandmother in 1885. Our subject was reared on the farm, and at the age of twenty-eight engaged in the mercantile business at Rock Spring, and is at present engaged in that occupation. He is also a mechanic and a blacksmith. In 1879 he married Mollie Usery, a native, of Giles County, Tenn., born July 22, 1861, and the daughter of William L. and Matilda (Wright) Usery. To our subject and wife were born three children: Alfred H., born 1880; Florence, born 1881 and died 1882, and Willie T., born 1883. Our subject has a good sound education, and was a school teacher for some time. He is a Democrat, and he and his brother, George, are in the merchandise business together, the firm being known as the Barker Bros.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in The History of Maury County, Tennessee published in 1887 by Goodspeed.  The History of Maury County was included within The History of Maury, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Bedford & Marshall Counties of Tennessee. For the complete description, click here: History of Maury, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Beford and Marshall Counties of Tennessee

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