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Below is a family biography included in the book, The History of Tipton County, Tennessee published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1886.  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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Dr. William L. Barret, surgeon and physician of Center, Tenn., is a son of James and Nancy (Sanford) Barret, and was born in Cumberland County, Ky., in 1832, being the sixth child of a family of six sons and two daughters; one son has died. The father was of Anglo-Irish extraction, and was born in Virginia in 1792; was raised there, and received a very limited education. When sixteen years old he moved with his parents to Kentucky, and in 1814 married, moving to Tipton County in 1834, settling three miles south east of Portersville, where he farmed until his death in 1867. The mother was born in Sumner County, Tenn., in 1797, and died in 1872. They were both members of Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Dr. Barret was educated at the male academy, four miles southeast of Portersville, and at nineteen began the study of medicine under Dr. Dickson, near Portersville, and continued two years. In 1852 he entered the Memphis Medical College, where he graduated in 1854, having practiced between sessions. He then went to Mississippi and practiced there until 1857, when he removed to Phillips County, Ark., and stayed until 1861. Dr. Barret then enlisted in the Confederate Army, in Company C, Wilburn’s battalion, under Forrest, and remained six months, when he was sent home on account of ill health. He then returned to Arkansas, and soon after went to Texas, and in a few months returned to his family near Holly Springs, Miss. In 1864 he moved to Covington, Tenn., and practiced medicine for twelve years; then located at Center, six miles northwest of Covington. Dr. Barret has met with marked success in his profession, and is considered a splendid physician. He has a beautiful place. August 31, 1854, he married M. L. Roberts, near Holly Springs, Miss., and of eight children born to them four are living: Dr. Walter M., of Quincy, Cal.; William R., of same place, engaged in mining; Edwin W., a clerk in Barretsville, Shelby County, and Charles G., sixteen years old. Mrs. Barret died March 15, 1880, and June, 1881, he married Rebecca A., daughter of William and Frances A. Chism, of Fulton, Miss., who was born in Holly Springs in 1843. Dr. Barret was formerly a Whig, but his first presidential vote was cast for James Buchanan. Since the war he has been a Democrat. He is an active and prominent Mason, and belongs to the Old School Presbyterian Church, as his first wife did. His present wife is a Methodist.

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This family biography is one of 91 biographies included in the book,  The History of Tipton County, Tennessee published in 1886 by Goodspeed.  The History of Tipton County was included within The History of Lauderdale, Tipton, Haywood, and Crockett Counties of Tennessee. For the complete description, click here: History of Lauderdale, Tipton, Haywood, and Crockett Counties, Tennessee

View additional Tipton County, Tennessee family biographies here: Tipton County, Tennessee

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