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Below is a family biography included in The History of Wayne 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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Jacob B. Burns, one of Wayne County’s pioneers, is a son of Samuel L. and Sarah A. Burns, and was born in 1832. His parents were Tennesseans and farmers; the father being an extensive stock raiser, in which business he became quite wealthy. He was sheriff of Wayne County two terms. He died on his farm on Buffalo River (which he purchased in 1837) in 1880. His wife died in 1877. His father, William Burns, was the first man to represent Wayne County in the State Legislature. Pattie E. Johnston became our subject’s wife in 1861; she was born in 1843, daughter of John C. Johnston, and became the mother of the following interesting family. Sarah A., Mattie V., Elizabeth J., Mary L., Anna L., Edna (who died in 1876), Lillie J., Carrie K., Lela K. (who died in 1883), Florence B., Willie, Myrtle R., and two infants deceased. At the age of twenty-three our subject began doing for himself on the farm where he now lives, which was given him by his father. It consists of 500 acres, 300 acres of which are in a good state of cultivation. He raises corn, small grain and cotton, and has recently paid considerable attention to stock-raising. In 1867 he, in partnership with J. A. Clendennin, opened a mercantile house in the village of Ashland; but at the end of ten years our subject sold out and engaged in the same business on his farm, continuing about five years. His mercantile life did not prove successful, although he is a man of good business qualifications. He joined the Confederate Army in 1862 and served until 1863, when he was discharged on account of disability. After remaining at home about one year he re-entered the service, remaining about six months, when he again became disabled and did not again enlist He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and is a Democrat. His wife belongs to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

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This family biography is one of 76 biographies included in The History of Wayne County, Tennessee published in 1886.  The History of Lawrence County was included within The History of Lawrence, Wayne, Perry, Hickman & Lewis Counties of Tennessee. View the complete description here: History of Lawrence, Wayne, Perry, Hickman and Lewis Counties of Tennessee

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

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