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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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Polk D. Burns was born in 1844, in Tennessee. His father, Samuel L. Burns, was a farmer and stock raiser, and lived the greater part of his life in Wayne County, Tenn. He married Sarah A. Baker, and both were born in 1814. They married in 1830, and became the parents of thirteen children, seven of whom are yet living. The father died June 20, 1880, and his widow February 24, 1874. Our subject was married in 1871 to Sallie Kelley, who was born in Tennessee in 1847, and is the daughter of Riley and Sallie Kelley. Mr. and Mrs. Burns became the parents of nine children: Lou E., Sam (died in 1881), Riley K., Thomas T., Bill B., Biffle F., Jennie P. and two infants (deceased) unnamed. Our subject’s early days were spent on a farm, and at the age of twenty-six he began doing for himself. He opened a mercantile store in Flatwood in 1868, but at the end of one year sold out and resumed farming. In 1880 he purchased his present farm of 1,000 acres, on which he raises corn, grass and stock. He also owns a one-half interest in 300 acres of land near Ashland, in this county. He served in the Confederate Army in the late war, enlisting in 1862. He served until the close of the war, and surrendered at Jonesboro in May, 1865. He was not wounded nor taken prisoner during his entire service. He is a Mason, and a stanch Democrat in politics, and one of the worthy citizens of the county.

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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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