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Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Berrien and Cass Counties, Michigan published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1893.  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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J. TALLERDAY, an energetic and prosperous general agriculturist of Jefferson Township, Cass County, Mich., owns a finely-improved homestead of ninety-five acres, located upon section 13; but, placed in charge of the County Farm from 1874 to 1882, and re-appointed to take charge in 1887, he will remain through this term of office until 1894, conducting the farm and caring for the inmates of the same.

Our subject is a native of Elkhart County, Ind., and was born October 31, 1846. He is a son of Jesse and Sophia (Mechling) Tallerday, who made their home for many years in Indiana. The paternal grandfather, James Tallerday, was a native of Dutchess County, N. Y., and was a shoemaker by trade. His wife, Betsey (Wooley) Tallerday, bore him a family of seven sons and three daughters. The sons in the order of their birth were, Jesse, John, Austin, Andrew, David, Marshall and Calvin. Of the daughters, Rebecca was the eldest, Sarah was the second and Mary the youngest. Grandfather Tallerday was twice married, his second wife being Mrs. Maria Wilson, who became the mother of three children, two of whom are deceased. James Tallerday went to Coldwater, Mich., in the early days of 1834, but in the year 1835 located in Elkhart County, Ind., where he survived until April, 1875. He was engaged in the pursuit of agriculture the latter part of his life, and died upon a farm. He was a sincere Christian and a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

The paternal great-grandfather, John Tallerday, established his family in Dutchess County, N. Y., and on that old homestead the third generation of the Tallerdays was born. The father of our subject remained in Dutchess County from his birth until he removed with his parents to the West. He was early trained in farming duties and grew up manly and self-reliant. Journeying first to Michigan and thence to Indiana, Jesse Tallerday resided in the latter State until November, 1846, at which date he settled in Mason Township, Cass County, Mich., and invested in eighty acres of excellent farming land, which he industriously improved. In 1856 Father Tallerday located near Cassopolis, buying a farm of about two hundred acres, which he later sold. An upright man, of sterling integrity of character, he was highly respected and his death was mourned as a public loss when he passed to his rest in March, 1869, aged forty-eight years. Politically he was a Democrat, and, fraternally, was associated with the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons. His good wife survived him until October 3, 1887, and was at the time of her death sixty-four years of age. The following children clustered in the home of the parents: Mary, John, A. J., Jane, Rathbun, David, Charles, Polly, Keegan; Delia, who was four years of age when she died; Walter, who died at seven years of age; and Rachel, who died in infancy.

The mother of these sons and daughters was born in Westmoreland, Pa., and was the child of Philip and Charlotte (Shoemaker) Mechling, the maternal grandparents being also natives of the Quaker State. Grandfather Mechling was a fuller by trade, and in 1833 was one of the pioneers of South Bend, Ind. He died in St. Joseph County, Ind., in 1870, having been preceded to the better world by his faithful wife, who had some time previously passed away in Elkhart County. The mother of our subject was the eleventh child of the six sons and seven daughters who clustered about the family hearth. Grandfather Mechling was in religious belief a Lutheran, and his excellent wife was a member of the German Baptist Church.

Our subject was reared upon the farm of his parents and educated in the district schools of his home neighborhood. Having attained his twenty-first birthday Mr. Tallerday began life for himself, tilling the soil of the home farm. He was married September 18, 1877, to Miss Elizabeth George, a native of Monroe County, N. Y. She was the daughter of Luke and Maria (Lonnon) George, both natives of England. Mr. and Mrs. George came to the United States about 1850 and immediately engaged in farming. In 1866 they removed to the farther West and located permanently in Cass County, Mich. Mr. George died June 16, 1892, aged seventy-eight, but his devoted wife yet survives. She was the mother of four sons and five daughters. Eight lived to adult age. William is now deceased. Maria Shaffer is the second in order of birth. Then followed Mary Van Mater, Fred (deceased), James, Robert (deceased), Emma Norton, Elizabeth and Jennie Norton. The family of Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Tallerday consists of three children, Gideon, Jesse and Ray. Mrs. Tallerday is a member of the Baptist Church and is ever ready to assist in social and benevolent enterprises. Our subject is a strong Democrat, an ardent believer in the principles of the party. Fraternally, he is a valued member of the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons and is a liberal-spirited citizen, interested in local progress.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Portrait and Biographical Record of Berrien and Cass Counties, Michigan published in 1893. 

View additional Cass County, Michigan family biographies here: Cass County, Michigan Biographies

View a map of 1911 Cass County, Michigan here: Cass County Michigan Map

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