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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Bradley County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  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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Jonathan M. Ferrell is a substantial farmer of Palestine Township, and resides near Johnsville. Born in Chester County, S. C., December 11, 1849, he is a son of Thomas L. Ferrell, who was also born in that county, his birth occurring in 1823. He died in his native State in 1865, having been a mechanic by trade, which occupation he followed the early portion of his life, his latter years being given to agricultural pursuits. His father, Matthew Ferrell, was also born in the Palmetto State, was a mechanic by trade, and was a soldier in the War of 1812. His death occurred in South Carolina. Thomas L. Ferrell was married there to Miss Nancy Jane Thomas, whose birth occurred about 1830, a daughter of Jonathan and Jane Thomas. In 1870 she, with her family of five sons and four daughters, emigrated to Bradley County, Ark., where she, and four sons and three daughters are now living. Jonathan M. Ferrell, the eldest child, received a very limited education in his native State, being obliged to remain at home and assist his father on the farm. The first year of his residence in Arkansas he worked on a farm for wages, and the next year worked a farm on shares, receiving for his services one-half the profits. His next effort in the way of doing for himself was to purchase 200 acres of land, which he immediately began to cultivate, and by judicious management has now a fine farm comprising 560 acres, with about seventy acres under cultivation. In 1887 he and his brother, William T. erected a steam cotton-gin at a cost of $1,200, and in addition to tilling his farm, he is engaged in ginning cotton for the surrounding planters. Mr. Ferrell is a wide awake citizen, and is interested in the advancement of Christianity and education as well as all other worthy movements, and he and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, he being now an elder in the same. Politically he is a Democrat. January 25, 1877, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Rowell, who was born March 25, 1856, in Mississippi, but was reared in Drew County, Ark., being a daughter of John and Lucinda (Sweet) Rowell. Their union has been blessed by the birth of three children: Harvey, Luther, and John (who died at the age of seven years).

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This family biography is one of 64 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Bradley County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Bradley County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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