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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Fulton County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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Judge Thomas J. Cunningham, a prosperous Fulton County farmer, came originally from Randolph County, Mo., his birth occurring December 31, 1837. His father, Robert H. Cunningham, was born in Lincoln County, Tenn., in 1808, and in 1834 emigrated to Randolph County, Mo., where he was one of the earliest settlers. He was an active tiller of the soil there until about 1867, and from that time until his death, in 1868, he resided in Fulton County, Ark. His parents, James and Jane Cunningham, removed from Tennessee to Randolph County several years prior to their son, and both died in Adair County of that State. The wife of Robert H. Cunningham was born in Tennessee in 1810, and died in Fulton County, Ark., in August, 1886, having borne a family of ten children, nine of whom grew to mature years, and eight of whom are yet living. Four sons and one daughter reside in Fulton County, one son lives in the State of Texas, a daughter in Randolph County, Mo., and one son in Macon County, Mo. Thomas J. Cunningham is the fourth of the family, and from his earliest recollections has been familiar with the details of farm life; while growing up he learned lessons of industry, frugal habits and economy, which he has never forgotten. His rudimentary education was acquired in the common schools, and was supplemented by a collegiate course in Macon County, Mo. He remained with his father and mother until 1861, when, full of zeal and enthusiasm for the land of chivalry and the cause of the South, he joined Gen. Price’s command, whose division was commanded by Gen. John B. Clark, Sr., and served two years, participating in the battle of Lexington and numerous other engagements. In 1863 he went by mule train to California, in which State he remained until 1870, being engaged in farming, and in that year he left California and came to Fulton County, Ark., and located near where he now lives. In 1866, while in California, he was married to Miss Mary E. Proctor, who was born in Randolph County, Mo., in 1841. She died in 1873, in Fulton County, Ark , having borne a family of four children: Julia, wife of William T. Cunningham, of Texas; Jennie D., wife of John D. Isenhour, of Fulton County; Rollen P., now in Texas, and Robert H. (deceased). In 1875 Mr. Cunningham united his fortunes with those of Miss Sarah E. Jeffery, a native of Izard County, Ark., born October 26, 1853. Her parents are Rev. Daniel and Nancy Jeffery. To Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham were born the following children: Robert C. (deceased), James C., Edgar, Margaret Ann, Ida, Thomas J. and Henry K. Mr. Cunningham has resided in Fulton County sufficiently long to enable his many sterling qualities to become well known. About forty-five acres of his 180 acre farm are under cultivation. He is a Democrat, and in 1874 was elected judge of the county court, and served six successive years, making an able and efficient officer. His first presidential vote was cast for John C. Breckenridge. His wife is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

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This family biography is one of 70 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Fulton County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Fulton County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Fulton County, Arkansas family biographies here: Fulton County, Arkansas Biographies

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