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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Jefferson 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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Capt. M. G. Sennett, recognized as one of the most extensive cotton planters in Jefferson County, was born in Kentucky, Madison County, October 26, 1839, and is a son of Penrose and Elizabeth (Greenwood) Sennett, natives of France, the father first settling in Pennsylvania and then moving to Madison County, Kentucky. The mother’s parents located in Ohio on their arrival from France, and later moved to Kentucky, where she met and was married to Penrose Sennett. The father was a noted physician during his life, and a graduate of Wood’s Medical College at Philadelphia, Penn., practicing his profession up to the time of his death in 1861 at the age of fifty-two or fifty-three years. His wife died in 1864 in the State of Texas, and was about the same age at the time of death as her husband. The parents were members of the Presbyterian Church, although the mother had been reared a Catholic and always adhered to that faith. The male members of the Sennett family were all soldiers of France, at one time or another of their lives, and Edward P., the father of Penrose, was a colonel in Napoleon’s army and a resident of Lorraine Province. He was a political and religious refugee from his native country, who settled in the State of Pennsylvania. The Greenwood family were prominent manufacturers of France and also in the United States. The father of Mrs. Sennett died on the Scioto River in Ohio, where the family had settled on coming to this country. The elder Sennett and his wife were the parents of four children, of whom M. G. was the third and the only one now living. Those dead are William W. (who was a Confederate soldier, and killed at the battle of Elkhorn), Elizabeth (who was the wife of Edward C. Hawkins of Tipton County, Tennessee, and died shortly after her marriage), and Annie C. (who died in her twelfth year.) M. G. Sennett was educated in the schools of Lexington, Mo., and at the Batavia College, Batavia, Ohio. In the early part of 1861 he left school to enlist in the Confederate army, and became a member of Company K, Col. Staple’s regiment, in which body he remained for about ten months, and was then transferred east of the Mississippi River, where he was assigned to Company B, Third Missouri Infantry, under Col. Cockrell. He first entered as a private, and remained in that capacity until after the battle of Iuka, where he was severely wounded, but after his recovery he was promoted to the rank of third lieutenant, and as his merits were recognized again the rank of captain was conferred on him. He then went to Missouri on recruiting service, and soon afterward was captain of Company I, Ninth Confederate Cavalry, taking part in the battles of Iuka, Corinth, Franklin Mills, Oxford, and a number of others. His later battles were at Grand Gulf, Bruensburg, Fort Gibson, Biapeer, Raymond, Jackson, Edwards Depot, Champion’s Hill, Black River Bridge and Vicksburg, where he was paroled. At that time he was unable to secure any conveyance to return home and walked all the way from Demopolis, Ala., to Green County, Missouri. In the latter place he was able to procure horses and traveled through Pettis, Saline, Lafayette and Cooper Counties, organizing companies for the Confederate army. On entering the ranks again he took part in a number of skirmishes, and at Caney Bayou, in Chicot County, Arkansas, his company stormed and captured the stockades at the mouth of White River. He then joined Price’s raid through Missouri, and was at the battle of Pilot Knob when Maj. Bennett of his regiment was killed. After this they took the city of Sedalia, and then crossed the Missouri River, taking part in all the battles in that part of the country until the close of the war, when he surrendered at Shreveport, La. At the battle of Champion’s Hill he was wounded, as also at Iuka, and in several other engagements received wounds, which sometimes aggravate him, even at the present time. After the war he turned his attention to cotton planting on the banks of the Mississippi, but at the end of two years he came to his present location. On his arrival he was almost penniless, the war having robbed him of almost everything, but he received $300 from his father’s estate with which to commence in business. Misfortune still followed him, however, and the end of his business experience found him $600 debt to Memphis merchants. Capt. Sennett was then engaged as overseer and remained in that capacity for four years, after which time he bought an interest in the place now owned by him. He controls 3,100 acres in cotton and corn, and owns a splendid farm of 500 acres which has been greatly improved, and is some of the most fertile soil in Arkansas. On May 6, 1869, the Captain was married to Miss Nannie C. Seythe, of Jefferson County, by whom he had eight children. Those living at present are: John F., Fannie Y., Nannie B. and William M. Those deceased are: Miles G., Bettie G., Susie P., Clifton B. Capt. Sennett is a member of the Royal Arcanum, and in politics is a stanch Democrat. He embarked in mercantile life for several years, and, though fortune has buffeted him on many occasions, no man has ever had his confidence misplaced or lost a cent by the Captain’s ill-luck.

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This family biography is one of 136 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Jefferson County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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