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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Yell County, Arkansas published by Southern Publishing Company in 1891.  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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Columbus Thomas claims Yell County as his home by adoption, coming here as early as 1851, from his native heath, Sumner County, Tenn., where he was born April 6, 1850, to Benjamin and Sarah C. (Gambling) Thomas, who were born in the same county and State, the father’s birth occurring January 18, 1820, and the mother’s in December, 1824; both deceased, the father in 1868 and the mother in 1878. The early life of our subject’s father was spent in Tennessee, being educated under his father (a Virginian by birth, and his wife an Englishwoman), who taught school in Sumner County for twenty-one years, and completely mastering the various English branches and surveying, and upon his graduation emigrated to Arkansas, where he was elected county surveyor, and in connection with the duties of this office he taught school and farmed, buying 160 acres of land, which he increased to 360; selling this he lived in retirement the rest of his days. The principal of this biography was given a good common-school education in the schools of his day, and after leaving these engaged in farming, being the possessor of 120 acres in his homestead on which is a handsome dwelling, 100 of these being sown to cotton, corn and wheat, two devoted to an orchard of apples and peaches, and forty-five acres in their natural state. In 1871 he led to the altar Miss Mary M. Adams, born in Georgia, January 2, 1851, and the daughter of J. R. and G. W. W. Adams. Her father, ex-county surveyor, and prominent in his county, is a resident of Morrillton. To Mr. and Mrs. Thomas, Jr., have been born the following family: Benjamin (living), Ida, and William (deceased). In 1874 he and wife became members of the Missionary Baptist Church. He is a stanch Democrat, and is an enthusiast concerning the growth and welfare of his county.

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This family biography is one of 124 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Yell County, Arkansas published in 1891.  For the complete description, click here: Yell County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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