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Below is a family biography included in The History of Greene County, Illinois published by Donnelley, Gassette & Loyd in 1879.  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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THOMAS, JOHN H. farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 3, P.O. White Hall. The genial and liberal gentleman whose name heads this biography is a native of Germany, where he was born on the 25th of April, 1835. In early youth he became apprenticed to the trade of a weaver, and at 17 concluded to cast his fortunes in America, and accordingly during the Autumn of 1852 he embarked on board the sailing vessel Georgia at Liverpool; shipwrecked off the coast of Long Island Sound; after the usual delay incident to a shipwreck our subject landed in New York City. Until the Spring opened he lay ill at the hospital at Ward’s Island, and on recovering remained in New York City a short time. He afterwards hired as a farm hand. Leaving Albany in the Winter of 1854 Mr. Thomas directed his footsteps westward, and first located in what is now termed East St. Louis. When the Spring opened he sought employment on the Mississippi, as a fire man on the Adriatic, one of the largest boats on the river. In 1856 Mr. Thomas located permanently in Greene county, in Tp. 11, R. 13, where he first worked for George Schutz. In 1858 he united his fortunes to Miss Nancy Paire, a daughter of Hiram Paire, one of the first settlers of Greene County. Mr. Thomas possessed no capital at this date, financially speaking, but he had an unlimited fund of energy that laid the foundation for the success that greeted his efforts in after years. Step by step he accumulated his present farm property of 240 acres of well-cultivated land, which will compare favorably with other tracts of similar size in Greene County. Mr. Thomas has never aspired to office, yet has ever taken a deep interest in the advancement of education. Of the marriage, ten children, four only of whom are living and whose names in order of birth are Sophia Jane, John H., Martha A., and Ortey M.

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This family biography is one of 744 biographies included in The History of Greene County, Illinois published in 1879.  View the complete description here: The History of Greene County, Illinois

View additional Greene County, Illinois family biographies here: Greene County, Illinois Biographies

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