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Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  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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JAMES G. SYMPSON, a native of Randolph County, was born and reared on section 8, township 8, range 5. He was the son of William and Nancy (Knox) Sympson, natives of Kentucky and Tennessee respectively, who came to Illinois in an early day, and were numbered among the first settlers in this part of the western wilds. They are now deceased, the father having died February 27, 1850, and the mother March 21, 1892, at the age of about eighty-two years. They had a family of seven children, of whom the fifth was James G. He was born August 11, 1839, and departed this life July 14, 1892, at the homestead on section 8, where he had lived since 1885. During his boyhood he attended the common schools and grew to manhood, surrounded by the usual environments of pioneer life.

At the age of twenty, Mr. Sympson was united in marriage with Miss Mary E., daughter of James and Gillah (Kreider) Barber, the former probably a native of Ohio, while the latter was born in Virginia and was of German descent. When a young man, James Barber accompanied his father and the other members of the family on their removal from Ohio to Illinois, and his marriage occurred at Kaskaskia, this state. He responded to his country’s call for soldiers at the time of the Black Hawk War, and was ever a loyal citizen and upright man. His death occurred in May, 1877. His widow is still living (1894), and has now attained four score years.

To our subject and his wife were born eleven children, eight of whom grew to maturity. Their record is as follows: Nancy, who is the wife of Andrew Brownfield, is living near Ava, Ill.; Emma died in infancy; Gillah died when eleven years old; Florence, James, Edward, Annie, Bertha, Logan and Grace are at home with their mother and are attending school; John, the seventh in order of birth, died in infancy.

In religious connections Mr. Sympson was a member of the Christian Church, as are his good wife and all the children, with the exception of the three youngest. In 1872 our subject moved with his family to Paradise, Perry County, this state, where he resided for a twelvemonth. Thence he went to Bollinger County, Mo., and sojourned for two years near Marquand. He had hoped to there regain his health, but, finding no relief, he returned to his native county and resided until his death. Mrs. Sympson continues to conduct the homestead of one hundred acres, which was her birthplace. She is an excellent lady, amiable and hospitable, and is training her children for positions of usefulness in business and social circles.

In 1862 Mr. Sympson enlisted in Company A, Eightieth Illinois Infantry, and served until the close of the war. He was twice wounded, and lost a foot in the service of his country. He was a member of Rockwood Post No. 734, G. A. R. A Republican throughout his entire life, he cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. He was highly respected by all with whom he had social or business relations, and his demise was mourned by a large number of friends and acquaintances.

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This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

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

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