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Below is a family biography included in The History of Newton County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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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George W. Laurance, farmer, is the son of Elijah Laurance, a native of Germany, who spelled his name Lorence, and who immigrated to America, settling on a farm in North Carolina, and there passing the remainder of his days. Elijah Laurance was born in North Carolina in 1808, and was a farmer by occupation. He married Miss Mira E. Tatum, and the fruits of this union were the following named children, who lived to mature years: Isam John, Mary. Melinda, Ann, Pinkson, Pierson, Sarah E., George W., Joseph R., Francis, Jane and Henry C. The father came to Newton County in 1846, and eight years later moved to Shoal Creek, three miles west of Ritchey, where he remained until his death; he died in 1882, at the age of seventy-four years. He was a Republican politically, and a Union man in the war, during which time he was robbed of all his property except his farm. His son, George W., was born in Newton County, Mo., in 1850, and secured a limited education in the common schools of that county. He early engaged in farming, and in September, 1879, he married Miss Dora Cook, daughter of Christian and Elizabeth (Keller) Cook. Mr. Cook was a German who had settled in this country. To Mr. and Mrs. Laurance were born two children: Jay G. T. and Horace F. T. After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Laurance traveled through Washington Territory, Oregon, California and Arizona. They were abroad one year, and derived much pleasure and instruction from this trip. Mr. Laurance then engaged in the cattle business, and continued at this three years in Southwest Kansas. He then returned home and farmed for a year, and in 1884 he purchased a farm of 160 acres, on Shoal Creek, of his father, which he still owns. He lived here until 1886, when he moved to Ritchey, and leased his farm. He is giving his sons good education, and is a straightforward, upright citizen. He is a Democrat in his political views.

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This family biography is one of 220 biographies included in The History of Newton County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Newton County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Newton County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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