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Below is a family biography included in The History of Webster County, Missouri 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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William Tunnell, of Ozark Township, Webster Co., Mo., is a North Carolinian, born November 6, 1821, being a son of Burgess and Penelope (Bumpus) Tunnell, who were of Virginia and North Carolina stock, respectively. They were married in the latter State, and about 1829 moved to Virginia, where the father died shortly after. His widow afterward married again, and moved to Henry County, Mo. William Tunnell grew to manhood in Virginia, and shortly after attaining his majority was married to Elizabeth Kinser, and moved to Missouri, arriving here November 3, 1843, and homesteaded and bought land in Webster County. In 1863 he moved to Marshfield and enlisted in the Home Guards, serving about one year, when he was called on guard duty to Springfield during the battle of Wilson’s Creek, and was promoted to the rank of orderly. He had learned the blacksmith’s trade in his youth, and for about six months, in 1862, was in the Government employ at Springfield. After moving to Marshfield he conducted a blacksmith shop for a number of years, but about two years after the war engaged in the hotel business, and continued that occupation for about five years. From that time until November, 1882, he was engaged in farming, and at the latter date was appointed to take charge of the county poor farm, and has about twenty-one persons under his care. He expects soon to resign his position, as his age is beginning to tell upon him. July 18, 1881, his wife was taken from him. To their union were born the following children: F. M., Joseph L., Nancy J., Sarah C., wife of Daniel Hathaway; George W. and William J. F. M. Tunnell served in the Federal army during the Rebellion. Mr. Tunnell married his second wife, Mrs. Mary Beamy, in May, 1885. She was born in Indiana, but was reared in Iowa. Her maiden name was Casteel, and she settled in Webster County about 1853. They are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and Mr. Tunnell belongs to the I. O. O. F.

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This family biography is one of 110 biographies included in The History of Webster County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Webster County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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

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