My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  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 GRANT, a well-known citizen of Springfield, has been a resident of this city for more than fifty years, and thus having witnessed the most of its growth and aided in its advancement, he is in a position to appreciate the wonderful changes that have transformed the little hamlet of former days to the busy, flourishing metropolis of the present. Here he has been so fortunate as to secure to himself the comforts of a good home, where he can enjoy at his ease the competence accumulated by years of hard and well-directed toil.

Our subject is of English birth and antecedents, having been born in Yorkshire, England, December 20, 1811. Thomas Grant, his father, was likewise a native of that country, his birthplace having been in County Durham. He was reared and married in the land of his birth, Mary Powell, a native of Yorkshire, becoming his wife. In 1831, accompanied by their eight children, they embarked for. America in the vessel “Experiment,” Capt. Burke, setting sail from Hull in the month of April and landing at Quebec after a voyage of seven weeks and two days. They staid one night in Quebec, and then went by steamer to Montreal, and continuing from that place on the St. Lawrence River, Welland Canal and the lakes to New York State, whence they proceeded to Ohio. They located in Marion County, and there the family had the misfortune to lose its head in the year 1835. The mother, who was thus left a widow with eight children, did not long survive her husband, but followed him to the grave in 1837. The names of the children were: Mary, William, Margaret, Sarah, Thomas, Jane, Ellen and Hannah. Thomas and Hannah are deceased, and all the others are still living.

William Grant was nineteen years old when he came to this country, and still remembers well the long ocean voyage and the subsequent pioneer life in a newly-settled State. He had his own way to make in the world from an early age as his father was poor, and bravely did he take up the strugle for independence. In 1832 he engaged with a butcher in Columbus, which was then a small place. At first he was given but $7 a month, but soon his employer was so favorably impressed with his faithful and skillful labor that he readily advanced his wages to $25 a month. He remained in the capital city until 1836, when he took up his residence in Springfield, and has ever since made his home in this city.

Mr. Grant has been twice married. His first union was with Miss Nancy McCormick, in Columbus, in 1835. Her father, George McCormick, was one of the early settlers of that city, and was the builder of the first State House there. Mrs. Grant died in 1850, leaving the following children: William H.; Mary J., wife of John Mulholland; Fanny, wife of John A. Shipman, of whom see sketch; Lavinia, wife of Quincy Petts; Martin M. and Thomas P., who were twins. The marriage of our subject with his present wife was consummated in 1852. Her maiden name was Martha L. Darling, and she was born in Massachusetts. Mr. and Mrs. Grant have by this marriage two children— George D. and Harriet B. Mrs. Grant’s father, Darius Darling, was, like herself, a native of the old Bay State. When he was quite young he learned the trade of a whip-maker. He was given a good education and in early manhood taught school in Marlboro, Mass. At the age of twenty-two he abandoned that profession and turned his attention to farming, buying a farm in Sterling, Worcester County, Mass. He finally sold that place, and removing to Holden, in the same county, bought a desirable farm there, and devoted himself to its cultivation, making his home there until his death. The maiden name of Mrs. Grant’s mother was Susannah Fairbank, and she was a native of Sterling, Mass., a daughter of Jonathan and Susan Fairbank. She survived her husband a long time, and died at the home of Mrs. Grant at the advanced age of ninety-seven years.

Our subject is virtually a self-made man, his stalwart manhood, sagacious judgment, and good capacity for labor having been sufficient capital for him to make life a success. A straightforward, plain-dealing man, he early earned the confidence and respect of all about him, and has retained them throughout the many years that he has been a member of this community.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

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

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