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Below is a family biography included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.   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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JOSEPH TRUMAN COLVIN, president of the National Bank of Commerce, Pittsburgh was born near Brownsville, Fayette county, Pa., Feb. 27, 1838. His great-grandfather Levi Colvin, of Scotch ancestry, was among the earliest settlers of that county and his grandfather, William, and father, Levi, were both born there. Eliza McDonald, wife of the latter, and mother of Joseph T. is a granddaughter of Christian Tarr, one of the first members of Congress from Pennsylvania. Levi Colvin built and operated one of the first paper-mills in Western Pennsylvania, and afterward engaged in mercantile business at Brownsville, where he died in 1868. His widow yet resides there.

J. T. Colvin, who is the eldest of her four children, attended Dunlap’s Academy, and took a scientific course in Jefferson College at Cannonsburg. On reaching his majority he became a partner in his father’s store continuing three years. In 1862 he came to Pittsburgh and became head of the grain and wool firm of Colvin & Mason. Four years later, he left this, and entered the wholesale grocery firm of Smith, Johnson & Colvin. In 1869, the senior partner retired, and the firm became Johnson & Colvin. In 1876 Mr. Colvin withdrew from this firm, and became head of the firm of Colvin, Atwell & Co., retiring in 1884. In the meantime Mr. Colvin became a director in the New York and Cleveland Gas Coal company, Union Insurance company (of which he was president from 1881 to 1884), and the National Bank of Commerce, being elected to his present position in 1884. He is interested in the Newsboys’ Home, is a member of the Americus club, and of the Baptist Church. His, wife, Elizabeth, is a daughter of the late William Searight, and a sister of Col. T. B. Searight, both prominent democrats of Fayette county.

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This family biography is one of 2,156 biographies included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.

View additional Allegheny County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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