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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company.  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 COYLE, one of the representative citizens of Cumberland county, was born in South Middleton township, this county, July 13, 1822, a son of Joseph and Calista (Thompson) Coyle.

The father of Mr. Coyle was of Scotch-Irish extraction, and he came to America in young manhood, locating in Cumberland county, Pa., where he married. His wife was a daughter of Thomas Thompson, a very intelligent English farmer, a resident of South Middleton township. After his marriage Joseph Coyle removed to York county, where he engaged in distilling a number of years, and died there. He was the father of three children, namely: James, Mary and Jane Ann. The daughters went West and married and both died in middle life, leaving families. The mother contracted a second marriage, with Samuel Bear, of Lancaster county, and they removed to Northwestern Ohio.

James Coyle did not accompany his mother to Ohio, but remained with a farmer to whom he was apprenticed until the age of sixteen years. He then apprenticed himself in 1840 to a carpenter named Robert Graham, remaining with him six years. He made rapid strides in his calling and was so reliable that prior to completing his apprenticeship he was placed at the head of important work as foreman of gangs of men. He soon became noted for his excellent work in building and contracting, operating between Mechanicsburg and Newville. He erected some of the most substantial buildings in that locality, which will long bear testimony to his ability. Mr. Coyle has labored hard and perseveringly and deserves the high esteem in which he is held all through the valley. He owns a fine farm of 100 acres in South Middleton township which he has improved into one of the most valuable properties of this section, and upon which he settled in 1855.

In politics Mr. Coyle is a Democrat. He has filled a number of township offices and for six years has been director of the poor of Cumberland county. Since 1843 he has been a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Carlisle and has been very active in its affairs, liberal in his contributions, and ever ready to assist in all its benevolent enterprises. Although Mr. Coyle had few early advantages he had much natural ability, and through association with business men and much reading has educated himself. He is a man of property, all of which he has honorably earned by his own efforts.

On Feb. 26, 1846, Mr. Coyle was married to Mary Ann Johnson, of Franklin county, who died in June, 1890, at the age of seventy-three years. She was a good Christian woman, a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church. They had the following children: Jennie, who is her father’s capable housekeeper, formerly a teacher in the public schools; William G., of Craighead; Rebecca Calista, wife of Christian W. Leib, of Carlisle; James Andrew, at the homestead; Joseph, who died in May, 1881, aged twenty-three years; and Charles T. All the sons became skilled carpenters.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

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

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