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Below is a family biography included in The History of Weakley County, Tennessee published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1887.  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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Ethelbert J. Shannon, M. D., is a son of James and Mary Shannon, both of whom were Tennesseans, born about 1798, and died in 1878 and 1868 respectively. James Shannon was of French-Irish descent. He received a good common school and business education, and served as a private soldier in the Creek war under Gen. Jackson. He was a farmer by occupation, and was married when about twenty years of age. His son, Ethelbert J., was born in 1824, and was educated principally at White Oak Academy in Wilson County, and in 1842 began the study of medicine under Dr. Andrew Eskew, of Lebanon. Two years later he entered the medical college at Louisville, Ky., and took one course. He then began practicing, and October 5, 1847, was married to Sarah E. Moseley, by whom he had three children, all dead. His son, Dr. James E., was born in 1851, and graduated in medicine from the Nashville University in 1872, and died July 22, 1885, leaving a wife and two children to mourn their loss, Dr. E. J. Shannon’s wife died Jan. 28, 1855, and November 27, 1855, he married Nancy Justice, who died August 24, 1856. October 25, 1857, he wedded Mary Justice, a sister of his second wife, and their union has been blessed in the birth of five children, four now living: Nancy E. (Mrs. W. S. Jeter), Samuel, William B., Thomas L. (deceased), and Jolin D. In 1866 Dr. Shannon purchased fifty-eight acres of land near Greenfield, which he has increased to 1,009 acres, about 460 acres being under cultivation. The Doctor is a man of good business abilities and has established an extensive practice. In politics he is a Democrat and cast his first presidential vote for Gen. Cass. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity. Mrs. Shannon was born in Wilson County in 1830. Her father was born in North Carolina and died in 1864. The mother was born in Tennessee and died about 1837.

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This family biography is one of 108 biographies included in The History of Weakley County, Tennessee published in 1887 by Goodspeed.  The History of Weakley County was included within The History of Gibson, Obion, Dyer, Weakley & Lake Counties of Tennessee. For the complete description, click here: History of Gibson, Obion, Dyer, Weakley, and Lake Counties of Tennessee

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