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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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Robert A. Orrell’s birth occurred in King William’s County, Va., March 80, 1836. His parents’, Thomas and Mary Ann (Tuck) Orrells, family consisted of four children, two of whom are living: William J., and our subject, who were reared under the paternal roof, and received little or no early educational advantages. In 1856 Robert united his fortunes with those of Margaret Rasdal, who was born in Gibson County, October 5, 1836, and died February 27, 1886, leaving the following family: William Thomas, George M., John F., Fannie Bell, Elizabeth Ellen, Rufus E., Arminta G., Marion V., Jeff Davis, James K. and three other children deceased. Mr. Orrell farmed in Arkansas about six years and then came to Weakley County and purchased fifty-eight acres of land, on which he located and has since resided. By skillful management and industry he now owns 220 acres. In 1862 he joined Company E, Fourth Arkansas Battalion, and participated in some of the principal battles of the late war. He was captured at Perryville, Ky., and taken to Louisville, but was paroled after one week. He is a Democrat in politics, and James Buchanan received his first presidential vote. His father was born in King William’s County, Va., in 1775. He married Elizabeth Taylor when about twenty-two years of age. She died in 1834, and he then married Mary Tuck. The father came to Montgomery County, Tenn., in 1842. He made farming his calling through life, and died in 1857. His wife was born in 1816, and is now living with our subject.

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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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