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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published by John M. Gresham & Co. in 1891.  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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HARRY S. MUNSON was born in Portland town, Chautauqua county, New York, February 4, 1824, and is a son of Samuel and Polly (Hulburt) Munson. Samuel Munson, Sr. (grandfather), was a native of Connecticut, where he was born July 9, 1762. He removed to New Hartford, Oneida county, N. Y., and came from there to Portland, and settled near where the subject now lives, in 1819. They were one month in coming from Oneida county and a week from Buffalo, the conveyance being a wagon and the motive power oxen. He followed farming until his death, which occurred on February 27, 1841. Mr. Munson traces his ancestry back to Captain Munson, covering two hundred years. He was a soldier in the war of 1812 and served with distinction. Samuel Munson (father) was born in Oneida county in 1803, and came with his father from there in the winter of 1818-19. Being pioneers of the county they were inured to the hardships of clearing up a farm — practically cutting it out of the virgin forest. He settled in Portland town with his father and afterwards bought fifty acres from the Holland Land company, which he lived upon to the time of his death in 1883, June 9th, when eighty years of age. He married Polly Hulburt, a native of Pompey, Onondaga county, this State, and had three children: Harry S.; Milton J., born May 23, 1828, and Alson N., born April 20, 1834. Mrs. Munson died on the old homestead July 19, 1875, aged seventy-five years.

Harry S. Munson was reared on his father’s farm and attended the district schools in the winter. Being the oldest of the family a great deal of hard work fell on his shoulders, but he was a stout, strong young man and work was not a burden. The season of 1846 was spent in McHenry county, Illinois, and in 1851 he moved to Wayne, Erie county, Pa., where he remained twelve years. With the exception of that time Mr. Munson has spent his entire life in this town. He is the owner of a fine farm containing one hundred and ten acres, two miles from the village of Portland.

In 1847 he married Cordelia Spencer, a daughter of Gilbert Spencer, who lived at North East, Pa., and by her has had six children: Spencer M., is in California; Mary E., wife of Hiram F. Morgan, now lives in the town of Pomfret; Byron, also in California; Harry S., in New Mexico, the head clerk of a large grocery store; Melvin G., at home, and Emma J., wife of Ormal Swetland, living in this town.

H. S. Munson is an honest republican and is one of the best citizens of this town.

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This family biography is one of 658 biographies included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published in 1891. 

View additional Chautauqua County, New York family biographies here: Chautauqua County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Chautauqua County, New York here: Chautauqua County, New York Map

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