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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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HENRY S. MUNSON is one of those who has made a financial success in life without a partner; a practical exponent of the Amphyction motto: “Commend a wife but remain a bachelor.” He is a son of Harris and Minerva (Stiles) Munson, and was born in the present confines of Westfield town, February 6, 1820. Like the other family of Munsons in this and the town of Portland, he is of English extraction and his father came to Chautauqua county in the same year, 1818. Harris Munson was a native of Connecticut, and was born in 1791. He came to this county and purchased from the Holland Land company a tract of woods from which he chopped a farm. The present and coming generations will never know the amount of toil necessary to make a farm in a wooded country, trees to deaden, then to fell, brush to be gathered and burned and stumps to be pulled and builded into a fence. Years and years of toil were spent that the present generation might enjoy the comforts and pleasures of life. Mr. Munson conducted his farm until December 9, 1872, when he died. He had been a life-long democrat and held several of the town offices. His thrifty habits and simple, frugal routine of life made him comfortably fixed with this world’s goods at the time of his death. Minerva Stiles, whom he married, was also a native of Connecticut where she was born in 1798, and was united to her husband in 1818. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and died February 27, 1862. They were the parents of children, all of whom are living: Henry S.; Perry; Hassel; John J.; Harriett, who married John Wilson, now his widow is living in Iowa; and Sarah R.

Henry S. Munson was early acquainted with life on a farm, where he helped in summer and went to school in the winter, learning his knowledge from books as well as the practical knowledge of life. He now owns sixty-four acres of well-improved land located but one-half mile from the corporate limits of Westfield. He is a democrat and one of the most forward of Westfield’s citizens when public improvements are suggested.

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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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