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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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MILTON J. MUNSON, a prosperous, progressive and intelligent farmer of Portland town, is a son of Samuel and Polly (Hulburt) Munson, and was born in the town where he now lives on the 23d of May, 1828. The Munson family trace their ancestry to England, although indigenous to American soil for nearly two centuries. The paternal grandfather, Samuel Munson, Sr., was born in the State of Connecticut, July 9, 1762, and at least thirty years later went from there to New Hartford, a place near Utica, Oneida county, this State, where he stayed until after harvest, in 1818. In the winter of 1818-19 he started to take his family and make a home farther west. Coming by way of Buffalo, a trip of at least three half fortnights, with the cumbersome vehicles then in use, they turned southwest and traveled for one week more. The town of Portland’s general appearance pleased the party, and it was decided to go no farther. Securing a tract of land he entered heartily upon the task of clearing it up, and in a few years was the possessor of a fine farm. Mr. Munson served in the American army during the war of 1812, and was a gallant soldier. He died February 27, 1841, aged seventy-nine years. Samuel Munson, Jr., came to this county with his father. He was born in Oneida county in 1803, and when fifteen years later his father came to this county he was of sufficient size to be of great assistance. Being among the early settlers they were obliged to battle many privations and put up with much inconvenience. When Samuel Munson, Jr., reached manhood he took a tract of fifty acres from the Holland Land Company and made himself a farm. He was a stirring, energetic man, and a lover of fine horses, in handling which he took great delight.

In 1823 he married Polly (Shuff) Hulburt, a widow, a native of Pompey, Onondaga county, New York. She was a woman of sterling character and Christian virtues. They had children: Hannah B., born January 31, 1826, died January 31, 1847; Harry S., a farmer of this town (sketch appears elsewhere); Milton J., and Alson N., living in Westfield town.

Milton J. Munson was reared on the farm and received his education in the common schools, after which he learned the carpenter’s trade and followed it for fifteen years. In the spring of 1871 he moved on the farm he now owns, where he has lived ever since without intermission. The place contains thirty-five acres and a fine house. Several acres are devoted to grape culture. The location, only two miles from Portland village, is central and convenient to shipment.

On February 11, 1849, Mr. Munson married Marian Hamlin, a lady of this town, who died January 12, 1873, leaving five children, one son and four daughters: Almy, married Frank Maginnis, who is a farmer in this town; Ada, wife of E. H. Taylor, who is similarly employed and lives adjacent; Eva, lives in Brocton, where her husband, Dr. B. S. Swetland, is a practicing physician; Edith, is the wife of Vale Lilly, a Portland farmer; and Samuel. In 1879 Mr. Munson married, for his second wife, Julia Dodge, who died in 1882, leaving an infant son, Jay, now nine years of age. In January, 1885, he married Mrs. Sarah A. (Spencer) Henshaw, of North East, Pa.

In politics Mr. Munson is a republican, a courteous gentleman, a pleasant entertainer and a citizen in whom Portland may take pride.

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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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