My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Jefferson County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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Archibald Niven, a prominent planter and ex-county clerk of Jefferson County, was born in Anson County, N. C., in December, 1829, and is a son of Duncan and Flora (McDougal) Niven, both natives of Highland Scotland, and married in that country. The parents left Scotland and sailed for America in 1819, locating in Anson County, N. C., on their arrival in this country. The father commenced farming and made this place his permanent home until his death in 1863. The mother died previously, in 1856. They were the parents of seven children, of whom four are yet living, Archibald being the youngest. He was reared and instructed to the duties of farm life in his youth, and when looking out for an occupation of his own, naturally turned to what he was most adapted for, and has followed that calling with success all his life. He was elected to the legislature of North Carolina, and served two terms while residing in Anson County, and also held other civil offices, and for a few years engaged in merchandising at that place. In 1869 he came to Arkansas and settled in Jefferson County, locating at Pine Bluff for a short period. He then moved to his present farm in Niven Township, that place being set out in 1879, and being named in Mr. Niven’s honor. He resided here for ten years and then moved to Pine Bluff, his present home. In 1878 Mr. Niven was elected county clerk, and held that office for six years, leaving his position to the sincerest regrets of the people he had served so well in that time. Mr. Niven has been deservedly successful in his farming operations, and now owns about 800 acres in Niven Township, with 200 acres under cultivation, his principal crop being cotton. He was married in 1852 to Miss Martha Redfern, of North Carolina, by whom he has had five children, four of them yet living: John W., Archibald B., Dougal M. and Nora I. The one deceased was Flora. Mr. Niven owns a beautiful home in Pine Bluff, and has an interesting family to make it one of the brightest in that city. He and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, and are always active and liberal in their support of any charitable enterprise. Mr. Niven is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity.

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This family biography is one of 136 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Jefferson County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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