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Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  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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THOMAS MOFFAT, who operates the Randolph mines, located near Percy, Ill., is a native of Scotland, his birth having occurred in that country on the 14th of January, 1836. His parents were Andrew and Helen (Donaldson) Moffat, and he was their fifth child. When a young man, his father sailed twice to America, but always made his home in the Old Country. He served as Overseer of Roads under the English Government for a period of thirty-five years, and both he and his wife spent their last days in England.

Thomas Moffat attended school in Scotland and England until fifteen years of age, and then worked on a farm and also aided his father in macadamizing roads. He then abandoned that work to begin employment in the iron mines of England, and since that time his attention has been devoted exclusively to mining. He won promotion in that work, and became foreman at the mines of the Rosedale and Fairy Hill Company, which position he filled for seven years, when, in 1864 he decided to seek a home beyond the Atlantic and came to America. At that time, however, he only spent one year in the New World, after which he returned to England and accepted his old position as foreman of the mines. Thus he was employed until 1869, when once more he crossed the briny deep. This time he took up his residence in Braidwood, Ill., but soon afterward removed to Gardner, and thence to Bloomington, this state. Six months later he went to St. John, Perry County, where he worked for a short time, when he took charge of the Eagle mines, near DuQuoin. He continued the operation of the same for a year, when he bought a farm, and with his family located thereon. This was in the latter part of 1870.

In 1873, Mr. Moffat went to Roseborough, near Sparta, Ill., and took charge of the Roseborough mines, continuing the operation of the same for ten years, when, in order to educate his children, he removed to Sparta, where he spent the two succeeding years of his life. We next find him in Percy, where he has since made his home. He now conducts the Randolph mines, of Percy, which turn out about three hundred tons of coal per day.

In December, 1866, Mr. Moffat was united in marriage with Miss Alice Fell, a daughter of William and Elizabeth (Harrison) Fell, who were natives of England, but in an early day located at Rich Hill, Mo. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Moffat were born six children, but only three are now living: Robert E., who married Etta Edwards, and resides in Percy; Thomas, who wedded Lou Short, who died a year later; and James, at home. The mother of this family was called to her final rest in April, 1876. The following year, Mr. Moffat married Alice Lewis, daughter of Abraham and Elizabeth Lewis, of Sparta, Ill. Their union has been blessed with one son, Abraham Livingston.

Mr. Moffat was reared in the Presbyterian faith, but is not now connected with any church. In polities he is a stanch Republican, and warmly advocates the principles of his party. He has served as Trustee of the village of Percy, proving a capable and efficient officer. He is ever deeply interested in what pertains to the welfare of the community in which he resides, and does all in his power for public improvement and advancement. He is a man of sterling worth and strict integrity, and well deserves a place in the history of his adopted county.

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This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

View additional Randolph County, Illinois family biographies here: Randolph County, Illinois Biographies

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