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Below is a family biography included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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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William M. Peck was born in Hendricks County, Ind., on the 15th day of January, 1835, and is the son of George and Lucinda S. (Samuel) Peck. George Peck was born in Pennsylvania, to which State his father had emigrated from England, making the trip across the ocean in an old-time sailing vessel. The latter was accompanied to America by a brother and sister, neither of whom married. The brother lived and died in Pennsylvania, but at last accounts the sister was still living near Philadelphia all alone, but possessed of considerable means. George Peck’s mother was born, reared and married in Pennsylvania. Our subject’s maternal grandfather and grandmother were from Virginia and Kentucky, respectively. Grandfather Samuel made the trip from his native State to Kentucky in a wagon. He was a boat-builder by trade, and, after he had built several boats, he made numerous expeditions to New Orleans, traveling back the entire distance on foot. George Peck was a wagon-maker by trade, at which he worked, in connection with farming, until his death on August 9, 1839. He lived and died in Indiana, and was the father of six children, three of whom, Thomas S., William M. and Helen C. (Mrs. W. J. Lummis), of McDonald County, Mo., are living. Lucinda S. remained a widow, keeping her family together, and was rewarded for her labor by seeing her children converted and members of the Missionary Baptist Church. She was a zealous Christian mother, and died February 12, 1873. William M. Peck was married September 3, 1857, to Miriam Johnston, a daughter of John and Miriam Johnston, with whom she removed from Ohio to Iowa. She was married in the latter State, but was born and reared in Ohio. To their union have been born seven children, of whom John B., George S., Lucy I., Adna M., Frank B. and Gracie A. are living. The one deceased is Laura E. Upon leaving Indiana Mr. Peck went to Iowa, remaining there engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1859. He is a carpenter by trade, and in 1860 he went to Colorado and engaged in mining, which he continued some time with good success. Returning to Iowa, he remained there until 1868, when he came to Missouri, settling on the farm where he now resides in Lawrence County. He has a farm of 200 acres under cultivation, and eighty acres of timbered land. At the time of his settlement here the country was thinly settled, and with slight improvements. Goods were hauled with teams from Rolla or Sedalia, a distance of 150 miles. Both Mr. and Mrs. Peck are consistent Christians, and are members of the Missionary Baptist Church. He is a Mason and a member of the Grange.

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This family biography is one of 272 biographies included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Lawrence County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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