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Below is a family biography included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.   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 HENRY MAGILL, farmer, post-office Rural Ridge, was born in April, 1841, in this county, son of John and Sarah (Ross) Magill, former of whom was born in County Down, Ireland, in 1803, and latter in Westmoreland county in 1801. The father came to Pittsburgh when seventeen years of age. He married and settled on the Magill farm West Deer township, in 1828. Four sons and four daughters were born to him: Thomas, M. D., in Freeport, Pa.; John Ross, in same place, where he has operated a foundry for sixteen years, and is now cashier of Freeport National Bank; Mary Agnes, Mrs. John Allison, and Martha, Mrs. John Given, both deceased; Sarah Elizabeth, Mrs. John Ralston, in Freeport; William Henry, Margaret Ann and George Chambers. John Magill was a leader in local affairs and county politics, and was county auditor for two terms; was several years assistant assessor of revenue, and held many local offices. He was many years school director, and took a great interest in education. He was a whig and then a republican. In his later days he lived in Freeport, where he carried on the manufacture of woolen goods. He was brought up a Seceder, was then a United Presbyterian, and one of the organizers of the East Union U. P. Church, in 1850. He died at his old home in West Deer township in September, 1875; his wife died in March, 1869.

W. H. Magill was named for William Henry Harrison, who died about the time of the birth of the former. Mr. Magill was educated in the common schools and at the academy at Rural Ridge. In September, 1861, he entered the army, in Co. E, 63d P. V. I., Army of the Potomac, serving until September of 1864. He was at the siege of York, Williamsburg and Fair Oaks, at the latter place contracting a fever. He was also at Gettysburg, Chancellorsville and the battle of the Wilderness, and was shot through the left hand May 7, 1864. In 1868 he married Phoebe Jane Crawford, of Richland township, daughter of James Sample and Mary Jane (Wallace) Crawford, former of whom was born in Richland in 1813 and died in 1877. latter born in 1817, died in 1886. Mrs. Magill’s maternal grandparents were George and Jane (Reynolds) Wallace, natives of Pennsylvania. Her paternal grandparents were John and Mary (Sample) Crawford, born m this county at an early date. Mr. and Mrs. Magill have eight children: Jennie S., a teacher; Charles S. C., Annie M., William J. R., Howard Vincent, Lydia F., George H. Thomas and Rachel Elma. The family are members of the U. P. Church, and Mr. Magill is a member of sessions. He settled on the farm on account of his health and his father divided the place between him and his brother George. In 1882 William had typhoid pneumonia, and he has been unable to work since. He is now holding his fourth commission as justice of the peace. He was elected at the age of twenty-eight, appointed, and resigned at the end of his second term, in 1877, to serve as representative in the state legislature, and was re-elected. He served the sessions of 1877-78-79, and was then re-elected justice of the peace, and has since held that position.

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This family biography is one of 2,156 biographies included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.

View additional Allegheny County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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