"The Legacy"
published by the
Milam County (Texas) Genealogical Society
Rockdale, Texas


The Legacy

The Newsletter of the Milam County Genealogical Society

c/o Lucy Hill Patterson Memorial Library
201 Ackerman St.
Rockdale, Texas 76567


July - August 1997

President 末 Peggy Wright
Vice President 末 Bill McDaniel
Secretary 末 Gloria Martin
Treasurer 末 Jon Cook
Newsletter Editor 末 Marie Hubert
Program Chairman 末 Charles Hubert
Publicity/Cameron 末 Melba Wells
Publicity/Rockdale 末 Francie Herring
Ways & Means 末 Florene McDaniel
Publicity/Thorndale 末 Lucille Towery
Library Chairman 末 Melba Wells
Purchasing 末 Eugenia Newton
Research Chairman 末 Jeanette Jewart

NEXT MEETING: Aug. 7th, 7 p.m., NBC Bank Meeting Room - Program: Book Review presented by Peggy Wright.

JUNE/JULY MEETING REVIEW: It was announced that Jeanette Jewart will not be able to continue at present as Research Chairperson. Sandra Walker was asked to fill that position until such time Jeanette will be able to return. Peggy Wright announced she had purchased the Robertson Colony book for her personal library and anyone wishing to use them were welcome to do so. The Pounder Family donated several books to the Genealogy Section at the Library: First Guide to Civil War Genealogy and Research; Lee County, Texas Cemeteries Vol. I & Vol. II; and, History of Lee County. Charles Hubert presented a program in June on writing a family history.

Our program in July was presented by LaVerne Soefje, Milam County Clerk. The County Clerk痴 Office has much to offer researchers. Mrs. Soefje gave handouts about the county government, offices, officials, duties and what we can obtain from her office. She answered many questions from those attending. She mentioned she had six drawers of original marriage licenses that were never picked up. If you had parents or grandparents married in Milam County and they for some reason did not get theirs, you may request the original record. Some 1920-30 school district maps with property owners names on them are located in the Courthouse basement. Early birth records were reported to the city. City birth certificates can also be obtained from the State Vital Statistics Bureau in Austin. She also advised that Janet Shuguit, with the Cameron City Secretary痴 Office is putting together a map of the Oak Hill Cemetery in Cameron.

OUR PRESIDENT REPORTS: Designers of the MCGS Constitution organized with vision and a goal. The goal was to assist the Lucy Hill Patterson Memorial Library in obtaining genealogical materials for use by the general public.

Since 1991, when the MCGS was chartered, progress has been steady. Genealogy research material has been purchased and donated to the Library, the LDS Family History Center (FHC) supported, websites established (resulting in an increase in membership and queries), research committee formed, book published, newsletter expanded, family history files obtained and more. The rewards of preserving family history and of helping others in their research is gratifying.

In 1995, a steering committee was appointed to prioritize objects for the next one, five and ten year periods. Then objects were identified - one low, three medium and six high priority. One objective was to take an active roll in developing genealogical policies and procedures with the Library. Library Board Member, Charles Cox and Librarian Melanie Todd met with the MCGS痴 steering committee recently. The Library identified their genealogy goals:

1. to provide a significant genealogical research center for Milam County; and,

2. to integrate their resources with those of the FHC, MCGS and the Texas State Library.

Milam County has a rich history and diverse cultures. Its territory originally included all or parts of thirty present day counties and deserves a local centralized history center. Funding will require community involvement. Additional space is prerequisite for additional dedicated computers, a scanner, microfilm reader/printer and additional resources. Library representatives agreed to research location options and MCGS agreed to support funding efforts. The two groups feel this is an achievable goal and when the time is appropriate, will share the vision with the community.



MEMBER OF THE MONTH: Sandra LaTrelle Walker was born on March 4, 1944 to Eldridge Walker & Edith Myrtle Naumann in Austin, Travis Co., TX. Her mother was born in Spicewood, Burnet Co., TX and died on 26 Dec. 1993, Travis Co., TX. Her father was born in Salado, Bell Co., TX [and died on 23 Oct. 2000, Travis Co., TX]. He was the son of Louis Oscar Walker & Mary Elizabeth 鏑izzie Baker. [NOTE: Sandra died on 23 Aug 2003]

After college at Southwest Texas State Teachers College in San Marcos, Sandra began her career with the Federal government in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Center in Austin, where she remained for 3-years before transferring to the Dallas IRS office.

Sandra said: 典here I began the most interesting employment as an Office Collection Representative for the Collection Division of the IRS. I brag that I致e heard every story ever told about why taxes couldn稚 be paid. The career ladder for this position was into the field as a Revenue Officer. I致e grabbed cash registers, cars and houses, sold at auction the most unbelievable things including loose diamonds. I致e been attacked by a guard duck and dodged bullets with other officers when we tried to seize a truck. After 11 years of this duty, I had to find something more relaxing. I transferred to the Employee Plans and Exempt Organization Division and became an agent for Exempt Organizations. Here I granted applications for exempt organizations and did field audits of churches and other organizations. I tell people that in my career I grabbed money fast . . . just to turn around and give it away.

In 1988, she retired and closed up her home in Dallas and returned to Austin to her teenage bedroom to care for her mother who had long-term Alzheimer痴 disease. Sandra has continued to say and care for her 89-year old father. Here is where the genealogy begins. The first item on her list of things to do in retirement . . . genealogy.

Sandra痴 paternal family resided in Milam County. Louis Oscar Walker was the son of John Middleton Walker and Sara Rebecca Mills. They were the children of John Hersey Walker & Mary Frances Wells and Thomas Jefferson Mills & Zorena Ann Toland. John Hersey Walker and Thomas Jefferson Mills both served in the Confederate Army and lived in Milam County as early as 1840. The Baker痴 maternal side, were late coming from Alabama.

Sandra knew nothing about her Walker ancestors because her grandparents were divorced in 1924. She said that must have been her reason for starting her family search along with the gathering of medical history. His first discovery was that she did have one grandfather for the first 5-years of her life, Louis Oscar Walker. Once that information was available and she showed her father, he began telling her stories. By then she had a whole family of Walkers wanting the information and thus began the recording of 斗ong hidden family stories.

展hile I was recovering from brain tumor surgery, I began my cemetery searches for family. What became family research suddenly became Internet research for others in different states. No was a hard word to say when you know how hard it is to under family. My cemetery names began to expand to dates, tombstone inscriptions and birth & death certificate dates. I now have a database of over 12,000 entries with various information. I have always felt this information should be shared with others and I have begun to design pages for my own website on the Internet. I really want it to contain a wide range of cemetery information from cemetery associations and families.

的 hope that my webpages can be linked to the MCGS痴 Internet pages so that people can do some of their own research on the net. It痴 a big project but what a great example for other counties to strive for. However, it can稚 just be my project as I will need input from everyone. The next step was to join the MCGS to expand my education on this county. I remember how, for me, my high school痴 history classes were memorizing names, dates and places. Genealogy does so much more for history. What makes you learn about religion practices, cultural influences, occupations, wills, deeds, laws and just what your family did for you so that you can live such a fine life? Besides the fact that you can make the best friendships!

Sandra began her membership in the MCGS in March 1997 and has already had an impact on our work. She was asked by our President, Peggy Wright, to fill the unexpired term of Research Committee Chairman Jeanette Jewett or until Jeanette is able to return and she has accepted. This will cover the e-mail queries as well as queries to the Society. It is great to have Sandra with us. She is a 杜any talented person with a great personality.



Reunions/Meetings/Etc.: Boswell & Guthrie reunion at the Forest Grove Community Center in Milam County on the 2nd Sunday in September (Sept. 14, 1997).

Heritage Quest痴 Salt Lake Research Tour: Dec. 7th through 14th

Rusty痴 Notes: USGenWeb folks have a project going where most counties plan to put their 1850 Census data on-line on the Internet. It will probably have to be typed manually, unless it is available on CD-ROM or in some other database. Mike Basham, the TXGenWeb Coordinator has designated Carolyn Gettings (Hays Co. Sponsor) as the Leader of the project. This project will be in conjunction with the similar USGenWeb project. We will be thinking about plans on how we will do Milam County. More on this next time.

Also Mike said all of the 254 Texas counties are 100% sponsored on the TXGenWeb. Our counties represent over 8% of the entire USGenWeb project. The counter on the main Texas pages shows over 400 visitors per day! That represents almost 100,000 people so far. The TXGenWeb may be found at: < http://www.usgenweb.com/tx > [NOTE: This is no longer a valid URL, the correct URL is: < http://www.rootsweb.com/~txgenweb/ >.]



QUERY: Ronna Williams - e-mail: < gerbilpp@corecom.net > - Her husband was born in Cameron in 1949 and his surnames are: Springer, Bankston, Williams, Grabener & Dodd.

QUERY: Rebecca Heckel - e-mail: < rlheckel@airmail.net > - Looking for information on James B. Gregston m. Aramantha (Aramantia?) Fisher ca. 1845 in Milam Co. and died there in Feb. 1866.

QUERY: Sandra Nobels - e-mail: < Noblex@pop.frontiernet.net > - Researching John Thomas Whitely (b. 18 Dec 1876 - d. 16 Jul 1913) m. Lula Lee Tuma. They had 10 children. Needs information about John痴 parents, brothers & sisters.

QUERY: James K. Harrison - e-mail: < jkhcov01 > - Wants information on Dr. Marion E. Harrison (b. 1827, AL - d. 1 Apr 1899, Milam Co., TX). He graduated from Louis L竪rande School of Medicine in Paris, France abt. 1852-55. Children: Alice Harrison, Walter Harrison, Blance Harrison, Marion Harrison, Charles Harrison, Ellen Harrison & Eugene Albert Harrison. Was Marion E. the same Harrison who served in Capt. Benjamin Hill痴 company during the Mexican War? Did he serve in the Civil War? My grandfather, Eugene Albert Harrison (d. 1959, Henrietta, OK), who lived in Ad Hall abt. 1897, m. Agnes Lizzie Daggett in Justin, Texas ca. 1898.

QUERY: John Dillon - e-mail: < John_Dillon@compuserve.com > - [NOTE: John Dillon died in Oct. 2002] - Seeking information on John A. Dillon (b. 1863, MI - d. 1922, Milam Co.), who grew up in Wisconsin, m. Ellen Gleason (b. 1863 - d. 1944). John is buried in Burlington, Milam Co.

QUERY: Linda Houck, member MCGS - e-mail: < dlhouck@cy-net.net > - Researching surnames: Buffington, Lunsford, Young & Royall. All living in Milam Co. in the lat 1800s to early 1900s.

QUERY: Jeanette Ford - e-mail: < jpjk4d@erols.com > - Seeking information on Thomas Richard Phythian (b. England), lived in Rockdale, m. Sara Ellen Yoakum (Yocum). They had 11 children born in Rockdale or Taylor, TX.

QUERY: Nelda True - e-mail: < nftrue@SWBell.net > - Seeking information on Reden Alford whose daughter Rebecca Alford m. William B. Harris, son of James Harris. Their daughter, Anna Harris (her name could be Mary Delaney) was my grandmother.

QUERY: Charles Anderson - e-mail: < jazz@airmail.net > - Looking for information on Yarboro Ferman and his brother, Henry Ferman (b. 4 Aug 1872 - d. 5 Nov 1858). Probably born Scarsboro, SC and moved to Milam Co. abt. 1884. Married Julia Petty (b. 4 Nov 1879 - d. 29 Oct 1943). Parents probably Scott Boner and Anna Unknown.

QUERY: Phyllis Seeley - e-mail: < jbseeley@gte.net > - Looking for information on Wilbur Seeley (d. bet. 1909-1911, San Saba) m. Unknown Angel in Milam or Falls counties. Daughter: Elmira Crimm.

QUERY: James David Walker, member MCGS - e-mail: < walker@bluebon.net [NOTE: This is no longer a valid e-mail address]> - I have a friend who wants to share information on the Brannon and Cloud families who are buried in the Sandy Creek Cemetery near Rockdale, Milam Co. Some of the names: Robert Samuel Cloud, William Cloud & Elizabeth Jane Boyd Cloud.

QUERY: Joyce Brown - no contact information - Looking for information on Walter Crites (b. 19 May 1903, Falls Co. - d. ca. 1930-40, Milam Co.), m. Carrie Unknown. Walter痴 parents: Thomas A. & Bea Crites. Walter痴 children: twin boys.



A History of Milam County
by Sybile Chapman, MCGS

Robert Leftwich, representing the Texas Association of Nashville, TN petitioned Mexico in March 1822 for permission to settle a colony in Texas. In Oct. 1824, the national government of Mexico turned colonization matters over to the Mexican states and Leftwich petitioned the legislature of Coahuila and Texas for a contract to settle 800 families on the Brazos River north of the San Antonio Road. On April 15, 1825, the Mexican state gave him a contract in his name to settle the families as there was no precedent in law or practice providing for a colonization grant to a corporation. The area covered by the grant was so large that it encompassed one-sixth the land area of Texas.

In addition to the present Milam County, the counties of Bell, Bosque, Burleson, Coryell, Erath, Falls, Hamilton, Hood, Jones, McLennan, Robertson, Shackelford, Somervell, Stephens and Williamson as well as parts of Brazos, Brown, Burnet, Callahan, Comanche, Eastland, Haskell, Hill, Johnson, Lampasas, Lee, Limestone, Mills, Palo Pinto, Parker, Stonewall, Throckmorton and Young counties were included in the area called the Municipality of Viesca.

When Leftwich returned to Nashville, he agreed to serve as empresario in all relations with Mexican authorities that could not be handled by agents. The original shares of the company were then divided into eight fractional shares, amounting to a total of 592 fractions. Dr. Felix Robertson, president of the Association with his cousin Sterling Clack Robertson came to the area to make arrangements for its settlement. They had a camp at the mouth of the Little River in present-day Milam County and began to run survey lines. Dr. Robertson returned to Nashville in April 1826 and none of his surveys were officially recognized by the Mexicans. In the Fall 1826, five or six young men were sent out to begin settlement but they gave up because of the activities of Haden Edwards and his Fredonians in East Texas.

On Oct. 15, 1827, the governor of Coahuila and Texas gave a new contract to Hosea H. League as empresario and agent of the Municipality of Viesca. The Association in Nashville had petitioned for the change and Stephen F. Austin had carried the petition to Saltillo. The new contract retained the date by which the colony had to be settled. In 1830, Sterling Clack Robertson and Alexander Thomson organized a sub-company to settle 300 families and League appointed Robertson as his agent.

On Nov. 12, 1830, nine families arrived without passports causing them difficulty with Mexican officials in Nacogdoches and the Mexican garrison Tenoxtitlan near present-day Caldwell as the Mexican Congress had passed a law on April 6, 1930, closing Texas to Anglo-Americans and suspending the empresario contracts that had been made. Roberton痴 families were expelled but allowed to settle in Stephen F. Austin痴 colony.

Because a Frenchman had asked for a grant covering the area of the League grant, Austin asked for a grant of the Viesca land and got it. Robertson contested Austin痴 request, got witnesses to say he had 100 families in place before April 6, 1830 and on May 22, 1834, the grant was returned to Robertson who appointed William H. Steele as land commissioner. Samuel May Williams, acting for Austin, in the meantime had granted titles to Mexicans for large amounts of land that the Mexicans sold to Anglo-Americans. Conflicts regarding these titles were in the courts for many years.

Before the Law of April 6, 1830 was repealed, Tenoxtitlan was the center of fur trade on the Little River and the upper Brazos conducted by Francis Smith. After the repeal, the Fort was abandoned and used for temporary shelter by immigrants. In 1833, only five people were settled above Yegua Creek.

There were 56 grants to 55 persons located in Milam County between Dec. 8, 1834 and Nov. 10, 1835. Of the 127 families that arrived between Dec. 1835 and March 1836, 67 were from Tennessee, 17 from Mississippi, 13 from Alabama, nine from Missouri, eight from Illinois, five from Maryland, one each from Florida, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Few of the settlers had been born in the western states from which they came.

Many of Robertson痴 colonists were married, but there were 53 single men and five widowers. There were a few older people such as John W. Parker, age 79 and father of 13. Many were young or middle aged, recently married with only one child. The majority had fewer than four children. Eight single men and one married man brought slaves with them.

Robertson痴 first settlement was outside present Milam County on the west-bank of the Brazos at the falls of the river, in present-day Falls County. It was here the land commissioner kept his office and records.

In May 1834, Nashville was founded in present Milam County on the west-bank of the Brazos River about 2-miles below the mouth of the Little River on land that had been granted to both Thomas Jefferson Chamblers and Francisco Ruiz. The legislature of the Provisional Government of Texas changed the name of the area to the Municipality of Milam in honor of Benjamin Rush Milam on Dec. 30, 1835. Later it was called Milam County.

When the Texas Revolution began the sparsely populated are of Nashville and a few families scattered along the upper Brazos River and the Little River were the only settled places in present Milam County. The Nashville families returned to the area following Houston痴 victory on April 21, 1836 and families trickled into the area, but Kickapoo, Lipan, Kiowa and other Indians forced them to flee the area frequently.



ANNUAL BANQUET: The October Annual Banquet with Lee and Milam Counties will be in October. Our speaker will be Mark Brady, a historian and teacher at Rockdale High School. This year, the food will be catered except for deserts.



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Created on 15 Nov 2003 and last revised on _______.