More Early Southeast Texas Families


By Madeline Martin

The collection of Thomas A. Wilson’s recollections, published in 1965 under the title Some Early Southeast Texas Families, was so kindly received that the author of this volume, who had edited the Wilson manuscript, was asked to prepare a sequel to it.

More Early Southeast Texas Families encompasses biographies of families from the colonial period when Moses Austin was authorized to introduce his first 300 families for settling in Texas until March 2, 1836 when Texas declared herself independent of Mexican rule. The southeast Texas included in this study embraces the area bounded on the north by El Camino Real from Gaines Ferry to Ayish Bayou and then in a southwesterly direction to the Trinity River; on the south by the Gulf of Mexico; on the east by Sabine Pass, Lake and River north to Gaines Ferry and on the west by the Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers. Included are the southern parts of San Augustine and Sabine Counties and all of Newton, Jasper, Tyler, Polk, Liberty, Chambers, Hardin, Orange and Jefferson Counties.

That part of Texas between the Neches and Sabine rivers was originally a portion of Zavala’s Colony and lay immediately west of the Neutral Ground that had been established by agreement between the Spanish and American commanders in 1806. While some of the criminal element of the Seutral Strip, such as the McGees, drifted west across the Sabine, most of the settlers from the earlies day were law-abiding pioneers who came to the region from the older Southern states to acquire cheap land and establish homes where the soil and climate easily afforded economic security.

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The great influx of settlers arrived after Annexation and formed small agricultural communities. Later because of the vast stands of virgin pine timber in the area, the economy became based primarily on logging and lumber manufacture.

A real effort has been made to include at least one or two families from each county, but inasmuch as the courthouses in Liberty and Sabine Counties were destroyed by fire in 1874, this was not feasible. There are also still other families in southeast Texas whose histories deserve to be preserved for posterity.

However, the 29 families included in this work have been well researched for accuracy and authenticity. Except for the Bevil’s, no family named in Wilson’s recollections is included among these colonial settlers, but he seemed to have known only Jehu’s branch, and the family became widely known. It is hoped that the accounts of these families will give the reader an idea of the excellence of these early colonists. The narratives, except rarely, do not carry the families beyond the third generation and the chapters are arranged chronologically.

The author, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate, holds an M. A. degree from the University of Texas and is an authority on the history and folklore of Southeast Texas.

Illustrated. 200 pages. Hard Cover.

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Weight 1.14375 lbs
Dimensions 6.25 × 9.25 × 2 in
More Early Southeast Texas Families
More Early Southeast Texas Families