Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Have to Admit I'm Confused

In the previous post I discussed how my ggg-grandfather, William E. Probert, was awarded 640 acres of land in exchange for his six months of service in the Texas War of Independence from Mexico.  What I don't understand is why he received an additional 640 acres from the State of Texas.  According to the certificate, it also was in exchange for his service.

Update: If you ever have the opportunity to talk with someone from the Texas General Land Office, I hope you are as fortunate as I am.  Today, "John" explained to me that William E. had actually signed on for another six months. He was, therefore, entitled to two land grants of 640 acres each. Apparently he sold the first one but kept the second one, reflected below.  However, he didn't have it for long.  This certificate was approved on May 13, 1853 and we know he was dead by February 8, 1854 (per the first-class headright that will be discussed in the next post).

Texas Land Grant
Approved May 13, 1853

A search of the newspapers of the time provides at least one clue. In the Texas State Gazette, (Austin, Texas), Vol. 4, No. 23, Ed. 1, Saturday, January 22, 1853, the original certificate was lost.  A representative of the Land Office explained to me that the procedure in this case was for an attorney to post this in the newspaper and then apply for a duplicate certificate if there was no response to the ad in the time period specified in the law. 

From December 4, 1852 until May 13, 1853, the process really moved quickly. The survey that was included in the documents stated: 
The State of Texas Milan Land District Survey No. 6 for Wm. E. Probert of 640 acres in Bell County on Cowhouse Creek about 32 miles above fort Gates being the quantity of land to which he is entitled by virtue of Bounty Certificate No. 1266.
The survey was verified as "correct" on April 28, 1853 and was patented by May 13, 1853.  There is no evidence, however, that Wm. E. Probert ever did anything with the land.  In fact, the patent was delivered to N.C. Raymond, probably an attorney representing Wm. E. Probert. 

The land issues were clearly not over as you will see in the next post.


  1. How wonderful to have this record! I love land records. I understand that my GGG grandfather, Aaron Walker farmed land in Ohio, but I have not been able to find anything. He shows up in the 1820 census and dies (so we think) in 1825. He arrived in Ohio about 1810 or 1811 so there should be some original documents or tax records but so far that 1820 census is IT.

    1. As frustrating as it is, that is the JOY of genealogy -- solving those mysteries. We'll both hang in there.


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