Thursday, June 14, 2012

War of Texas Independence



Recently I revisited a family line that I'd left dormant for a while. I offered to try to help my cousin, Barbara Pharo, document members of her family that would qualify for the Hamilton County Century Families lineage recognition.  Thomas H. Probert is our common gg-grandfather.

Gathering the required documents led me to try to "prove" that William E. Probert is his father.  We have substantial evidence, but nothing that would yet qualify as "proof."

What an adventure! I searched for the Probert surname on the kentuckiana digital library site. This site has many digitized Kentucky newspapers.  One of the results puzzled me.


Kentucky Gazette, Lexington, Kentucky, July 25, 1836

The first shock was seeing W.E. Probert, my ggg-grandfather, on a list dating back to 1836. The second surprise was reading that the list was for Texas Emigrants:  "The following are the names of those Texas emigrants, under the command of Col. Wilson, who left New Orleans for Texas." What?

I "remember the Alamo", but I was at a loss as to why 100+ Lexingtonians would volunteer for service in the War for Texas Independence.  And so a new area of research opened up. For those of you who, like me, are not entirely up on your Texas history, here is a brief timeline:



  • 1821 - Mexico gains independence from Mexico.
  • 1821-34 There is increasing tension between the citizens of Mexico and the ever-increasing anglo population.
  • 1834 - General Santa Anna, dictator of Mexico, changes laws to the detriment of immigrants.
  • 1835-36 Texans declare independence from Mexico.
  • 1836 - Texans sign a peace treaty with Mexico and establish the "Republic of Texas." Sam Houston becomes the first president of the Republic.
  • 1845 - United States President Polk signs papers allowing the Republic of Texas to be annexed to the United States.
  • 1861 - Texas joins the Confederate States of America.
  • 1866 - Texas rejoins the United States following the end of the Civil War.

I had questions.  The answers surprised me.  

Next post: What I learned about W.E. Probert's service in the War of Texas Independence.



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