Tuesday, March 6, 2018

William Barrett Travis and David Stern Crockett

When I finished my research connected with our main ancestry line, I started working on the side branches of the family tree. From one person to another I gradually, I discovered many horizontal family line and connections which spread in various directions. The research in a way reminded looking for the beads of a very large necklace which had got broken many years ago. The ancestors are like those beads, and I was always happy when I managed to find one of them and "put" in the right spot.

Nonetheless, it is always a sort of blind search and, doing that,  you never know what kind of surprise you are (or are not) to discover. Many times I have come across a surname which looked like the surname of a person who became famous because of various reasons. In such cases, I tried to find as many relatives/ancestors of the very name to find out whether there is any link to that particular famous individual. I spent my time doing "the blind search" not knowing which way I should go, which ancestor's descendants - next of keens I should look for. So I did look here and there, trying to trace immediate relatives of that and other person, hoping to find a link to the famous X.

Of course, it happened that all my effort was in vain, I could not find anything. However, in many cases, I did succeed which was quite exciting and rewarding at the same time. It appears many descendants of the first settlers in America were related in one way or another. It seems that in the old days, people of similar social status and heritage kept close together, and families who lived in the same area often happened to intermarry. Anyway, whenever I managed to find a well-known person in our extended family tree, it was a surprise but a great feeling as well.

Our connection to William Barret Travis (yes, I mean the one who defended the Alamo - born on August 9, 1809, in Red Bank, Edgefield District, Saluda County, South Carolina to Mr. Mark Butler Travis and Ms. Jemima Elizabeth Stallworth) is William's second cousin twice removed, Ethel Blair Maddox nee Dudley

What is that connection?

1. Ethel was born on March 20, 1887, in Paris, Lamar County, TX. Her parents were James Gasham Dudley (1848, Marion, MO - 1914, TX) and Jennie Elizabeth Blair (1849, Arkansas - 1896, TX). On April 18, 1911, in Lamar Co., TX Ethel married Mr. Clarence Witherspoon Maddox (March 19, 1881, Murfreesboro, Rutherford, Tennessee - Feb. 1, 1967, Dallas, Dallas Co., TX). Clarence's parents were Thomas Frederick Maddox (1836, TN - 1915, TN) and Amanda Lee Nance (1840, TN - 1908, TN).

2. Ethel's husband Clarence was a direct descendant (7 generations) of William Thornton V (1649, VA  - 1727, VA), who was a brother of Francis Thornton I (1651-1726). It is one of our main family lines.

3. Francis Thronton I's wife was Alice Savage (1651-1695), a cousin of Capt. Hancock "Richard" Lee I (b. 1653-1709), our seven-times-great-great uncle by marriage. His wife Sarah Lee Allerton was our seven-times-great-great aunt.

Yes, I know - a very complicated and distant relation considering William Barrett Travis but still the same family tree. Well, that is not all. I noticed that in the Travis family there was a lady of the name Susannah (1776, NC - 1862, MO) whose married name was Crockett. Ms. Susannah Crockett nee Travis was our Ethel's great-great-aunt. I thought to myself - is it a connection to the Crockett family (meaning Davy Crockett of course)? Obviously, I continued my research here.

What I found out:

1. Susannah Travis mentioned above was William Barrett Travis' father's cousin. To be more detailed, Susannah's father was Mr. Thomas Travis Sr. (born circa 1737, Baltimore, Maryland June - 5, 1837, Wolf River Valley, Pall Mall, Fentress, Tennessee). Thomas Travis Sr.'s brother was Berwick Barrett Travis (circa 1748, Travers Creek, Alamance County, North Carolina - 1812, Mine Creek, Edgefield County, South Carolina), William's grandfather.

2. Susannah married David Crockett (born on June 15, 1780, Limestone, Washington County, TN - died Jan. 21, 1853, Clay Co., MO). That David Crockett was a son of Joseph Louis Crockett (b. circa 1756, Fredericksburg, Virginia - Jul. 28, 1829, Fentress County, TN) and Elizabeth Kinley's (b. circa 1759 - Donegal, Ireland).

3. Susannah's husband David was David Stern Crockett's (Davy Crockett's) cousin as their fathers were brothers. Davy, her cousin, was born on Aug. 17, 1786, Near the Nolichucky River, Present Limestone, Washington County - Present Greene County).

4. Another marriage which connected the two families was the matrimony of Susannah's brother William B. Travis (1783, Maryland - 1858, TN) and Miss Mary Crockett (born circa 1758, Fentress Co., TN - 1860, Travisville, TN). The ceremony took place circa 1857, in Kentucky.
Mary Crockett was David Stern Crockett's cousin. Her father was Robert Crockett (Aug. 13, 1755, Fredericksburg, VA - 1836, Kentucky), David Stern's father's brother.

William Barrett Travis and David Stern Crockett died tragically on March 6, 1836, defending the Alamo and the Republic of Texas. 

Proud of our (distant) ancestors! God bless their souls.

The information is based on my MyHeritage findings.

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