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Home: Surnames: Barnhill Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Barnhills of Louisiana and Texas
Posted by: Cathy Osborn (ID *****1895) Date: July 31, 2009 at 22:33:02
In Reply to: Re: John W. Barnhill and Dorothy "Dollie" Dortch of Feliciana Parish, LA by Stan Barnhill of 1661

Hello Stan,

Something you already knew and has taken time for me to learn, being fairly new to genealogy, is that there is a limit to what you can research and still maintain good mental health...smiling.

So, would like to help you out with researching this earlier period of time but what have decided for now is to limit my range of research to only the Barnhills and connected families of early Louisiana and Texas during the late 1700s and early 1800s. Even within these limits this job may prove to be more than one person can handle?

My William Barnhill, Sr. line has been researched directly to me here in Louisiana, so there is no mystery there but started out researching his son, William Barnhill, Jr., and the other members of his family who settled in Texas because of his land grant.

As you know without direct access to records we are dependent on what other researchers have found, what is posted online and the mistakes that are found there. Some of these errors were done by the people who were making these records in the beginning, some are due to the poor quality and old style of writing, and some are just errors done by the places who maintain these records.

Anyway, what I am trying to say here is that someone can point you to where the records are located but it is always prudent to look at the records yourself and that can be a very costly and time consuming task. One person could spend years just researching the Territories, then the period right after the Louisiana Purchase and never finish the job, that is if they plan on looking at all of the records...sigh.

Know when my William Hodge Barnhill line settled in Lousiana because of the research done by Fern Albritton, don't think anyone has completley researched his siblings who settled in Texas yet?

Right now researching who seems to have been the first Barnhill to have settled in Lousiana, John Barnhill and connected families. And, there is always the question of John N. Barnhill, so what I am currently doing is trying to prove that not all of the Red Rovers in Texas were really from Alabama and have found at least four who were not.

Zachariah H. Short, 4th Sgt. company of Red Rovers in Texas was from Missouri, owned land and left a wife and children in Missouri. From the journal of Dr. Joseph H. Barnard and court of claim records for Z. H. Short, have found a wealth of information. Dr. Barnard and Mr. Short both came down the Mississippi River together from St. Louis, Missouri on the steamer Junius and landed at New Orleans, Louisiana. From there they both boarded the schooner Aurora out of the Port of New Orleans, as well as John N. Barnhill, ( see: Zachariah Shore) and sailed to Matagorda, Texas. Dr. Barnard states that he was not attached to any company at that point and don't see how Mr. Short could have been either since he came from St. Louis?

During those first weeks Dr. Barnard stated that he and the other volunteers were in a state of confusion and awaiting orders on what to do next? Dr. Barnard traveled to Texana, made the acquaintance of Ctp. Shackelford and his Red Rovers and along with them awaited orders from the governor. The then acting governor instructed Cpt. Shackelford and company to proceed to La Bahia/Goliad and place himself in the command of Col. Fannin.

Two days later a courier from Goliad brought news of the approach of Mexican troops and letters from Col. Fannin urging all volunteers to proceed immediately westward. Dr. Barnard then goes on to state that he immediately joined Cpt. Shackelford's company and marched with them to Goliad.

Now is where it gets interesting because Dr. Barnard states that he found in this company of Red Rovers three men who had come down the Mississippi River on the steamer Junius with him. This group of volunteers making the journey to Goliad numbered about seventy, about sixty or more were the company of Red Rovers and eight or ten others who traveled with them and then joined other companies.

By Dr. Barnard's own account Zachariah Short was one of these three men who traveled down the Mississippi River on the steamer Junius with him and all three men were then members of the Red Rovers. Besides the Red Rovers two other companies of men were traveling to Goliad with them, the Georgia and Lafayette companies of Georgia.

By historical accounts Cpt. Shackelford's company of Red Rovers from Courtland, Alabama number fifty-five, by Dr. Barnard's own account there were four men, including themself who came from St. Louis and joined this company after landing in Texas.

The question has always been where John N. Barnhill came from before volunteering for Texas? Long held belief is that he came from Alabama but what now believe, based on these recent findings, is that you didn't have to be from Alabama to be a Red Rover in Texas.

At this point John N., John A., or John H. Barnhill as I have seen him listed, is still the Barnhill who died at Goliad because apparently there are no other records of Barnhill volunteers during the independence of Texas?

John N. Barnhill was not the only member of his connected family to volunteer for Texas. One was John C. Walker a cousin through marriage to Parsons and Ann Dortch Carter's daughter of Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Along with the other Carter cousins he received land in Texas through John's estate and there may be other court of claim records for other connected family that have just not come to light yet? Do have a lead on a brother of Ann Dortch Carter's who claimed land in Texas and settled there as John C. Walker did.

Lots to do but what I seem to be good at is research and a lacking in computer skills so will have to leave it to others like yourself Stan to get the information out there to other interested parties.


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