By Linda Stewart, 5 April 2019
To establish when you ancestor first came into a particular county in a state, you must search the county records. The county clerk’s office will have births, deaths, marriages, deeds, brands, assumed names, etc. The district clerk’s office will have civil and criminal records. The old deeds, brands, assumed names, etc., civil and criminal records are not online. The courthouse is the only place you can view these records.
The deed records will be listed under Grantor or Grantee. The Grantor sells the land and the Grantee buys the land. The dates of when the land was purchased and sold will help with the timeline you are establishing for your ancestor. The deed will give the surveyors description of measurements and will determine property boundaries. This description remains with the land no matter how many times it is bought and sold. The title search of the property establishes the genealogy of the land.
Several years ago, my husband and I made a genealogy trip to Parker County Texas. In the spring of 1855 John T., Mary and their children moved from San Augustine, TX to Veal Station which is located fourteen miles NE of Weatherford in Parker County. John T. received a land patent and homesteaded 146 acres. The patent reads in part “The said survey is situated in the Northeast part of the county on the waters of Ash Creek a tributary of the West Fork of the Trinity River beginning 164 varas south of the NW corner of the preemption survey of 320 acres of land made in the name of Samuel Woody …” John and Mary’s older sons, Robert Anderson Paschall received land in the east side of the county in the Azle community, and sons Lunsford Standhope and John Clay received land north of Parker in Wise County.
During the week, we did research in the County Clerk’s Office and the District Clerk’s office, visited and interviewed a member of the Parker County Historical Commission and the Heritage Society, and the County Commission of Precinct 1 in Veal Station. We returned to Veal Station several times during the week with an 1880 Texas Land Grant map, as well as a modern map of the area, to try to locate the natural land mark of Ash Creek on both maps. Ash Creek ran through the southern portion of John T. and Mary Paschall’s property. After the third time of pulling off the road, Curtis Coffee stopped and asked if we needed assistance. We told him we were trying to locate John’s land and Ash Creek. He took us to meet his 90 year old stepmother Juanita Gilley Hinkle Coffee. We showed her the maps of the Paschall land. She said, “Honey, you are standing on top of it. Do you see out the [patio] door the dairy farm on that far hill on the left? That is the Swallow land. [Levi Swallow purchased the John Francis property in the 1850’s.] The road you came in on from Springtown to Veal’s Station, that is Woody land. From this map you are standing on Paschall Land. Follow the road around that goes to the left and look left. Across the field is Ash Creek. Now if you keep on the road you will cross the bridge on Ash Creek.”
The Gilley, Hinkle, and Coffee families came to Veal Station in the 1850’s, the same time that the Paschall’s came. Juanita has always lived in the area and is very familiar with the families and their histories. We thanked the Coffee’s for the information realizing that God had orchestrated a divine appointment with them.
This is one of my favorite pictures of what may be John T. Paschall’s land. It was either foggy or rainy every time we visited Veal Station. In the background just above the land you can barely see a tree line. That is where Ash Creek is.
Newton, John C. Parker Co. Map, University of North Texas Libraries. The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu