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Getting to Texas

Getting to Texas

Richard Ballard (View posts)
Posted: 1063935498000
Classification: Query
Several of my family lines migrated from Georgia and Alabama to East and Central Texas. How did they get there?

I spent much of this evening browsing the links on Cindi's List in her Migrations section. There doesn't seem to have been any particular "trail" going across the southern states... not like the more famous ones that go across the central part of the US to California.

I'm aware of one ancestor (Sheffield) that brought a wagon train across from Georgia to East Texas but have no information about their route or experiences. Seems like it would have been a most difficult trip considering the amount of forest land in the south.

Can anyone here offer guidance on where to look for more education on this topic?

Re: Getting to Texas

Susan Leighton (View posts)
Posted: 1065483354000
Classification: Query

Check out the story at this site. It is a family story as related by a grandmother. Looking at the map it seems like a likely travel scenario. I would imagine river travel was involved as she describes. The family I am researching did move from Bibb County to Milam County at this time frame. At least this gives you a historical perspective.

Re: Getting to Texas

Posted: 1065488718000
Classification: Query
Thank you Susan! That was a good article. Straightforward and concise.

I've always wondered about river travel given that most run north - south. Have also wondered how wagons might fit through some of the more dense forests in the south. And... I've wondered why some of my ancestors stopped in East Texas and others went on to Milam County.

Best guess for East Texas is that the area reminded them of home with lots of pine and red dirt. Or maybe scouts pointed out that there were still plenty of Indians west of the Trinity River.

Re: Getting to Texas

Posted: 1085531158000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1104611984000
Surnames: Broadstreet, Webb, Dickson

The earliest trails were Indian trading trails. The large populations of Indians in the south made trade between tribes very common. Still not easy trails, but wagons did travel them. Many immigrants chose to travel by steamboat, using the miles longer but much easier and in the long run much faster water routes.

Several of my lines came to Texas also from the southern states. One common route before the "big raft" or logjam was cleared from the Red River was to travel up the Red River, across Caddo Lake, and up the Big Cypress Bayou to Jefferson, Texas. My Broadstreet family used this route when they came from Mississippi to Texas in 1861. You should be able to find lots of information about Jefferson, Texas online. There is also an interesting book written by Eric Brock of Shreveport called, "Red River Steamboats" that describes the boats in detail and the routes they took. Most were not the glamorous showboats of movie fame.

When the logjam was cleared by the early 1870s, and the Caddo Lake water level fell making travel to Jefferson by boat risky when possible, the steamboats began to stop at Shreveport, Louisiana. I'm not sure when the train was built, but my Webb family traveled from Shreveport, LA to Longview, Texas by train in 1872. From there they had to use wagons to get to Wood County. They had come from Georgia, traveling first by train to New Orleans, by steamboat up the Mississippi to the Red River and then up the Red River to Shreveport. The boat trip took 17 days because of low water in December, a trip that usually took 4 days. Altogether, it took them close to a month to reach their destination.

I also believe there was a train between Shreveport and Monroe Louisiana during the Civil War. Before that I believe there were wagon trails, which first began as Indian trading trails. My 4th great-grandfather, John Dickson, traveled by wagon in 1858 to Starrville, Smith County, Texas from Bibb County, Georgia. He was supposed to have been in a train of 40 wagons. I understood sometimes they would have to wait days for their turn to go across rivers on a ferry. A traffic jam of sorts.

I have also read that some folks traveled by boat across the Gulf of Mexico to Galveston and then headed north by wagon.


Re: Getting to Texas

Elaine Eure Henderson (View posts)
Posted: 1106422454000
Classification: Query
They also crossed on a crude ferry at Doddsridge, an Indian Trading Post high up on the block of a fork in the Red River above Caddo Lake. One lady remarked that it was so hard, she would never be able to go home again. I'm searching for a rare book about those times written by a traveling preacher, Rev. Charles Goldberg, "The Veil Removed".

Thank you.

I think Jay Gould came here, and tried to get someone interested in public transportation, and went back to New England disgusted.

Re: Getting to Texas

Posted: 1205282346000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Smith, Sanders, Barnes, Tarwater, Priddy
I too have family that traveled from Georgia and Alabama to East and Central Texas. The family from Georgia traveled to Tyler Co., TX...possibly along El Camino Real.

Those from southen Alabama ended up in the East Texas area, while those from northern Alabama settled in Central Texas (Milam and surrounding counties).

All of these made the trip from the mid to late 1800s.

Re: Getting to Texas

Posted: 1207069052000
Classification: Query
I too have folks who went Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Texas. I have a map that shows the migration trails used in the US by most folks. One of them stops in central Alabama and one picks up at New Orleans and goes into Texas. I can send you that map if you'd like to email me at au.beatbama at gmail dot com. I can't attach it here because it's a pdf file.


Re: Getting to Texas

Posted: 1207606570000
Classification: Query
I'm looking for the african american descendants of lizzie barnes who married john jackson menefee in 1913 in nacogdoches texas.I have the marriage license john jackson was my great grandfather

Re: Getting to Texas

Posted: 1209400097000
Classification: Query
Sorry, but I don't have any references to a Lizzie (Elizabeth) Barnes or John Jackson.

Re: Getting to Texas

Posted: 1241454828000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Millar, Payne
Betty, are you still offering that migration map to Texas? My relatives went from Morgan County, AL in 1831 to New Orleans (most probably by river) and then from there to the Stephen F. Austin Colony near Columbus, Colorado County, Texas.

The family of Dr. John T. Millar (1787-1831) moved in its entirety, including servants in the Spring of 1831. Some of their servants caught Yellow Fever in New Orleans and it spread to the family, killing John and three of his five children by the Fall/Winter of 1831. John's wife, the former Elizabeth Payne (1797-1837) stayed in Colorado County, TX where their daughter, Nancy Millar married Abraham Alley, one of the original 300 settlers of the Stephen F. Austin Colony. Descendants are still in Texas and some even remained in the Columbus, TX area.

I am interested in putting a book together about this family and others allied to them. I would like to find a map to display their probable migration route to Texas.
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