Saturday, December 28, 2013

From Kentucky to Texas

This week I have been writing about Robert Wheatley's Texas land grant and warranty deed. With this post I'll cover the family's journey with the family from Warren County, Kentucky to Mullin, Mills County, Texas through available census records. Unless additional information becomes available on Robert, this post will also bring my research on him to a close.

Kentucky Years
I previously wrote about Robert Wheatley in my August 2012 post titled "Thomas Whitley and some on his parents." Robert Jackson Wheatley was born on 28 June 1838 in Warren County, Kentucky, and was the fourth child of Richard Wheatley and Nancy Philips. Robert's birth date is sourced from his gravestone in Mills County, Texas.

In the 1850 US Census, Robert appears in the household of Richard and Nancy Wheatley.
Robert married Melissa Catherine Grinstead on 14 September 1860 in Warren County. In the 1860 US Census, taken on 1 August 1860, Robert was living as a farm hand in the household of William McMurry in Warren County. The Grinstead family were neighbors of the Wheatley family. Melissa is living next door to Richard & Nancy Wheatley in the 1860 US Census.
Robert and Melissa had at least one child, my 2nd-great-grandfather, Thomas Whitley. He was born on 5 August 1861. Melissa died sometime prior to 1864. In the 1870 Census, Robert and Thomas were living in the household of Richard Wheatley in Smiths Grove, Warren County, Kentucky.

Robert married his second wife, Martha T. Hays, on 21 March 1872 in Warren County. The family appears in Smiths Grove, Warren County in the 1880 US Census. Robert and Martha had at least three children, two daughters survived past childhood: Laverna V. Wheatley and Donna Mary Wheatley.

The Move to Texas
Based on the Texas land grant, we know Robert & family had arrived in Mills County, Texas by December 1888. Their location between the years 1880 and 1888 are currently unknown. I've included a snapshot from Google Maps below to show one potential route of their journey from Smiths Grove, Warren County, Kentucky to Mullin, Mills County, Texas.
The journey likely took the family through Tennessee and Arkansas to Texas, but it is also possible they traveled through Missouri and Oklahoma to Texas.

By 1900, Robert & family are listed in the US Census in Mills County, Texas.
In the 1910 US Census, Robert's daughter Laverna is listed in the household as married to Joseph B. Renfro (Mills County Commissioner).
Martha Hays Wheatley died on 30 August 1916. By the 1920 US Census, Robert had retired from farming, and was now living in the household of Joseph and Laverna Renfro.

Robert Jackson Wheatley died on 12 January 1922 in Mullin, Mills County, Texas. He is buried in Oakview Cemetery. A photo from Findgrave showing his gravestone is below.
Source: Findagrave.com

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