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Tracing My Texas Roots: How Many Generations?

It’s safe to say I’m a big Texas fan. Unapologetically obnoxious to be honest. I adore all things Lone Star State. I read Texas history textbooks for fun, make runs to the Bullock Texas History Museum whenever I’m in Austin, and am grateful for the fact that I was born in the Republic. The last fact makes me a native Texan which, for a Texas geek, is a nice feather in the cap (though I readily acknowledge I had no choice in the matter).

With that said, I’ve always been curious as to how many generations of a Texan I am. Three? Four? Maybe Five? I didn’t have a clue. That was until my aunt recently gave me some genealogical work from another relative. My task: find how many generations I could go with an unbroken line of native Texans up to the initial immigrating ancestor. What I found surprised and elated me.

Let me count Texans from the past to the present:

  • 2nd Generation: My great4 grandfather John Slocomb and great4 grandmother Sarah Slocomb (nee. Shoat) are the [almost] first Texans. According to Texas State Archives and Land Grants, they moved to Austin/Bastrop area sometime in or before 1840 (census records indicate that John was born in Maryland and Sarah from Louisiana). That would they mean moved to Texas while it was the Republic. Yup, a nation unto itself! Woo-hoo!!! Talk about native Texans!!! (Why 2nd Generation? LOOK at the Feb. 2020 update below for an important change to this chain!)
  • 3rd Generation: Sarah gave birth to my great3 grandmother, Elizabeth Slocomb Morin on May, 13, 1848, in Bastrop. Elizabeth married my great3 grandfather, A.C. Morin, a carpenter and respected citizen of Houston (who, at his death, lived at 1514 Washington St., but originally was from Philly). I believe the street Morin Place in downtown Houston – formerly Morin Road – is named after where A.C. lived/worked).
  • 4th Generation: Elizabeth “Bettie” aka “Nannie” Morin Brown was born in 1869 in Houston. She is my great2 grandmother (who my mom knew, since she lived up to 1960). She married my great2 grandfather, George P. Brown, Sr., (originally of St. Louis but had moved to Houston where he met Bettie).
  • 5th Generation: George P. Brown, Jr., aka “Partie” (say par-TEE) was born in 1887 in Houston. He is my great grandfather and married my great grandmother, Erma Lee Franks.
  • 6th Generation: Elizabeth “Betty” Brown Cook, my grandmother, was born in 1913 in Houston. She married Jesse Vernon Cook.
  • 7th Generation: Betty Cook Arrington, my mother, was born in 1938 in Houston. She married my father, Gene Arrington.
  • 8th Generation: Me: Yancey Cook Arrington. I was born in 1971 in Lubbock.
  • 9th Generation: My sons: Thatcher Cook, Haddon Davis, and Beckett Trace Arrington, were born in 2001, 2004, 2006, respectively, in Houston.
My great-great grandparents’ house at 2403 Caroline St. (circa late 1890; demolished in 1963) when Houston had a population a little over 27,000. It was built by my great-great-great grandfather A.C. Morin.  My great grandfather George P. Brown II (Partie) is the individual in the carriage, his father George Sr. and mother Bettie are on the porch to the right. The infant is Partie’s brother Cleve. P.S. – My mom, who remembers this house well, said to call this home you had to tell the operator, “Fairfax 36078.”
Another photo of the same day with George P. Brown I and wife, Elizabeth Mary “Nannie” Morin Brown, with children George P. “Partie” Brown II and Cleve Brown (baby). (Original family photos courtesy of my cousin Mary “Mike” Symm. Enhanced.)

Needless to say, I was thrilled with my discovery that I was an seventh-generation eighth-generation Texan with a great-great-great-great grandfather and mother who were citizens of the Republic of Texas! Interestingly, four out of the six native Texan generations are Houston births. Five out of seven if you include my children. All of it’s been fascinating to see. It also makes me geek out on Texas stuff all the more.

Dec. 2019 Update: I’ve done much more research into John R. Slocomb (as noted, his name is referred to as Slocumb, Slocom, Slocum, etc.; he signed his name Slocomb); enough so, that I’ve applied and been accepted into The Sons of the Republic of Texas, which for a Texan, is about as good as it gets! 🙂

Feb. 2020 Update: Thanks to the research of my 2nd cousin, Sarah Shoat Slocomb is actually Sarah Choate Slocomb (she had been married twice before; it also makes sense why her name on the Morin family pillar reads “Sarah C.”). The correction of the misspelled name (still pronounced “Shoat”) showed a much clearer path for my ancestors and reveals that I’m actually an eighth generation Texan. Sarah’s father was David Choate, Sr., my great5 grandfather, who was given Mexican land grants for Liberty County in 1831. One land document has David Sr. emigrating to Texas in 1825. Mexican documents have him bringing his wife and six kids from Louisiana to Texas through Nacogdoches in 1834. Sarah’s brother David Jr. fought at San Jacinto and brother John fought at the Siege of Bexar with Fannin. David Sr., like many of my forbears, also lived in Harris County! As cool as it was that John R. Slocomb came to Texas while it was a Republic, it’s even crazier that David Choate, Sr. brought his family when Texas was still a part of Mexico! Doesn’t get much better than that for a Texas fan!

Picture of Yancey Arrington
Dr. Yancey C. Arrington is an eighth generation Texan, Acts 29 Network and Houston Church Planting Network fan, and Teaching Pastor at Clear Creek Community Church in the Bay Area of Houston. He is also author of Preaching That Moves People and TAP: Defeating the Sins That Defeat You, and periodically writes for Acts 29 and The Gospel Coalition.

4 thoughts on “Tracing My Texas Roots: How Many Generations?”

  1. Hey Yancey,

    Found this after a random google search. I’m your third cousin — My dad is Cleve III. Glad to see other other Browns as interested in our history as I am. Hope this finds you well!

  2. Hello Yancey!
    I also found your article while my daughters and I were working on our family tree for a school project. My great-great grandparents were George and Bettie Brown. My great grandfather was Cleve Brown. My grandmother was Jane Brown Prokop. Your article was helpful in finding out who my children’s great-great-great-great-great grandparents were! Very exciting! Thank you for writing this! Hope you are well!

  3. Wow, hi Yancy, Mom (Becky Gregory) told me about your blog, very cool to read. Since we’re of the same generation, I also am 8th generation Texan – exciting to know. I’ve been trying to find out what some of our ancestors did for a living. Of course, I know A. B. Brown, George P Brown, Sr.’s father was “the well known bridge building contractor of the Houston & Texas Central Railroad…” But I haven’t been able to find out what exactly Grandpa Brown (George Sr.) did for a living.
    I have been able to find some references in newspapers and Texas House of Representatives journals that for several years he was the Secretary of the Houston Business League, the predecessor of the Chamber of Commerce.

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