Tracing My Texas Roots: How Many Generations?

December 19, 2017 — Leave a comment

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 native 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. Remember, they had to be born in Texas to qualify. What I found surprised and elated me.

Let me count from the past to the present:

  • 1st Generation: Elizabeth Slocumb Morin was born in 1848 in Bastrop, Texas, (her parents weren’t born in Texas, which would be hard to do since Texas wouldn’t have existed even as a nation; it became a state on Dec. 29, 1845). She is my great3 grandmother and 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)
  • 2nd Generation: Elizabeth “Bettie” aka “Nannie” Morin Brown was born in 1868 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).
  • 3rd 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.
  • 4th Generation: Elizabeth “Betty” Brown Cook, my grandmother, was born in 1913 in Houston. She married Jesse Vernon Cook.
  • 5th Generation: Betty Cook Arrington, my mother, was born in 1938 in Houston. She married my father, Gene Arrington.
  • 6th Generation: Me: Yancey Cook Arrington. I was born in 1971 in Lubbock.
  • 7th 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 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. I believe my great grandfather (Partie) is the individual in the carriage, his father George and mother Bettie to the right. The infant is Partie’s brother Cleve. (Photo credit: Rebecca Gregory) P.S. – My mom, who remembers this house well, said to call this home you had to tell the operator, “Fairfax 36078.”

Needless to say, I was thrilled with my discovery that I was a sixth-generation Texan!1 Interestingly, four out of the six 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.

  1. …unless I’ve gone about this all incorrectly. Don’t spoil this for me, please. ;)

Yancey Arrington

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Sixth-Generation Native Texan. Acts 29 Network Fan. Redemption Hound. Teaching Pastor at Clear Creek Community Church in the Bay Area of Houston. Author of the new Preaching That Moves People. His first book is TAP: Defeating the Sins That Defeat You.

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