Archives For Texas

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 native Texans from the past to the present:

  • 1st Generation: My great4 grandfather John Slocumb and great4 grandmother Sarah Slocumb (nee. Shoat) are the first Texans. They moved to Bastrop, Texas, sometime before 1848. Some data points to the possibility they originally hailed from Louisiana. I found no date of their arrival in Texas.
  • 2nd Generation: Sarah gave birth to my great3 grandmother, Elizabeth Slocumb 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).
  • 3rd 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).
  • 4th 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.
  • 5th Generation: Elizabeth “Betty” Brown Cook, my grandmother, was born in 1913 in Houston. She married Jesse Vernon Cook.
  • 6th Generation: Betty Cook Arrington, my mother, was born in 1938 in Houston. She married my father, Gene Arrington.
  • 7th Generation: Me: Yancey Cook Arrington. I was born in 1971 in Lubbock.
  • 8th 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 seventh-generation Texan!1 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.

The Lure of Land

February 13, 2015 — Leave a comment

Sunset at the family ranch located outside Hunt, Texas. Thanksgiving 2014.

Land can bring quiet and slowness to lives blasted by the ceaseless bombast of social media and popular culture. Sometimes the best tweets worth noting should come from actual birds.

Rather, the want for more country is…the desire for more aloneness and more majesty, for different varmints and plants and rocks. It’s to have the chance to know a place, to start the long romance of finding out what birds nest in which trees, of how the water courses in heavy rain, of stumbling across the midden flint from some long-ago knapper or figuring out how to best cover the bare spots of land still raw and sore from when cattle and goats grazed there ages ago.

– “For Love of Country” in Texas Monthly (02.15) by Sterry Butcher