07 July 2014

#27-52ancestors: Kimbro

Kimbros -- Gone to Texas?

George Kimbro (1779-1860)

Dear 4g-grandpa, I am sure you didn’t mean to leave such a tangled mess of branches. After all, with your tidy Germanic background, you were kind enough to make a detailed will, and it is not your fault that the courthouse in Shelbyville (Bedford County), Tennessee was burned down by the Confederate Army forces in 1863, taking with it your 1860 will.

Lucky for us descendants, in 1865, the will was reconstructed from the memory of the minister who originally drew it up and the estate was then probated. In it, your nine children were named and because four of your sons had predeceased you, their widows (if they were still living in 1860) are mentioned and their children are named as heirs.

Bedford County, Tennessee Courthouse

The problem is the reconstructed will has conflicting information (nothing is perfect in genealogical records, is it?) regarding the children of your son, James (my ancestor) and whether they lived in Tennessee or Texas. Thank goodness for tax records as I finally have been able to determine that James Kimbro was in Bedford County, Tennessee paying taxes from 1836-1839 and probably is the one listed in that county in its 1840 census. Evidently he died before 1850, but not a trace of him has been found after 1840 in Tennessee.  So perhaps he went to Texas as did a couple of his brothers.

That’s why I started digging deeper in Texas records since I knew his brother, William, had gone to Texas as early as 1831 and Neely was in Shelby County, Texas by 1849.

William fought in the Battle of San Jacinto and was a sheriff in San Augustine County, Texas. I was hopefully that my ancestor had settled near him or Neely so I could put my quest to rest.
I have not been successful and while a great deal has been written about Captain William Kimbro in various histories of Texas, it is claimed that he came to Texas with a wife and son in 1831.
However, his two known children (mentioned in their grandfather’s will) were Martha Ann Kimbro and Benjamin W. Kimbro. They were born ca 1833 and 1839, so if there was a son born prior to 1831 he must have died young.

So far, I have not found my James Kimbro in 1840 to 1850 --  and Texas is a mighty big state.
But I found the following about his brother, William, in the "veterans’ biographies" of the San Jacinto Museum of History.

“KIMBROUGH, WILLIAM (ca. 1810–1856). William Kimbrough (Kimbro, Kimbo), soldier and law officer, was born in Bedford County, Tennessee, and moved to Texas in 1831 with his wife, Sarah, and son. They settled in David G. Burnet's colony about five miles west of the site of present San Augustine.

“In September 1835, with the coming of the Texas Revolution, Kimbrough raised a company of volunteer infantry in the area and served as its captain in Col. Sidney Sherman's Second Regiment, Texas Volunteers. After San Jacinto, Kimbrough was captain of the militia company of the Northwest Beat of San Augustine County.

He served as sheriff of San Augustine County from 1836 through 1838, was elected sheriff on February 1, 1841, and held the office until 1843. He was re-elected in 1847 but did not serve through his term.

“In 1850 he was farming in San Augustine County and was elected justice of the peace of Beat Four. In 1853 he moved to Anderson County, where he lived until his death, on September 14, 1856. He was buried in Palestine, and in 1936 the Texas Centennial Commission marked his grave with a historical marker.”

While my quest to find James goes on, it is nice to learn more about the adventures of his siblings who went to Texas.  I may stumble onto something yet about my ancestor in the Lone Star State.

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