Summer Research Yields Numerous Finds.



With summer quickly coming to a close, and my return to academia approaching, now is a good time to review the genealogical findings over the last 16 weeks. This summer has been especially bountiful, with over 100 new documents – many consisting of digitized images of microfilmed records, including cemeteries — being added to the Colvin Study database.

Among the new finds was new data on members which, extended the known geographical migratory bounds all the way to Arizona! In 1885, Richard Henry Colvin, (son of Charles Colvin, Jr.) acquired some 53 acres in the Travis Preemption District, according to the Texas Land Office online database. From there he moved to Cochise County, AZ where he and his wife and sons can be found in census records from 1900-1930.

In addition, several digitized images of military records of Civil War Colvin Confederate soldiers — three of whom served as spies, and two of whom died in Missouri – were found. Missouri, as it turns out, was also where brothers, Lawson and Haywood Colvin (sons of Richard Colvin, Sr.) made there homes in the counties of Saline and Clay respectivly, and where Lawson, in 1860, is in possession of several slaves. Haywood later died in Clay County in 1872. Overall, the additional new data features:

— 2 new marriage records (abstracts) which provided 1 long-missing surname to a wife, and a second, much unexpected marriage by Sophia Colvin. She re-married in 1889!
— Newly discovered slave and agricultural schedules which show Richard Henry Colvin of Texas prospering as a sheep rancher, and Lawson Colvin, in possession of numerous slaves.

— Abstracts of Texas land holdings show Richard Henry Colvin represents the western-most migrated Colvin found to date.; in 1885 he purchased 53 acres in what was called the Travis Preemption District,  in the Texas Hill Country, then later removed to Cochise County, Arizona where he eventually died in 1933.

–A “disallowed” claim by William Colvin, (son of Richard Colvin, Sr.,) in the late 1870s, with the Southern Claims Commission, — fully digitized — added not only more than 50 pages to the database but also William’s especially heart-wrenching testimony to SCC agents showing how, while encamped on his Fauquier-area farm, more than 1,500 Union soldiers decimated his property, stripping it of livestock, timber, and supplies over the course of a few weeks in order to provision themselves at his expense.

–A new image of John Calhoun Colvin ( a civil war spy) which includes his wife was discovered in a 1921 edition of Confederate Veteran Magazine, along with additional biographical details about not only himself, but brothers George Marion Colvin, and two others who died in Missouri during the war.

–A newly discovered entry in the book, Heritage of Blanco County, TX, shows Richard Henry Colvin, in 1880, was the census taker for the city of Blanco, Blanco County, TX.. A review of the digitized MF for the area in question clearly shows R.H. Colvin’s name as “enumerator.” In addition, according to that year’s county census, Richard listed his occupation as “schoolteacher.”

— a review of several census records also, added more heirs of 3rd and 4th generation descendants.

— The final resting place of Haywood Colvin was located. Haywood died 8 August 1872 in Clay County Missouri and was buried in the Old Liberty Cemetery.

— And lastly, the final resting place of Richard H. Colvin was found along with an online image of his headstone and death dates in the High Street Cemetary, Benson TWP, Cochise County, Arizona.

Indeed it has been a bountiful summer, and as the new data is more closely analyzed it will undoubtedly yield ever further data, adding to the ever-growing knowledge-base available.


About Alex Colvin

Senior, History, minoring in Anthropology, University of Houston. Charter President, Walter Prescott Webb Historical Society, (Webb UH Main 2014-2015) University of Houston. Additional credentials can be found in the CV / Services tab.
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