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Tag Archives: Irish

family reunions – and family research – and curiosity

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Family reunions not only bring up memories but create new memories.  Sometimes, one meets cousins you don’t know and reconnect with folks you have not seen in some time.

My Caldwell and Sammon families (like all families) have interesting stories.  We ALL have stories.

The Caldwells come from a Scottish heritage (the rumor was/is that we are somehow related to Oliver Cromwell and King James I of England and VI of Scotland).  Who knows??

The Sammon family was PERHAPS Irish and English.  Again who knows?

Three generations back, two Caldwell brothers married two Sammon sisters – so I have countless double cousins.

Thanks to the internet and recently, Facebook, I’ve reconnected with some of the cousins and it is great!

Exchanging photographs with my Facebook relatives, I notice that  the family resemblance is uncanny (although of course that shouldn’t be at all surprising!).

Living in Seguin, Texas, I have read about Captain Matthew Caldwell.  Try as I may, I’ve not discovered anything about his parents; of course I’ve been curious to learn whether he is related to my Caldwell family.  Again – who knows?

From the Sons of Dewitt Colony Texas site:

Mathew (Old Paint) Caldwell was born in Kentucky about 1798 and is said to have acquired the nickname because of white spots in his hair, beard and on his breast like a paint horse. According to Kemp in The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, Caldwell is thought, like the Burkett, Zumwalts, Kents, and DeWitts,  to have come from Missouri. Baker in Texas Scrapbook says he came from Tennessee. Other records indicate that Caldwell and his family were part of the party who came to the colony as part of the Tennessee-Texas Land Company.   Land records indicate that Caldwell arrived in the DeWitt Colony with a family of 5 on 20 Feb 1831. He received title to a sitio of land on 22 Jun 1831 southwest of current Hallettsville in Lavaca County near the Zumwalt Settlement.   In Gonzales Caldwell acquired the original James Hinds residence  on Water St. across from the Guadalupe River south of the Dickinson and Kimble Hat Factory.  Dixon in The Men Who Made Texas states that Caldwell was born 8 Mar 1798, moved with his parents to Missouri in 1818, became a skilled Indian fighter in Missouri and was involved in trading with local Indians in the territory.  Dixon further states he came to Texas from Missouri via Natchitoches by horseback in 1833 and first settled in current Sabine County where he was elected along with Stephen Blount and Martin Parmer to represent the area at the Independence Convention of 1836.  Election returns in Gonzales County show Caldwell and John Fisher were elected delegates from that municipality for the convention.  On 2 Mar, Caldwell along with William C. Crawford and William D. Lacy were appointed by the President to procure couriers to send expresses to the army “Believing it of vital importance that this convention know correctly the true situation of our enemy on the frontier, and also the condition of our army, they would recommend the convention to accept the services of Major Caldwell, who purposes to start this day to the frontier.”

In Nov 1835, he was appointed a subcontractor by William Pettus, main contractor appointed by the Provisional Government of Texas, to supply a Volunteer Army. On 1 Feb 1836, he and John Fisher were elected delegates from the Gonzales Municipality  to the Texas Independence Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the Brazos and both were signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Caldwell was one on the committee of three appointed to assess the situation of the enemy on the frontier and the condition of the Texian army.

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Happy St. Pat’s Day!

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St. Patrick’s Day was established as a way to recognize Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Originally a religious holiday, it is now practiced on March 17th by many people throughout the world with food, drink and all things green.

One of the largest St. Patrick’s Day’s celebration that I’ve seen was each year in Denver, Colorado.  There were lines all around the block at Duffy’s in downtown Denver; however, every business in town was celebrating.  There was a large parade and the festivities continued until the next morning!  Ah – the Denver St. Pat’s memories!

Know the history: Though history saw celebrations of feasts in his honor, St. Patrick’s Day was not officially recognized until 1976. Saint Patrick has been credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.
Most sources agree that St. Patrick’s actual name was Maewyn Succat. They also agree that Maewyn was kidnapped and sold into slavery at age 16 and, to help him endure his enslavement, he turned to God.

Six years after his captivity began, St. Patrick escaped from slavery to France, where he became a priest, and then the second Bishop to Ireland. He spent the next 30 years establishing schools, churches, and monasteries across the country. He brought Christianity widespread acceptance amongst the pagan indigenous peoples.
It is thought that St. Patrick used a shamrock as a metaphor for the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), showing how three individual units could be part of the same body. His parishioners began wearing shamrocks to his church services. Today, “the wearing of the green” on St. Patrick’s Day represents spring, shamrocks, and Ireland.

The date of St. Patrick’s death is still up for discussion. Some say that he died on March 17th, 461 AD. Another possibility is either March 8th or 9th – the days were added together to get March 17th. What is certain is that the holiday came to America in 1737, and was celebrated in Boston that year.

My Cowan lineage is supposed to be Irish (although I’ve not yet connected all of the dots).