JABEZ FITZGERALD, born about 1787 in Tennessee, was the son of the Garrett
Fitzgerald and Jane Moore. He married Elizabeth, surname unknown, about
1805 and purchased land in Marion County, AL, 8 March 1822. Jabez
is listed as a private in Capt. William Russell's Company of Mounted Spies
in the state of TN.
On the company muster and pay roll
he is listed as serving from 4 October 1813 through 4 April 1814.
Jabez Fitzgerald appears on the 1830 Marion County, AL, and census, as
head of household. We find him in 1836, as Strickland,in his History
of Fannin County 1836-1843, says, Jabez Fitzgerald, along with his family
came overland through Arkansas and the Cherokee county to Fort Towsen Landing.
There they crossed the Red River to Jonesboro,which was in the Mexican
province of Texas located north of the present day Clarksville,TX. At Jonesboro,
he and Mark R. Roberts
joined Daniel Rowlett's party, which
had left Memphis, TN, in the fall of 1835, arriving in Jonesboro 1 March
1836. Rowlett's party consisted of John and Edward Stephens, Daniel Slack,
and Richard H. Locke. This group had engaged the services of Captain
Benjamin Crook of the Steamboat "Rover" to bring them to Jonesboro.
About the last of March 1836, these pioneers left Jonesboro headed for
the home of Carter B.Clifft on Bois d'Arc Creek. They arrived there
about the first of April. The women, children, and slaves remained
at the Clifft's compound, while the men ventured further west on
the river in search of favorable places
to establish their new homes.Jabez Fitzgerald, and most of the rest of
the party, settled at a location on Red River called Pepper Mill Creek.
This area was later renamed Tulip Bend, because of the natural bend made
by Red River. Early Fannin County deed and probate records refer
to this community as Lexington. During the first months, these pioneers
were busy building homes, clearing land, and making the settlement secure.
But from time to time, detachments were sent out to determine the location
and mood of the Indians in the area.
settlers were killed by the Indians between 1836 and 1843, but more often
renegade bands of Indians made thieving raids from north of Red River or
Arkansas. On 1 May 1839, a group of twelve citizens set out in an
attempt to recover some horses stolen the previous night from Jabez Fitzgerald
John R. Garnett (Jabez's son-in-law),John Duncan, George Duncan, George
Dameron,J. C. Dodds, John Davis, and Isham Davis. The horses were
trailed into the Indian Territory and some almost to Ft. Smith, AR.
Those horses in Arkansas were in the possession of a Cherokee Indian,
and some were recovered.
As soon as possible, several men from the settlement left for south Texas
to join the war against Mexico for Texas Independence. Jabez Fitzgerald,
considered an old man at age 50, did not accompany the group; but he loaned
a man a horse, which enabled one more man to enter the fight. For
this deed,Jabez Fitzgerald was later granted an additional Land Certificate
by the Republic of Texas Board of Land Commissioners for 640 acres.
Fitzgerald's original claim was on Red River, directly north of Ft. Inglish,
now Bonham, Texas. A Texas Historical Marker, bearing Jabez's name along
with the others in the Daniel Rowlett party, stands a Tulip denoting that
men were the original settlers of the
area. Court records in 1838/9 show that Jabez Fitzgerald and Thomas Jouett
were granted permission to operate a ferry across Red River near the mouth
of the Blue River. On the Republic of Texas 1840 census, Jabez is
listed in Fannin County as follows: 1 poll, 872 acres, 3 slaves, 1 stud
horse, and 1 wooden clock.
her History of Fannin County, refers to a Garrett Fitzgerald, as a brother
to Jabez. They were likely not brothers. It is believed that
Garrett was the son of William, who was a brother to Jabez. So this
would make Garrett, Jabez's nephew. This Garrett Fitzgerald along with
a wife named Margaret, is found on early census records.
By using these census records,
we place this Garrett in the same county in 1830 and 1840 as Jabez. This
Garrett Fitzgerald died in 1859 naming "Elizabeth" as his widow. So he
married at least twice, it would appear. This Garrett was the father
of John Denison, James, Elizabeth Jane,
and others; but not a Garrett. Jr. There was a younger Garrett Fitzgerald
also found on the 1830 Marion Co.,AL, census on the farm next to Jabez
Fitzgerald. He is listed as head of the household, aged 20-30, with
a wife, and a son under the age of five. This Garrett Fitzgerald, who is
our ancestor, also came to Texas. He and his family are found on
the 1850 Fannin County census as G. Fitzgerald aged 43/45 born in TN, wife
Nancy aged 40, born in SC; W. P. male aged 20 born in AL, along with other
children born after 1830. Jabez named Garrett
Fitzgerald as a son in his will dated
1841/1843. It is confusing to have two Garrett Fitzgeralds from Marion
County, AL, arrive in the Republic of Texas about the same time, but even
more confusing in that the younger Garrett was referred to as Garrett,
Jr. when he was not the son of the older Garrett. But it was not
uncommon at that time one to be called "junior" to distinguish him from
his older relative, which was done in this case.
All ten children
of Jabez and Elizabeth Fitzgerald accompanied them to Texas, or soon followed.
Patrick, a young single man, died 5 March 1836, soon after his arrival
in Texas. Jabez filed a land claim on Patrick's behalf, as heir to
estate, and was granted one-third league
of land in Cooke County, TX, as Patrick's headright.
an older son born about 1806, left his wife and children in Alabama when
he came to Texas in 1836. His family joined him in Texas in
1844. William R., a son, married Nancy A., likely Boswell. Three
of Jabez's older
children are listed by name in his
will. They were Garrett, William R. and Margaret Baker. Thomas
Jenkins, William Sadler, and John R. Garnett are listed as sons-in-law.
Sarah Fitzgerald was married to William Sadler, and Margaret to
James Baker. The daughter who
married Thomas Jenkins is yet unknown. In his will, Jabez named his
three minor children: John, James T. and Rachel B. Rachel later married
a man named Pace. John must have died without issue before 1855,
as he, or his heirs,are not mentioned in the settlement of Jabez's estate.
R. Garnett, administrator of Jabez's will, was a son-in-law. We are not
sure which Fitzgerald daughter was his wife. His wife is listed as
Margaret on the 1850 census, but Margaret Fitzgerald is known to have married
Perhaps Margaret Fitzgerald married
Garnett second, or John R. Garnett had a second wife who just happened
to be named Margaret. The Dallas News reported the worst flood seen
in years along the Red River near the end of 1842 or the
beginning of 1843. The paper,
explaining that word of the damages was just reaching Dallas, dated about
5 January 1843 said, "The flood's destructive influence carried away the
distillery of Mr.Jabez Fitzgerald." This flood happened shortly before
Jabez's death. Jabez Fitzgerald had only about seven years in Texas before
his death soon after 19 March 1843, which is when he added a codicil to
his will. During those seven years, Jabez fought Indians, filed land
claims, cleared land, built a home, operated a river ferry, planted crops,
raised livestock, ran a whiskey still, and made a will.
BIRTH: History of Fannin County, TX, by Floy C. Hodge 1966 p 177
MARR: Estimation based on birth of first child; 1830 Marion
Co., AL, census
DEATH: Jabez Fitzgerald's codicil to will, Fannin Co., TX, 19 March
RESEARCH LOG: Deed Book J, Land Deeds
of Jefferson County, TN, printed record P 230 #220; 1830 Marion County,
AL, census; Jabez Fitzgerald's will, dated 1841,codicil added 1843, Fannin
County, Texas; A History of Fannin County,TX, 1966, by Floy Candall Hodge
p 177 (Note: She confuses much, but is correct about Jabez's birth and
death dates and that he joined Dr. Daniel Rowlett's party fromTN to Texas
in 1836.); History of Fannin County, Texas, 1836-1843, by Rex Wallace Strickland
from Southwestern Historical Quarterly, 1930,PP 84-91, 116-117; The Lamar
Papers. Vol. IV,
p 218; Willow Wild Cemetery, Bonham,
TX; Obituaries for William Patrick and Emily Belle (Downing) Fitzgerald;
Fannin County Probate Records 1836-1843,LDS Library ,Microfilm #1293839;
Republic of Texas 1840 Census; LDS Library Microfilm #1293839, #1293840,
1293841, #1293842, Fannin County, TX, Probate Records, Books A, B,C, D,
E. F., G.; TN Gazette 24 Oct. 1804; Land Records Vol. 3 p 177 Huntsville,
AL, #1297, 8 March 1822; Lora Tindall's Texas First Families (Certificate&
Narrative) on Jabez Fitzgerald 1846-1996;Texas Historical Marker standing
in Fannin County near Tulip Bend; Jabez Fitzgerald's War of 1812 Records
from National Archives
Lora B. Tindall
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