Old Pioneers of Van Zandt County Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
This page will be devoted to the Old Pioneers of Van Zandt County. These stories have come from a variety of sources, some from old newspapers, some from descendants and some have been previously published in the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society's quarterly publication, "Our Heritage." Our thanks to Sue Wilkinson, quarterly editor, for permission to reprint these stories. All biographies are welcomed and if you have one that you would like to submit, just write it in your own words and send it to Sibyl and we will be very happy to post it on this website.
George was born about 1779 in Tennessee and married Sarah (unknown). Several of their children were born in Tennessee. By 1830, he was living in Arkansas. In an 1831 Arkansas newspaper, George consented for his daughter, Elizabeth, to marry Allen Robinett. Both of the families were listed on the 1840 census for Newton Co, MO.
The new frontier called and George and his extended families were off to the Republic of Texas. He received land grand #256 in 1841 in Lamar County (made out of Red River County). While in this area he met the Sullivans and the McBees and decided to follow them on to the Nacogdoches Territory (later to become Van Zandt County). He settled near the present day town of Wills Point.
For several years the boundary line between Kaufman and Van Zandt was in dispute. He was chosen to serve on the first "Grand Jury of Inquest" for Kaufman Co. in 1848. He and his family were listed on the 1850 Kaufman Census. Shortly after, the boundary dispute was settled, and his area was declared to be in Van Zandt.
Besides his original colony grant for 640 acres, he also acquired land out of the Hughart and Parton Headright grants. Eventually, he owned over 2000 acres. But in October 1852, he started selling some of his land to his children. It is reasonable to assume that he was in ill health because he died during that time. He probably wanted to divide his estate before he died. In November of 1852, his wife, Sarah, and Isaac Anderson, a son-in-law, were made administrators of George's estate. All of the children were listed in an old handwritten probate book in the Canton Courthouse. His children were: William W., Elizabeth, Abraham (A.B.), David (D.R.), Eliza Jane, Emeline, George J., Sarah Miranda, and James.
In Volume II of the Van Zandt County Texas Biographies 1848-1991, page 21, there is a story about the McEnturffs coming to the campsite of the Sullivans. "Coming near to their camp and old man approached and introduced himself as George Mclnturff. There were six families on the wagon train led by George. He had with him three married sons and two sons-in-law and their families. They had quite a herd of cattle, horses, sheep, and dogs enough to stand off the wolves. Altogether they were well fitted up to form a settlement. They were honest, industrious families and proved to be a valuable acquisition to the country. The Sullivans gave them the pioneer shake of the hand and bade them welcome." This proves that George McEnturff was one of the earlier settlers of Van Zandt County.
So ends the saga of the life of George McEnturff. Little did he know that his life would chronicle the life of an early Texan. Thanks to George, his descendants can join the Sons and Daughters of the Republic of Texas. That is a place of honor for any Texan.
Submitted by Lois Melton Thompson
Previously published in the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society's Our Heritage
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