This is the 25th article in the genealogy project “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 edition.” This week’s theme is “The Old Homestead.” Genealogists can check the Week 25 recap page and find articles listed by surname as part of their ancestor research.
Great-great grandfather Captain Jack Everett married Antonia Flores in 1847. They both owned property on both sides of the Texas-Mexico border, but the family home was the JR Everett Rancho, which was listed as the family homestead in the 1860 US Census.
Jack’s short life, when put on paper, reads like a movie script. He was a teenage explorer, Comanche fighter, Texas Ranger, rancher, military officer, business owner, politician, husband, and father – all in 42 years. There are still many mysteries about Jack, including what happened to the ranch after his death in 1864.
Jack received a land grant in Texas in 1839 when he was 17. From that time until his death, he acquired more land and once he was married, both he and Antonia conducted various land deals.
Sometime after 1856, he sold the land in Aransas County, Texas that he obtained through the land grant. Other land transactions include:
- February 1851 – Antonia and Jack sold land in Alamo to Emeline Lund
- June 1851 – Jack sold land to “messrs. Davis and Durst”
- August 1853 – Antonia and Jack sold land in Roma, Starr County to AN Norton
- November 1857 – Antonia sold land to Tamislado Gonzalez
Jack died March 31, 1864 in Mier, at age 42, leaving Antonia a widow with eight children. Jack’s death certificate is damaged and no one can read the cause of death, so that remains a mystery. Antonia does not appear on the 1870 census. She appears in San Diego, Texas on the 1880 census living with four of her children. There is no accounting for the time between 1864 and 1880.
After Jack’s death, Antonia gave her son, Jack Ross Everett, Jr., power of attorney to handle her legal affairs. There is a document filed in Starr County in May 1884 stating that Antonia, now a resident of San Diego, made Jack her attorney to deal with property matters. In June 1884, Antonia and her son Jack sold land in Mier to Marciano Garza Gonzalez. Nowhere in these land documents is mention of the ranch Jack owned that had been the family homestead.
Was the ranch sold and nothing filed? Did squatters take the ranch? That will take much more research to track down a 151-year-old mystery about the Everett family homestead.
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