My Great Great Grandparents
Dr. Abraham Conn Isaacs and Elizabeth Jane Hunnicutt Isaacs
My Great Great Great Grandparents
Roland Hunnicutt and Levinia Ferguson Hunnicutt
Both Levinia Hunnicutt and her daughter, Elizabeth Jane, were early settlers of Texas before Texas residents won independence from Mexico at San Jacinto in 1836
I probably should start this story with the Hunnicutts as they were in Texas first. However, because Isaacs is my mother's maiden name abd the hunt for the Isaacs Family Cemetery helped open the doors to undstanding the history I already had on the Isaacs family tree, I decided to start with my Great Great Grandfather, Dr. A. C. Isaacs.
Dr. Abraham Conn Isaacs
Published in the Rockdale Messenger, Thur., 11 July 1901
Death - Dr. A. C. Isaacs, age 75, died at his home in Rockdale on Saturday, July 6th. He was born in Giles Co., TN in 1826. He removed from Tennessee to Lavaca county, Texas in 1850 and resided in that county until Jan. 1866 and then moved to Milam county. He was a practicing physician from early manhood unto about 1872 when he retired from that profession and entered business. He was one of the leading citizens of Milam county and at one time represented thecounty in the legislature. The funeral was conducted at his home on Sunday morning at 7 a.m. and afterwards the Masonic fraternity took charge and he was buried in the family burying grounds on the farm a few miles from town. He leaves a wife and several grown children and two small boys.
Needless to say, there is much more to the history of Dr. Abraham C. Isaacs than is revealed by the obituary. I have been doing quite a bit of research on this part of my family as I knew very little about the Isaacs line when growing up. Dr. Abraham was born Nov 1826 Lincoln, Giles, Tennessee, United States. The following was published in a book in the early part of the twentieth century.
As that great radio commentator, Paul Harvey would say, "Now for the Rest of the Story". It is the untold story, the part the writer doesn't know about that brings everything together.
Roland Hunnicutt was born in 1793 to Lt. Robert Hunnicutt and and Elizabeth Binns. Robert was in the American Revolution and the War of 1812. At the time of his birth, the Hunnicutts were living in Benton, Lowndes, Alabama. the Hunnicutts moved to Giles County, Tennessee before the War of 1812 started. Levinia Ferguson was born in 1804 in North Carolina to unknown parents. Sometime before 1820, the Fergusons also moved to Giles County, TN, where she and Roland would meet and marry before February 1820. On 20 Oct 1820, their first son was born. He would be named James Buchannan Hunnicuitt. Their second son, George Washington Hunnicutt was born 1831, and on 02 July 1834, Elizabeth Jane Hunnicutt came into the world. About four months later, Roland packed his family into a wagon and left Giles, TN for a destination of Washington County, Texas which was still a part of Mexico. He apparently had been to Texas before that to obtain a Mexican Land Grant or he may have been with Stephen Austin who was organizing a group of 300 settlers to go to the Austin area of Texas. They would be known as the Old 300. It is unknown as to what exactly happened on the trail to Texas, but Roland did not survive the trek to Texas. He was buried on the trail in an unknown location. Levinia, now a widow, made the brave decision to continue on the Texas and claim the Mexican land grant that had been promised to Roland. It is believed she arrived in Washington, Texas in the late Fall, where she immediately established a residence. On the following document, Roland Honeycutt (Hunnicutt) is identified as land grant #161, First Class Mexican land grant. This means that the grant was issued before the Texas fight for Independence from Mexico. Roland being dead, Levinia, as his widow with children, was able to claim the land grant of one league and one labor (went to her oldest son) as his heirs and that is designated on the document.
On 13 March 1845, Levinia married Lewis Boatwright, who was the brother of Friend Boatwright and came to Texas with his brother in 1834. It was the custom of the Mexican government to give land grants only to the eldest male in a family but additional adult males would get smaller grants called Labors. Lewis Boatwright, apparently was the oldest being the oldest as he received a First Class Mexican Land Grant, #156 of one league and Friend received one labor of land #157 at about the same time that Levinia received hers as the heir of Roland Hunnicutt. Texas did not become a state in the USA until December 29, 1845. The following is the actual record book for Washington County recording the Boatwright-Hunnicutt marriage.
They would live out their days in Lavaca County, Texas, on their land grant.
At some time between their marriage and 1849, Elizabeth returned to visit family in Giles TN. While there, she met and married Dr. Abraham Conn Isaacs, on 8 Nov 1849. She was 15 years old at the time. Sometime in 1850, they moved to Lavaca, Texas, to be close to her mother. Over the next thirteen years, Elizabeth would conceive and give birth to five children with Abraham. The second oldest, Leonard Isaacs, Would eventually become my Great grandfather. In 1859, Lewis Boatwright passed away. Levinia passed away in 1869.
In 1865, the marriage of Abraham and Elizabeth began to fall apart. It is believed that this was due to Abraham having an affair with a mulatto slave girl while in Tennessee who was said to be young and very pretty. Family history hints that there may have been a child out of that relationship and that Elizabeth found out about it. In order to try to save his wealth and reputation, Abraham sued Elizabeth for divorce on the grounds of adultery, a trumped up charge. A full jury trial found Elizabeth innocent of the charge in 1866. She in turn then sued for divorce, probably on the same grounds, and another trial began. It ended in a guilty verdict for Abraham. The divorce was granted, along with a sizeable sum of money. Dr. Isaacs would take the oldest children after the trial and move to Rockdale. After Levinia's death, Elizabeth moved to the new town of Big Spring, in west Texas. Her children grew up and she grew old in Big Spring. She passed away in Big Spring on 18 Oct 1919. She was buried in an unmarked grave in the oldest part of the Mount Olive Cemetery. I recently found the location of the unmarked grave with the help of an employee of the cemetery. Lord willing, I will be able to place a headstone on her grave in the next year. If a surviving descendant of Elizabeth Jane Hunnicutt Isaacs happens to read this and have more historical information Elizabeth, especially her life after moving to Big Spring and would be willing, you can reach me by email at ancestry@Clarksons.org .
Dr. Abraham Conn Isaacs moved to Rockdale with his three children after the divorce. He would give up medicine in favor of a large ranch and raising cattle and farm produce. His ranch would eventually exceed 6000 acres. His second son, my great grandfather Leonard, married Alice Tyler Broadnax in 1875. They had two children, one of whom passed away in infancy. In 1878, Alice Isaacs passed away after accidently overdosing on chloroform being used for a migraine headache. In 1879, Leonard would meet the beautiful Annie Letcher King of Davilla. They would marry the following year and have several children. Their son, Burford King Isaacs, would be my grandfather. Burford would marry Lyda Mae Rester and they would have two children, a son and a daughter. Their daughter was Muriel Annabeth Isaacs, my mother. Leonard and Annie would become prominent leaders of Rockdale.
On 25 May, 1868, Abraham married again. This time he married Alice Jane O'neal, whom he met in Madison, Alabama. She passed away in 1891. She was buried in the Isaacs family cemetery on his ranch. The cemetery was started for the burial of Alice's mother, who moved with her husband to Rockdale after their daughter's wedding. In 1892, Abraham married for a third time. This time the bride was Cora Barmore. Dr. Abraham Conn Isaacs passed away on 06 Jul 1901. He was buried beside his second wife. The cemetery was abandoned after approximately 1930 and the location largely forgotten except for the land owner at the time who ran cattle on their graves. In 2016, I spent some time looking for the cemetery. It wasn't until I met Lonnie Moore, of Austin, that I was able to find out where it was and visit the cemetery. Neither the town of Rockdale, the county of Milam, nor the State of Texas Historic Cemetery Commission had a record of this cemetery. I photographed the cemetery, filled out a registration form, and put together a formal packet of maps, etc, that I mailed to Milam County to register the cemetery as the Isaacs Family Cemetery. The county, in turn, would forward it to the Historic Cemetery Commission of the State of Texas.
Everything I have related above was dug out the hard way. The key to the above was the use of DNA testing. It verified my relationship to the above and showed living descendants of both A.C. Isaacs and Elizabeth Hunnicutt. In Jan.2015, I filed for membership in the Sons of the Republic of Texas. I should hear back from them sometime in March.
More Records Found on Hunnicutt and Isaacs