It seems that many people have ancestors that picked up and moved to Texas from various points in the United States. Betsy Chutchian has a series of quilt books with entries from her grandmother’s journal detailing her trek to Texas. Recently, I was reading the Preface and introduction to the Reata cookbook by Mike Micallef. He also has an interesting story about his relatives and how they came to Texas.
When I started the Inklingo COTSG (case of the secret garden) mystery quilt which contains “wagon wheels”, I was deeply immersed in tracing my family history on my Father’s side of the family. I wasn’t thinking about pretty colorful gardens but rather the turning, bumpy, noisy wheels of wagons as my relatives made their way to Texas. My Dad knows very little about his father’s family but has volumes of information on his mother’s side. His mother started her historical sketch of the the Richardson Family like this:
“All family trees must start with someone and some place, so here and now I start with John and Mary Richardson of Christiansburg, Grayson County, Virginia”. From Virginia, relatives moved to Tennessee and then to Texas. John and Mary were born in the mid to late 1700’s. Mary’s father is my connection to Daughters of the American Revolution. So I too, have stories of relatives coming to Texas.
One story, which appears in the journals of many of my relatives is quite interesting and consistent. It seems that after the war, “marauders” would come through homesteads looking for food, livestock, and anything of value to plunder. My xxx grandfather heard someone approaching his place and stepped outside to greet them. His wife was inside alone. The man assaulted my xxxgrandfather and left him for dead at the front of his homestead. As he entered the home, my xxxgrandmother screemed “Oh my baby, Oh my baby”. It was rumored that if a child was present, the marauders would not cause harm to the women. The marauder headed for the only mule and wagon that was left on the place since others had already been through and plundered. My xxxgrandfather had recovered from the blow and shot the man before he could take his only mule and wagon. Afraid that the authorities would come for him, he loaded up his wife and what belongings he could in the wagon and left in the middle of the night ~ headed for Texas.
My relatives eventually settled in Kickapoo Texas where the east Texas dirt is rusty colored clay. My people were laborers and farmers. The rust in my quilt remind of the dirt that was undoubtedly on the spokes of their wagon wheels as they entered a new place to settle and raise their family. They had a tough life. I am proud they are my people ~ they were good people; honest and hardworking; morally and spiritually strong and they loved the Lord. I enjoy seeing their world through my Dad’s eyes and through the stories that he passes on about his life and his parents life.
So here is the quilt top ~ not quite finished as I am considering several border ideas. There is a saying “I wasn’t born in Texas but I got here as quick as I could”.
Thanks for taking this little side journey with me! Ya’all Come Back Now, ya’ hear?