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Willis D. West

Willis D. West

Male 1816 - 1865  (49 years)

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  • Name Willis D. West  [1, 2, 3, 4
    • Could middle name be Dempsey? He named one of his sons Dempsey.
    Born 1812-1816  Tennessee or Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • 1835 census states he was 19 - putting his birth year at 1816
      1850 census states he was born 1812 in Louisiana
      1860 census states he was born 1815 in Tennessee
    Gender Male 
    Arrival Mar 1835  Jasper County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Arrived in Texas 
    Willis D. West
    Willis D. West
    Certificate No. 496 found in General Land Office File 406. Written on the back of the document: File 406 Milam County, 1st Class. headright Certificate. Willis West, 2/3 League & 1 Labor. No. 496: this is to certify, that Willis West has appeared before us, the Board of Land commissioners for the County of Jasper, and proved according to…
    Tax Roll After Mar 1835  Jasper County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Indexed Willis West; State of Texas; Bevil Precinct; John R. Bevil Settlement; 1835; Texas Tax List Index, 1830-1839.  
    Census 1 May 1835  Jasper County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Information from Candace C. Allmand: Wilis West arrived in Texas in March 1835 and is enumerated in his father's household (Richard West, a widower) as a single man, age 19 (placing his birth year at 1816) in the Mexican Settlement "Bevil Colony." Four siblings are also enumerated. Milissa, age 17; James, 15; Alfred, 13 and Mary Ann, 8. Next door is his sister, Presilla West Dickerson, 25 with her family and brother Jefferson, 22 with his family. Additional West family members are on the Bevil Census, all likely migrating to Texas from Louisiana and Mississippi.  
    Military 17 Oct 1835  Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Served in the Texas Revolution through 5 Jan 1836: Muster Rolls of Texas Revolution: Willis West - Private, Seizure of Bexar*, Capt Chessires' Company, Volunteers while in Army before Bexar 1835.

    Records at the Texas Comptroller's Office confirm these dates of service. He was honorably discharged on 15 Dec 1836 and given 20 days to return home.

    Note/information from Candice C. Allmand: After joining the "Jasper Volunteers" under command of Captain James Chessire, Willis fought at the siege of Bexar December 5-10, 1835. Luckily he had the good sense to take his discharge and go home to Jasper after Bexar. Had he stayed in the Army he probably would have perished with the others at the Alamo.

    *The Siege of Béxar (or Bejar) was an early campaign of the Texas Revolution in which a volunteer Texan army successfully defeated Mexican forces at San Antonio de Béxar (now San Antonio, Texas). Texians had become disillusioned with the Mexican government as President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's tenure became increasingly dictatorial. In early October, Texas settlers gathered in Gonzales to stop Mexican troops from reclaiming a small cannon. The resulting skirmish, known as the Battle of Gonzales, launched the Texas Revolution. Men continued to assemble in Gonzales and soon established the Texian Army. Despite a lack of military training, well-respected local leader Stephen F. Austin was elected commander. Santa Anna had sent his brother-in-law, General Martin Perfecto de Cos, to Béxar with reinforcements. On October 13, Austin led his forces towards Béxar to confront the Mexican troops. The Texians initiated a siege of the city.
     
    Tax Roll 1836  Jasper County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Indexed as Willis West, State of Texas; Texas Territory; Bevil District; 1836; Texas Tax List Index, 1830-1839.  
    Tax Roll 1838  Jasper County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Indexed as Willis West, State of Texas; Bevil Precinct, John R. Bevil Settlement; 1838; Texas Tax List Index, 1830-1839.  
    Census 23 Dec 1850  Calcasieu, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Indexed as Willis West, age 38 born abt 1812 in Louisiana; Family #526; head of house, planter, living with wife Dilia, 37; Children: William, 11; Nancy, 9; Richard, 8; Jefferson, 5; Nara, 3 and Dempsey 1.  
    Census Jun 1860  Rapides Parish, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family 459: Indexed as Willis West, age 45 born 1815 in Tennessee; farmer; owns personal property worth $1,015; nearest post officer is Alexandria; Head of house living with wife Laney, 44; Children: William, 22, farm laborer; Nancy, 20; Richard, 18, farm laborer; Jefferson, 16; Sarah, 14; Dempsey; 12; Elizabeth, 10; Thomas, 8; Willis, 6; Howell, 4; Also in the home are Hetty West, 20, born Texas, relationship to family unknown and James Montgomery, 23, farm laborer, owns personal property worth $100, born Mississippi, relationship to family unknown.  
    Legal Travis County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Farmers, Ranchers, the Land and the Falls: A History of the Pedernales Falls Area, 1850-190 by John J. Leffler published by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department:

    Page 17:
    By the early 1880s only a few tracts of land in the area that would later become Pedernales Falls State Park remained unsettled - or at least unclaimed. These included the parcels that would later be identified as Survey 34 (J.B. Wenmohs), Survey 500 (I.W. Davis) and Survey 6 (J.B. Wenmohs). For whatever reasons, these tracts would not be claimed or patented until the late 1890s. One of the largest surveys in the area, the 1,235-acre Willis West tract had remained in the public domain until 1879, when it was claimed by the heirs of Willis West, who had served in the Texas Revolution. Almost immediately, it seems, the land became tied up in a complicated legal battled waged among various heirs to West's estate and several assignees who also claimed partial title to it. Though the tract was finally patented in 1887, the lawsuit was not settled until 1894, effectively delaying development of the land for about fifteen years. See Footnote 41.

    Footnote 41:
    Some of the documentation of the Willis West land grant, including the original certificate, is missing from the land grant files concerning the tract in the Texas General Land Office. The files do contain some letters, however, that hint at the origins of the controversy. See Willis West files. Travis abstract 918, file 1-602, Milam file 1.2004. Also consulted for this discussion was a copy of a Travis County court document, "Judgement in Cause 11080, Willis West, et al Plaintiffs v. John T. Lytle, et al Defendants [1894] in possession of Dena Wenmoh, Blanco County, Texas. By the time the suit was settled, there were sixteen plaintiffs and twelve defendants involved in the litigation
     
    Died 10 May 1865  Gonzales County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Date/location comes from General Land Office Donation Grant File RV 1273 filed by Delaney West where she states Willis' date and location of death. She probated his estate in Williamson County, Texas. This is right in line with information given by grandson John Ashford Atwood who stated in his biography that Grandfather West died "shortly after the close of the Civil War."
    Probate 1871  Williamson County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Delania West probated her husband's Will in Williamson County, Texas  
    Real Estate Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes/information from Candice C. Allmand: Although Willis received bounty, donation and head-right land grants totaling 5565.5 acres and Delania received another 1,280 acres after Willis' death, most was sold or assigned for a few hundred dollars. Evidence suggests that land speculators and lawyers took advantage of Willis as a young man with regard to his land grants. General Land Office files 95, 135, 406, 62, DCV 2625 and RV 1273 and claim files 83695 and 6898 at the Texas Library and Archives contain a wealth of information about this family. They returned to Texas after 1860 as Willis died in 1865 in Gonzales County, Texas. 
    Buried
    • The location of Willis' grave is unknown.
    Headstones Submit Headstone Photo Submit Headstone Photo 
    Notes 
    • West researcher Candice Allmand of Austin, Texas, has submitted documentation to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas - both Willis and his father are recognized as Republic of Texas ancestors.
    • Written Narrative by John Ashford Atwood - grandson of Willis West:
      And now as to my mother's (Ellen Elizabeth West) people, they were slave owners in Louisiana, and I heard my mother say that when the Negros were set free that they would not leave their owners but wanted to stay and work for them just like they had been doing and she said she would help take care of the little Negro babies while their mothers worked. I don't know anything about my grandfather West. He died before I was born. I do know that he was given 4 leagues and a labore of land for his service in the Army at the close of the Civil War, and that he died soon after the war closed, and I know that his children let the land sharks beat them out of all the land that he owned.
    Person ID P257  Curbow Montoya Family | Atwood Family Branch, Curbow Family Branch, West Family Branch
    Last Modified 15 Jul 2015 

    Father Richard West,   b. 1790, Natchez, Spanish County, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Before 1851, Natchitoches or Calcaseiu Parish, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 61 years) 
    Mother Charity Dickerson,   b. 1790, Mississippi Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1835, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 45 years) 
    Family ID F665  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Delania Thompson,   b. 1817, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Mar 1893, Jonestown, Travis County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years) 
    Married 1836 - 1838  Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Notes/information from Candice C. Allmand: General Land Office records show that Willis and Delaney married some time between 3/2/1836 and 9/22/1838. First child - William West - said to have been born 1838.
    Children 
    +1. William James West,   b. 1838 or 1839, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    +2. Nancy Ann West,   b. 2 Jan 1840, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Feb 1925, Leander, Williamson County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years)  []
    +3. Richard Berry "Dick" West,   b. 1842, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Before 1920, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)  []
    +4. Jefferson Lafayette West,   b. 1845, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Dec 1932, Johnson County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years)  []
    +5. Thomas Jefferson West,   b. 6 Jul 1845, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Jul 1914, Taylor, Williamson County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years)  []
     6. Sarah Jane West,   b. 1847, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location  []
    +7. Dempsey Franklin West,   b. 9 Dec 1848, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 May 1935, Belton, Bell County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 86 years)  []
    +8. Ellen Elizabeth West,   b. 22 Dec 1850, Calcasieu, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Oct 1925, Cross Plains, Callahan County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)
    +9. Willis West, Jr.,   b. 15 Mar 1855, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 June 1900, Jonestown, Travis County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 45 years)  []
    +10. Howell West,   b. 1858, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  []
    +11. John Alfred West,   b. 16 Dec 1861, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Jan 1935, Lampasas, Lampasas County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years)
    Last Modified 6 Sep 2011 19:22:12 
    Family ID F664  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1812-1816 - Tennessee or Louisiana Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsArrival - Arrived in Texas - Mar 1835 - Jasper County, Texas Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsTax Roll - Indexed Willis West; State of Texas; Bevil Precinct; John R. Bevil Settlement; 1835; Texas Tax List Index, 1830-1839. - After Mar 1835 - Jasper County, Texas Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - Information from Candace C. Allmand: Wilis West arrived in Texas in March 1835 and is enumerated in his father's household (Richard West, a widower) as a single man, age 19 (placing his birth year at 1816) in the Mexican Settlement "Bevil Colony." Four siblings are also enumerated. Milissa, age 17; James, 15; Alfred, 13 and Mary Ann, 8. Next door is his sister, Presilla West Dickerson, 25 with her family and brother Jefferson, 22 with his family. Additional West family members are on the Bevil Census, all likely migrating to Texas from Louisiana and Mississippi. - 1 May 1835 - Jasper County, Texas Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary - Served in the Texas Revolution through 5 Jan 1836: Muster Rolls of Texas Revolution: Willis West - Private, Seizure of Bexar*, Capt Chessires' Company, Volunteers while in Army before Bexar 1835. Records at the Texas Comptroller's Office confirm these dates of service. He was honorably discharged on 15 Dec 1836 and given 20 days to return home. Note/information from Candice C. Allmand: After joining the "Jasper Volunteers" under command of Captain James Chessire, Willis fought at the siege of Bexar December 5-10, 1835. Luckily he had the good sense to take his discharge and go home to Jasper after Bexar. Had he stayed in the Army he probably would have perished with the others at the Alamo. *The Siege of Béxar (or Bejar) was an early campaign of the Texas Revolution in which a volunteer Texan army successfully defeated Mexican forces at San Antonio de Béxar (now San Antonio, Texas). Texians had become disillusioned with the Mexican government as President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's tenure became increasingly dictatorial. In early October, Texas settlers gathered in Gonzales to stop Mexican troops from reclaiming a small cannon. The resulting skirmish, known as the Battle of Gonzales, launched the Texas Revolution. Men continued to assemble in Gonzales and soon established the Texian Army. Despite a lack of military training, well-respected local leader Stephen F. Austin was elected commander. Santa Anna had sent his brother-in-law, General Martin Perfecto de Cos, to Béxar with reinforcements. On October 13, Austin led his forces towards Béxar to confront the Mexican troops. The Texians initiated a siege of the city. - 17 Oct 1835 - Texas Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsTax Roll - Indexed as Willis West, State of Texas; Texas Territory; Bevil District; 1836; Texas Tax List Index, 1830-1839. - 1836 - Jasper County, Texas Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsTax Roll - Indexed as Willis West, State of Texas; Bevil Precinct, John R. Bevil Settlement; 1838; Texas Tax List Index, 1830-1839. - 1838 - Jasper County, Texas Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 1836 - 1838 - Louisiana Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - Indexed as Willis West, age 38 born abt 1812 in Louisiana; Family #526; head of house, planter, living with wife Dilia, 37; Children: William, 11; Nancy, 9; Richard, 8; Jefferson, 5; Nara, 3 and Dempsey 1. - 23 Dec 1850 - Calcasieu, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - Family 459: Indexed as Willis West, age 45 born 1815 in Tennessee; farmer; owns personal property worth $1,015; nearest post officer is Alexandria; Head of house living with wife Laney, 44; Children: William, 22, farm laborer; Nancy, 20; Richard, 18, farm laborer; Jefferson, 16; Sarah, 14; Dempsey; 12; Elizabeth, 10; Thomas, 8; Willis, 6; Howell, 4; Also in the home are Hetty West, 20, born Texas, relationship to family unknown and James Montgomery, 23, farm laborer, owns personal property worth $100, born Mississippi, relationship to family unknown. - Jun 1860 - Rapides Parish, Louisiana Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsLegal - Farmers, Ranchers, the Land and the Falls: A History of the Pedernales Falls Area, 1850-190 by John J. Leffler published by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: Page 17: By the early 1880s only a few tracts of land in the area that would later become Pedernales Falls State Park remained unsettled - or at least unclaimed. These included the parcels that would later be identified as Survey 34 (J.B. Wenmohs), Survey 500 (I.W. Davis) and Survey 6 (J.B. Wenmohs). For whatever reasons, these tracts would not be claimed or patented until the late 1890s. One of the largest surveys in the area, the 1,235-acre Willis West tract had remained in the public domain until 1879, when it was claimed by the heirs of Willis West, who had served in the Texas Revolution. Almost immediately, it seems, the land became tied up in a complicated legal battled waged among various heirs to West's estate and several assignees who also claimed partial title to it. Though the tract was finally patented in 1887, the lawsuit was not settled until 1894, effectively delaying development of the land for about fifteen years. See Footnote 41. Footnote 41: Some of the documentation of the Willis West land grant, including the original certificate, is missing from the land grant files concerning the tract in the Texas General Land Office. The files do contain some letters, however, that hint at the origins of the controversy. See Willis West files. Travis abstract 918, file 1-602, Milam file 1.2004. Also consulted for this discussion was a copy of a Travis County court document, "Judgement in Cause 11080, Willis West, et al Plaintiffs v. John T. Lytle, et al Defendants [1894] in possession of Dena Wenmoh, Blanco County, Texas. By the time the suit was settled, there were sixteen plaintiffs and twelve defendants involved in the litigation - - Travis County, Texas Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 10 May 1865 - Gonzales County, Texas Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsProbate - Delania West probated her husband's Will in Williamson County, Texas - 1871 - Williamson County, Texas Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReal Estate - Notes/information from Candice C. Allmand: Although Willis received bounty, donation and head-right land grants totaling 5565.5 acres and Delania received another 1,280 acres after Willis' death, most was sold or assigned for a few hundred dollars. Evidence suggests that land speculators and lawyers took advantage of Willis as a young man with regard to his land grants. General Land Office files 95, 135, 406, 62, DCV 2625 and RV 1273 and claim files 83695 and 6898 at the Texas Library and Archives contain a wealth of information about this family. They returned to Texas after 1860 as Willis died in 1865 in Gonzales County, Texas. - - Texas Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Histories
    Willis D. West
    Willis D. West
    Land Grant Records

    Albums
    West
    West (14)
    West Family Media and Histories

  • Sources 
    1. [S2625403972] 1850 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, (United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432, ).
      Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: Calcasieu, Calcasieu, Louisiana; Roll: M432_230; Page: 395A; Image: 307.

    2. [S2625378497] 1860 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, (United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Eighth Census of the United States, 1860. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1860. M653, 1), Year: 1860; Census Place: , Rapides, Louisiana; Roll: M653_423; Page: 0; Image: 67.
      Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: , Rapides, Louisiana; Roll: M653_423; Page: 66; Image: 66; Family History Library Film: 803423.

    3. [S4273286751] Louisiana Census, Jackson, Ron V. and Accelerated Indexing Systems, 066.
      Indexed Willis West; LA; Rapides Parish; Alexandria; 1860; Federal Population Schedule; LA 8160 Federal Census Index

    4. [S2941993421] Texas Census, 1820-90, Jackson, Ron V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp., (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1999.Original data - Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the U.S. Federal Decennial Census, territorial/state censuses, and/or census substitutes.Or).