Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 2, May, 1998 Page: 61
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The Angus McNeill Family
Even though Angus did buy 600 acres of land in the Martin D. Ramsey
Survey in 1851, it was the James Ross Survey that became the center of the McNeill
family life.45 The Montgomerys and the Thatchers, their neighbors, recorded in family
letters the visits and activities of the McNeills.46 The firm of Ward and Ingram of Matagorda
handled the sale of the cotton crops, and Angus mortgaged the 1843 cotton crop to them.47
All of the family had moved to Texas by February 19, 1843, when Angus and Rebecca
McNeill, had their two sons Henry Cameron and Angus McNeill, Jr., baptized at Christ
Episcopal Church in Matagorda, with Henry C. McNeill (the elder) as a witness for the
younger Henry, and Trowbridge Ward (of Ward and Ingram) as a witness for Angus, Jr.48
Their daughter, Mary Walker McNeill, apparently had been baptized in Mississippi. The
Angus McNeill family also visited the Samuel Mavericks in Matagorda and on one occa-
sion were lost overnight with them in a fog while sailing, a terrifying experience even
though they were not really in any danger. In 1845, Mary Maverick again recorded a visit
by Henry C. McNeill (the elder) and Mary Walker McNeill as they stopped during a
journey back to Mississippi, where Mary was to go to school.49 From this time on, Henry
C. McNeill left no records in Matagorda, Wharton, or Colorado County. When he ap-
plied for a character certificate in 1835, he had declared that he had no family. And on
December 20, 1843, he conveyed his 29 slaves to Angus McNeill for $1.00 and "the
further consideration of the natural love and affection" which he had for Angus' children,
Mary Walker McNeill, Henry C. McNeill, and Angus McNeill, Jr., all of which were to
be turned over to the children when the youngest, Angus, Jr., reached the age of 21. If
any of the three died before the slaves were divided, the others would "descend to the
survivors or survivor." If all three of the children were to die before they reached the age
of majority, the slaves were to descend to Rebecca Jane McNeill during her lifetime, and
at her death to descend to Angus McNeill or his legal heirs. Until the time of the children's
majority, Angus was to care for the slaves and employ them in the "most advantageous"
manner for the benefit of his children "to promote their happiness or contribute to their
success in life."0 This gift may have been Henry C. McNeill's way of avoiding probate
proceedings. He had also given a league of land to the son of Charles and Mildred Sewall,
who had been named Henry Cameron McNeill Sewall.5'
45 Deed Records of Colorado County, Texas, Book G, p. 457.
46 Dorothy Elkins Cox, comp. and ed., Pioneer Texans: Montgomery and Thatcher Families and
Their Descendants (n. p., n. d.), pp. 177, 193, 200, 214, 215, 224.
47 Deed Records of Colorado County, Texas, Book D, p. 214.
48 Registar of the Parish of Christ Episcopal Church, Matagorda, Texas 1839-1870, or xerographic
copy of the relevant page in the McNeill Family File, Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus.
49 Maverick, Memoirs of Mary A. Maverick, pp. 82-83.
50 Bond and Mortgage Records of Colorado County, Texas, Book D, p. 252.
51 Deed Records of Caddo Parish, Louisiana, Book A, p. 215.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 2, May, 1998, periodical, May 1998; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151403/m1/13/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.