Van Gundy Family Tree

Notes for Adam Sr "Red Adam" ZUMWALT

Adam never used the moniker "Red" during his lifetime but was assigned the name by record keepers and historians in DeWitt Colony, TX, to distinguish him from his prominent and younger first cousin "Black" Adam Zumwalt, Jr. The tag "Sr" was probably adopted by him for the same reason since he had no sons named Adam.

As of 1/10/2005 his family Bible is in the hands of descendant Zelma Richardson of Austin, TX.

Residences & events:

1819 Femme Osage and Darst's Bottom, MO. He owned property in both areas, as did brother Andrew.

1828 TX. This was the date of arrival according to daughter, Elizabeth and other family members who related the following: "Adam Zumwalt's family came from Missouri to Gonzales in 1828 being a part of DeWitt's colony. They came by boat and landed in Matagorda Bay. While the men were unloading the boat, the women and children walked along the beach gathering luscious dewberries which they found under a bluff bank. They looked up and saw several Indians in war paint and feathers looking down a them. They ran to the boat, but when they got there she (who?) was not with them. She had fainted and the men had to carry her to the boat."

5/20/1829 was the date of arrival recorded on land grant records of Gonzales, Gonzales Co, TX.

1/28/1830 Adam was granted a league and labor of land.

8/10/1831 Adam petitioned as a farmer for title of his labor of 177 acres:

"Honorable Commissioner: I, Adam Zumwalt, a native of the United states of the North, the formalities of the law permitting, appear before you and say that having been admitted by the Empresario, Green de Witt, to settle the lands of his Colony as the Law of Colonizatition of the State prescribes and as appears on this certificate which I duly enclose, being as I am married and having seven children, two boys, and up until the present time not having the title of possession to the tract that corresponds to me as a settler, by the present petition I entreat that you may put me in possession of one labor, although it only contains 712,400 varas, which is the quantity I have known it to be, and which is localed adjacent to the Commons of the Town on the Guadalupe River, reserving for myself the rite as stock raiser to ask, by another petition, for the 24 labors of pasture land on the San Marcos River about one league above this Town; in acceding thereto, you shall give me justice." Dated and signed by Adam.

The tract was surveyed by Byrd Lockhart and described as "situated in the proximity on the northeast side of the Guadalupe....north to the boundary of the town tract....following the meanders of the River upward to the place where it began."

11/15/1831 Adam again petitioned for title to land, this time for his league of 4428 acres:

"Honorable Commissioner: I, Adam Zumwalt, a native of the United States of the North, by this second petition, and by means of the formalities of the law make know to you that you having seen fit to acceed to a petition I made, dated the 10th of last month of August, asking for a fraction of a labor of arable land which, as a farmer in this enterprise of Citizen Green de my due, in consideration of my large family and the reasons which I presented on that date, as appears on the witnessed document in my possession; I, by this petition as a breeder of stock, ask you please to put me in possession of a superficies of 24,000,000 varas which I lack to complete the league and which are entirely vacant on the northeast bank of the San Marcos River adjacent to the boundary line of the land of the Town and about six miles above this Town; in acceeding therto you will do me justice." Dated and signed by Adam..

By 3/1836 St James St, facing the Municipal Plaza, Gonzales, TX. His residence there was one of the "32 prominent structures of the village" built in the inner part of the village proper. The house served as a boarding house/hotel and the kitchen supplied a restaurant .

2/29/1836 In the face of the Battle of the Alamo, many families from San Antonio and outlying areas sought refuge in Gonzales. Relatives, Elizabeth Zumwalt Kent and family moved in with Adam and the children told of of sleeping on the floor where they could hear the big guns of the seige all the way from San Antonio.

3/13/1836 Following the fall of the Alamo, General Sam Houston put Adam and David Burkett in charge of evacuating families, including his own, in front of the Mexican Army, heading east toward the Sabine River in what is now known as the Runaway Scrape. The entire town was then torched, leaving only Adam's kitchen and the smokehouse of another resident standing.

6/6 - 9/6/1836 A short stint in the Federalist Army of the Republic of Texas would earn a labor of land for Adam.

Following the death of son-in-law, Samuel McCoy, daughter Mahala asked Adam to apply for guardianship of her children, which he did and was granted. He was released from guardianship on 9/29/1841 when the new step-father took over the responsibility.

1837 - 1838 They returned to rebuild their homes and lives amid the rubble, putting up tents and temporary structures where the house once stood. Local history said he provided housing and meals for several returning settlers while they rebuilt their homesteads and businesses. It was probably about this time the family began to spend considerable time developing the farm and ranch on their league north of town on the San Marcos.

1837 Gonzales Co Tax Rolls included the names of Adam Sr and Jr as well as David Burket.

1838 That tax list included Adam Sr and Jr, Adam for Samuel McCoy, Andrew Zumwalt, and David Burket.

4/2/1838 Joseph Smith of Gonzales Co posted a $700 bond to insure title of 379 acres, which was part of his headright league assigned to Adam.

9/30/1838 Smith sold land that was on Peach Creek about 10 miles east of Gonzales to Adam.

1839 The tax list that year included Adam, Adam Sr, Adam Sr for Lane McCoy, and Andrew McCoy.

1846 Lavaca Co, TX. Was it this Adam on that tax list? Along with Adnrew, Gabriel, Isaac, Nancy, and Thomas Zumwalt?

9/9/1847 Adam transferred 320 acres of the previous entry to daughter, Emaline House.

1/11/1841 The town minutes noted that Adam was denied a petition to cut as much rail timber on the town tract as had been appropriated from his league to build a fence on the town tract.

6/11/1841 Adam deeded a 320 acre tract on the northeast bank of the San Marcos to daughter, Caroline Burnham. The land was part of his headright league.

9/6/1842 Gonzales, TX. He bought lots 1, 2, 4, and 5 in block 31 just east of Military Square at a public sale for $57.

10/2/1843 He transferred 329 acres of his headright league on the east bank of the San Marcos to daughter, Mahala Crawford. The tract was bounded on the south by Caroline's land.

4/24/1846 Son, Jesse, was the next to receive real estate. He got 600 acres on the northeast bank of the San Marcos adjoining the town tract of Gonzales on the north and the river on the lower corner, which included part or all of Adam's labor of land.

7/28/1846 Adam deeded 600 acres each to : William, Harvy, Nancy, and Emaline Darst.

5/17/1847 He sold lots 1 and 2 of the town block to Felix Chenault for $60, a real profit compared to the buy price.

6/12/1849 Daughter, Caroline Burnham, received another "inheritance" from her father, a labor of land that Adam had received for army service. It was located on Peach Creek about 15 miles east of Gonzales.

11/16/1849 He sold the block of 4 town lots where his boarding house once stood to WV Collins for $4000. That block would later house the Plaza hotel and restaurant business, very fitting.

11/10/1850 Guadalupe River Twp, Gonzales Co, TX. At census time the family was living on their league near the Old Slayden Community in the Guadalupe River District. Adam was 60 years old, had property = $2000, but no occupation was listed. Wife Elizabeth was 50 and children in the house were Jesse, 25; Wm, 16; Henry (actually Harvey), 12; and Nancy, 10. The census says Adam, Elizabeth and the 2 older boys were born in KY while the rest were born in TX. Daughter Caroline and William Burnham were 2 doors down the road.

His will, dated 1845, "attests to his meticulous attention to details."

"Republic of Texas, Gonzales County. I, Adam Zumwalt, Senr. of said county, being of sound mind, but infirm & feeble in health, do make & ordain this to be my last will & testament.

I give to my wife all my work oxen & Horses except two colts, and one third of the balance of my Stock; also all my household & Kitchen furniture & farming utensils, tools, etc. Also one half of a debt due by W. J. Riddle, the other half belongs to my son Jesse. I wll give to her all my Negro property during her lifetime, and the use & enjoyment of my residence, either to cultivate or rent out to aid her in making a support.

I give & bequeath to each of my Six children herein named to wit, Jesse, Emaline, John, William, Harvey & Nancy an equal Share of all the League of land on which I now reside, except what has been deeded off by me, to be given off to them as they respectively become of age; Jesse to have the privilege of selecting his share either on the upper or lower line.

I give to each of my Daughters Mahala & Caroline (to each of whom I have already given 320 acres), a sufficiency out of my patented Lands to make their Shares of Land equal to the shares of the six children heretofore named--

To my other children not already named I give & bequeath all the balance of my unpatented lands, they paying all further expenses of clearing them out.

I give to my daughter Emaline & son Harvey, each one of the colts hertofore reserved.

I give to my two sons Jesse & John the privilege of selling all the corn now on hand, except a sufficiency to support my family until another crop is made & appropriate the money to their own use.

After giving my wife one third of my stock, I desire that the balance be sold if necessary to pay my just debts, which consist so far as I now remember of the following to wit, the note of twelve dollars to C. Braches, given by Mr. Burnham, which am to pay-one note to Threadgill & James, for Thirty one dollars balance of four dollars to D.C. Vanderlip when the suit of W.W. Smith is decided after which I wish the remainder of my stock equally divided among all my children.

I wish my Town property consisting of Eight lots, and my Labor adjoining Town tract, to be sold by my Executor at such time as he in his Judgement may deem most advisable to a good sale within five years, and the Proceeds equally divided among all my children; and until it is sold I want it rented out & the profit divided among all.

In the bequests of this will, I desire the children of my daughter Mahala to receive the portion to which she would be entitled if living.

I desire my young children all to live with their mother until they respectively become of age & that she have the raising control & management of them in the same manner I would have myself were I living.

I appoint my son Jesse the Executor of this my last will & testament, and it is my desire that no further action be had on this wlll in the Probate Court, than its proof & registration.

It is my further will that my Negro property after the death of my wife shall be sold & the proceeds equally divided among all my children, & should there be any other property or debts due me not heretofore mentioned, I desire it to be divided among all my children.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand & Seal this 3rd day of Februay 1845. Signed & Sealed in presence of D.S.H. Darst and William E. Jones."

Jesse later resigned as Executor and brother-in-law David Darst replaced him.

The cemetery is on his original grant of land near the old Slayden community.

Copyright 2010 by BJ Van Gundy

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