6/1/1830 Gonzales Co, TX According to land records, the family arrived that date. A descendant' memoirs said they came with 5 other families from Missouri on 6/16/1830.
11/2/1831 Recorded in the Spanish Archives of the Austin, TX, land office are records where David petitioned for title to both a labor and leagueof land 24/25 sitios (4250 acres) and 1/25 sitios (177 acres).
Local history said:
"The Burket labor was described as on the northeast margin of the Guadalupe River immediate to the Commons of the Town of Gonzales. As a stock raiser, he petitioned for the league on the waters of Peach Creek and Lavaca about 25 miles from Gonzales town. The league is 75 percent in Lavaca County and the line between Gonzales and Lavaca Counties runs across the northwest sector. Big Hill, Burkett's Mound and a Burkett Cemetery are all on the Burkett league....
It is believed that David and Mary Ann....first settled on the labor of land on the Guadalupe River on the southern boundary of the town of Gonzales when they arrived. Neighbors were cousin "Red" Adam Zumwalt, Francis Berry, and C H Braches on each side.
1833 David, along with Adam Zumwalt, served as witness to the wedding ot Adam's daughter to Eli Mitchell.
3/1836 Following the fall of the Alamo, General Sam Houston put David and Adam Zumwalt in charge of evacuating families, including their 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.
1837/1838/1839 Gonzales Co, TX David's name appeared on tax lists there those years.
1838 The family returned to Gonzales and soon after settled south of Gonzales on the Guadalupe River on the DeWitt-Gonzales county line. A land transfer to youngest daughter, Sarah Green in 1855 suggests they obtained that land from Jesse McCoy who died in the Alamo.
The Burket Family web site says:
A letter from Mary Ann Roseanna Green Rae to a daughter in 1927 relates the scene on the Gonzales-DeWitt County homeplace related to her by her grandmother Mary Ann Zumwalt Burket:
"They settled on the old homeplace on spring branch. They built first a log hut. The first dinner ever eaten on that old homestead, General Henry McCullough called and ate with them. He was on a big white horse. Grandpa killed a wild turkey in the bottom close to the river. Grandmother cooked it on the campfire. Grandmother said ‘We have no table yet, sir.’ So they turned a washtub upside down and sat the oven in the middle of the tub and went to work. The general said that was the best dinner he had ever eaten."
1839 David received 533 acres of land for service to the Republic of Tx which was described as on the Guadalupe River about 21 miles NW of the city of New Braunfels.
6/1840 David bought 555 acres of adjacent land from Graves Fulshear for $1000 and is probably the homeplace described in Nathan Boone's memoirs.
A granddaughter related a story told her by Mary Ann:
"They settled on the old homeplace on spring branch. They built first a log hut. the first dinner ever eaten on the old homestead, General henry McCullough called and ate with them. He was on a big white horse. Grandpa killed a wild turkey in the bottom close to the river. Grandmother cooked it on the campfire. Grandmother said 'We have no table yet, sir.' So they turned a washtub upside down and sat the oven in the middle of the tub and went to work. The general said that was the best dinner he had ever eaten."
The cause of David's death was unknown. It is thought that he suffered all his life from a serious wound inflicted in an Indian fight.
He died intestate and his widow moved quickly to have the estate appraised and partitioned. It consisted of over 3341 acres of the original league plus other holdings from later purchases and land certificates.
12/11/1845 the court held special session to start proceedings to settle the estate and was finished by 12/21/1845. It was thought that Mary Ann had help from Adam Zumwalt and friends who were county commissioners to get the estate settled so quickly.
The motivation for Mary Ann's desire for quick settlement is unknown but family tales indicate problems with son-in-law Simon Cockrell, plus it was just before statehood and a volatile period for land titles. Texas was increasingly being populated by land hungry settlers, many of whom were squatters, and clever unscrupulous residents who felt lands deeded under the Mexican government were not necessarily valid.
The league was divided into 8 shares and divided among the children while Mary Ann reserved the 555 acre homestead, "a child's share," of the Jess McCoy/James Hughes headright for herself and minor children, over whom she obtained legal guardianship. Division was made thus:
Simon Cockrell in right of his wife Edna, Lot 7-475 acres
Nathan Burket, Lot 5-430 acres
Isaiah Burkett, Lot 6-442 acres
Mahal Burket, Lot 2-350 acres
John Burket, Lot 3-385 acres
Margaret Burket Lot 8-509 acres
Bartlet Burket, Lot 4-400 acres
Ann Burket, Lot 1-350 acres
Dividing the livestock equally was not possible so it was agreed that appraisel be made and the livestock aside until one of the heirs could legally take it and apportion out to the other heirs their shares according to the appraisement. The appraisal included:
17 cows and calves at $8.00 = $136
5 cows w/o calves at $5.00 = $25
2-4 year old steers at $8.00 = $16
3-3 year old steers at $6.00 = $18.00
32-1 and 2 year olds ? at $4.00 = $128
1 yoke oxen = $35
Total Cattle = $358
5 head of horses, 1 mare and colt = $30
1 brown horse = $45
1 brown mare = $45
1 Dan colt = $14
Total Horses = $134
30 head gentle hogs at $0.75 = $22.50
13 head hogs not gentle at $0.50 = $6.50
Total Hogs = $29
Grand total = $521
Mary Ann, with the consent of the major heirs (Simon Cockrell and son Nathan), took the stock and paid each heir $57.00 for their share. The commissioners also left her with all kitchen and household furniture along with all tools and farming equipment free of charge since all parties share equally in the benefit of them.