Cass County Texas McMichaels

It is hard to tell how typical as Scot Irish American settlers the McMichaels were as they
took a Wagon Train from Jackson County Georgia to Cass County Texas; for while there
were enough clannish McMichaels in Buttes of Jackson County to have a very large
McMichael cemetery with historical records IN STONE, so to speak, the McMichael
cemetery or Snow Hill Cemetery was much smaller, and when one amateur genealogists
surveyed the cemetery in disarray, many tombstones were hard to read and she was
barely able to make out one for Judge Griffin C McMichael, the McMichael that brought
his family to Cass County at least by 1860.  One might speculate that Griffin C. was
willing to break with the Highland heritage for fighting by avoiding with a move to Texas,
the impending Civil War.  Someone told me on a flight in Scotland of the heritage saying
that “they wish the Brits would leave us alone so that we can fight in peace.”
Judge Griffin C McMichael and family first appear in the Cass County Texas census in
1860, here he was listed as a farmer and in a later census a Judge.  Below is a list of all
the McMichaels in Cass county in 1860, which includes Dr. James Madison McMichael
and his wife.
McMichael     Anna           0377a 423 433         first wife of Griffin C, second was Amanda
McMichael     E              0377a 423 433
McMichael     G C            0377a 423 433          Griffin C
McMichael     J R            0377a 423 433          confusing but must be John B
McMichael     L              0377a 423 433            Levi
McMichael     N W            0377a 423 433
McMichael     R J            0377a 423 433
McMichael     W G            0377a 423 433us   must be John B’s younger brother, WC or
WG, he signed in as WC as a Sergeant in the Texas 10th Infantry.
McMichal      I              0376b 414 424
McMichal      J M            0376b 414 424     Dr. James Madison McMichael
3-1:  The Mysterious Life and Death of John Bruce McMichael, Civil War Vet?
However that move did not work, if intended, as two of his sons--John Bruce, my great-
grandfather and his younger brother William joined up at Galveston and fought at the
battle of Arkansas pass where they both became POWs of the Union.  William was
paroled, supposedly to go home and fight no more, which also did not work as he joined
back up and fought through the Civil War.  A mystery about John Bruce needs to be
answered, if possible, because a historical note from the Treasury department with his
possessions in on record online and from the hospital in Petersburg VA, stating he died
of pneumonia; and a photo is in an SMU art gallery as an example of Civil War veterans
from Cass County who paid the ultimate price.  Yet other historical documents, like the
Cass County Census, show him to be in the County after the War ended in 1865.  
Likewise there are historical records indicating John Bruce not only received a civil war
pension, but also that he received a land grant for 1024 acres of land, location not
indicated.  The mystery deepens as IN STONE, his wife or first wife if the case is such,
Francis Caroline Lanier, is buried not too far in the beautiful Linden #1 cemetery from my
Mammaw Elizabeth Bonnie Kelley McMichael.  More mystery, although Cass County
census verify that John Bruce had four children, only my grandfather--Thomas Bruce
McMichael--is listed as a child on her tombstone.  {Does that indicate a divorce?}
Speculation is that since Bonnie McMichael, as she was known in Linden and later in
Shreveport LA, was married as recorded in the family Bible, shortly before 1900 in the
Oklahoma Indian territory, that great-grandfather John Bruce took my grandfather,
Thomas Bruce, and the other children up there for the famous Oklahoma run for land;
and sometimes we even speculate that like the other sooners, with Cass county so close
to Oklahoma, went up there and prematurely settled on the run land, or even that the
land grant for civil war service was in the Oklahoma Indian territory.  Later, as typical also
of the Scot Irish and of Cass County, we will come to an Indian lady, being once married
to a Scot, owned plantations in both Cass County and Oklahoma, close enough so that
after the Civil War, and after slaves could no longer being a part of the plantation
business, she completely moved to the Oklahoma plantation--her former slaves made the
decision to go with her to Oklahoma.
3-2:  Cass County
Cass County, you will notice, is neatly located in Northeast Texas very close to
Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana; and indeed my direct McMichael relatives that left
after having been born and raised primarily in Linden, lived in those tri-state areas, at
Oklahoma City, at Shreveport LA, and at Hot Springs Arkansas.  Cass county is not on
the Red River; however, though hard to believe now, back in the days of Griffin C and
his son John Bruce, Cass county on the Sulfur River then boasted to be the third largest
port in transportation in Texas, a good combination of early Texas history with the Scot
Indian lady that was the largest planation owner in Texas.  However, then as now, the
real story of those beautiful east texas piney woods, is lumber and farming; and the
mother side of my family was more the story of farming large acreages, the history of the
Vaughans.  The Vaughans like the McMichaels can be traced easily in the wars of the
United Sates, first the American Revolution and then the Civil War.  You can trace some
of World War II through my uncle Vaughans, Uncle R. J. and Uncle Orville, who like John
Bruce also from Cass County but in the Civil War, were Sergeants and POWs in World
War II.  And I think I already told you of how typical McMichaels were as Scot Irish and
American settlers in that 129 McMichaels are on the muster rolls for the North and 122
on for the South.  {Of course, this also was enough to dampen the clan, or clan sept,
enthusiasm of the original MacMichaels from Scotland.}
3-3:  We Need a Cass County Clan Sept. Genealogist and Historian for the MacMichaels
of Scotland and Ulster Ireland.
The most involved one such McMichael has been in history as a writer was a William
McMichael who wrote of the American Revolution, with memories before and after, and
of his grandfather John McMichale (the planation name on the map}, the first of 3
locations where my line of McMichaels made footprints in American settlement.  Those,
of course, backwards in time, first being Cass County, previously introduced, the second
being Jackson County Georgia, and the third, really the first in historical order and the
biggest foothold of all with the largest plantation was Mickleburg, NC.  John McMichale
was also known as a distiller, a land trader, a veteran in the American Revolution, and as
the largest slave holder in South Carolina when Mickleburg became part of South
Even in my immediate family, at least with my father Thomas Madison, they spoke more
of the Irish origins than of the Scottish, a matter which must also be explained later
besides a lady telling me in Dublin Ireland that the MacMichaels dropped the Mac to Mc
to fake out the British after the battle of Culloden.  Growing up in Galena Park Texas, at
least for the high school years, the family always told me of one Parks McMichael, a
lawyer in Houston and a close McMichael relative, was writing up the history and
genealogy of our McMichael branch.  And on one of my teaching cycles at Lee College in
Baytown {I was most frequently cycling between 10 years of teaching and about 30 years
of Aerospace Engineering}, and during the summer when I could supplement income with
working packages at the Houston Greyhound Bus Station thus making a trip like to
Linden Texas free, I went to visit with this cousin Parks McMichael who had settled in
Linden and supposedly writing on the McMichaels.  Unfortunately all I was able to
achieve on that trip was to get the tombstone of mammaw, Elizabeth Bonnie Kelley
McMichael, corrected by those responsible for Linden #1 cemetery, for I was told the day
before Parks while rocking on the back porch fell over backward off the porch and died.  
The most recent searching has been with a current McMichael judge of Cass County,
who is too busy to help solve the mysteries of Griffin C and John Bruce McMichael.
Lois McMichael on Butts County Georgia.  Lois McMichael until her death in 1991 was a
prolific writer on McMichael history and genealogy, writing two well-known books, History
of Butts County Georgia 1825-1976 by Lois McMichael (Dec 1988), and Trailing our
ancestors: McMichael, Maddox, Maddux, Lindsey and allied families by Lois McMichael
(1994).  As indicated her focus was on Butts County GA, naturally as it seems that after
migrating to American from many diverse routes, there was sort a gathering of the
McMichael clan at Jackson, GA and Butts county.  Although Lois was buried in the
Jackson cemetery in 1991, the original McMichael settlers of the county are buried in a
McMichael cemetery, such at the John Madison McMichael, the father of Griffin C and
grandfather of John Bruce.  We are not sure what prompted Griffin C to leave this large
settlement of McMichaels in favor of Cass County, except either the same adventure for
new cheaper land that had laid his own ancestors of Scotland and Ireland and trailed
them from Halifax VA to Mickleburg NC and Orangeburg SC and then to Georgia and
Texas, or perhaps tiring of a heritage of warfare desired to escape the Civil War already
erupting in Georgia.
From A. S. Salley, a grandson of Mr. C. M. McMichael of Orangeburg and writing in
1898, we are endowed with the Revolutionary War period of Orangeburg, being with its
first settlement in 1682.  From his great grandfather George McMichael traveling the path
of oral history through his C. M. McMichael grandfather relates many personal incidents
in this 596 page book, although primarily extensive written research and other historical
records were used.  Major George McMichael of Orangeburg fought originally on the
Tory side, almost trapped into it long before the Revolutionary War when early settlers
formed sort of a National guard and selected as officers some of the largest landowners.  
The purpose of this Guard was to protect the settlers from the French to the North, the
Spanish to the south, and the Indians all over.  In the nearby county of Mickleburg NC
resided the Tory side of the family, and brother of George, John McMichael who owned
according to old maps the McMichale plantation.
In the History of Mickleburg County from 1740 to 1900 by J. B. Alexander this 503
page book published in 1902, and promoted later on Google books, Doctor Alexander
relays a personal assessment of other Mickleburg settlers about the Scot Irish--
“They were, he says, strong  in body, strong  in mind,  brave,  and patriotic. They were
driven by persecution from Scotland and  Ireland, and were called Scotch-Irish.  They
were determined to have liberty or have death.  They lived far  from  market  and  had  
few luxuries.    Those  who could afford it had coffee for breakfast on Sunday morning,
before they went to church, but at no other time.   Though they  lived  plainly,  they  lived
abundantly.    The  land  was rich, producing all manner of grain, stock always plenty and
always fat.   The women were the best of cooks; no negroes then; no cotton, no
drunkards, no thieves; no locks on dwellings,  corn  crib or  smokehouses.   The  
hardest  time  of  the year  was to harvest  their  crops.  Then  all through  winter they
had little to do but to attend  their stock, pay and  receive visits.   Happy days!“
3-4: Forward into Cass County McMichael history with more on the mystery of John
Bruce, or John Batlett McMichael--the civil war vet--and Francis Caroline Lanier, his first
From Texas records of Cass County confederate applicants (a total of 574) come the
McMichael, Frances C.                  29391  Cass  McMichael, John Bartlett            14843
McMichael, John Bartlett                     14843  Cass
Lanier, William D.                                 42719  Cass
NOTE:  From this record of applications for confederate pensions, it would appear that
both J. B. McMichael and his wife Francis Caroline Lanier made applications for
confederate pensions.
From the muster rolls of the Confederate Texas 10th Infantry Company F show up
Sergeant John B and Johns brother, Sgt William C, with the friend shown in the
Galveston photo from Davis County:
McMichael, John B., Sgt.

NOTE:  McMichael, Jno. B.  5Sgt.   25          Oct. 13, 1861           Died of Disease in a
Va. Hosp.- May  8, 1863
McMichael, William A., Sgt.
NOTE:  McMichael, Wm. A.   3Sgt.   27          Oct. 13, 1861           Surrendered Near
Durham, NC  - Apr. 28, 1865
Edwards, Rufus K., Sgt.            
NOTE:  Edwards, Rufus K.   3Sgt.   21          Oct. 13, 1861           Killed at Pickett's Mill     
- May  27, 1864

1.  All these records above seem simple and straightforward--(1) John Bartlett
McMichael, confed vet that entitled his wife Francis C Lanier to receive a pension; (2) the
same John Bartlett McMichael receiving a confed pension; (3) the muster rolls of the
Texas 10th Infantry, company F showing Sgt John B and his brother William C.  
2.  The mystery is created in the reading of the notice of death {shown above} of Sgt J.
B. McMichael of the Texas 10, company F, with a date of death as May 8th, 1863,
signed by the surgeon in charge at the Petersburg Hospital and as dying of pneumonia.
3.  So explain, if you can the 1870 census with John B at age 30. {shown above}
A McMichael household, seemingly at the same spot of my Mammaw’ house with 3
members in the house, one John B McMichael, age 30--yes the same one who dies of
pneumonia in 1863; one Francis C, age 25; and a black domestic servant age 9, born in
Texas.  John B and Francis C were indicated correctly as having been born in Georgia.

3-5:  Texas McMichaels serving in the military, 1836-1845, and their wives that made
application for vet pensions and in most cases received them.
It was not meant to neglect McMichaels of other counties, or the many Scot Irish that
made war sacrifices.
Applicant Name                               County                        Veteran
McMichael, Annie                                            Falls                        McMichael, William
McMichael, Frances C.         (14843)        Cass                McMichael, John Bartlett        
McMichael, Hannah J.                              Falls                McMichael, William Stephen        
McMichael, John Bartlett         (14843)           Cass         
McMichael, Leonidas                               Henderson                
McMichael, Mary Ann                              Henderson     McMichael, (allen) Leonidas        
McMichael, Mary J.                                          Johnson                     McMichael, William
Ross (bud)        
McMichael, Mary Jane        (Rejected        )   Morris                     McMichael, James
McMichael, R. B.                                             Trinity                
McMickin, J. K.                                               Stonewall                
McMickle, Celeste E.                               Angelina                     McMickle, Homer
McMickle, Ellen E.                                   Frio                     McMickle, Dougal        
McMickle, Homer Virgil                          Angelina                
McMickle, John Colquit                           Bell                
McMickle, John Colquit (Mrs)                 Bee                     McMickle, John Colquit        
Notice the Homer Virgil McMickle veteran of Angelina County, not far from Cass County
as you can tell from the previous map by how close Lufkin, the country seat is to Linden,
the county seat of Cass County.  Not only is the McMickle for McMichael more typical of
the Scot Irish who settled in American, especially the two famous McMickles--John and
Charles-- of Penn, but Angelina county is more typical of Scot Irish settlers than Cass.  
The county's first Anglo settlers were what John Nova Lomax, of the Houston Press,
described as "Scotch-Irish backwoods folk."  Cotton farmers and slaves came to the
county for the rich east Texas soil. Cotton farmers and slaves did not come to Angelina
County because it had poor soil. “Pioneers”, Lomax added came from similarly
hardscrabble areas of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, wanted nothing more than to
carve homesteads out of the Piney Woods and river thickets, farm a little, maybe raise a
scraggly herd of tough cattle to drive to market in New Orleans...”  Also wanting to brew
up a little whiskey {recall that the first forefather to settle American in the Cass country
line was John McMichale of Mickleburg NC, and a distiller; as well as the old country
MacMichaels from the Perth Island area were noted as distillers}, “subsist on the bass,
catfish and perch they hauled from the Neches and Angelina rivers and whatever they
could trap and shoot on dry land.” Settlement was still thin when Texas won its
independence. Angelina County was organized on April 22, 1846, when Nacogdoches
County was divided. The population increased quickly thereafter due to the good farming
land and to the rivers, which made steamboat transportation possible {It has been noted
that early Cass country boasted a large in transportation, third largest in the state at the
time, port on the Sulfur River, before one of the railroad robber barons blew up the
natural dam that made it possible as a port.}  Lufkin was also the route of the railroad
between Houston and Shreveport, built in 1882, originally called the “Houston, East, and
West Texas Railway”, later Union Pacific.  Two more interesting facts of Angelina
County:  (1) it was the only east texas county in 1861 to reject secession from the Union;
and (2) it was named after an Indian lady of the Hainai {Caddo} tribe, and named by
some early Spanish missionaries that she assisted.
“The Hainai or Aimay lived in the postcontact period, which began with the Spanish in
the sixteenth century in what is now East Texas, as one of the nine tribes of the Hasinai
Nation, after the migration from the place of origin or Cha-cah-nee-nah. Prior to forced
removal from their homeland in 1859, the Hainai lived in the largest tribal village complex
in the Angelina River valley in what is now East Texas. Since forced removal, the Hainai
have integrated among the Caddo Nation in west central Oklahoma within the Wichita-
Caddo-Delaware Tribal Jurisdictional Area.”
3-6:  Oklahoma.
“The dust of the great race for homes in the Cherokee Strip
country, September 16, 1893, had scarcely had time to settle till the
homesteaders and the business men of the new towns opened up
began to clamor for railroads. Only three lines of rails crossed that
vast empire-the Santa Fe, just a few miles inside its eastern
border; the Rock Island, fifty miles or so to the west, and the Way-
noka branch of the Santa Fe across the old counties of Woods and
Woodward at the extreme west.”
One William T McMichael, striving to be a legal sooner in June of 1890 lost legal battles
all the way up to the Supreme Court.  Reminds one of two much earlier legal battles:  (1)
in Orangeburg Emmanuel McMichaels and other McMichaels took a case to the higher
courts that they could not be taxed in SC as they lived in NC:  and (2) a similar case by
Major George McMichael who did reside in Orangeburg during the Revolutionary War.
3-6.  Founding McMichael forefathers of Cass County:  Judge and Farmer and Family
Man, Griffin C McMichael and Dr. James McMichael and Silas, his brothers start the
Cass County McMichaels.
Family Tree Maker {
Wommack/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-0132.html } offers the following basics on Griffin C
Griffin C Mcmichael (b. 06 Jan 1814, d. 14 Feb 1904)
Griffin C Mcmichael (son of John Madison McMichael and Ghitta Frances Griffin) was
born 06 Jan 1814 in ,Butts, Georgia, USA, and died 14 Feb 1904 in ,Cass, Texas, USA.
He married Ann Price on 16 Oct 1834 in ,Butts, Georgia, USA, daughter of John Price
and Janett Barkley.
More About Griffin C Mcmichael and Ann Price:
Marriage: 16 Oct 1834, ,Butts, Georgia, USA.
Children of Griffin C Mcmichael and Ann Price are:
+Nancy A Mcmichael, b. 1837, Georgia.
Don’t think that Nancy, though the oldest, was an only child.  The complete list of
children with age in 1870 is as follows:  {Nancy was already married to a McCoy.}
McMichael, C. W.      23   GA   
McMichael, Fannie          23   GA   
McMichael, Griffin         56   GA  Moved to Cusseta, Cass County 1852
McMichael, James M.   43   GA   
McMichael, John B.    30   GA   
McMichael, Levi C.    31   GA   
McMichael, Silas      45   GA   
The 3 original settling households of McMichaels in Cass County would be Griffin C and
his two brothers, Dr James Madison McMichael and Silas McMichael.
1.  Children of John Madison McMichael, contractor in Jackson GA, and husband of
Ghitta Frances Griffin, 1783-1882
Eliza Ann MC Michael           1823-1904
Nancy G Mcmichael              1812-1813             
Lourany McMichael              1787-1863
William Green Mcmichael     1811-1889
Griffin C Mcmichael             1814-1904
Leroy Mcmichael                  1818-1904
Levi McMichael                    1821-1893
John Madison Mcmichael     1827-Unknown
Thomas Jefferson McMichael       1827-1893
James Madison Mcmichael            1828-1888

This verifies that James Madison and Levi were brothers of Griffin C that made the
wagon trip with him from Buttes County Georgia to Cass County Texas.
2.  The 1860 cass county census of the Griffin C McMichael household will be used to
establish the children, knowing that Nancy the oldest had already married a McCoy.Nine
are in the household of Griffin C including a teacher names Westbrook.  But the following
copy is easier to read--{all McMichaels in the county in 1860}
McMichael     Anna         
McMichael     E                  obviously Eula Wright McMichael
McMichael     G C               Griffin C
McMichael     J R               must be J B for John Bartlett
McMichael     L                  Levi, brother of Griffin C
McMichael     N W            Nancy
McMichael     R J            
McMichael     W G             Sgt William C on confed muster rolls
McMichal      I                   wife of James Madison
McMichal      J M              James Madison

3.  Children of John Bruce McMichael.
John McMichael b: CIR 1872 in TX
Lola McMichael b: 11 JUL 1878 in Linden, TX
Winnie McMichael b: NOV 1881 in TX   -- my great aunt Winnie Buckles, a touring pianist
and husband or a railroader J.D. Buckles that left me a couple of lots out in Wildarodo
Texas, and both of whom we visited several times in Houston Texas.
Thomas Bruce McMichael b: 2 JUN 1884 in CassCo, TX  my grandfather
4.  Children of Griffin C McMichael and first wife, Anne Price.
i. ELIZA JANE5 MCMICHAEL, b. 1836, Butts County, Georgia.
ii. NANCY A. MCMICHAEL, b. 1838, Butts County, Georgia.
iii. LEVI C. MCMICHAEL, b. 1839, Butts County, Georgia.
iv. JOHN B. MCMICHAEL, b. 1840, Butts County, Georgia.
v. WILLIAM G. W. MCMICHAEL, b. 1841, Butts County, Georgia.
vi. JAMES R. MCMICHAEL, b. 1842, Butts County, Georgia.
vii. EILY G. MCMICHAEL, b. 1846, Butts County, Georgia.
viii. EUEL MCMICHAEL, b. 1847, Butts County, Georgia.
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