Saturday, December 12, 2015

Descendants of the Signers Sought by Genealogical Consultant, Shelby Rowan, for Texas 180th Celebration

Are you a descendant of a Signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence (one of the 59 delegates or the secretary of the Convention)? The Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico was signed beginning on March 2, 1836. The Star of the Republic Museum located at Washington on the Brazos State Park maintains a Registry of the Descendants of the Signers who have proven their descent genealogically.  Have you wanted to be a member listed on the Registry of Descendants of the Signers?  Do you need a little help with your application?  Then read on.

In 2011, the Star of the Republic Museum celebrated the 175th anniversary of the  signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence and over 1500 descendants were in attendance.  That number was largely due to the research done by many volunteer genealogists who compiled family trees of the 60 signers and located a significant number of living descendants who were subsequently invited to the 2011 celebration.  2016 will mark the 180th anniversary and there is currently an effort being made to locate the many additional living descendants.  New research has shown that there are hundreds, perhaps as many as a thousand, living descendants of the Signers still unidentified.

To learn more about the Star of the Republic Museum and the Signers Project, you can go to the Museum's website (, visit the museum at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park just outside Navasota, Texas, or call the Star of the Republic Museum (936-878-2461), and talk to Dr. Shawn Carlson, Curator, (ext. 214), or Dr. Houston McGaugh, Director, (ext.238). On the Star of the Republic Museum website, you will find family trees of all the signers (the 59 delegates and the secretary, Henry Kimble), and information about the project and about the Descendants Registry project.

For help with your application for the Descendants Registry, Shelby Rowan, Genealogical Consultant for the Museum, can also help.  It is her objective to review all current family trees and then see where descendants of the signers, dead or living are missing.  If you are a descendant of one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, and you have not previously been identified, Shelby Rowan is looking for you. There is still a lot of work to do. Although most of the family trees of each of the signers have most of their children in the second generation identified and listed, Shelby Rowan has discovered several instances where any number of grandchildren or great-grandchildren are missing and thus long lines of living descendants are yet to be located.  You are encouraged to contact Shelby Rowan and forward this to your cousins because Miss Rowan needs your help in finding those missing living descendants.  You need to know that NO INFORMATION ABOUT LIVING PEOPLE is put on the website and the Museum does not share any of the information about living people with anyone!! Occasionally people will contact Miss Rowan  looking for cousins and she will only share contact information if she is given permission. The best plan is be at the 180th celebration  in 2016 and meet those cousins who descend from your signer ancestor personally!

March 5th and 6th have been selected as the dates for the 2016 Texas Independence celebration at Washington-on-the-Brazos as well as the Descendants of the Signers activities.  Information will be online and sent to the Descendants of the Signers beginning sometime in the fall of 2015. There will be a variety of activities on both Saturday and Sunday followed by a roll call of all the families on Sunday, the 6th.  Feel free to contact Shelby Rowan by phone, email or snail mail with any questions OR with additional names for her to add to her files. Remember, if the Star of the Republic Museum does not have your information (correct address and correct email) you will not receive formal invitations to the activities.  Whether they have your contact information or not, be sure and come up to Washington-on-the-Brazos March 5-6, 2016 for all the fun and to celebrate what your ancestor did "Where Texas Became Texas."


Shelby Rowan, Genealogical Consultant for the Star of the Republic Museum
2300 Avon Street, Bryan, Texas 77802

 For more information about the Descendants of the Signers activities for the 180th celebration, visit: or call 936-878-2214.

Photograph of Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick speaking at 2015 Texas Independence Day celebrations at Washington-on-the-Brazos with the Descendants of the Signers flag in the background is courtesy of Jennifer Searle.

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