Hadley Family History Clues in Land Records

Ancestry searches are often made easier when you learn about related areas of study. This land record is copied from images made from the microfilm holdings at the Montgomery County (Texas) Library. The microfilm contains typewritten transcriptions of the original handwritten documents and consequently may have errors. Bear in mind that this is an example of an English transcription of a pre-1836 Mexican (Spanish) document filed in a Texas courthouse after the establishment of the Republic of Texas.

Vol.D.p.66

Josuah Hadley. Deed from Govt.

I, citizen Miguel Arciniega, Commissioner appointed by the Supreme Government of this State, for the division and occupation of land and the execution of titles to the new colonists, in the colonization enterprise of Empresarios Estevan F. Austin out of the ten litoral leagues of the coast. Whereas Joshua Hadley has been received as a colonist in the colonization enterprise contracted by the government of the State of Coahuila & Texas by Empresario Stephen F. Austin on the fourth of June 1825, as appears on folio 1451 of this book of records and the said Joshua Hadley having proved that he is married and finding in his person the requirements provided by the law of colonization of this State of March 24, 1825, in conformity with the said law and the instructions which govern me, dated September 4, 1827, and additional Article dated April 25, of the past year 1830, and in the name of the State I give, grant and confirm in real and personal possession one league of land unto the said Joshua Hadley which land has been surveyed by Surveyor Horatio Chrisman appointed previously for the purpose under the following situation and bounds situated adjoining a league of land surveyed by Surveyor Horation Chrisman for John S. Plak and beginning the measure of the survey at a land mark erected on the north line of the league of said Blake 2000 varas from the north east corner of said league from which a land mark a white oak bears south 71° west 6 varas distant, and another white oak bears south 53-1/2° east 21 varas distant, a line was run from said land mark north 70° east and following the said boundry of Black 2000 varas to his north east corner and on the same course 3000 varas more to another land mark for which a white oak bears north 57° west 31 varas distant, and another north 9° east 30 varas distant and thence north 20° west five thousand varas to another land mark from which a white oak bears north 50° east 5-1/3 varas distant and another black jack bears south 52-1/3° east 9-2/3 varas distant and thence south 70° west five thousand varas, to a white oak the north west corner from which a white oak bears south 53° east 6 varas distant, and another bears north 10° east 9-1/2 varas distant, and thence south 20° east five thousand varas to the point of beginning, and comprising one league of land in area, two twenty fifths part of the said land belongs to the arable class and twenty three twenty fifths part to pasture which serves as classification for the price which should be paid to the State for it, according to Article 22 of said law, under the penalties therein established, he being warned that within one year he must erect permanent monument at every corner of the land and that he must settle upon and cultivate it in conformity with the provisions of the law. Therefore exercising the functions given me by the law proper and subsequent instructions I execute the present instrument and order a copy taken of it and delivered to the petitioner that he may possess and enjoy the land, he his children, heirs and successors or who from him or them may have claim or right.

Given in the town of San Felipe de Austin on the 7 day of the month of May 1831, which I sign with the witnesses of assistance in conformity with the law.

Miguel Arciniega

Of assistance. Robert Taylor, Jr. C.C. GIvens

This accords with the original title which is recorded in these archives whence it is taken for the party on the day of the date hereof in the form required by law to which I refer and sign with witnesses of assistance.

Given in the town of San Felipe de Austin, on the 7 day of the month of May 1831.

Migl Arciniega

Of assistance Robert S. Taylor, Jr. C.C. Givens

2 labores arable land $5

23 " pasture land 120 27.60

(total) $32.60

Received July 24, 1838. from Joshah Hadley

Thirty two 60/100 in full for all fees due the Govt. E. Collard, Recr.

Public Money, County Montgomery

Republic of Texas

Montgomery County

Before me Gwyn Morrison, Clerk & Recorder of the county aforesaid, personally came Chas. B. Stewart and William W. Shepherd who being duly sworn saith that they are acquainted with the signature of Migl Arciniega from having frequently seen him write and that they verily believe the signature of Miguel Arciniega to the foregoing deed to be his true and genuine signature.

Sworn and subscribed before me, this the 25 July 1838.

Chs. B. Stewart

W.W. Shepherd.

Gwyn Morrison, Clerk & Recorder.

Filed for record the 24

Recorded the 28 July 1838

Ferdinand Kessler, Deputy Recorder.


I had to use a magnifying glass to read parts of this document. Even then, the primitive typewriter made it difficult to distinguish between the 3's and 5's sometimes.

This is an excellent example of the metes and bounds system used to survey land in early Texas, using varas as a measure of distance rather than chains or feet. One vara equals roughly 40 inches but that may be arguable.

What it all boils down to is that Stephen F. Austin made it possible for Joshua Hadley to pay $27.60 for roughly 4400 acres of land in Texas in 1831. It just boggles my mind sometimes.

I also find it interesting that in 1831 Joshua promised to pay $27.60 to the Mexican government but instead paid that sum to the Republic of Texas in 1838. No wonder Mexico was upset.

I hope this short lesson in early Texas land records helps you with your ancestry search.

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