Saturday, June 16, 2012

Surname Saturday – Ancestor #18 – Houston T. Owens


One of my goals for 2012 is to use the Surname Saturday blogging prompt as a way to assure that I spend some time researching each of my family lines and that I have appropriate source citations for the genealogical facts related to my ancestors. I’ve decided to use my ahnentafel report and work back through the generations starting with my grandparents, writing a summary of each ancestor. 

If you discovered this post through a search engine and find one of your ancestors listed here, please leave a comment to let me know.

My paternal 2nd great-grandfather Houston T. Owens was born 24 March 1816[1] probably in Tennessee.[2] His middle initial may stand for Thomas or Taylor. His parents are unknown.

Houston married Sherreldia Jane Hammontree on 29 December 1841 in Talladega County, Alabama.[3] They had fifteen children:
  • Andrew J. Owens (1841-?)[4]
  • Nancy C. Owens (1843-1930)[5]
  • Missouri Ann Owens (1845-1927)[6]
  • Dialtha Jane Owens (1847-1893)[7] – my great-grandmother
  • Rachel B. Owens (1849-1851)
  • Hughes R. Owens (1851-1916)[8]
  • Rebecca Ursula Owens (1852-1928)[9]
  • Thomas Alexander Owens (1855-1919)[10]
  • Gabriel Houston Owens (1858-1928)[11]
  • Sarah A. Owens (1861-1947)[12]
  • Steward S. Owens (1864-1937)[13]
  • Sarilda Angeline Owens (1866-1906)[14]
  • John Darius Owens (1868-1951)[15]
  • Charles Taylor Owens (1870-1945)[16]
  • Belzora Owens (1872-died young)[17]


Because Houston reportedly married in Talladega County, Alabama, in 1841, I looked for him there in the 1840 census. Although he is not enumerated by name, there are two families in which he may be enumerated. The families of Bird Owens and Thomas Owens both have males in the 20-30 age group and either might be his family of origin. More research is needed, but for the moment I believe he may be the son of Thomas Owens.

I have found a land patent issued to Houston T. Owens on 1 September 1849 for the purchase of just under 40 acres of land in Randolph County, Alabama.[18] At that time, Talladega and Randolph counties were right next to each other.

However, just a year later, Houston is enumerated in the 1850 federal census for Bienville Parish, Louisiana, where he is living two visits away from his father-in-law Hugh Hammontree.[19] Although the census date was 1 June 1850, the date of the visitation to the Owens’ family was 18 November 1850.

I haven’t yet found Houston’s original land purchase in Louisiana. In 1860, he was enumerated in Claiborne Parish,[20] but in 1870[21] and 1880,[22] he was enumerated in Bienville Parish.

I have located several deeds in Bienville Parish records naming Houston as grantor, but the most significant is one recorded 14 June 1900, in which his heirs sold his property to R. W. Caskey.

Houston died 15 September 1895 and is buried at Hurricane Cemetery, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.[23]

The areas of research on which I most want to focus are:
  1. Property transactions in Alabama and Louisiana to which Houston was a party.
  2. Identifying his parents.
  3. Any anecdotal information that might be available from other descendants.





[1] Kelly Christian Priestly, "Hurricane Cemetery, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana," transcription, USGenWeb Archives (http://files.usgwarchives.org/la/claiborne/cemeteries/hurrican.txt : accessed 2 May 2011), Houston T. Owens. Birthdate is calculated based on age at death of 79 years, 5 months, 22 days.
[2] 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Western District, Bienville, Louisiana, p. 288A, family 559, household of Huston T. Owens; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 230.
[3] Houston T. and Sarilda Owens Photograph, unknown date; digital image, privately held by Theressa Horton, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] . 2010. Marriage date and plate were written on the bottom of the photograph by Theressa Horton’s mother, Sunshine Lowrey Horton, 2nd great-granddaughter of Houston Owens.
[4] 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Western District, Bienville, Louisiana, p. 288A, family 559, household of Huston T. Owens; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 230.
[5] Find A Grave, online database (www.findagrave.com : accessed 13 Jun 2012), Nancy C. Owens, Memorial #15477081, created by Foster L. Spurlock, 23 Aug 2006.
[6] Find A Grave, online database (www.findagrave.com : accessed 13 Jun 2012), Missouri Anne Owens Spurlock, Memorial #15541349, created by Foster L. Spurlock, 28 August 2006.
[7] Dialtha Owens Spurlock Photograph of grave marker, 1999; digital image, privately held by Denise Spurlock, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lomita, Callifornia. 2012.
[8] Charles I. Caskey, Descendants of Houston T. Owens.
[9] Find A Grave, online database (www.findagrave.com : accessed 13 Jun 2012), Rebecca Ursula Owens Sims, Memorial #21341670, created by Terri Carter, 3 September 2007.
[10] Find A Grave, online database (www.findagrave.com : accessed 13 Jun 2012), Thomas Alexander Owens, Memorial #15541142, created by Foster L. Spurlock, 28 August 2006.
[11] Find A Grave, online database (www.findagrave.com : accessed 13 Jun 2012), Gabriel Houston Owens, Memorial #15541182, created by Foster L. Spurlock, 28 August 2006.
[12] Find A Grave, online database (www.findagrave.com : accessed 13 Jun 2012), Sarah Ann Owens, Memorial #15477146, created by Foster L. Spurlock, 23 August 2006.
[13] Find A Grave, online database (www.findagrave.com : accessed 13 Jun 2012), Steward S. Owens, Memorial #15477194, created by Foster L. Spurlock, 23 August 2006.
[14] Charles I. Caskey, Descendants of Houston T. Owens.
[15] Find A Grave, online database (www.findagrave.com : accessed 13 Jun 2012), John Darius Owens, Memorial #54034110, created by Debbra, 23 Jun 2010.
[16] Find A Grave, online database (www.findagrave.com : accessed 13 Jun 2012), Charles Taylor Owens, Memorial #15477291, created by Foster L. Spurlock, 23 August 2006.
[17] Find A Grave, online database (www.findagrave.com : accessed 13 Jun 2012), Belzora Owens Owens, Memorial #15541105, created by Foster L. Spurlock, 28 August 2006.
[18] Accession No. AL3170_.077, Certificate No. 10129, Houston T. Owens, dated 1 Sep 1849, Monroe, Louisiana, General Land Office; Cash entry files; Records of the Bureau of Land Management; digital images, U. S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records (www.glorecords.blm.gov : accessed 7 Oct 2011).
[19] 1850 U.S. census, Bienville Parish, Louisiana, population schedule, Western District, p. 288A, family 559, household of Huston T. Owens; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 230.
[20] 1860 U.S. census, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, population schedule, Ward 6, p. 728, dwelling 1094, family 1094, household of H. T. Owens; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Mar 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll 410.
[21] 1870 U.S. census, Bienville Parish, Louisiana, population schedule, Ward 1, p. 17A, dwelling 240, family 240, Houston Owins; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 Jan 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M593, roll 507.
[22] 1880 U.S. census, Bienville Parish, Louisiana, population schedule, 1st Ward, enumeration district (ED) 6, p. 36 (penned), dwelling 313, family 313, Houston Owens; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 Jan 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 448.
[23] Huston T. Owens gravestone photograph, 1999; digital image, privately held by Denise Spurlock, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lomita, California. 2011.


© 2012 Denise Spurlock

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