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Our Kinship With Private William Linn of the Alamo

My middle name, Linn, commemorates my maternal grandfather Sherman Linn Shaw II, whose grandmother was Mary Rebecca Linn. The Linns are a Scots-Irish family who had settled in Boston, Massachusetts, in the first half of the 1700s. Some branches of the Linns settled in northern Illinois and others migrated to Iowa or elsewhere. One member of the "clan," WILLIAM LINN, a first cousin of Mary Rebecca Linn, migrated to Texas and was caught up in the drama of the Texan War of Independence. William was born 18 Dec. 1819 in Maine, the son of a veteran of the War of 1812 named David Linn, himself the son of a Revolutionary War veteran named John Linn. (See Evangeline Linn Halleck's "Descendants of George Linn" (1941), page 57) William's father eventually moved to Iowa by way of Illinois, but prior to that William had gone to live in the Boston area in Massachusetts. As a member of Capt. Thomas H. Breece's company of New Orleans Greys, Private William Linn traveled from New Orleans to Texas. In December of 1835, he participated in the siege of Bexar (San Antonio), Texas. Private William Linn is listed on the roster of Lt. Col. James C. Neill's Bexar garrison as having been taken prisoner -- apparently during the siege and then presumably released after the surrender of the Mexican garrison. A few months later, William took part as a rifleman in the heroic defense of the Alamo, probably as a member of Capt. William Blazeby's infantry company. He and his fellow defenders died together on 6 March 1836.

The following chart shows that I am a first cousin four times removed of Private William Linn:

                                    John Linn=Rebecca Anderson
                                    1754-1834|   1759-1834
          |                                               |
      David Linn=Mary Ann Meigs                 George Russell Linn=Abigail Stinson
      1786-1865 |  1784-1821                         1800-1886     |   1799-1880
                |                                                  |
      Pvt. WILLIAM LINN             Sgt. James Monroe Shaw=Mary Rebecca Linn
          1819-1836                       1838-1876       |     1841-1917
                                                  Sherman Linn Shaw
                                                 Sherman Linn Shaw II
                                     Joseph Olar=Dolores Frances Shaw
                                                |     1936-2007
                                         Jared Linn Olar

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