RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 18, 2013
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825
Today is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Medina, which took place in a forested area between San Antonio and what is now Pleasanton, Texas. Known as the bloodiest battle in Texas history, the larger Royal Spanish Army destroyed the Republican Army of the North, claiming the lives of between 800 and 1,300 men on August 18, 1813. Associated with the Gutiérrez-Magee Expedition, the Republican army was composed of Tejanos, former royalists, Native Americans, and men from the United States. The struggle for Texas independence occurred during a turbulent era when Mexico and Latin America were rebelling against Spanish control and the United States and Great Britain were at odds in a conflict known as the War of 1812. (For more information about the battle, go to the Texas State Historical Association website at www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online.)
Five men who were involved with the Gutiérrez-Magee Expedition were also connected to the American Revolution. One of them, Peter SIDES, fought in the Revolution in North Carolina and was among those killed in the Battle of Medina. Born in the mid-1750s in North Carolina, Peter married Barbara CARPENTER in North Carolina and they later lived in Tennessee and Louisiana. Descendants of Peter Sides are eligible for membership in hereditary organizations such as the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT), the Sons of the Republic of Texas (SRT), the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR).
If some of your ancestors were from the Sooner State in the early 20th century, you may want to check for names of kinfolks in the Oklahoma City Death Register, 1908-1926. An online index to the records is available at www.okhistory.org/research/deathreg. More than 20,000 names appear in the register, which includes listings from several hospitals in the metro area. The index provides the name of the individual and usually furnishes the birth date or age at death, birthplace (usually a state), death date, and the volume and page number of the register.
After the name of a relative is located in the index, you can order a copy of the register entry, which generally supplies additional data like cause of death, occupation, marital status, names of parents (including mother’s maiden name), and name of cemetery where buried. Genealogists can also view the register on microfilm at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City.
As genetic sequencing techniques become more refined and more DNA samples are obtained from people from all over the world, extended family history acquires new meaning. Adam Hadhazy’s interesting article, “European Union,” on page 6 of the May 2013 issue of the magazine, Natural History (Vol. 121, No. 4), discusses some of the newest findings on the subject. He states that the latest studies show genetically “...even geographically distant Europeans are quite closely related....” In his article, he points out that people living as far apart as England and Turkey probably share a number of common ancestors going back approximately a thousand years and briefly explains how scientists arrive at this conclusion.