Ruth Gilleland Ashmore
4135 Lakeshore Drive
Reno, Texas 75462
I am researching my genealogy for the Austin Old Three Hundred, DRT and DAR. All of these organizations
require a statement from Milam County about the court house burning in 1877(?) which means
all records prior to this date are no longer attainable.
Would it be possible to get an email or letter stating this fact, signed by someone of authority from the
Ruth G. Ashmore
Ms. Ashmore, are Daniel and Precilla Gilleland your ancestors?.
The above is referenced from the Texas Historical Commission's Gilleland Cemetery marker located near the
intersection of FM 487 and FM 1600 in Milam County.
I previously researched an inquiry dealing with an issue related to the Courthouse fire. I happen to have a
copy of the three page documentation that you're requesting. The previous inquiry was informal, so I made
notations for clarification of reference sources on the said pages.
Attachment # 1 is just an FYI for you.
Attachments # 2 thru 4 are the official documentation of the Milam County Courthouse fire and the loss of all
Unfortunately, it will be a few weeks before I'm able to get back to Cameron. I believe that a new,
unadulterated copy should be made and Ms. Vanza or one of her Deputy Clerks should sign, seal or stamp as
If you would like the above performed promptly, I have attached all the necessary reference sources.
Milam County Clerk contact information:
Barbara Vansa, Milam County Clerk, 107 W. Main St., Cameron, Texas 76520.
Office Location: Milam County Annex (next to Culpepper's) - Phone: 254-697-7049 - Fax: 254-697-7055 -
Hours: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm Monday - Friday;
Deputy Clerks are Susanne Gelner, Jodi Morgan, Linda Hall, Esther Vargas, and Linda Acosta.
If you're able to wait a few weeks, I would be happy to obtain certified copies for you. I'm reasonably sure
that there will be a nominal fee by the County Clerk's Office. If you contact them, they'll advise you of the
I would like to share an interesting twist to the above reference. Please see attachment #5. I have no
knowledge of the original reference source for this article, but it is reprinted in "Tales From The Museum"
Volume #1, from the files of the Milam County Museum. Compiled & Edited by; Charles King - Milam County Museum
Director. Mr. King was kind enough to allow its use for a previous MCHC inquiry and all credit goes to him.
Take note that these appear to be only land titles. It has been informally relayed to me, by a local
historian, that these records are now held by Botts Title Company located in Cameron and Rockdale, Texas.
Is the Gilleland surname your link to Milam County? I have seen that family name numerous times while
researching unrelated inquiries.
Among the first Anglo American settlers to come to Texas with colonizer Stephen F. Austin were Daniel (b.
1795) and Precilla Boatwright (b. 1803) Gilleland. They were members of Austin's Old Three Hundred colony.
The couple and their infant daughter, along with relatives in the Kuykendall and Boatwright families, left
their homes in Arkansas Territory and arrived in Texas in December, 1821. Making his living as a farmer,
Daniel Gilleland received land grants in what is today Colorado and Austin counties.
During the 1830s and 1840s the family moved frequently, farming in Wharton, Fayette, Washington, Harrison, and
Montgomery counties. By 1847 they had settled in present Milam County.
Daniel Gilleland was instrumental in the growth of the Methodist Church in Texas, assisting several
He and Precilla were the parents of thirteen children, three of whom died in childhood. Six Gilleland sons
served in the Confederate army.
The family cemetery (2.8 miles SW) was established in 1848 and serves as the final resting place of Daniel and
Precilla Gilleland, both of whom died in 1873 after more than 50 years spent as pioneers in Texas.
Regards, Jack Brooks
The then Milam County Courthouse was destroyed by fire on the night of April 9th 1874. All was destroyed
except a group of records that were taken home to be worked on by the clerk. The museum has a copy of those
remaining records in two slim volumes.
C. King, Milam County Museum Director
Yes, they are my great-great-grandparents. My father, John William, my grandfather, John Felix, my great-
grandfather, Felix Grundy, and my great, great-grandfather, Daniel Gilleland.
Why do you ask? Are they your relatives too? I have been researching since last April and have found many
relatives, which has been most rewarding. Thank you for the attachments.
Ruth Gilleland Ashmore
No, they're not my relatives.
My wife, Beth, grew up in the Tracy community which is about two miles northwest of the Gilleland Cemetery.
We both take an interest in local historic cemeteries and have visited most of the ones that we have been
able to find in this community. Unfortunately I haven't found the correct property, and ownership, to arrange
a visit to the Gilleland Cemetery.
Please note the below attachment regarding the Gilleland Cemetery. This reference is "170 Years of Cemetery
Records in Milam County, Texas"- Vol. 1, pg. 326. All credit is given to the writer, Mrs. Norinne Holman, who
has been kind enough to allow local Milam County Historical and Genealogical groups to share her reference
when answering inquiries.
Mrs. Holman even provided an additional reference source by Richard Scroggins.
The Find a Grave website has two Gilleland headstone photo requests pending which I would like to fulfill, if
possible. One is for Thomas Gilleland (Jan.3,1825- Dec. 18,1843) and the other for Mary (Gilleland) Slater
(Jan.23, 1827- Jan. 7, 1852.
Regards, Jack Brooks