San Jancinto Museum of History

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Mercer, George R.  ( 1810 Nov 18  -  1842 Oct 6 )

The Kemp Sketch (What is this?) | Download the original typescript

McGAY, THOMAS -- The compiler is responsible for the name Thomas McGay not being on the bronze plaque in the memorial tower at the San Jacinto Battlefield bearing the names of those of the Texas Army who participated in the Battle of San Jacinto. The name of Thomas Gilmer McGehee was erroneously submitted to the State Board of Control instead of Thomas McGay.

While the compiler does not believe that anyone by the name of Thomas McGay participated in the Battle of San Jacinto he cannot prove that he did not. The name THOMAS V. McGAY appears on the official San Jacinto rolls printed in a booklet in 1836, as a member of Captain William H. Patton's COLUMBIA COMPANY.

Colonel Jesse Benton, Jr. was made commmander of Captain Patton's Company on July 20, 1836 and continued as such until the company was disbanded. On June 21, 1856 Colonel Benton at his home at San Angustine, prepared a list of all the men who had served in Captain Patton's Company, making an affidavit that it was correct to the best of his knowledge. This roll was sent to Governor E.M. Pease who in turn sent it to the General Land Office. It is found on page 232 and 233 of the Land Office army rolls. The name THOMAS McGAY is not on it.

The Land Office records do not show that anyone by the name of THOMAS McGAY received either bounty, donation or headright lands.

McGAY, THOMAS -- The compiler is responsible for the name of THOMAS GILMER McGEHEE being placed on the bronze plaque in the San Jacinto Monument as a participant of the battle. He has since found proof that Mr. McGEHEE did not reach the battlefield until April 22, 1836.

The name THOMAS McGAY appears on page 17 of the official San Jacinto rolls printed in New Orleans in 1836 under the direction of General Sam Houston, the name is listed as Thomas M. GARY, of Captain William H. Patton's Company. It appears as THOMAS M. GARY on page 37 of the San Jacinto rolls in the General Land Office in Austin.

No other information regarding THOMAS M'GAY or THOMAS M. GARY has been found. Neither received headright, bounty, or donation lands. Very probably neither one participated in the battle, the name was intended, very likely for THOMAS GILMER McGEHEE, a member of Captain Jesse Billingsley's Company who was on the battlefied on April 22, while the rolls were being prepared.

On page 228 of the army rolls in the General Land Office this is an affidavit signed by Captain Billingsley on December 22, 1855 in which he stated that THOMAS G. McGEHEE and NOEL MIXON of his company was absent on furlough to attend to their families and did not reach the battlefield until the day after the battle.

Until it is proven that no man by the name of THOMAS McGARY was in battle, such name will have to remain on the San Jacinto rolls.

As a matter of fact the records of the Texas Veterans Association, of which he was a member, do not list Mr. McGehee as a San Jacinto veteran. He is listed in the 1874 Year Book of the Association as follows: Age 64; nativity, Georgia; emigrated in 1834. campaign of 1836; Residence, San Marcos, Hays County.

SEE page 605 BAKER's TEXAS SCRAP BOOK

In Comptroller's Military Service Record No. 4740 it is certified that Mr. McGehee entered the services of Texas in the First Regiment of Texas Militia in the company of the MINA VOLUNTEERS February 28 and was discharged June 1, 1836. For this service he was issued Bounty Certificate No. 3227 for 320 acres of land, May 8, 1838. Colonel Edward Burleson certified that he detached Mr. McGehee and four others to act as spies between Bastrop and the Guadalupe, commencing February 29 and continuing until March 20th. They then left to join the main army at Beason's crossing of the Colorado.



McGEHEE, THOMAS GILMER -- The compiler of the biographical sketches in this volume is responsib1e for the name Thomas Gilmer McGehee placed on the bronze plaque in the San Jacinto Monument as a participant in the Battle of San Jacinto. He has since found an affidavit signed December 22, 1855 by Captain Jesse Billingsley in which he stated that Thomas G. McGehee and Noel Mixon of Billingeley's Company were absent on furlough to attend to their families and did not reach the battlefield until the day after the battle.

(See page 228 of the Army Rolls in the General Land Office, Austin).

On page 17 of the official San Jacinto rolls printed in New Orleans in 1836 under the direction of General Sam Houston, the name is listed as Thomas M'Gay of Captain William H. Patten's Company.

MERCER, GEORGE R. -- Date and place of birth unknown as of 1836, he came to Texas in the spring of 1835, as is stated in the Headright Certificate issued to him February 2, 1838 for one labor of land by the Montgomery County Board. The land was surveyed in what is now Walker County. He was issued Bounty Certificate No. 658 for 1230 acres of land, December 1, 1837 for having served in the army from February 25, 1836 to January 20, 1837. He was a member of Captain Hayden Arnold's "Nacogdoches Company" at San Jacinto and on June 9, 1838 received Donation Certificate No. 318 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle.

The Probate Records of Walker County show that Mr. Mercer died in Walker County in 1842. His widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Mercer, was appointed administratrix of his estate December 26, 1842. On February 20, 1850, A.H. Mason and others were appointed to appraise the property of the minor children of Mr. Mercer, George H. and V Matheson Mercer. Mrs. Elizabeth Oliphint, was their guardian.

Mr. Mercer was married to Elizabeth Linfoot, who was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, England in 1818. At Mr. Mercer's death he was buried in a cemetery in Galveston, Texas.

George H. Mercer, son of George R. Mercer, married Mary Kearse (?). Only known descendants are Mrs. Amanda Mercer Robinson, who lived in Richards, Texas, only living child of George R. Mercer. V. Matheson Mercer was married to Annie Scott. The names of some of their descendants are Mrs. Jessie Mercer Copeland, , Mr. W.M. Mercer and Mrs. Rilla Mercer Blain, all of whom lived in Maypearl, Texas as of 1938. Mrs. Elizabeth Mercer, widow of George R. Mercer, married John William Oliphint. Mrs. Elizabeth Linfoot Mercer-Oliphint died July 11, 1881 and is buried in Martha's Chapel Cemetery eight miles southwest of Huntsville, Walker County in a marked grave.

Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.


Battle Statistics

  • Died in Battle: No
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: Capt. Hayden S. Arnold

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: George Ritchie
  • Date of Birth: 1810 Nov 18
  • Birthplace: Scotland, Edinburgh
  • Came to Texas: 1835 Spring
  • Date of Death: 1842 Oct 6
  • Burial Place: Auburn Cemetery, Ellis County, Texas
  • Bounty Certificate: 658
  • Donation Certificate: 640
  • Wife: Elizabeth Linfoot Mercer Oliphint
  • Children: George H. Mercer, V. Mathison Mercer

Related Artifacts

 
 

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