Part of an old map of the San Jacinto area from the Texas Revolution

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Participant

The Kemp Sketch

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DURHAM, WILLIAM DANIEL -- Listed on page 24 of the army rolls in the General Land Office as a member of Captain William G. Cooke's Company of New Orleans Greys, and is shown as having been born in England. He was born in 1814 in Boswell, Norfolk County, England. In Headright Certificate No. 341 issued to him February 23, 1838 for one-third of a league of land by the Board of land Commissioners of Harrisburg County it is stated that he came to Texas in October 1835. The Greys landed at Velasco, October 25, 1835.

Mr. Durham participated in the Storming and Capture of Bexar, December 5 to 10, 1835 and for this was on May 28, 1838 issued Donation Certificate No. 139 for 640 acres of land. He was a member of Captain William J. E. Heard's Company of Citizen Soldiers at San Jacinto. On June 22, 1840 Bounty Certificate No. 3631 for 1280 acres of land was issued in his name for his services in the army from October 22, 1835 to October 22, 1836. While living in Harrisburg County, June 28, 1838 he had sold his rights to the certificate to John Cronican for $300.00

In Comptroller's Military Service Record No. 787 it is certified that Mr. Durham served as a private and corporal in Captain William C. Cooke's Company in 1835; was in Captain Heard's Company at San Jacinto and later served in the companies of Captains William Graham and J. D. Elliott. He was elected First Sergeant in Captain Elliott's Company August 14, 1836.

Mr. Durham died in Houston August 26, 1838 while Second Lieutenant of the Milam Guards. The State of Texas had a monument erected at his grave in Founder's Memorial Park, Houston, in 1936.

George J. Durham, brother of William D. Durham, was appointed administrator of the latter's estate, August 12, 1839.

In the files of the Court of Claims in the General land Office it is shown that William and Esther Durham, parents of William D. Durham, were alive in 1857.

From the Probate Records of Harris County it is learned that Mr. Durham had authorized William Brennon to survey the land on his headright and Donation Certificates, but that Mr. Brennon had died before this was done. The certificates were sold at auction April 7, 1840.

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. William J. E. Heard

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: Durham, William Davis; Dunham
  • Date of Birth: 1814? 1815 July 4?
  • Birthplace: England, Norfolk County, Boswell
  • Origin: New York
  • Came to Texas: 1835 Oct 25
  • Date of Death: 1838 Aug 26? 27?
  • Burial Place: Founder's Memorial Park, Houston, Texas
  • Other Battles: Bexar
  • Bounty Certificate: 3631