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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GAMMELL, WILLIAM--Born in Scotland and came to the United States with his parents at an early age. The family settled at Lowell, Massachusetts. The name was spelled GEMMELL but after coming to Texas in 1835 William changed his name to GAMMELL.

Mr. Gammell's name was omitted from the official San Jacinto rolls as printed in 1836 but Adjutant General John A. Wharton and Captain A. H. Wyly both certified that he participated in the battle as a member of Captain Wyly's Company. On February 4, 1848 he was issued Donation Certificate No. 95 for 640 acres of land for having fought at San Jacinto. He was issued Bounty Certificate No. 8010 for 640 acres of land for serving in the army from March 1 to September 4, 1836. On muster rolls at the General Land Office he is shown as a member of Major Leander Smith's Company April 5, 1836.

In the Headright Certificate issued to Mr. Gammell by the Commissioner of the Land Office, February 4, 1841 for one-third of a league of land it is stated that he came to Texas in 1835

. Mr. Gammell and Jane McDaniel were married in Houston June 18, 1839. They made their home at Chapmonville, now a part of Houston, on the north side of Buffalo Bayou. Mr. Gammell died April 10, 1869 and was buried in the City Cemetery now on West Dallas Avenue, Houston. Mrs. Gammell died at her home 3003 Odin Avenue, Houston, November 11, 1908, aged 83. She is buried in Glenwood Cemetery.

Andrew J. Gammell, brother of William Gammell joined the French in their unsuccessful attempt to overthrow English rule in Canada. He was captured by the British and held captive at Hobart Town, Australia, for several years. Finally he escaped and after making a trip around the world came to Houston in April 1858. He purchased three acres of land from Darius Gregg near the present outskirts of the Fifth Ward and lived there until his death.

Marguerite Gammell a sister of William Gammell married Daniel Reid of Canada. Jean D. Gammell, another sister, was married to Fred A. Wylie. Mrs. Wylie was killed by lightning in Houston September 30, 1861. Margaret Gammell, sister of William Gammell was married to Captain James B. Andrews of Key West Florida, at Lowell, Massachusetts, September 18, 1837. Captain Andrews died at Harrisburg, Texas, September 7, 1858. Two children survived this marriage, Marion Janette Andrews and Katherine M. Andrews, both born in Hanover, Michigan. Marion Andrews was married to William N. Sterns at Houston, July 14, 1870. Mrs. Sterns died December 28, 1927 at Houston, leaving five children; May, Janette, William Gregg, Alice Kathleen, James Bedford and Frank Gammell Sterns.

Catherine M. Andrews, daughter of Captain and Mrs. James B. Andrews, was married to Charles Collins, a brother of the mother of Earl Amerman of Houston. After the death of Mr. Collins, Mrs. Collins was married to A. J. LeFevre.

Mrs. James B. Andrews after the death of her husband was married to Captain J.W. Oates, Sr., October 23, 1859. Captain Oates died March 7, 1877. Mrs. Oates died February 3, 1888 and was buried in the old Episcopal Cemetery, Houston.

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. Alfred Henderson Wyly

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: Gemmell; Gamble
  • Birthplace: Scotland, Ayrshire, Kilmarnock
  • Origin: Massachusetts, Lowell? New York?
  • Came to Texas: 1835
  • Date of Death: 1869 Apr 10
  • Burial Place: City Cemetery, Houston, Texas
  • Bounty Certificate: 8010
  • Donation Certificate: 95
  • Profession: Gunsmith
  • Wife: Jane McDaniel
  • Children: none