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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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MASSIE, WILLIAM--Enlisted April 4, 1836 for the duration of the war; Captain Amasa Turner's Company at San Jacinto; Captain John Smith's Company at muster on Galveston Island December 31, 1836; discharged August 31, 1837. See Comptrollers Military Record No. 3290, signed at Houston September 8, 1837 by Barnard E. Bee, Secretary of War.

MASSEY, WILLIAM--The surname "MASSIE" without the given name or initials, appears on the San Jacinto rolls printed in a pamphlet in 1836, as a member of Captain Amasa Turner's Company of Regular Army. On page 29 of the San Jacinto rolls in the General Land Office the surname, minus the given name, is again shown as 'Massie" . Bounty certificate No. 4358 for 1280 acres of land was issued to William Massie October 17, 1838 for having served in the army from April 41 1836 to October 25, 1837. The land was surveyed in Montgomery County in 1838. Donation Certificate No. 567 for 640 acres of land was issued October 17, 1838 to WILLIAM MASSIE due him for having participated in the Battle of San Jacinto. The land was surveyed in Montgomery County in 1838.

Captain Turner was commissioned a Lieutenant Colonel August 28, 1836 and on the following day First Lieutenant John Smith was made captain of the company.

On page 171, army rolls in the Land Office, William Massey is shown as a member of Captain Smith's Company, December 31, 1836. He is shown as having enlisted in the army April 4, 1836. The company was stationed on Galveston Island, but Mr. Massey was shown as being on detached service at Harrisburg.

In Headright Certificate No. 410 issued to William Massey, March 15, 1838 for one-third of a league of land by the Board of Land Commissioners for Harrisburg Company it is stated that he came to Texas in March 1835. By receiving a Headright Certificate for one-third of a league of land March 15, 1838 is evidence that on that date he was unmarried.

Mr. Massey evidently sold his Headright Certificate. The land was surveyed in Montgomery and Harris Counties and the Deed Records of Harris County do not show that Mr. Massie ever sold such land.

The name WILLIAM P. MASEY--appears twice in the deeds records of Harris County. The compiler thinks it appeared the first time by mistake and next because a mistake had been made in the first instance. WILLIAM P. MASSEY (evidently William P. Massie) purchased Lot 12, Block 27, on the south side of Buffalo Bayou, in Houston for $300.00 from Thomas Nelis, September 15, 1854. (Book P. page 455, Deed Records of Harris County).

WILLIAM P. MASSEY--on March 1, 1867 sold Lot 12, Block 27 on the south end Buffalo Bayou in Houston for $800 to Anton Bruner (Book 8, page 285, Deed Records of Harris County). In all other instances the name is spelled William P. Massie in the deed records. For instance, William P. Massie sold Lot II Block 50, southside of Buffalo Bayou in Houston, March 1, 1867 for $1,500 to John Cavit. (Book 4, page 147, Deed Records of Harris County.)

The claim has been made that it was William P. Massie and not William Massie who participated in the battle of San Jacinto but this does not seem probable. The evidence seems conclusive that in 1838 "William Massey was unmarried, while in 1841 Dr. Josiah Camille Massie, son of William P. Massie went to London, England to take the 33rd degree in Masonry.

There is this distinction between the men who served in the volunteer army and those who served in the regular army. Those in the army had enlisted for a period of three months and at the expiration of their terms they returned to their farms or businesses. Those in the regular army enlisted for a period of two years. WILLIAM MASSEY enlisted in the regular army. It is inconceivable that after victory had been won he would have remained in the army until October 25, 1837 drawing eight (8) dollars per month if he had a son who was so advanced in Masonry and so prosperous that he, in 1841, could afford to go to London to take a higher degree in Masonry. Assuming that Dr. Josiah Camille MASSIE son of WILLIAM P. MASSIE was at least thirty years old in 1841 when he went to London, his father, if in the Texas army in 1837, would have been around fifty years of age; fifty years old and serving in the army for eight (8) dollars per month.

WILLIAM MASSEY, the San Jacinto veteran was evidently either dead or had moved from Texas before May 13, 1873. The Texas Veterans Association was organized at Houston on the date mentioned and Mr. Massey is not listed among the charter members. The association continued until 1905 and nearly every veteran of the Texas Revolution joined. The names of neither William Massey or William P. Massie appear at any time as members of the association.

In 1870 the State of Texas began paying Veteran Pensions of $250 per year. All of the veterans, poor and rich alike, alive at that time received such pensions. The names of neither WILLIAM MASSEY or WILLIAM P. MASSIE appear on the pension rolls. This is further proof that WILLIAM MASSEY died prior to 1870, or had removed from Texas, and that WILLIAM P. MASSIE had not served in the army of Texas.

The compiler caused the name WILLIAM P. MASSEY to be inscribed on San Jacinto Memorial. The name should be WILLIAM MASSEY.

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. Amasa Turner

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: Massie
  • Came to Texas: 1835 Mar
  • Bounty Certificate: 4358
  • Donation Certificate: 567