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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VOTAW, ELIJAH -- Born in Saint Louis County, Missouri, February 1, 1817, and came to Texas from Arkansas with his parents. In Headright Certificate No. 121 issued to him July 5, 1838, for a two-thirds of a league and labor of land by the Montgomery County Board of Land Commissioners it is stated that he arrived in Texas in April, 1835. Mr. Votaw was a son of Isaac and Liza Votaw, whose other children were Peter, Thomas, Ann, and John Votaw. The Votaws settled early in what is now Grimes County.

Mr. Votaw was issued Bounty Certificate No. 1732 for 320 acres of land for serving in the army from March 1 to July 1, 1836. He was wounded at San Jacinto while a member of Captain James Gillaspie's Company. He was issued Donation Certificate No. 476 for 640 acres of land July 25, 1838, for having participated in the battle. In addition to this he received a league of land in consequence of an Act of the Legislature approved August 15, 1856, requiring that the land be granted, "as a testimony of gratitude for having participated in, and being wounded in the battle of San Jacinto....".

Mr. Votaw was married October 26, 1837 to Mrs. Barbara (Thomas) Harris - Gillan, who had been married twice, first to Walter Harris and then Michael Gillan. After the death of his wife Mr. Votaw was married to Miss Jane Butler.

Mr. Votaw moved to Oakville, Texas where he resided for a time. He next moved to Cotuela where he remained until 1885 when he moved to San Antonio. He died at his home on South Flores Street, opposite the United States Arsenal, November 17, 1890, and is buried in Odd Fellows Rest in an unmarked grave. He was a member of the Texas Veterans Association.

Children of Mr. Votaw by his first marriage were William and Thomas Votaw. By his second marriage: Ann, Bell, Josephine, Butler, Holly, Augustus and Mattie Votaw.

William Votaw was born in Grimes County, Texas October 26, 1838. He was married to Mary Jane Slaughter, daughter of Benjamin and Minerva (Mabry) Slaughter, at the home of the bride's parents, a small ranch home on La Parita Creek near Pleasanton, Atascosa County, Texas, April 14, 1864. Mr. Votaw died at Carrizo Springs, Texas, November 13, 1890, and was buried in the Odd Fellows Rest at San Antonio, Texas. Mrs. Votaw died in San Antonio February 21, 1912, and is buried in the Votaw family lot.

Thomas Franklin Votaw, son of Elijah Votaw, was born May 10, 1842. He enlisted in the Confederate army, as did his brother William, and was killed in the battle of New Hope Church, Georgia. He was a lieutenant in Bragg's command.

Ann Votaw was twice married. Her first husband was a Mr. McDonald. After his death she was married to Taylor Stephenson.

Bell Votaw was married to William Hodds.

(5) Butler Votaw was accidentally killed at the age of sixteen in Live Oak County.

(6) Augustus Votaw was twice married. His first wife was Novie Walker. After her death he was married to Lizzie Turner.

(7) Mattie Votaw was married to Alonzo A. Tracht.

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
  • Wounded in Battle: Yes - in breast with grapeshot
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: Capt. James Gillaspie

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: Votan
  • Date of Birth: 1817 Feb 1
  • Birthplace: Missouri, Saint Louis County
  • Origin: Arkansas
  • Came to Texas: 1835 Apr
  • Date of Death: 1890 Nov 17
  • Burial Place: Odd Fellows Rest, San Antonio, Texas
  • Bounty Certificate: 1732
  • Donation Certificate: 476
  • Wife: 1. Barbara Thomas Harris Gillan; 2. Jane Butler
  • Children: William Votaw; Thomas Votaw; Ann Votaw McDonald Stephenson; Bell Votaw Hodds; Josephine Botaw; Butler Botaw; Holly Botaw; Augustus Votaw; Mattie Votaw Tracht