m. 26 Mar 1812
Facts and Events
Alexander Erskine Handley was born in Franklin County, Tennessee on August 15, 1817 (John Handley Bible Records). His parents were probably John and Susan Cowan Handley. Nothing at all is known about his early life but at some point in the year of 1836 he heads to Texas to stake his claim to the free land being issued there. This is evidenced by a Headright Certificate # 205 issued in Shelby County, Texas for 320 acres of land to late emmigrants who had proved three years of residency in the new Republic of Texas. This land was issued on October 24, 1839. This date points to A. E. Handley having moved to Texas as early as October 1836. This date signals the beginning of land ownership in Texas.
On February 12th, 1843, A. E. Handley weds Miss Susan Ashton in Shelby County. She was the daughter of Henry And Sarah Kindrick Ashton of the same county (Ashton Bible Record).
On October 10, 1846, Alexander Handley petitions for membership as a Mason at the second meeting of Sam Houston Masonic Lodge # 32. (Cumulative Roster of Mount Vernon Chapter # 25 Shelbyville, Tx.) His application is accepted and becomes treasurer of this Lodge.
Early in 1847, pending the war between the United States and Mexico and before Dallas county was a year old, a call was made by Colonel John C. Hays of San Antonio for volunteers to constitute what became subsequently distinguished as Hays' Second Regiment of Texas Rangers in that war.
Alexander Handley and his brother in law, Chauser Ashton, joined this company of men that was formed at Dallas composed partly of men from Fannin, Collin, and Dallas counties. The various companies of the regiment were mustered in at San Antonio for twelve months, or during the war, in April and May, 1847 and were discharged in May, 1848. Each company served twelve months. (The war began at Palo Alto May 9, 1846; the treaty of peace was signed at Guadalupe Hidalgo, February 2, 1848, and the American army evacuated Mexico in June, 1848)
Of this famous regiment of mounted men, John C. Hays was Colonel, Peter H. Bell (afterward governor from 1849 to 1853) was lieutenant colonel, and (after October, 1847) Alfred M. Truitt was major, having been to that time one of the captains, and John S. Ford was the adjutant.Dallas County in the Mexican American War, Chaucer Ashton (successor to Captain Truitt, died in the city of Mexico, December 14, 1847, and was succeeded by ( ALEXANDER E. HANDLEY ),
After the war, Alexander returns to Shelby County to resume his role as a farmer. In the first United States census taken in Texas, Alexander and Susan are enumerated on September 4, 1850. Also enumerated is their daughter, Eliza at the age of 6.
1850 Shelby County, Tx. Census, Roll 915 Book 1, Page 1b, District 4, res. 7, September 4, 1850 (enumeration date) (later becomes Panola County)
7 7 HANDLEY A. E. 31 m w farmer 5000 Tennessee 7 7 HANDLEY Susan 23 f w Florida 7 7 HANDLEY Eliza 6 f w Alabama
(e-mail from Jane Vining 01/05/2002, email@example.com) I feel sure your A.E. Handley was the uncle of my gr-grandfather whose name was also Alexander Erskine Handley born in Franklin County, TN. My gr-grandfather, Erskine had one entry in his bible records for this uncle, his birth: August 15, 1817. That would be the same age range as your ancestor. This uncle seemed to disappear. I had seen the A.E. Handley from TN on the 1850 Shelby Co, TX Census years ago and wondered if that was him. Also, I saw an A.E. Handley listed on the soldiers of the Mexican War 1845-47. I thought it could be him and he stayed in Texas after the war.
On August 9, 1855 Alexander's father, John Handley, dies in Tennessee. Around December of that year Alexander returns home to Tennessee to participate in the settlement of his father's estate. The following Deed, probated in Franklin County, was sent to me by Jane Vining a descendent of James Cowan Handley through his son Alex E. Handley. The Alexander E. Handley mentioned in the probated land transaction was James Cowan Handley's brother and the A. E. Handley of Shelby County, Texas.
What can be assumed from the transaction is that the father, JOHN HANDLEY, died without a will in 1855. Since NANCY, the wife of JOHN and mother of the three men listed in the transaction has died one year previous, JAMES, ALEXANDER & ALBERT were the only surviving heirs to father JOHN's property. It seems that the three sons have divided JOHN's land in thirds and ALEXANDER has then sold his third of the property to his brother ALBERT for $ 1,898.00. Why would Alexander sell his inheritance to his brother? The answer, it seems, is clear.
Alexander lives in Panola (then Shelby) County, Texas with a wife and daughter on land he was given by the new Republic of Texas. It is my opinion that he was summoned home by his two brothers to divide up his deceased father's land, which he does, and then proceeds to take his inheritance back to Texas with him. The other two brothers then remain in Franklin County and raise their families.
TRANSCRIBED FRANKLIN COUNTY DEEDS
Doc. #1: Deed, Franklin County, TN Book X, PP. 10 &11 January 14, 1856
We, James C. Handley, Alexander E. Handley and A. G. Handley children and only heirs of John Handley late of Franklin County, Tennessee deceased have this day divided the real estate of which said John Handley tied, seized and possessed situated in said County of Franklin as follows and in consideration of the present.
We hereby transfer, convey, assign, release and relinquish to the aforesaid James B. Handley and his heirs forever in full all of his share of said real estate. Said James C. Handley accepts the same in full all of said real estate lying east of a line made by B.C. Turner beginning at a stake in the Lowery Road 18 Poles west of the northeast corner of the Matlock Tract running north 7 1/2 miles degrees east 84 Poles to a stake the northeast corner of the tract east thence south 57 degrees east 30 Poles to a stake on the west side of the field and 37 links east of a ? past only thence, north 30 degrees east 107 1/2 poles to the south county of John B. Mosses land 136 3/4 acres value at $11.00 per acre deducting the price of one acre being the lot on which James C. Handley's house stands and we hereby transfer, convey, release and relinquish to the aforesaid Alex. E. Handley and A. G. Handley and their heirs aforesaid forever in full of these shares of real estate and said Alex. E. Handley and A. G. Handley accepts the same in full.
There-fore all of said real estate lying west of said line above described containing 280 1/4 acres valued at $14.31 per acre and the said Alex.E. Handley has conveyed and sold hereby transfers, conveys, releases and relinquishes to said A.G. Handley and his heirs forever for the consideration of eighteen hundred and ninety-eight dollars paid to him by the said A.G. Handley his undivided half of the real estate aforesaid lying west of the line.
And the said Alex. E. Handley for himself and representatives covenant with the said A.G. Handley and his representatives to covenant and forever defend the title of said A.G. Handley and his heirs and assigns against the lawful claim of every person ? ? and seals this 14th day January 1856 further description said real estate enhances the tracts of land on which John Handley died and on which he lived for many years before his death.
James C. Handley (James Cowan Handley) A. E. Handley (Alexander Erskine Handley) A. G. Handley (Albert Gibson Handley)
Signed, Sealed and interchangeably and reciprocally delivered in presence of the undersigned. Will.Edw. Venable & M.W. Garner
Doc #2: State of Tennessee
Personally appeared before me Wm.E.Taylor, Clerk of the County Court of Franklin County in Said State, James C. Handley, Alex E. Handley & A.G. Handley the bargainers named in the foregoing deed of petition and with whom I am personally acquainted and who acknowledged the same be their Act and deed for the purpose therein Contained. Witness my hand at office January 14th 1856.
At 2 o clock P.M. January 14, 1856 the foregoing deed was filed for registration and entered in notebook A page 169 then duly registered. Witness my hand at office the 14 Jany 1856. N R Martin DB
NOTE: These are notes by various researchers unknown by me except for Ron Hooper.