Serendipity...genealogical discoveries with a little help from above.

The Treasure Map

by Jim Porter

My e-mail address is
and I live in California.

This really happened to me I had been stuck on my gg-grandfather, Joseph Porter, for a long time and had just about given up on finding any more information about him or his family.

I knew he was married in 1830 to Sarah McLain in Hempstead Co., AR, and that he had a daughter, Brunetta Catherine, born in 1835 in Texas. By 1836, Joseph and his family were living in Hempstead Co. again.

In the 1880 census, his son said Joseph was born in Georgia. I had searched all the Georgia records I could lay my hands on but found nothing linking my Joseph Porter to anyone in Georgia.

Then in late February, 1998, I was at the LDS Family History Center doing some unrelated research. I wanted to check on county lines which may have changed between one census year to another. I went to the shelf where the book is kept, took it to the table and opened it to a very unusual looking map.

The map showed Miller Co., AR extending into Texas. Due to confusion over a treaty made between the U.S. and Spain, the international boundary line was not known. The 1830 Miller Co., AR census included a number of people who were actually living in Texas. I drew a copy of the map and went home to study it.

After a few days, I was able to find Joseph Porter and wife Sarah had registered as colonists in Wavell's Red River Colony in Mexican Texas. Since then, information on Joseph has literally poured in.

What caused me to open that book to that particular page? I believe it was the hand of my gg- grandfather, Joseph Porter.

Submitted:  Mon Mar 16 18:16:11 1998

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