Saturday, May 24, 2008

Remember the Alamo -- Jonathan Lindley

Above: Battle of the Alamo

Jonathan Lindley -- Alamo Defender

Jonathan Lindley was a younger brother of our direct ancestor, Basheba Lindley, wife of John Sadler.

Jonathan L. Lindley, born 12 Feb 1814 in Sangamon County, Illinois. Some say that Jonathan was a surveyor for early Texas colonists and a resident of Gonzales. He is reported as being a Private artilleryman in Capt. Carey’s artillery company of the Alamo garrison.
Jonathan was the third child and oldest son of Samuel Washington Lindley (b. 1788 NC) and Elizabeth Whitley. Samuel W. Lindley is said to have come to the DeWitt Colony from Illinois about 1833. According to descendants, Samuel's first wife Mary (Polly) Hall died after the birth to their first child Sarah. Samuel then married Elizabeth Whitley, with whom he had his remaining children except Amanda.
(**Note: Many histories still list Polly Hall as the mother of Jonathan. I believe this to be incorrect and believe Elizabeth Whitely to be the mother of Jonathan. Check out the Jonathan Lindley research file at the DRT Library at the Alamo for further info on the correct mother for Jonathan Lindley.)

On 3 May 1835, Jonathan, a single man, was granted a quarter league of land in the William Pace survey in Polk County, TX. He participated in the Battle of Bexar on 14 Dec 1835 after which he, as many others, returned home for Christmas hoping that the Revolution was over. Lindley joined Capt. Carey’s Company in the regular Texas Army in the fall of 1835. Lindley was at home in Gonzales when he joined the Gonzales Relief Force to return to his post at the Alamo. His heirs received 1280 acres bounty for service in Panola Co, TX near Carthage.
After the Battle of San Jacinto, the surviving Lindley family re-settled in MontgomeryCo, TX. In the Lindley Cemetery 5 miles north of Anderson in Grimes Co, TX is a HISTORICAL MARKER honoring Jonathan L. Lindley.
Jonathan's father, Samuel Washington Lindley, was born in 1788 in North Carolina and married a woman named Elizabeth [Whitley].  While still living in Illinois, ten children were born to that union: Barsheba (March 5, 1811); Polly (1812); Jonathan (February 12, 1814); Elizabeth (March 24, 1815); William (September 29, 1817); Martha (July 30, 1821); Samuel W. Jr. (July 30,1823); Rachel (1827); John (1829); and James (March 13, 1831).

Jonathan, the third child and eldest son of Samuel W. and Elizabeth (Whitley) Lindley, migrated to Texas with his family in 1833 to colonize land in the DeWitt Colony. As an unmarried man, on July 17, 1835 he was granted a one-fourth league of land (640 acres) as a headright in the William Pace Mexican League, originally titled May 3, 1835. Jonathan was a surveyor and spent most of his time surveying the land of other colonists.

Jonathan was greatly influenced by the early leaders of Texas during the pre-Texas Revolution period. Jonathan was with Ben Milam when the Texans took San Antonio in December, 1835. Jonathan with many others left San Antonio before Christmas, 1835 and returned to their families, believing that the revolution was about over. Tradition stated that Jonathan was the true spirit that kindled the flame for freedom in the Lindley family. As evidenced by a document containing information given by his father, Jonathan joined the Texas Revolutionary forces in the fall of 1835.

A document of the Republic of Texas signed May 14, 1839 by General Albert Sidney Johnston, Secretary of War, Republic of Texas, further gave evidence that Jonathan Lindley joined the army of Texas December 14, 1835 and served until his death at the Alamo March 6,1836. At Gonzales in late February, 1836 after calls for aid from Travis at the Alamo, Jonathan joined Captain Albert Martin's band of men who were later known as "The Immortal Thirty-Two Men from Gonzales." Jonathan Lindley, with the other defenders of the Alamo, was killed March 6, 1836.

1836 Telegraph and Texas Register (newspaper) listing some of the men who died at the Alamo.

Baker & Bordens, editor. Telegraph and Texas Register (San Felipe de Austin [i.e. San Felipe], Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 21, Ed. 1, Thursday, March 24, 1836, Newspaper; digital images, ( ), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, Austin, Texas.)

Following the independence of Texas, the grateful Republic of Texas posthumously awarded the heroes of the Alamo bounties of land. Under certificate #9132 dated May 14, 1839, Houston, Texas, Jonathan Lindley was awarded 1280 acres of land situated in Panola County, ten and one-half miles south, twenty degrees west from Carthage, Texas. It was patented March 9, 1860. The lawful heirs of Jonathan Lindley, namely his parents and his brothers and sisters, since he was not married, fell heir to the 1280-acre bounty plus his original Mexican Grant of 640 acres in the William Pace Survey in Polk County. His father, Samuel Washington Lindley, was appointed administrator of the estate of Jonathan; as such he administered and divided the estate.
After the battle of San Jacinto the Lindley family opted to re-settle in Montgomery County. In the Lindley Cemetery five miles north of Anderson, Grimes County was erected an historical marker honoring Jonathan Lindley as an Alamo hero. [The Lindley family was said to be close friends of Jesse Grimes, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence after whom Grimes County was named-WLM]

Much of the above information came from an article by Virginia Stewart Lindley Ford that was printed in The History of Gonzales County, Texas.

News of the Alamo's fall and the death of Jonathan Lindley, undoubtedly prompted his brother-in-law, John Sadler, to join Sam Houston's army and fight for Texan Independence from Mexico. John Sadler fought in Captain William Ware's Company and is considered one of the heroes who fought at the Battle of San Jacinto under General Sam Houston on April 21, 1836. John Sadler was the husband of Basheba Lindley Sadler, an older sister to Jonathan Lindley.

The following newspaper clipping was found on the Portal to Texas History:
Jonathan Lindley
[Newspaper Clipping about Alamo participants, April 12, 1860], Clipping, April 12, 1860; ( : accessed March 23, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Star of the Republic Museum, Washington, Texas.

This newspaper clipping and other articles can be found on the Portal of Texas History.  Just do a search on Jonathan Lindley.

For further info on Jonathan Lindley try the following:
Handbook of Texas Online article on Jonathan Lindley.
Southwestern Historical Quarterly Online:


Rocky Lindley said...

Thanks for the info provided in your blog. I'm a Lindley who lives in Texas. Just found out that I had a relative die in the Alamo, which stirred my interest. I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

My ancestor, Sarah Winters, was engaged to Jonathan Lindley when he died. Her father, James Winters, signed off on his estate after his death. That document can be found in the Alamo library. Very interesting :)

patricia said...

Rebecca Lindley Smith daughter of James and Mary Cox Lindley is my 6th great grandmother. I would like to know her siblings. Rebecca was the great aunt of Jonathan Lindley (battle of Alamo) and Joseph Lindley (battle of San Jacinto). I am working on a membership to the Alamo Defenders
and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT). Would you please help me with Rebecca's siblings.

Thank you, Pat Smith Egert

Henry Wishard said...

Strange, I just visited Danville Sheperd Hill Cemetery yesterday and there was a historical marker there also. It told about Jonathan Lindley and his death at the Alamo. Its in Montgomery county, Tx. a few miles north of Willis Tx. off Interstate 45 on Calvary road.

Anonymous said...

All Lindleys are proud of this man, no matter where we are from!!

Dwight B. Lindley said...

Wow, great to see so many Lindley's..

This is great information..

Dwight B. Lindley

Katy, Texas

Tiffiny Vaughn said...

I am a descendent of Samuel Washington Lindley. His daughter, Mary Polly Lindley, married my great-great grandfather Hiram Little. Hiram fought at the Battle of San Jacinto and was a citizen of the Republic of Texas.

Anonymous said...

My name is Terry [Miles], whose relations are most recently, Eli Lindley in Texas. I have always been told my ancestor great x7 generations, or such, uncle died in the Alamo. My great great grandmother Levada married Eli Lindley. I did not grow up with my relations, so I am always looking for information on my ancestry.

Kimo Sadler said...

Here is a link to a picture of the brother-in-law of Jonathan Lindley
John Sadler
and his son
William Sadler
and his son
Louie Jay Sadler

Kimo Sadler said...

Picture of John Sadler, brother-in-law of Jonathan Lindley

Anonymous said...

Thanks to above comment about the link to picture of John Sadler. Cool!

Anonymous said...

If a historical marker in Winters Memorial Park lists Jonathan L Lindley as 1st Husband to Sarah Drucilla Winters, is there a marriage record? Another comment on this blog said thet were just engaged.

Anonymous said...

I have looked and only found comments that Jonathan was possibly engaged, but, one person said he was married, but no proof and all his land from Texas went to his parents, so, the belief is he was possibly engaged.