Saturday, April 14, 2012

John Sadler - A True Texan

John Sadler is the great-grandpa of our Grandpa Jess Baldwin.  John was the first true "Texan" in our Baldwin-Sadler family line.

John and Basheba Sadler
Our "First Family" in Texas

John Sadler was born 24 May 1811 in Tennessee. Some researchers believe him to be the son of John William Sadler and brother of William D Sadler who settled in Frio County, Texas.  Since descendants of our John Sadler and William D Sadler share common DNA, it is almost for certain that John and William were brothers.

At some point before 1830, John moved to Illinois. It is not known if he moved to Illinois by himself or if he made the move with family and/or friends.
In 1830, John was listed in the Federal Census for Shelby County, Illinois as a single man.  Later in 1830 in Shelby County, Illinois, John married Basheba Lindley.  Below is a copy of the marriage license dated 17 Nov 1830.  Basheba's grandfather, John Whitley Sr., paid the marriage bond.

State of Illinois, Shelby County
To all to whom these Presents shall come Greeting
Know ye license & promission is hereby granted to any licensed Minister of the Gospel, Judge,
or Justice of the Peace in the County of Shelby & State of Illinois
to solomize the rites of matrimony between
Mr. John Sadler and Miss Basheba Lindly
now both of the County & State aforesaid.
Witness Joseph Oliver Clerk of the County Commissioners Court of said County of Shelby & State aforesaid.  This 17th day of Nov 1830.
paid on oath of John Whitly Sr.
John Sadler and Basheba Lindley were married the next day on the 18th day of November 1830 by Joseph Baker, JP.  Below is the record of the marriage.

Basheba (sometimes spelled Bathsheba, Barsheba, Bashie) was the oldest daughter of Samuel Washington Lindley and Elizabeth Whitley.  She was born on 5 Mar 1811 in Illinois.

The young couple headed for Texas several years after they married.  They most likely traveled in covered wagons with members of the Lindley family, which included Basheba's father, Samuel W. Lindley.  Members of the Whitley family also came to Texas around that time.

Texas was still part of Mexico and Mexican government required a letter of recommendation from a reliable citizen of the US before admitting families to Texas. Basheba’s father, Samuel Washington Lindley, received a letter of recommendation signed by the Governor of Illinois on 27 Sep 1833.  In an 1838 land record, John stated that he "arrived in this County [Montgomery] in November 1833."

After they arrived in Texas, John Sadler gave the Mexican authorities a certificate of character on 25 Sep 1834.  Below is a copy of the original certificate.

Transcription of original character certificate from the General Land Office of Texas:
"San Augustine, September 25, 1834
I Certify that John Sadler from the certificate of two repectable persons a native of Tennessee of the United States of America is a man of a family consisting of four persons and that he is a man of good moral habits and industry and a good citizen and a friend to the laws and religion of the country given at the instance of the party ____ . Benjamin Lindsey Aalcalde
(Note) Wife & 2 children = Vehlein. Next to Saml Lindley. Wm Rankin"

The above character certificate states that John and Basheba Sadler had 2 children by 25 Sep 1834.  Who were they? Present day records show only one child born before Sep 1834 and that was James.  Who was the second child mentioned in the character certificate? John and Basheba were married Nov 1830, so it is possible that they had a child born in 1831 or 1832. Did they have a small child that died shortly after they arrived in Texas?

On 7 Nov 1834, John Sadler and his father-in-law, Samuel Lindley, received grants from the Coahuila y Tejas government issued in Nacogdoches. These grants were later recognized by the Republic of Texas. Spanish Land Grant, Volume C: 56, Montgomery Co. TX.
On 29 Apr 1835, John received a land patent for in Montgomery County, Texas.

By the latter part of 1835, the Texians were engaging in battles and revolting against the Mexican government.  The Texians were accustomed to a federalist government and individual rights, and were not happy with Mexico’s increasing dictatorial attempts. 
Basheba's brother, Jonathan Lindley, enlisted in the Texas army.  He was with the relief force from Gonzales that was sent to the Alamo.  Jonathan Lindley died during the Battle of the Alamo on 6 March 1836.

Battle of San Jacinto
News of the Alamo's fall and the death of his brother-in-law, Jonathan Lindley, undoubtedly prompted John to join Sam Houston's army and fight for Texan Independence from Mexico.  John 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.
Battle of San Jacinto.  Artistic interpretation by Henry Arthur McArdle (1836-1908)

Proof of John's service can be found in different sources:
FOUNDERS AND PATRIOTS OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS, BOOK II; Published by The Daughters of The Republic of Texas; Austin, Texas, 1974. Page 147.  Mrs. Nannie Fay Sadler Robertson; No. 6179; admitted November 17, 1969; Mary Ann Lawhon Chapter.  'John Sadler, b. 5-28,-1811, Tennessee, d. 4-18-1885, Oletha, Texas, m. 11-17-1830, Shelby County, Illinois, Barsheba Lindley, b. 3-5-1811, Illinois, d 10-17-1885, Oletha, Texas.  John Sadler, a soldier at San Jacinto in Captain William Ware's Company.'
MUSTER ROLLS OF THE TEXAS REVOLUTION, Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Austin, Texas, 1986.  Muster roll - page 37.  San Jacinto List; Col Sherman's Command.  Name & Rank: John Sadler

After defeating Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto, Texas became it's own republic.  John, Basheba and their family became Citizens of the Republic of Texas.
In August 1838, John received bounty land for having fought at the Battle of San Jacinto.   Below is a copy of the actual bounty land certificate. 

John Sadler Texas Bounty Land Certificate

On 11 Mar 1839, John registered his brand in Montgomery County, Texas.

In the 1840, John was enumerated in the Montgomery County Census of the Republic of Texas.  He reported 2000 acres of land under complete title and 1652 acres of land under survey based on a grant but without final title.  John, also, reported one slave and 15 head of cattle.  In 1846, John was enumerated in the Republic of Texas Poll list.  He was listed with the middle initial of "W".  This is the only record with a middle initial shown.

John, Basheba, and their family were living on their land that was partly in Walker County and partly in Montgomery County.  The plat map shown below for Walker County shows where John's land was located.  His parcel of land is the bigger yellow area at the bottom of the map.  Part of the land crossed the county line and was in Montgomery county.  Most of the official records pertaining to John Sadler are found in the Montgomery County Court records, but there are some records also in the Walker County Court records.  His children attended school in Walker County.

By deed dated 19 February 1849 in Walker County, Texas, John Sadler of Walker County sold to William Nathan Lindley of Walker County, for the sum of $150, 96.2 acres of his headright league in Walker County. Recorded 19 March 1849, notary public John S. Besser.

John and "Besheba" Sadler appeared in the US Federal Census of 1 June 1850 in Walker County, Texas. The census recorded that John, a 39 yr old Tennessee native, was a farmer with land valued at $1784.  Other members of the household included James Caine Sadler, Sarah Sadler, Samuel Lewis Sadler, Elizabeth Sadler, Richard Henry Sadler, Mary Sadler and Robert Sadler.
1850 Federal Census, Walker County, Texas, page 268B

John and "Basheby" Sadler were also enumerated in the 1850 Montgomery county census.  This is probably because his land was located in both counties, and, so was shown in the census records for both counties.

On 16 December 1850, John sold to Daniel McGill the "tract of land situated in Montgomery Land District Texas and a part of said Sadlers headright league of land granted to him as a colonist..." for $1700.00.  Montgomery County Deed Book, Vol. O, page 128.

In 1854, his family is listed in the School Enumeration for Walker county.  John Sadler was listed as having 5 children in school.

In later years, John's daughter, Mary Sadler Baldwin, recalled knowing and playing with the children of Sam Houston when she was young.  According to census records, Sam Houston and family were living in Walker County in the 1850's.

On 19 January 1854, John Sadler sold to Jonathan Collard, "a part and remainder of six hundred and forty acre tract of land donated to me by the Republic of Texas for having participated in the Battle of San Jacinto."  The deed is found in the Montgomery County Clerks office, Deed Vol. Q, page 324-325.

Greatest Rail Maker in Montgomery County
JH Collard gave the following description of John Sadler in his earlier years when John lived in Montgomery County.  This was found in a 1877 deposition for John's "proof of service" in the Army of the Republic of Texas and is part of John's pension application found in the Texas General Land Office records.
Deposition by J H Collard -
Transcription of above deposition by J H Collard:
"I know the John Saddler that served in the Army of the Republic with me by the expression of his eye, by the color of his hair, by his voice, by his being a large, stout man, and was notorious in his younger days as being the greatest rail maker in Montgomery county, and this to be the same John Sadler who lives as stated, near L____ Prairie."

Move to Limestone County
Sometime in 1854, the John Sadler family moved to Limestone County, Texas.  The Sadler children were listed in the 1855 School Enumeration for Limestone County.  The John Sadler family had 3 males and 2 females attending school:  Robert, Richard, Samuel, Mary and Elizabeth.
1855 School Enumeration for Limestone County
Texas State Archives
In 1860, John, Basheba and family were living in Limestone County, Texas.  Son, James was living next door to John and Basheba, or possibly in a different dwelling on John's farm.  Allen Baldwin, a school teacher, was also living next to or on the Sadler family farm.  Allen was a school teacher and often people in the community would help support school teachers.  So, perhaps John was providing Allen Baldwin with living accommodations.

1860 United States Federal Census; Limestone County, Texas;
Roll: M653_1300; Page: 336; Family History Library Film: 805300

John's daughter, Mary Sadler, married Francis Marion Baldwin about 1864.  The courthouse in Limestone County burned down in 1873, so there are no records prior to that time and so no marriage record can be found.  Family tradition states that Mary Sadler and F. M. Baldwin were married "during the Civil War."  The Baldwin family had moved from Walker county to Limestone county about the same time the Sadler family made the move.  The families probably knew each other in Walker County before moving to Limestone County.  It was F. M. Baldwin's older brother, Allen Baldwin, a school teacher, who was living next to John in the Limestone County 1860 Census.

In 1870, John and "Bashaba" Sadler were enumerated in the Limestone  County,  Texas Federal Census.  John gave his occupation as "planter."  John's daughter, Sarah Sadler Wageman, was living next to John and Basheba.  According to the census, the value of John's personal and real estate had decreased since the 1860 census.
1870 United States Federal Census; Limestone County, Texas; 
Page: 194B; Family History Library Film: 553095

In 1874, John started the application for a military pension and started receiving an annual pension of $250.00 based upon his service to the Republic of Texas as a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto.

John and "Abasha" Sadler appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1880 in Limestone County, Texas. Daughter, Martha, is also in the household.  In the 1880 census, John and Barsheba Lindley Sadler's children, James, Robert and John, and other family members, were enumerated in close proximity in Limestone County.
1880 United States Federal Census, Limestone County, Texas, Page: 419D; ED: 096

John and Basheba had at least nine known children, five sons and four daughters.  Many of their children and grandchildren stayed in the Limestone county area, but others spread out and helped to populate and settle the great state of Texas.  According to information found in online family tree databases, there were about 54 known grandchildren.  Although, not all of the grandchildren lived past childhood.  And, it appears that a large majority of the grandchildren remained in Texas.

Known children of John and Basheba Sadler: 
(1) James Caine Sadler, 1834-1910, md Amarillis Corner, 8 children; 
(2) Sarah Sadler Wageman, 1835-1900, md Henry Wageman, 7 children; 
(3) Samuel Lewis Sadler, 1839-1921, md Jane Folley, 12 children; 
(4) Elizabeth Sadler Sadler, 1842-1912, md John Sadler, 2 children; 
(5) Richard Henry Sadler, 1844-1887, md Rachel Ferguson, 1 child; 
(6) Mary Sadler Baldwin, 1845-1933, md Francis Marion Baldwin, 12 children; 
(7) Robert Sadler, 1849-1924, md Nan Ross, 5 children; 
(8) Martha Sadler Ingle, 1850-1897, md Taylor Ingle, 1 child; 
(9) John "Bud" Sadler, 1853-1898, md Elizabeth Martin, 6 children.

John Sadler died on 18 April 1885 at age 73 in Limestone County, Texas.  Basheba died later that year, on 17 October 1885.  John and Basheba are buried beside each other in the Ferguson Cemetery in Oletha, Limestone County, Texas.

About 20 years ago, I visited the Ferguson cemetery in Limestone County and took the above photo of the original headstones of John and Basheba with the taller memorial headstone for John between them .  Better photos of the headstones can be found on sites such as and

To view John Sadler's Find A Grave memorial, Click Here.

To view the original donation land grant records shown above, go to the Texas General Land Office website: History>Land Grant Search.  Search both spellings: John Sadler and John Saddler. 
To view John Sadler's Character Certificate, Click Here.
To view John Sadler's 1838 land record, Click Here.
To view John Sadler's Donation Land Certificate, Click Here.

Descendants of John and Basheba Sadler are eligible for membership in The Daughters of the Republic of Texas, the Sons of the Republic of Texas, and/or the San Jacinto Descendants.

If anyone has additional information on John Sadler, please leave information in a comment.  It would be nice to have a complete history of John Sadler online.  Also, looking for a photo of John and/or Basheba Sadler.  Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Great information on John Sadler -- best I've found so far. Appreciate the copies of the actual documents and certificates. I realize you descend through just one of the children, but do you have information on the others?

Sue said...

Glad to FINALLY find a bio on John Sadler. Thanks! Do you know the total number of grandchildren John and Bathsheba had? Interested in knowing how big their posterity was and if most of them remained in Texas. I am framing the land certificate. It's way cool.

A grateful Sadler descendant said...

Thanks for posting all of these documents. I went onto and it seems that so many people are making their trees private and not sharing their research. Was so glad to find your tree and all your research you are sharing and the link to this blog. God bless you for your generosity.

Unknown said...

I am so impressed, my grandmother is Pearl S Sadler, she was married to Guy L Cain, I am the son of Billy Joe Cain. how can I get more information and details.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the writings of John Sadler. I am related through the Lindley family. Loved finding this info. How does the family spell Bathsheba? I see it spelled so many ways. We should all agree on one spelling. It would be easier to find.

Dwight B. Lindley said...

Great information! Thank you for all of your efforts.

Dwight B. Lindley

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Wish I had a photo or information to share with you, so you could add it to the story of John Sadler. Appreciate your time and effort to write about the Sadlers. It means a lot to me and my family.
J. Baldwin

Anonymous said...

Great job. What a surprise to find all this information about one of my ancestors. My daughter needs to write a report about Texas history. Now she can write about one of her own ancestors. It will be so much more meaningful and relevant to her.

Anonymous said...

What is the source for the map that shows where the John Sadler land was located? I would like to find one that is not marked up. Thanks for this great site.

Ken Whitley said...

My G3rdgrandfather Randolph Whitley was a brother to Mills and Sharp Whitley. My G4thgrandfather James M. Smith located his Labor of 177 acres along the northern line Of John Sadler's League on Caney creek at New Waverly, Texas. He also received a Donation warrant for 640 acres which was located in Leon County near the Navasota River 16 miles west of Centerville. I was under the impression that that is where John Sadler also claimed his 640 acre Donation warrant. If not, just where was John's 640 acres located?

Ken Whitley

Ken Whitley said...

Great stuff!!

Ken Whitley said...


Ken said...

Where did John Sadler locate his 640 acre donation warrant land?

Anonymous said...

It's nice to find all the information about John Sadler gathered together in one place. You show a plat map for the Sadler land in Walker County -- Do you know if there is a plat map for Limestone County showing where the Sadler land was located?

Anonymous said...

The information you have gathered about all the family is so interesting. I have given my kids a Texas History lesson about our ancestor John Sadler and now they really connect to Texas History because they now know they had an ancestor who participated in the Texas Revolution and fought along side Sam Houston at San Jacinto.
All the best, Michelle