Dallas Genealogical Society Conserves Republic and Early Statehood Documents and Map at Texas General Land Office with $7500 Donation

GLO matches Donation to Conserve Peters Colony Records and Rare Map

Contact: Brittany Eck
(512) 463-5708
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PRESS RELEASE — Dec 27, 2017

AUSTIN — Commissioner George P. Bush today announced the recent donation of $7500 to the Texas General Land Office's Save Texas History program from the Dallas Genealogical Society to conserve the Peters Colony Records, along with an 1858 Map of The Surveyed Part of Peters Colony Texas. "I am pleased that the Dallas Genealogical Society is supporting our efforts to Save Texas History by making this generous donation," said Commissioner George P. Bush. "Additionally, it is my pleasure to announce that the GLO will be able to match their gift with privately raised conservation funds, bringing the total to $15,000 that will be used to conserve the historic Peters Colony Records. Because of the Dallas Genealogical Society's gift, the Peters Colony Records will be conserved, digitized and made available online for the first time. This generous act will allow researchers all over the world to study the lasting impact and interesting history of a company responsible for settling 2,200 families on almost 900,000 acres in the Dallas and North Texas areas between 1841-1859."

Henry O. Hedgcoxe, Map of the Surveyed Part of Peters Colony Texas, Louisville, Ky, C. Bruder, 1858, Map #1982.

"The preservation, digitization and educational activities of the Texas General Land Office are in perfect alignment with the goals and objectives of the Dallas Genealogical Society. Our members and supporters recognize the importance of archival repositories, and are proud to be supporting the ongoing efforts to conserve and digitize documents that will be available to current and future generations of researchers" said Tony Hanson, Past President of the Dallas Genealogical Society.

Peters Colony land grant records will also be conserved thanks to the generous grant from the Dallas Genealogical Society.

Peters Colony was established as a result of a contract authorized by the Texas Congress on January 4, 1841 between William S. Peters, a group of his English and American business associates, and the President of Texas Mirabeau Lamar. The contract was a way to bring in many settlers in a short amount of time, largely emulating what the Spanish and Mexican governments had done in Texas with Stephen F. Austin and other empresarios during the 1820s and 1830s. President Sam Houston modeled several other Texas Republic colonization contracts after Peters Colony in the following years.

Land records pertaining to Peters Colony cover nearly 900,000 acres in North Texas.

Entangled business disagreements among the investors of the Peters Colony led to extensive legal battles, a lack of funding, and several reorganizations. The process of bringing final settlement to the land titles continued for nearly twenty years, and in the end, the colony created little to no income for its investors. It did, however, bring 2,205 families to Texas, distributing to them 879,920 acres of land. "Like the documents they help preserve, each individual donation is unique, but has lasting impacts,"said Commissioner Bush. "Some donations honor a loved one, while others are from Texans wanting to secure a permanent home for a family treasure handed down for generations. Donations like this one from the Dallas Genealogical Society, are dedicated to supporting the preservation, digitization and study of Texas history, which will now be available to current and future generations of researchers all over the world. Donations help save Texas history."  The Peters Colony Records will be a treasure trove for genealogists, as there are hundreds of names listed throughout the collection. The Archives of the Texas General Land Office is home to 36 million documents and over 45,000 maps and sketches detailing the history of the public lands of Texas. 

Tony Hanson, Past President of the Dallas Genealogical Society (left), and Todd Decker, President of the Dallas Genealogical Society (right), accept a copy of the Map of Peters Colony prior to conservation.

All donations made to the GLO are tax deductible pursuant to Internal Revenue Code §170(c)(1). To donate a map, or adopt a document or collection, please contact the GLO Archives at archives@glo.texas.gov.

About the Dallas Genealogical Society Established in 1955, the Dallas Genealogical Society (DallasGenealogy.org) has three main areas of focus: creating, fostering and maintaining an interest in genealogy; assisting and supporting the Genealogy Section of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in Dallas, Texas; and collecting, preserving, copying and indexing information related to Dallas County and its early history.   The society conducts monthly educational presentations and supports special interest groups on a variety of topics; all of these activities are free and open to the public. Our fee-based seminars provide attendees with access to nationally known experts at a reasonable cost. Our members are also active in a variety of indexing and digitization efforts.  


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