Historical Notes 5 – Delaplain League

Volume 6, Number 5, October 1993, Texas Wendish Heritage Society Newsletter

It is interesting to search the land records in Texas, not only to study the tracts which belonged to one’s ancestors, but also to learn about the land’s first owner. As most everyone knows, the Wends of the 1854 immigration purchased a tract of land in Bastrop county in 1855 from Absolem C. Delaplain. From the records of the General Land Office in Austin, we learn that A. C. Delaplain was a soldier in the army of the Republic of Texas, serving from June 1 – December 1, 1836 and received a “Bounty Warrant” for 320 acres as his pay. Delaplain applied for his headright land on January 25, 1838 and was granted a league and a labor .

Certificate no. 170 issued by the Republic of Texas Land Commissioners of the District of Washington County states that Delaplain was entitled to one league and one labor because he proved that he immigrated to Texas before the first of May, 1835, was a citizen at the date of the Declaration of Independence, and had remained a citizen in the country with his family ever since. The land was located on the road leading from Gouchers to John Eblins about two miles comprising 26 labours.

Normally, a league is equivalent to 4428.4 acres, and a Labor 177.1 acres. However, early surveys were not always accurate and some discrepancies came to light when the property was sold and re-surveyed. Thus we read in the Deed Records of Bastrop County and the transcribed Deed Records of Lee County, that A. C. Delaplain of Washington County sold to Charles Leman (sic) and John Dube his “headright League and Labor of land except 125 acres in the north east corner surveyed for Adam Thomas which leaves 4254 2/3 acres as shown by the field notes of the County Surveyor.” He received $3054 and 66 2/3 cents cash, with a note for the remaining $1200. Delaplain was still alive in 1881 when the State donated 1280 acres of land to surviving soldiers of the Republic.

This transaction is recorded in Volume A, p. 133 of the Lee County transcribed records. The sale of the land from Dube to other Wendish families and the Church is recorded in Volumes A, B and C.

Genealogists might like to take a look at the combined Direct Index for these three volumes which lists sales by Dube and Lehman into 1870. If you only want to find your ancestor, look in the Reverse Index under that surname.

Searching the court house records can be very exciting and rewarding. Tid-bits of information gleaned from these records can be used to add interest to an otherwise factual genealogical record. I have donated copies of some of the Deeds and Deed Index pages and two large maps issued by the General Land Office of the original land grants in Lee and Fayette County to the Lillie Moerbe Caldwell Memorial Library. Read more about it!