Even before Texas became a Republic, the Spanish then the Mexicans were giving land grants to encourage settlers to come to live in Tejas.
Moses Austin became an empresario, entering into a contract with the Spanish government in January 1821, agreeing to bring three hundred Catholic families to settle along the Brazos River lands. He selected colonists, allocated lands and oversaw the Mexican law.
As more pilgrims answered the call and journeyed to Texas for a new start, the Republic stopped giving First Class Headrights. Though the previous recipients who held the certificates could transfer ownership. The new owner could settle the land, survey it, and were required to live on it for three years in order to patent it—receive title deed to the land.
Up until October 1837, the second class headrights (Twelve hundred eight acres for heads of household and half that for single men were awarded) were offered, and after until January 1840, the grants went to third class giving half those amounts. After January 1840, fourth class headrights with the same acreage (six hundred forty to families, three hundred forty for single men) were issued by the Congress of the Republic of Texas.
This was why my fictitious families, the O’Neals, Van Zandts, and Worleys, headed to Texas from Tennessee in GONE TO TEXAS, the coming-in-September book one of my new Family Saga series Cross Timber Romances. It will also be a part of an exciting new collection fashioned around my favorite holiday—Thanksgiving! Be watching for more news about the Thanksgiving Books & Blessings Collection!
The headrights didn’t mean a man owned the land, only that he had a right to make it his own by following the requirements. To own it, he had to mark the corners, live on it three years, farm ten acres in a crop, survey it, then take care of the paperwork at one of the thirty-eight Government Land Offices (GLO) across the Republic where the Texas settler became a citizen landowner, claiming his title deed for the land.
Links: Website Amazon BookBub Facebook YouTube