Friday, August 14, 2009

The Year Was 1836: Where Was Your Family?

The year was 1836 and the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico was hurriedly drawn up even as General Antonio López de Santa Anna and 4,000 Mexican troops surrounded the Alamo where less than 200 Texans were besieged for eleven days. At the end of the siege, more than 180 of the rebels were killed and “Remember the Alamo!” became a rallying cry in the fight for Texas independence.
Texans were even more enraged when nearly 400 more rebels who had surrendered were executed and burned at Goliad, Texas.
The tide turned when 900 Texans under the leadership of General Sam Houston launched a surprise attack on Santa Anna’s 1,200 troops at San Jacinto on April 21st. In eighteen minutes, half of the Mexican troops were killed and Texans had taken control of the camp. General Santa Anna was captured the following day and his defeat gave birth to the Republic of Texas.
In the Midwestern United States, larger territories were being carved into smaller territories that eventually became states. As a part of this process, in 1836, Crawford, Brown, and Michilimackinac Counties split off of Michigan Territory to become Wisconsin Territory.
The formation of Wisconsin Territory was a step toward Michigan Territory becoming a state, which would happen the following year. But another step needed to be taken to maintain the fragile balance between slave and free states. To keep the number of states equal, southern leaders wanted Arkansas to be granted statehood and on 15 June 1836 it became the 25th state.
After the South Australian Colonisation Act of 1834 became law in February 1836, the first ships bound for the new colony left England with 600 immigrants.
1836 was an important year for family historians in the UK as legislation passed an act requiring the registration of births, marriages, and deaths. The law would go into effect in July of the following year.

-Taken from

So where was your family in 1836? What were they doing?

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