The Andrew and Julia Weaver Family
- By Kevin Ladd
Among the oldest tombstones in Chambers County, the monuments marking the graves of Andrew and Julia Weaver are distinctive for a couple of reasons. The pioneer couple is buried in the Barrow Cemetery in Hankamer. Andrew's tombstone gives his date of birth as May 15, 1771, five years before the American Revolution began. His wife Julia was born June 25, 1775, a little over twelve months before the Declaration of Independence. Both Andrew and Julia died in 1846. He died on August 10, 1846; Julia, on December 12.
Andrew Weaver came here in 1831, a native of Germany. Simple mathematics tells us that he was sixty years old or thereabouts. His wife Julia was four years younger, but her place of nativity remains subject to further study. It would appear to have been somewhere in Germany. Land titles were perfected under the name of the head of the household, and Andrew made application for his headright grant from the Republic of Texas by appearing before the Board of Land Commissioners for Liberty County on March 1, 1838. Daniel P. Coit, the president of the Board, certified his claim "by virtue of having been a resident of Texas at the date of the declaration of independence and having continued so to the present time, that he is a man of family and emigrated to Texas in 1831."
The land was finally patented to his heirs in 1848, consisting of one league and one labor (which totaled approximately 4,605 acres of land). The Weaver family was one of the few German families in this section for several years, although they were joined a few years later by the Stengler and Hankamer family, who came in 1845 with other Germans. John Stengler wrote an interesting article in The Progress, which was published on Feb. 10, 1910. Stengler wrote: "There were so few settlers in the county and none of my family understanding English, were rather in a bad condition to get information, as there were few Germans in these parts at that time, but in the Autumn of 1846 I moved up to what is now Hankamer, in the house formerly owned and occupied by Andrew Weaver who had died in August before I moved. Mrs. Weaver was living with her daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Barrow, the mother of Uncle Ben Barrow, now living at Anahuac, but she died in December not long after I had moved to that place." Andrew and Julia had four children.
Their only son was John Weaver, who was born on Jan. 26, 1820 in Darmstadt, Germany, an ancient place located in what is today the federal state of Hesse. John was later married to Celestine Weed, a daughter of Benjamin and Sarah (Hanks) Weed. They were the parents of eleven children, namely: Martha who married Christian Bingle; Ellen, who married James Charles Bingle; Joseph Leonard, who married first to Frances Elizabeth Reavis and second to Florence Alabama Fosque; Minerva, the second wife of Fritz Hankamer; Frances Elizabeth, wife of Asa Fowler; Isabelle or Belle, wife of Robert H. Lee; Andrew, who married Sarah Cecelia White; Caroline or Carrie, who married Terrance Meche; Alfred, who married Nellie Aldridge; Benjamin, who married Annie May Stengler; and Lura, wife of Samuel B. Scott. In addition to their son John, Andrew and Julia also had three daughters.
They were: Elizabeth Weaver, who married about 1835 to Dutch Reuben Barrow, son of Vincent; Katherine Weaver, who was born about 1810, wife of John Brown; and Maria Julia, who married a man named Kountz. The latter child moved away after a time, possibly settling in Mexico but certainly disappearing from family records. The Andrew Weaver Survey is located at Hankamer, situated north of the Vincent Barrow and James Taylor White Surveys. Many of their descendants have lived on this tract of land.