Winfield Alford


Winfield Alford, wife Eliza, and two children were the first of the family in Texas, Austin Colonists listed by Stephen F. Austin as arriving 15 Jun 1832 from State of Illinois. They settled near San Felipe de Austin. That arrival date was repeated in his Republic of Texas Pension application but his land grant certificate gave the date of 1833. He was on the Austin Co. tax list of 1833, made up in 1832.


   Wingfield was a maternal-line family name, often spelled Winfield, and he dropped the G in all further Texas records

Winfield and wife Eliza Derrington married in Perry Co., IL on 28 Feb 1829, as endorsed on their marriage license.


Perry Co., IL ~ 28 Feb 1829 ~ Issued a marriage license to Winfield Alford and Eliza Derrington March 2nd 1829, the above mentioned licence was returned with the following endorsement written thereon, "This is to certify that I Joined together in marriage the within named persons on the 28th day of February 1829."

John Wood Romine, B fr B C L


 Caney Creek Brasos River Texas Oct 1836
I certify that Winfield Alford entered the Service of Texas in Capt. Cleveland's Command now under my command 1st Regt 1st Brig Texas Army on the first day of July last and service up to the 10th of Sept last and being absent on furlough it expiring said date he could not return in consequence of sickness he is hereby honorably discharged from his tour of three months.
B. F. Reavill, Capt
H. N. Clevland, Lieut. Col.
1st Regimt 1st Brg TA

The above certificate was for Winfield's regular Republic of Texas Army service. He was mustered out in October 1836. He probably served several enlistments, as it was common to serve three months, go home and plant or harvest a crop, and reenlist for another three months. His League of Land is shown here, in both Lavaca and DeWitt Counties, TX:

Prior to Texas independence, Winfield served under Col. William B. Travis in San Antonio, fought in the Battles of Old Mill and Concepcion, as proven in his Pension application in 1870, when a law establishing Pensions for Republic of Texas Veterans was enacted.

He applied and was granted a Pension:


Winfield Alford

The State of Texas
County of Gonzales

To the Hon. Comptroller of said State of Texas – You petitioner Winfield Alford, now a citizen of the County of Gonzales said State, aged Sixty Seven years, States that he was a private soldier in the revolution which separated Texas from Mexico in A.D. 1835 & 1836 – That in the fall of A.D. 1833, petitioner sent from his residence then near San Phillippe, Austin County and joined a company near San Antonio under command of Randal Jones – Petitioner says he entered service in said company as a soldier against the Mexican troops in San Antonio under Genl Cos, till the said company was disbanded whereupon petitioner without leaving San Antonio or vicinity, joined a company commanded by Travis at San Antonio in the campaign against the Mexican Genl. Cos and entered services in said command in A.D. 1835 at said San Antonio De Bexar –

That afterwards prior to the battle of San Jacinto, he was under command of Capt. H. N. Cleveland, Capt. McNutt having been made a Major – that he was after the battle at San Jacinto, part of the garrison stationed at Victoria Texas – Wherefore he prays that after due investigation of the facts here in stated, he may be ajudged entitled to a certificate enabling him thereupon to draw a pension annually for services in accordance with the Pension Act approved 13th day of Augt 1870 – and do hereby appoint, Everett Lewis my agent & attorney for me to receive the same.

Winfield (X) Alford


The State of Texas
County of Gonzales

Before me a Notary Public duly commissioned & qualified in afore said County, personally appeared this day, Dr. Thomas Polk to me known well as a truthful respectable citizen of said County. Who after being sworn by me on his oath says – That he knew the applicant for a pension under the act approved 13th day of August AD 1870 Winfield Alford in the year AD 1833 – That affiant and W. Alford said then resided in Austin County and from there went together and first joined a company at the Cibolo Creek near San Antonio under command of Capt. Randall Jones in the fall of 1835 in the campaign against the Mexican forces at San Antonio under command of Genl. Cos – That after said Company disbanded affiant joined the command of Travis, and he does not know whether said Alford joined the same company or one under a different Capt. but he knows that said Alford did join another company after Capt. Jones’ was broken up – and was in said service at San Antonio in the fall of AD 1835 – And affiant thinks that said Alford was in said company commanded by said Travis. This affiant was in the said campaighn till the capture of the said Mexican troops in San Antonio in 1835 – in which seige, B. R. Milam was killed – that said Winfield Alford may have continued in the Revolutionary Army of Texas but affiant does not know this fact of his own knowledge – Affiant says that the applicant W. Alford is the same person above mentioned, and now resides in Gonzales County Texas – And is Sixty five or Seventy years of age. And that he believes said W. Alford justly entitled to a pension for service, under the pension Act approved August 13th AD 1870.

Thos Polk

Sworn to & subscribed before me this the 29th day of September 1870 to which I certify under my hand & Notarial Seal

W. V. Collins J.P.
& Notary Public G.C.


State of Texas
County of Gonzales

Winfield Alford of said County and State personally appeared before me the undersign authority who being duly sworn according to Law declares that he is the identical Winfield Alford who was a private in Capt. W. B. Travis Company of the army of Texas in the year AD 1835 and that while in said Company he participated in the battles at the Old Mill & at Conception near San Antonio in the said year AD 1835 and affiant further says he was born in the County of Franklin in State of North Caroline that he is Seventy One years of age and that he imigrated to the State of Texas in the year AD 1832. And affiant further declares that he is the identical Winfield Alford who received a Bounty Warrant of Land for Military service rendered between January 1832 and the 15 day of October 1836

Winfield Alford (his X mark)

Subscribed & sworn to before me to which as Clerk of the District Court of Gonzales County I certify under my hand & official Seal June 22nd 1874

F. Chanault
Clk C.C.G.C.


Other items included in this file are:

  • Affidavit of Identity: Major T. S. Lee – Gonzales Co. also mentions that Alford was a participant in the Battle of Conception in 1835. dtd: 8/13/1870
  • Letter from Attorney, Everett Lewis
  • Affidavit of Identity: John Burleson of Travis Co. mentions that Alford was a fellow participant under Jones at the Seige of Bexar in 1835.
  • Notice of Suspension (not dated)
  • Letter dated 5/29/1874 from James F. Miller & Wm. B. Sayers, Attorneys in Gonzales, requesting information as to why the pension for Alford has been suspended.
  • Letter dated 6/22/1874 from Miller & Sayers, Attorneys in Gonzales, requesting information as to why the pension for Alford has been suspended.
  • Affidavit of Identity: T. J. Allcorn of Washington Co., Texas mentions that he served with Alford under in the same company under W. B. Travis and was in the same battles as Alford, Old Mill and Concepcion.
  • Affidavit of Identity: Dr. Thomas Polk, Gonzales Co., served with the applicant under Jones and Travis.
  • Affidavit of Identity: A. F. Allbright, Newton Co., affirmed identity Jan 1872.
  • Affidavit of residence and the status of living, of Winfield Alford for the approval of pension. dtd: 7/1/1874.

Pension Claim No. 1135 for Winfield Alford of Gonzales County was approved August 5th, 1874 and was paid $250.00

The first company Winfield Alford joined was commanded by Randal Jones (1786-1873). Jones, an early Texas soldier and public official, moved to Texas in 1814 or 1815, opened a store at Nacogdoches as an Indian trader, and had dealings with Jean Laffite the pirate. In 1820 he joined the Long expedition and conducted Jane Wilkinson Long (known as "the Mother of Texas") from LA to Texas to join her husband. The Long expedition failed, but Jones and his brother returned to Texas in Jan 1821. In 1822 they built a house for Mrs. Long on San Jacinto Bay iand later escorted her to San Antonio.

As one of Austin's Old 300 colonists, Jones was granted a league and a labor of land now in Wharton and Fort Bend Cos. in 1824. He was captain of the Texas militia organized to quell trouble with the Karankawa Indians and was in command at the battle of Jones Creek in September 1824.

In December 1830 Jones was elected regidor of Austin Municipality. On October 11, 1835, he was appointed by Austin to appraise horses and equipment for the army. Jones became blind and moved to Houston shortly before his death in June 1873. He was buried on his land in Fort Bend County and reinterred at the State Cemetery in 1934.

The battle of Concepción occurred on October 28, 1835, the opening engagement in the siege of Bexar. After the skirmish at Gonzales on October 2, the Texas army under Stephen F. Austin grew to 400 men as it advanced on San Antonio. Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos, with a Mexican army that peaked in size at 750 men in late October, fortified the plazas in San Antonio and the Alamo mission (San Antonio de Valero) across the river.

On October 27 Austin ordered James Bowie and James W. Fannin, Jr., to lead ninety men from San Francisco de la Espada Mission to locate a protected position closer to the town. The four companies of Andrew Briscoe, Robert M. Coleman, Valentine Bennet, and Michael Goheen explored the other missions and briefly engaged Mexican scouts before reaching Concepción. There the officers decided to camp for the evening rather than return to the main army as Austin had directed. The Texans occupied a wooded bend in the San Antonio River protected by an embankment, and sent out pickets to warn of a Mexican attack. A few cannon shots from the town failed to inflict losses.

Cos seized the opportunity to attack the separate force the next day, sending out Col. Domingo de Ugartechea with 275 men and two cannons before dawn. The 200 Mexican cavalry drove in the Texan guards in early morning fog and formed on the west side of the river. Lt. Col. José María Mendoza led the smaller infantry and artillery forces across the stream to attack from the east. Mexican volleys crashed through the trees overhead, but inflicted no casualties among the Texans until Bowie moved Coleman's company to meet the advance. Then one man fell mortally wounded. The Texans responded with accurate rifle fire that drove back three Mexican charges and killed or wounded most of the infantry and artillerymen in about thirty minutes. Then the Texans counterattacked and captured one of the cannons. Mexican cavalry covered the retreat of the infantry and cannoneers who survived.

Austin and his other troops rushed to the field when they heard firing, but arrived too late to do more than hurry the Mexican withdrawal. Austin urged an assault on the town, but most of his officers believed San Antonio too well fortified. Mexican losses included fourteen killed and thirty­nine wounded, some of whom died later. Texas losses included one killed and one wounded.

The Battle of Old Mill refers to the old mill on the San Antonio River about one-half mile north of the main plaza of San Antonio de Béxar which became headquarters of the Texas troops under Stephen F. Austin after the battle of Concepción on October 28, 1835.

Winfield Alford was one of many gallant Gonzales men who served their country, before and after Travis and the others died heroes in the Battle of the Alamo.

Prior to the Battle of the Alamo, a group of men was sent back to Gonzales because they were sick (there was a measles epidemic in Bexar that year) and could not be cared for. The Alfords' neighbor S. Y. Reams escorted the group and very likely Winfield was among them, or he would have died at the Alamo.

Among the heroes who died there were the "Immortal 35" who came from Gonzales into the Alamo after Santa Ana's seige had begun.

Photo by Doris Johnston 24 May 1995,
available for purchase in Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at Alamo

Winfield said that prior to San Jacinto he was serving under Col. McNutt. The Robert McNutt family moved to Texas in 1834 and, after receiving two headrights in Williamson and Austin Cos., settled near Bellville, Austin Co. -- Winfield Alford was living near San Felipe de Austin in Austin Co.

On March 1, 1836, McNutt assumed the rank of captain and joined Lts. Gibson Kuykendall and John Burleson in forming a company of Austin Co. volunteers to relieve the Alamo. After the fall of the Alamo, McNutt and his company, under the command of Gen. Sam Houston, joined in the retreat from Gonzales. During the battle of San Jacinto, McNutt, who had recently been promoted to major, was placed in command of the baggage guard and ammunition. He was also responsible for the wounded and sick, many of whom were suffering from measles. He was relieved from further military duties in 1836 and for his service received two grants totaling 960 acres in Bastrop and Lee Cos. He later served as tax assessor and collector for Austin Co. until ill health forced him to resign. In 1851 he settled near Georgetown, where he lived until his death, on August 31, 1853. In 1963 a historical marker was erected at McNutt's gravesite in Williamson Co. honoring his military service at the battle of San Jacinto. His name is also engraved on the historical plaque honoring the heroes of the battle of San Jacinto at the San Jacinto Monument and Museum.

He qualified for a Headright grant of one League and one Labor of land (4,605.5 acres) for arriving in Texas prior to March 1836, and was eligible for a Bounty grant for military service. He applied for and took an oath before the Board of Land Commissioners in Austin County on 11 January 1838 to get the grant he laid down in Gonzales County: He applied for a Republic of Texas Veterans Pension in 1874.

 No. 9: Winfield ALFORD presents himself before the Board, claiming a head-right of one league and labor of land and took and subscribed the oath prescribed by law (viz): I do solemnly swear that I was a resident Citizen of Texas at the date of the declaration of Independence, that I did not leave the Country during the Campaign of the Spring of 1836 to avoid a participation in the Struggle, that I did not refuse to participate in the war, and that I did not aid or assist the enemy, and that I have not personally received a title to my quantum of land and that I conceive myself justly entitled under the Constitution and Laws to the quantity of land for which I now apply.


John Tobby EDWARDS and J. Hampton KUYKENDALL witness for the applicant, depose that they have known said applicant ever since the year 1833. That he participated in the war in behalf of Texas, was a citizen at the date of the declaration of Independence, and has ever since continued so, and that he is a married man. Whereupon the Board after hearing the testimony of the witnesses and considering the claims of the said Alford and conceiving him justly entitled under the Constitution and Laws to the quantity of one league and labor of land issued to the said Alford the corresponding certificate as required by law.

The grant was recorded in Gonzales County:

AUSTIN COUNTY. Know all men by these presents, That Winfield Alford having presented to the Board of Land Commissioners for said County his claim for One League and Labor of Land, and the said Board having investigated said claim by the oath of said claimant and the evidence of two good and creditable witnesses in the terms prescribed by law, Do hereby Certify that the said Winfield Alford is entitled to One League and One Labor of Land as his Headright; And that the said Winfield Alford immigrated to Texas in the year 1833.
For which this is his certificate.
San Felipe de Austin, January 11th, 1838
By the Board of Commissioners
Robt. McNutt
Robt. Vilebery
File 282
Gonzales Co.
Headright certified
Winfield Alford - 1 League & 1 Labor

After Texas independence was achieved, Winfield sent for his father Isaac and siblings. Apparently Isaac arrived by December 1838, for he was on the 1839 Austin Co. tax list. He received a 1st class grant for a League and Labor of land in 1839. Soon Winfield's brothers Wright and Hatch, and sisters Chloe and Sallie Whitley and their husbands joined them. They received Headright land grants. According to Hatch Olford's 1860 Burleson County, Texas, census -- the only record we have of his birthdate -- he was born ca 1815 in NC. Living in the vicinity was Kemp Alford who applied for his land grant at the same time Hatch did, and was probably another son of Isaac who died without heirs before his father.

Winfield and Hatch Alford's a daughters Amanda Eliza and Mary Jane, 1st cousins, married brothers, William M. and John Marion Green, sons of James Green and Sarah Kitchell of Thompsonville, Gonzales Co., TX. Hatch's son John Posey Alford married Sarah's niece, Jane Borrer, making Alfords and Greens double cousins, two says. See ALFORD PHOTOS.

Winfield and Eliza's children were LeRoy (1834), Julius (1839), Abraham "A. J." (1839), Eliza Amanda (1852), and Eboline.

Hatch Alford and wife Martha Jane (Longley) bought land in Burleson Co., TX. They had four children, Mary Jane, John Posey, George Washington, and Caroline "Callie." Hatch was in the Gonzales Co. Home Guard during the Civil War and saw service fighting Indians and the Union Army in Oklahoma. He was wounded in the leg. While he was gone, he got word that his wife Martha Jane had died (date unknown). He returned home to care for the children, and before Jan 1878, he had hit the wounded leg when he hit a stump while plowing a new field, took blood poisoning, and died. The four children were taken it by their Uncle Winfield for a while, but his wife Eliza suffered from mental illness and had died in 8 Feb 1867. So Hatch's children were put in foster homes.

Winfield was a prosperous man until he spent all he had over the years trying to get help for his wife's condition. Eliza (1809-1867) died, Hatch's two sons came back to live with him and worked the fields, barefoot, "out in the wet" even in cold or rainy conditions.

When the prospects of a Civil War loomed, many Texans who fought to gain Texas Independence and Statehood were opposed, like Sam Houston, to seceding from the Union, and some even left the state. But most, regardless of their feelings, served to protect their homes and loved ones. Winfield Alford served in the Home Guard, as did his brother Hatch; the latter was sent to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) to defend against Indian uprisings and Union forces.


 The name cut off the 14 yr. old first enlistment above may have been Isaac Alford, son of Winfield's brother Wright Alford; next enlistment was 55 yr. old Winfield Alford, both in Sandy Creek, Gonzales Co., Home Guard. The third enlistment, Pvt. H. M. Alford was not in Gonzales Co. and may or may not be Winfield's brother Hatch; for this man served in Georgia; while my ancestor Hatch was said to be in the Home Guard.

Winfield remarried twice, to Mrs. Catherine Garner on 24 July 1868, and Mrs. Elizabeth Blackburn 21 April 1872, both in Gonzales Co.


 Solemnized 30 Jul 1868 by P. W. Roberts, J.P.

Solemnized 21 Apr 1872 by P. W. Medford, M.G.

Winfield Alford, Austin Colonist, patriot, and soldier, died intestate in Gonzales Co. in 1878.

Children of Winfield Alford and wife Eliza Derrington:

1. Eboline ALFORD was born between 1832 and 1833 at TX. She married Lewis BOREN on 10 Aug 1848 at Washington Co., TX (1st husb). She married Jesse H. PILAND, son of Mills PILAND and Penelope HARRELL, on 31 Jul 1854 at Gonzales Co., TX (2nd husb). She and Jesse H. PILAND appeared on the census of 1860 at Gonzales Co., TX (Jesse Piland age 37 farmer $2000 $3000 b. TX, wife Eboline 27 TX, children D. W. Piland 7 male TX, M. Piland 2 female TX, Leroy Piland 1 male TX). She died circa 1880 at Austin, Travis Co., TX (Texas State Asylum).

2. LeRoy ALFORD was born in 1834. He died between 1850 and 1854 at Gonzales, Gonzales Co., TX.

3. Abraham J. "A.J." ALFORD was born circa 1839 at TX. He married M. E. HOLCOMB on 28 Dec 1869 (1st wife). He married Johnnie GAINES, daughter of James GAINES, on 15 Nov 1871 (2nd wife, 2nd husb). He died on 30 Apr 1876 at TX.

4. Julius ALFORD was born in 1839 and died young.

5. Eliza Amanda ALFORD was born in 1851 at Gonzales Co., TX. She married William M. GREEN, son of James GREEN and Sarah KITCHELL, in 1869 at Gonzales Co., TX. She died on 9 Feb 1930 at Green farm, Georgetown, Williamson Co., TX. William M. Green's brother John Marion Green married Eliza Amanda's 1st cousin, Mary Jane Alford, daughter of Hatch.

Partial Bibliography

Villamae Williams, Stephen F. Austin's Register of Families (Nacogdoches, Texas: Ericson, 1984).
Alwyn Barr, Texans in Revolt: The Battle for San Antonio, 1835 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990).

Eugene C. Barker, "The San Jacinto Campaign," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 4 (April 1901).

J. H. Kuykendall, "Reminiscences of Early Texans," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 6-7 (January, April, July 1903).

Grant Files of the General Land Office, Austin, TX.

Republic of Texas Military Records & Pension Files, Texas State Archives, Austin.