The Holliday Family
Thomas Johnston Holliday was born in 1805 in Georgia. The family must have moved to Mississippi by October 1836, as he marries Emily Patton in Claiborne at that time. Six children are born in Gallatin, Copiah County, Mississippi, before they move to Texas about 1852. Two additional children are born in Victoria or Goliad County. On the 1860 Slave Schedule for Goliad, Thomas Holliday is listed with 6 slaves. Allied families (Maddox and Patton) are also on the schedule with numerous slaves. The 1860 census finds Thomas and family living in Goliad. Also in their household is T. J. Millsaps, a young lawyer.
Thomas enlisted in the 18th Regiment, Texas Infantry (Ochiltree’s) and served in Company F. The unit participated in the Red River campaign, as well as Chickamauga and Franklin, TN. His sons, Frank and Tom, also fought in the Confederate Army.
Emily died in 1868 and Thomas died of pneumonia in November 1870.. By this time, some of the Holliday children were married with families of their own. The youngest, Robert and William, were in their teens at their father’s death. All of the siblings live in the Goliad/Victoria area.
The Offspring and their Families
- Thomas Patton Holliday (1840 MS – 1897) No record of marriage.
- Francis Ayres (Frank) Holliday (1842 MX – 1910 Menard Co, TX) married Janetta Catherine Page.
- Myra Roberta Holliday (1844 – 1933) married John P. G. Maddox, a widower.
- Artemesia M. Holliday (1846-1913) married Joseph Collins, a wealthy rancher.
- John J. Holliday (1847 MS – 1917 WY) apparently never married.
- Robert S. Holliday (1851 TX – 1873 Victoria Co, TX) married Laura.
- William Burroughs (1853 TX – 1895 LA) married Nancy J. Cromwell.
1870 Setting the Stage
These are a listing of neighbors and proximities on the San Antonio River Road, Precinct 3-4, Victoria County.
HH 31 is the ranch of Ellen Fagan.
HH 33 is the ranch of Anna Fagan Teal.
HH 35 is occupied by Ripley and Crogan Terrell and an elderly James Byrne.
HH 34 is the Stephenson ranch where there is a large extended family; it includes black girls Mary Patten (age 17 born MS) and Elizabeth (age 12 born MS), plus a 6 month old mulatto baby, Norah, who was born in Texas.
HH 42 is Frank and Janetta Holliday with his brothers, Thomas, John and Robert. Also in the household is John R. Patton, a stock laborer, who might be John Randolph Patton, brother of Emily Holliday — their uncle. There are also two black servants: Charles Holliday (age 55 born MS) and Jesse Cummins (age 50 born VA).
HH 43 is Wellington Sample lives alone.
HH 44 is Jackson and Catherine Page (and family), possible parents of Janetta.
HH 45 is Andy Tillman with two small children (mother Dinah Fox?) and no wife.
HH 53 is the mysterious Black Willis and Carline Holliday family with children Margaret, John, Thomas, Milton, Laura, Eliza and Sarah. This family changes surnames by 1880, as did Betsy.
HH 57 is the Carlos de la Garza Rancho.
HH 59 is Betsy Garza/Carlos with Fannie, Richard, Hinton, Virgil, Isabell — and a young black man named Frank.
About Fannie’s Tom Holliday
In 1877, unmarried Fannie Carlos was 19 years old when she gave birth to what may have been her first child — whom she named Tom Holliday.
A record of marriage has never been found for Fannie Carlos. It appears that she consistently names each of the children she bears (except one) after their fathers.
Fannie’s last child was Jesse Carlos Burns. He was somewhat educated, had his own business and was never in trouble. Jesse was the Death Certificate informant when Tom Holliday was shot, and he said that Jack Holliday was Tom’s father.
In Tales from the San’Tone River Bottom (by Louise O’Connor), Elizabeth Sevier Haney writes that “Tom Holliday was half and half. He was supposed to be Old Man Sample’s son [Wellington Sample]. Who knows? Some say he was Doc Holliday‘s son.” She may be confused about Wellington’s son, Will Sample, whose mother was Betsy Carlos.
What is clear is that Tom Holliday was a mulatto, as was his mother. Age certainly did not matter as much as accessibility or convenience, but John J. Holliday was only about 10 years older than Fannie. They did live in close proximity to each other. John, or Jack, had no wife. The families were definitely known to one another — in 1880, Richard Carlos was working for William and Nancy Holliday.
I believe that John J. Holliday could have been the father of Tom. Interesting that Fannie named the boy “Tom”, instead of Jack or John. It’s possible that he could be the child of Thomas Patton Holliday, who also was a bachelor living nearby, but I trust Jesse to be right.
The allied Tillman Family
Aaron Tillman and wife Rebecca were enslaved by the Thomas Holliday family. In the 1880 census, the aging Aaron states that he and Becky were born in Maryland and that both of their parents were born in Virginia. We can track the family’s migration across the country by the birthplaces of children: they are in Mississippi in 1842, and in Texas before 1852.
There is one male listed on the 1860 Slave Schedule for Victoria County who is 80 years of age (born in 1780). It’s likely this could have been Aaron or Becky’s father.
Aaron and Becky had a large family. By 1867, most of them (except Andy) have moved to Seguin, Guadalupe County. It’s unclear on the 1870 census who are children of Aaron and Becky and who might be their grandchildren. They are in the household of their son — a daughter-in-law lives next door with more Tillman children.