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The following important events affected political boundaries, record keeping, and family movements in Texas.
1682 Spaniards founded the first permanent settlement near present-day El Paso. Catholic missions soon followed in east Texas.
1821 Texas became part of the new nation of Mexico. Stephen F. Austin brought the first Anglo-American colonists to Texas. They settled the Austin Colony in south central Texas. Several other impresarios soon brought other colonists.
1836 Texas declared independence from Mexico after a military confrontation. Municipalities were soon organized into counties. The Republic of Texas existed until 1845.
1845 (December 29,) United States acquired Texas as the 28th state.
1846-1848 Mexico declared war on the United States in an effort to reclaim Texas and other territory claimed by both countries. Over 6,000 Texas citizens served in the Mexican-American War. Mexico gave up its claim to Texas.
1846 After the annexation of Texas a treaty signed at Council Springs Texas by the Wichita, Comanche, Lipan, Kichai, and Caddo Indians recognized the jurisdiction of the U.S.
1850 Texas relinquished its claims to Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklahoma.
1861-1865 Texas seceded from the Union during the Civil War. In 1870 it was readmitted to the Union.
1868 Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th Cavalry skirmished with Indians near Fort Quitman.
1870s Most Indians were removed to the Indian Territory in present-day eastern Oklahoma. Some escaped to Mexico.
1873-1874 "Buffalo War" against white hunters in Oklahoma and Texas by Cheuenne, Arapaho, Comanche, and Kiowa tribes in the attempt to save the few remaining buffalo herds from destruction.
1901 The oil boom attracted many new residents.
1987 The oil boom collapsed.
The Family History Library has many county and local histories of Texas. A good source for a general background is Frank W. Johnson, History of Texas and Texans, Five Volumes. Chicago, Illinois: American Historical Society, 1914. (Family History Library book 976.4 H2j; 1916 ed. is on film 1000592.) Volumes 3-5 have biographical information.
Bibliographies of local histories include:
Jenkins, John Holmes. Cracker Barrel Chronicles: A Bibliography of Texas Town and County Histories. Austin, Texas: Pemberton Press, 1965. (Family History Library book 976.4 H2jc; film 1000609 item 2.)
Munnerlyn, Tom. Texas Local History: A Source Book for Available Town and County Histories, Local Memoirs and Genealogical Records. Austin, Texas: Eakin Press, 1983. (Family History Library book 976.4 H23m.)