Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
NameJoseph Milton McKenzie
Birth19 Feb 1804, Scotts Hill, Henderson, TN
Death17 Oct 1843, Prarie Lea, Gonzales Co TX Age: 39
FatherHezekiah Balch McKenzie (1772-1846)
MotherIsabella Howe (1781-1826)
Birth25 Jun 1804
DeathMay 1888 Age: 83
Marriage1825, Giles Co TN
ChildrenMary Jane (1826-1909)
 Thomas Newton (1828-1909)
 Sarah Elizabeth (1832-)
 Louisa Adaline (1838-1880)
Notes for Joseph Milton McKenzie
Joseph Milton McKenzie 1804-18431810

Joseph Milton McKenzie was a son of Hezekiah Balch McKenzie and Isabella Howe. He was born 19 February 1804 at Scott's Hill, Henderson County, Tennessee. He died 17 October 1843 in Gonzales County, Texas.

“Milton” McKenzie is found in the 1830 census of Henderson County, Tennessee. The 1837 tax roll of that county includes Milton, Newton, James and H. B. McKenzie.

Notes from an old McKenzie family Bible name the children of Hezekiah McKenzie who "married Miss Howe" as:

Rebecca (Mrs. Bill Shaw)
Joseph Milton (Born Feb. 19, 1804, Died Oct. 17, 1843, Gonzales County
Benjaman Franklin

Joseph Milton McKenzie and family came to Texas April 5, 1839. They lived on the Tenn. River near Patton's Ferry. They came down the Mississippi River on a flat boat. At New Orleans a number of families coming to Texas, chartered a boat to bring them to Galveston; a storm blew them off course and they landed at Linville, Texas, a small place on Matagorda Bay.

Joseph Milton McKenzie married Jane B. "Jensy" Higgenbotham about 1825, probably in Tennessee.

Migration to Texas

An old story in the McKenzie family tells that :

Great Grand-father Higginbotham of Tennessee came to Texas to buy mules in 1812 and was killed by Indians. A Mr. Gemison and a negro man were the only ones in the party not killed; they did not return for two years. Mr. Gemison was engaged to Aunt Polly Higginbotham when he came to Texas. He did not return for two years. As she had not heard from him, she thought he was dead and married. When he came back he went to see her and told her he did not blame her.

There were six Higginbotham children: Tom, Toliver, Jensy, Martha, Pollie and Sallie. Aunt Martha and Uncle Toliver never married; Jensy married twice, Grandpa McKenzie and Mr. Keyes; Aunt Sallie married Mr. Hendricks but never came to Texas. Aunt Pollie married Mr. Kerr. Grandpa McKenzie and family, Uncle Toliver and Aunt Martha Higginbotham came to Texas from Tennessee by boat in 1839. They landed at Linville on Lavaca Bay, a few miles above where Port Lavaca is now. The village of Linnville was burned by the Indians in 1840; most of the settlers escaped by taking to boats and going out into the Bay. Afterwards the settlers went down the coast and built Port Lavaca. The McKenzie family later moved to Gonzales County and settled near Prairie Lee (Now Caldwell County). Grandpa [Joseph Milton McKenzie] died in December 1843. Aunt Martha Higginbotham made her home during her last years with Cousin Lucinda Kerr DeVilbiss; and died in her home near San Antonio, Texas, in 1870.

Grandma Keyes, nee Jensy Higginbotham, made her home during her last years with Aunt Mary Amberson at London, Texas, and died there in 1888, age 84 years.

Great Comanche Raid of 1840

The Indian raid that destroyed Linnville in 1840 was the climax of the Great Comanche Raid of 1840. It was a retaliatory strike by the Comanches after the Council House Fight in San Antonio. The eventual show down between the Comanche raiders and the settlers occurred at the Battle of Plum Creek, now in Caldwell County.


Joseph Milton McKenzie and Jensy Higgenbotham had five children:

Mary [Ann] Jane b 31 Mar 1826 d 25 Aug 1909 m 13 Oct 1842 John H Finch m 2 James Amberson
Thomas Newton b 31 Jan 1828 d 18 Feb 1909 m 18 Nov 1856 Mary Jane Waller
Martha Isabelle b 6 April 1830 d m 1851 Leasel B. Harris
Sarah Elizabeth b 1832 d m 8 Feb 1855 Jefferson D. Lilly
Louisa Adaline b 23 March 1838 d 27 Dec 1880 m 17 April 1855 Francis Asberry Vaughn
Notes for Jane B. “Jensy” (Spouse 1)
Jane "Jensy" B. Higgenbotham1811

Jensy Higgenbotham was born June 25, 1804 and died in May 1888. She was married, probably about 1825, to Joseph Milton McKenzie who was born February 19, 1804 and died October 17, 1843.

Milton McKinsey is listed in the 1830 census of Henderson Co., Tennessee. An entry in the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, member #5352, says that Joseph Milton McKenzie was born at Scott’s Hill, Henderson County, Tennessee. Henderson County had not been created in 1804. The 1837 tax roll of Henderson County does include H. B. McKenzie with 500 acre and 2 slaves and polls for Milton, Newton and James McKinsey in District 11. District 12 shows Ulisses McKinzey. The DeVilbiss notes say that Hezakiah McKenzie married Miss Howe and had children:

Rebecca m Bill Shaw
Joseph Milton
Benjaman Franklin

In the census of 1840 for Henderson County, no Milton is listed, but Ulysses and J. H. are. Jensy and Joseph McKenzie came to Texas from Tennessee, near Patton’s Ferry on the Tennessee River. They landed at Linnville on Lavaca Bay on April 5, 1839. They had made the trip on flatboats down the Tennessee River to New Orleans, then on a bigger boat headed for Galveston. The family story tells that a storm blew them off course, landing them at Linnville, in Victoria County. The 1840 tax roll of Victoria County shows Milton McKensie lived there. He later moved his family to Gonzales County, near Prairie Lea. He died there 17 Oct. 1843.

The Great Comanche Raid in August of 1840 was a retaliation for the Comanches’ losses at the Council House Fight. The Indians plundered and burned the town of Linnville while most of the residents watched from boats in the bay in which they had fled. The Comanches were defeated at the Battle of Plum Creek as they left the Linnville area.

The children of Jensy Higgenbotham and Joseph McKenzie were:

Mary Jane born March 31, 1826 m. John H. Finch, James Amberson
Thomas Newton born January 31, 1828 m. Mary Jane Waller York’s Creek
Martha Isabelle born April 6, 1830 m. Leasle Harris
Sarah Elizabeth born 1832 m. Jefferson Lilly
Louise Adaline born March 23, 1838 m. Francis A. Vaughn

Mary Jane McKenzie was born 31 March 1826 in Tennessee. She married John H FINCH about 1846, judging from her son’s age. John Milton Finch was born in 1847 at San Juan Mission in San Antonio.

John H. Finch received a bounty land grant of 320 acres for his service with the army of the Republic of Texas for three months from May 8 until August 15 of 1836. The land was surveyed in Caldwell County on Plum Creek, about 4 ½ miles south and west from Lockhart beginning at the NW corner of a quarter league survey made for William House. It was surveyed 8 October 1843.

John H. Finch also received a third of a league headright certificate, No. 133, from the Board of Land Commissioners of Matagorda County and dated 18 January 1838. The 1/3 league grants were given to settlers who were in Texas before 2 March 1836. If Finch was in Texas that early and Mary Jane McKenzie did not arrive until 1839, they must have married in Texas. The marriage record has not been found.

John Milton Finch said he was born in San Antonio at the San Juan Mission in 1847. The grand daughter of William P. Kerr said that Kerr’s family lived in Mission San Juan to be protected from the Indians and for the children to attend school. Assuming William P. Kerr was Polly Higgenbotham’s husband, he was Mary Jane’s uncle.

John H. Finch is said to have been from New York. His son said that John H. Finch made a trip back to New York and contracted choLera, dying at sea on the return trip. Probate packet #252 of Gonzales County state that John H. Finch died 5 May 1847. His wife, Mary Jane Finch applied to administer the estate. George W. of Caldwell County was administrator in Caldwell County and objected to having two different administrators in two different counties.

Curiously, the 1850 census taken August 27 in Brazoria County, on the coast, records J. H. FINCH, 23, "choLera agent" born New York. That is a very close match to the details known about the husband of Mary Jane McKenzie Finch, except that he was supposed to be dead by then. He would also have been older, if he served in the army of Texas 14 years earlier. He was enumerated in the household of F. A. Sayee, a druggist from New York, age 21.
Notes for Jane B. “Jensy” (Spouse 1)
From another source:1812

"There were six Higgenbotham children: Tom, Toliver, Jensy, Martha, Pollie and Sallie. Polly. Sallie married Mr. Hendricks but never came to Texas. Martha and Toliver Higgenbotham did not marry.
Jensy Higgenbotham married twice. Her first husband was Joseph Milton McKenzie. After his death in 1843 she married Thomas J. Keese in 1846. She lived her last years with Cousin Lucinda Kerr DeVilbiss, according to Cousin Priscilla DeVilbiss of Pearsall.

The rest of the family appears to have come by boat to Matagorda Bay in the spring of 1839. Jensy Higgenbotham married Joseph Milton McKenzie and came then. The McKenzie family of seven probably traveled with Polly and William P. Kerr and children, Tom Higgenbotham and his wife, Levicy, and Martha Ann Higgenbotham.

Joseph McKenzie appears on the tax roll of Victoria County in 1840. Linnville was in Victoria County. He later moved his family to Gonzales County, near Prairie Lea. He died there 17 Oct. 1843. Joseph and Jensy Higgenbotham McKenzie had five children. They were:

Mary Jane b 31 March 1826 m. 1st John H. FINCH 2nd James AMBERSON 
Thomas Newton b 31 Jan 1828 m. Mary Jane WALLER 
Martha Isabelle b 6 April 1830 m. Leasle HARRIS 
Sarah Elizabeth b ?? m. Jefferson LILLY 
Louise Adaline b 23 March 1838 m. Francis A. VAUGHN"
Last Modified 15 Mar 2008Created 27 Dec 2020 using Reunion for Macintosh
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