Four children are credited to this union:
I. Martha Anne Stacy Gardner wife of Joseph William "Peter" Gardner
b. June 10, 1822 Madison County, AL
m. February 16, 1838 Natchitoches Parrish, LA
d. February 7, 1882, Bigfoot, Frio County, TX, Age 59
Martha Anne Stacy, daughter of Alexander Stacy and Rebecca Hathcock, was born on June 10, 1822 in New Market, Madison County, Alabama. When she was between 11 and 14 years old, her family moved to Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. She was 15 year old when she married Joseph William "Peter" Gardner on February 16, 1838 in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana.
In The Gardner Family, Tom Graham states that Joseph William Gardner known as "Peter" was born March 23, 1810 in Tennessee; the exact location and who his parents were are still unknown.
They couple settled near Marthasville, Louisiana near her family. In 1851 her sister Elizabeth Jane married William Norwood Gates, they settled nearby as well. William was eligible for a 320 acre land bounty in Texas as result of his service in the Texas Revolution. In the fall of 1853 the Gates and the Gardner families packed up their belonging and moved to Atascosa County, Texas.
According to John Edmond Gardner, second son of Martha and Joe Gardner, there were two families with 5 children in each family. Their belongings were placed into a single wagon pulled by a “yoke of oxen whose names were Buck and Brandy.”
They arrived in Atascosa County in 1854 and settled a homestead. They paid taxes in Atascosa County until 1860. They were residents of Atascosa County when then 1860 census was taken.
In 1861 the family moved to “Old Frio Town” in Frio County where they engaged in ranching. According to Tom Graham, Joseph Gardner always had a homestead, but he was seldom there. He and his older boys were running cattle on the open range.
Around 1865 the family moved to Guadalupe County, 15 miles south from Sequin in an area known as Sandies Country. It was there Joseph died September 13, 1869 in Sandies Creek, Texas at the age of 59. He was buried at Sandies Chapel Cemetery, Gonzales County Texas.
After Joseph’s death, Martha Anne returned to Frio Town. On August 23, 1870 when the federal census was taken, Martha and nine of her children were living in Frio County. She was still living in Frio County when the 1882 federal census was taken. Martha Ann died on February 7, 1882 in Bigfoot, Frio County, Texas. She was buried in Bigfoot Cemetery.
Children of Martha Anne Stacy and Joseph William Gardner are:
1. Sarah Catherine Gardner King (1840 – after 1880)
2. Alexander Franklin Gardner (1843 – 1923)
3. John Edmund Gardner (1845 – 1926) link to his life story
4. Rebecca J. Gardner (1847 – 1852)
5. Mary Elizabeth Gardner Heathcock (1849 – 1917)
7. Nancy Jane Gardner Frazier Stephenson Butler (1853 – 1898)
8. Thomas Henry Gardner (1856 – 1924)
9. Martha Josephine Gardner Glenn (1858 – 1912)
10. Charles Alfred Gardner (1861 – 1952)
11. James Willis Gardner (1863 – about 1882)
12. Priscilla Anne Amanda Gardner Ridgeway (1865 – 1940)
II. Elizabeth Jane Stacy Gates wife of William Norwood Gates
b. September 20, 1824 Madison County, AL
m. February 18, 1841 Natchitoches Parrish, LA
d. November 26, 1882 Atascosa County, TX, Age 58
Elizabeth Jane Stacy, daughter of Alexander Stacy and Rebecca Hathcock, was born on September 20 1824 in New Market, Madison County, Alabama. When she was between 9 and 12 years old, her family moved to Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana.
She was 17 years old when she married William Norwood Gates on February 18, 1841 in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. William was born February 20, 1818 in Jackson, Tennessee, the son of Martha Jane Hampton and John Valentine Gates. They couple settled near Marthasville, Louisiana near her family.
The family bible lists two children born in Louisiana who failed to reach adulthood; John on January 14th, 1842 and Sarah Ann on December 16th, 1842. These children must have died young as there is no record of them in the 1850 census. Perhaps these babies were stillborn; the date of death was not listed.
Their daughter Lavana Ann is said to have been born in Arkansas on January 1st, 1844. This is the only known record of the family being in Arkansas. The purpose and duration of the stay are unknown. After her birth the family returned to Natchitoches where four additional children were born, Alexander Franklin in 1846, James Valentine in 1848, Martha Emaline in 1851 and John Columbus in April 1853.
In December 1848, William purchased 40 acres at 1.25 an acre in Natchitoches Parish. On September 1, 1849 he was issued the patent for the SW quarter of the SW quarter of Section 21, Township 9N, Range 10W in Natchitoches, Louisiana (certificate 4729).
In November 1850 when the Federal census was taken, the Gates family was living in Natchitoches Parrish. The family was enumerated as follows: William 30 born in Alabama, occupation farmer, $200 real estate, with Levina 26 born in Alabama, Elizabeth 6, Alex 4, Jas 2 all born in Louisiana. (The enumerated switched the first names of Elizabeth and her daughter Lavana.) Also listed with the family were the three eldest children of William’s sister Francis Caroline Gates Sanders, Eudora 10, Erby 7 & Salina 5.
As a veteran of the Texas war of Independence, William was entitled to claim 320 acres of Texas land. He was issued bounty certificate #179 on January 5, 1847. This vast amount of free land called to him; he probably discussed the possibilities that waited in Texas with his brother-in-law Joe Gardner. In 1853, the Gates and Gardner families packed up their belonging and moved to Atascosa County, Texas.
John Columbus Gates was born on April 22nd, 1853 in Natchitoches. Family tradition has the family in Goliad County, Texas before September 3, 1853 the birth date of Nancy Jane Gardner. They spent the winter in Goliad County before moving on to Atascosa County.
According to John Edmond Gardner, second son of Martha and Joe Gardner, there were two families with 5 children in each family. Their belongings were placed into a single covered wagon pulled by a team of yoke of oxen. Lavana Gates Williams was ten years old at that time. She said that her mother Jane was in "delicate" health and was sick in bed all the way to Texas. Her mother had just recently given birth to her brother John. Lavana had to care for her sick mother, her younger siblings and help with the cooking as well.
“Grandpa Gates sold the home in Louisiana and everything he owned there and loaded up his family in a covered wagon and got to Texas Oct. 4, 1854”. Lavana said the Gates family had a nice home in Louisiana and at the time of her birth had some slaves, as she talked about her Negro "mammy" and how much she loved her. A search of the slave schedule for the 1850 federal census didn’t find William listed as a slave holder.
On Oct. 4th, 1854, the family settled in Atascosa County. William built a home and settled his growing family on the land he chose in Texas, in exchange for his bounty certificate. Tax records for Atascosa County show Wm N Gates paid taxes in 1857 for 160 acres of land, 2 horses and a pair of oxen – an estate valued at $380 dollars. The Atascosa County tax records show William and Jane’s personal wealth (land, horses, cattle and other miscellaneous taxable item) steadily increasing. Their tax base peaked in 1884 when their estate was valued at $3110. Compared to many of their neighbors, the Gates family was well off. He likely owned land and property in other Texas Counties. Tax records show William and Jane did not own slaves.
Land Horses Cattle Total
Year acres qty qty Value
1857 160 2 - $ 380
1867 160 22 140 $ 2018
1878 480 50 20 $ 2160
1884 1120 40 30 $ 3110
1887 960 20 20 $ 2010
1897 317 11 9 $ 985
The area where they settled was called Gates Valley. William owned the first store and Post Office in Gates Valley. When the railroad came through, a town was formed and the name was changed from Gates Valley to Poteet. William and Jane donated land for the first school and church in the community; known as the "Gates Valley Public School” and "Gates Valley Baptist Church."
William was elected sheriff of Atascosa County Aug. 4, 1862 and served two terms. He was served on the first Grand Jury in that county. He was one of the first County Commissioners of Atascosa County an office he held for many terms.
After moving to Texas the family continued to grow as well: Mary Jane 1855, Nancy Caroline 1858, William Wright 1861, Edmond Jackson 1864 and Mason Witton Elizabeth in 1867. All of the children were educated and were literate. In 1860 census indicated that their mother Elizabeth Jane was not. The 1870 census indicated that both parents were illiterate, but this must not have been true for William, as the Texas BLM record contains a hand written note where William describes his military service during the Texas Revolution.
On November 26, 1882 Elizabeth Jane Gates died in Gates Valley, Texas at the age of 58. Her beloved husband William was left behind. William remained in Gates Valley where he on September 19, 1903 he died of bronchitis. Elizabeth Jane Stacy and William Norwood Gates are buried in Shiloh Cemetery, Gates Valley, Texas.
Children of Elizabeth Jane Stacy and William Norwood Gates are:
1. John Gates (1842 – bef. 1850)
2. Sarah Ann Gates (1842 – bef. 1850)
3. Lavana Ann Gates Williams Cockrell (1844 – 1921)
4. Alexander Franklin Gates (1846 – 1918) my 2nd great grandfather
5. James Valentine Gates (1848 – 1907)
6. Martha Emaline Gates Rutledge (1851 – 1921)
7. John Columbus Gates (1853 – 1939)
8. Mary Jane Gates Wilkins (1855 – 1924)
9. Nancy Caroline Gates Petty (1858 – 1940)
10. William Wright Gates (1861 – 1952)
11. Edmond Jackson Gates (1864 – 1913)
12. Mason Whitton Elizabeth Gates Pickett Gates (1867 – 1894)
III. Mary Etter Stacy – died young
b. 06 Mar 1827 AL or TN
d. 20 Jul 1830 probably in Hardeman, TN
IV. Sarah Katherine Stacy – died young
b. 22 Mar 1829 AL or TN
d. 23 May 1830 probably in Hardeman, TN