Able Family

Robertson County, Texas, family mentioned by Gerard Brandon in his Texas diary. Brandon settled on land rented to him by a “Mr. Able” (or “McAble” in the diary transcription at the Briscoe Center).

A “J. S. Able” (with a combined 3500 acres on land originally granted to John Welch and Joseph Welch) appears on the same 1864 County Tax Rolls for Robertson County that Brandon appears on. Those grants appear on an 1863 map between Hammond and the Brazos River in the northwestern corner of the county.1

A 50-year old farmer named “Joseph Ables” appears in the 1860 Federal Census for Robertson County, in the dwelling immediately adjacent to B. F. Hammond, for whom the town of Hammond served initially as a headquarters to plantations he purchased in 1853.

As a young man, this Joseph Able operated a store with Michael Costley and then fought wih Costley briefly as a Texas Ranger during the Revolution. That enabled him to apply for a veteran pension in 1874.2

Numerous hits for Able can be found in the Texas Land Office Land Grant Database.

According to perry1955, 29: “In November, 1850, James L. Warner purchased of Joseph L. Ables, of Cherokee County, thirty-three slaves, for which he paid an average price of $800.”

  1. Will noted in RA Assignments that “I also found a J.S. Able family from 1861-62 with 1500 acres worth $12,000 and 34 slaves worth $16,100 (1861 numbers). They do not appear in 1863 or 1864 however.”

  2. See also this reference to his military service in 1836.