Thank you for visiting my blog!

Thank you for visiting my blog!

This blog is used to share information that I find about the families that I am researching. To see these family names click on the tab above. Please feel free to contribute your stories or research and make comments, corrections, and ask questions.

If we have a common ancestor, or if you have questions or comments that you don’t want to post, please go to the "About Me" tab to send me an e-mail.

Reading this Blog

My posts can be accessed by the date posted from the column on the right. Blog posts containing specific surnames can be found by clicking on the names in the left column.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #50 Walter Alexander Chisum, Son of James C. Chisum and Martha Elizabeth "Mattie" Hairston

The solid lines indicate that the connection to the family is documented while
the dotted lines indicate that direct evidence has not yet been found to
make the connection. Click on the family tree to see a larger image.

Walter Alexander Chisum
Photo taken in Erath County
Courtesy of Max Sinclair
No Story Too Small
Walter Alexander Chisum was born on August 20, 1876 in Falls County, Texas. He was the son of Martha Elizabeth "Mattie" Hairston and James C. Chisum. When he was about age seven, Walter's family moved to Erath County, Texas. 

The next time that I found Walter is when he married Laura Elvira Pitts in Erath County on November 9, 1897. Laura was from Lincoln County, Tennessee and the daughter of James Carroll Pitts and Martha Elizabeth Hague. Her father died in 1889 and between 1892 and 1900, all of Laura's siblings could be found in Texas or Oklahoma. Her mother was living in Oklahoma Territory in 1900. 

About 1902 - Walter with James Clayborne,
Laura, and Dorsey
Photo courtesy of Max Sinclair
It is presumed that Laura met Walter Chisum in Erath County as she had siblings who lived in Erath County. Her sister, Stella Pitts King, was in Erath County by 1893 and another sister, Louisa, married William L. Kiker in Erath County in 1895. 

One family story passed down to my third cousin and fellow researcher, Max Sinclair, was that Laura was disowned by her mother when she married Walter as he was of Native American descent

In 1900, Walter, Laura, and their first child, Dorsey Wilmer Chisum, were living in Palo Pinto County. Walter was working as a section hand for a railroad company. 

Both James Clayborne Chisum and Blanch Edith Chisum were born in Erath County. James Clayborn in 1901 and Blanch Edith in 1903. 

In 1905, daughter, Chessie Chisum was born in Quanah, Hardeman County, Texas.

By 1908, when daughter Mattie Elizabeth Chisum was born, the family was living in Greer County, Oklahoma. Son, Houston Pitts "Buster" Chisum, was born in 1910. Several of Walter's uncles and cousins lived in Greer County throughout the early 1900s. In 1910, the census indicated that Walter was working as a laborer doing odd jobs.

Son, Cloyd Chisum was born in Newlin, Hall County in 1912. Newlin was also the home of Walter's sister, Stella. 

Walter died of pneumonia at age 39 on March 19, 1916 in Wilbarger County, Texas. He is buried in the Harrold Cemetery

Walter and Laura's youngest child, Rita Walter Chisum, was born after the death of her father on June 3, 1916 in Harrold. 

Laura and all seven children were living in Harrold in Wilbarger County in 1920. 

I like to look at Google Maps to get an overall picture of where families lived and to determine their proximity to other family members. On this map, I added in all of the known places that Walter lived, where his children were born, my Hairston/Bryan family home of Baylor County and Jackson County, OK as some of Walter's family were found there. Click here to see a larger version of this map at Google Maps.

In 1930, Dorsey Chisum was reported to be head of the family living in Wilbarger County. He lived with his wife Eula, three children, his mother, and siblings, Houston, Cloyd, Reta, and Chessie and three of Chessie's children. Son, James Clayborne, was living in Wichita County, Texas and daughter, Blanch Edith, was married to Charles Burchfield and lived nearby in Wilbarger. 

On August 19, 1930, Edith Chisum Burchfield died following an operation to remove a kidney. She was twenty-seven years old and left a husband with three young children. One of those children, Glen, later purchased the marker that is on Walter Chisum's grave in the Harrold Cemetery

Laura Elvira Pitts Chisum Sanders
Courtesy of Max Sinclair 
The 1940 United States Census shows that Dorsey Chisum, his mother, and two nephews were living in Maricopa, Arizona by 1935.  Also living in Maricopa in 1940 were Chessie Chisum Wilkerson, and her family, James Clayborne Chisum and family, Mattie Elizabeth Chisum Young and family, Houston Pitts Chisum and family, and Rita Walter Chisum Suggs and family. 

Laura Chisum remarried at age 65 to James C. Saunders in Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona on December 19, 1942. Laura died on November 18, 1958 and is buried in Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery in Phoenix. 

Thank you to Max Sinclair for permission to use his photos, the documents that he sent me several years ago, and his very thorough Public Tree at 


© 2014

Sources Web: Arizona, Find A Grave Index, 1861-2012 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. Public Member Trees [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2006. Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.

Burchfield, Glen. "Message Boards." Re: Laura Elvira Chisum. 29 Aug. 2002. Web. 27 Dec. 2014. <>.

Certificate of Marriage, James C. Sanders to Laura Chisum, 19 December 1942, Maricopa, Arizona. Clerk of the Superior Court's Office, Phoenix, Arizona. Copy in possession of Diana Quinn, Virginia Beach, VA.

King, Dee Dee. Erath County, Texas, Bride Index and Groom Index, Volume 1: 1869-1900. N.p: Dee Dee King, 2005. Print.

"Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 27 December 2014), Death certificates > 1930 > Vol 085, certificates 042001-042500, Aug-Sep, Uvalde-Bell counties > image 270 of 522; State Registrar Office, Austin.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 4, Palo Pinto, Texas; Roll: 1663; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0122; FHL microfilm: 1241663

Year: 1910; Census Place: Granite Ward 1, Greer, Oklahoma; Roll: T624_1253; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0113; FHL microfilm: 1375266

Year: 1920; Census Place: Justice Precinct 2, Wilbarger, Texas; Roll: T625_1855; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 137; Image: 372

Year: 1930; Census Place: Precinct 4, Wichita, Texas; Roll: 2410; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0054; Image: 468.0; FHL microfilm: 2342144

Year: 1930; Census Place: Precinct 2, Wilbarger, Texas; Roll: 2410; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0008; Image: 909.0; FHL microfilm: 2342144

Year: 1930; Census Place: Precinct 2, Wilbarger, Texas; Roll: 2410; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0008; Image: 908.0; FHL microfilm: 2342144

Year: 1940; Census Place: Maricopa, Arizona; Roll: T627_109; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 7-167

Year: 1940; Census Place: Maricopa, Arizona; Roll: T627_109; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 7-167 

Year: 1940; Census Place: Maricopa, Arizona; Roll: T627_109; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 7-169 

Year: 1940; Census Place: Maricopa, Arizona; Roll: T627_109; Page: 81A; Enumeration District: 7-167

No comments:

Post a Comment