Peter Walter Herbert



Family of
Peter Walter Herbert



Approximate site of the cemetery on the Herbert-Williams plantation.


Dr. Peter Walter Herbert Plantation on Caney
By Mary Belle Ingram

William Cooper and Moses Morrison  received  League #63 on July 24, 1824 from Stephen F. Austin. The one sitio of land they were granted was on lower Caney, near the Gulf.  No records have been found to know if they lived on the land but this one league proved to be one in which settlers who followed and lived on the southern part of this league contributed to the early history of Matagorda County.

This past Sunday carried an article on Robert H. Williams and his life on Caney Creek which was just above the Morrison and Cooper League. This Sunday the article tells the story of another family who came later to live on a nearby plantation and the daughter married the son of  Robert H. and Mary L. Williams.

On July 5, 1842, Peter Walter Herbert and Henry Jones entered into an indenture to purchase property from Charles D. Sayre for $6888. The land was the southeast half of the league originally granted to Moses Morrison and William Cooper. Herbert’s portion of the land was conveyed to him on March 22, 1845

This southeast half of the league had a natural lake with a beautiful island in the center and near winding Caney Creek. Their plantation was later to be built some two miles from the lake and a family cemetery was established near the lake under giant oak trees where several of the Herbert family were buried.


Peter Walter Herbert, also known as P. W. and P. Walter, was born December 31, 1804 in Newberry, Newberry County, South Carolina.  His parents were Walter Herbert (1773-1851) and Mary Galbreath Herbert (1773- c1847).  He moved to Dallas County, Alabama and there married Mary Bellefield Webb on May 28, 1833.  Mary was born in 1819 in Georgia and was the daughter of James Webb (1792-1856) and Rachel E. Lamar (1796-___).

P. Walter and Mary B. Herbert had the following children:

Peter Walter Herbert, Jr. b. March 2, 1834 in Alabama
Mary Rowena Herbert b. August 1, 1838 in Alabama
Ann Glover Herbert b. Dec. 20, 1841 probably in Alabama
Theresa Pauline Herbert
b. November 3, 1845 in Texas
Thomas Lamar Herbert b November 19, 1846 in Texas – died September 1, 1847.

The 1840 Dallas County federal census lists the following members in the Herbert household on June 1, 1840. (The head of household was the only person named in the 1840 census. The other family members were listed as a number in the appropriate age category.)

P. W. Herbert

2 males under 5 - (1 is P. W., Jr. - son)

1 male 20 - 30

1 male 30 - 40 - (Peter Walter, Sr.)

1 female under 5 - (Mary Rowena - daughter)

1 female 20 - 30 - (Mary B. - wife)


On March 12, 1846, P. Walter Herbert and James B. Hawkins received a quit claim deed from Abram Sheppard to a parcel of land on Lake Austin in the original Thomas M. Duke league for which they paid $450.

The Herbert Plantation was established on Lower Caney near the plantations of Henry Jones and James B. Hawkins. Herbert registered his cattle brand on May 24, 1845. At a meeting of the Commissioners on February 6, 1846, he and his slaves were assigned to work on a road from Matagorda to the beach.

Peter Walter Herb died November 30, 1846 at the age of 41 and was buried on his plantation.  His tombstone read:

Dr. P. W. Herbert
Died Nov. 30, 1846
age 42
Son, Husband, Father

Without Reproach


Colorado Tribune, April 17, 1848

Mary B. Herbert, administrator for the estate of  P. Walter Herbert filed her petitions for final settlement and distribution of the estate after his death. The following public notice was printed in the March 27, 1848 issue of the The Colorado Tribune, a Matagorda newspaper. The notice read:

            I, Edward F. Gilbert Editor and proprietor of a newspaper called The Colorado

           Tribune published and printed in the City of Matagorda, do hereby certify the

            annexed notice was published in said Paper for more than three weeks previous

            to this date.

         Matagorda March 27th, 1848.  Signed Edward F. Gibson.


Probate records filed September 1849 for division of property between the widow and minor heirs of the late P. Walter Herbert and passed in Matagorda Commissioners Court on August 3, 1849 stated, “making the following report and division, finding it most expedient we have divided the estate into two equal parts giving one to said widow and other jointly to said Three minor children.”

Statement of Property Divide, Total Inventory.

29 slaves-$10,175

fifteen head of horses and mules $355

Lot of Cattle-$270

Carriage - $150

Library and Medical instruments-$100

Plantation Utensils-$200

Lake Austin Land in Matagorda Co-$150

Travis County land purchased of Bartlett Sims-$1200.

The Commissioners reported that the "1111 acres of land lying on Caney in Matagorda Co. which is cultivated is unnecessary to divide at this time, September 1, 1849." Signed by James B. Hawkins and  F. F. Gibson.

Apparently Ann Glover died between May 7, 1848 and the day the census was taken in 1850. The death records for Christ Church list the death of Thomas Lamar Herbert as September 1, 1847, about 9 months. Those two children would most likely have been buried in the cemetery with their father.

Mary B. Herbert remarried on June 15, 1850 to Henry Lawrence Kinney.

A Matagorda County deed dated August 24, 1850 between H. L. Kinney and Mary B. Herbert states that Mr. Kinney "in consideration of said marriage, has agreed to convey certain real estate to the said Mary B. Herbert her heirs & assigns, in order that she and her family may be secured, beyond the casualties of fortune or accident in a proper support and maintenance." He deeded two tracts of land in Nueces County to her. The first was 100 acres of land on Corpus Christi Bay and the other was 7680 acres known as the Oso Ranch. Both tracts had buildings and improvements.

The 1850 Census of Matagorda County enumerated Mary’s family on October 1, 1850 with the following members in the household.

Mary B. Kenney, age 37, b GA

P. W. Herbert, age 16, b Alabama

Rowena, Age 9, b. Alabama

Theresa, age 4, b. Texas

The census should have indicated who was living in the household as of June 1st, but by the time the enumerator arrived, Mary had married and thus used Kinney as her surname.

Mary and the children must have lived on the property in Corpus Christi for a time because an act of sale for a slave purchased by Miss Theresa Herbert of Corpus Christi was recorded in Matagorda County on November 3, 1852.


Mary, Rowena and Theresa were living in Galveston when the 1860 Census was taken.    P. W. Herbert, Jr. was listed as a planter on the Matagorda County Census in 1860. The real estate was valued at $62,000 and there were 38 slaves listed on the slave schedule. His overseer was James Tate from North Carolina.

In a deed dated September 11, 1860, Mary Rowena Herbert made arrangements to sell 1107 acres of land in the Morrison & Cooper league which was her portion of the Herbert plantation inherited from her father to her brother, P. Walter Herbert, Jr. in exchange for five slaves and his note for one thousand dollars. The note was due on January 1, 1865. Peter Walter Herbert, Jr. died prior to January 1, 1862 as his mother and two surviving sisters went to court for a "Family Settlement" of the Herbert Plantation property.


Peter Walter Herbert, Jr. died prior to January 21, 1862 as his mother and two surviving sisters went to court for a “Family Settlement” on the Herbert Plantation property.


Theresa Pauline Herbert and Christopher H. Williams, son of Robert H. Williams were married before January 1, 1862 as they appear as husband and wife on a deed dated that day. The plantation, once called the Dr. P. W. Plantation then became known as Rotherwood Plantation. Theresa died in 1873.

Mary B. Herbert Kinney died c1866.

Christopher Harris "Kit" Williams Family


Background Courtesy of


Copyright 2008 - Present by the Williams Family
All rights reserved

Mar. 22, 2008
Mar. 22, 2008