John M. Gotcher & Caroline Cleary
Home ] Up ]


        Little is known about JOHN GOTCHER and his family. One of his granddaughters-in-law, Mrs. Christopher J. Gotcher, remembers him as a kind, gentle man with many friends, but lacking the ability to provide very well for his family. A granddaughter, Lela Richbourg, said that after his wife died he lived his last years with his children. During his visits in their home, Lela says he never once corrected the children or interfered in any way with the family life.

        According to census records it is believed that JOHN M. GOTCHER left Alabama sometime between 1850-60 and went to Arkansas. He left Arkansas and was in Comanche Co, Texas, by mid 1860's. The 1880 Comanche County Census shows his son Matthew W. Gotcher living with Gainor and Mary Ann Jeffreys. Mathew W. states that he was born in Arkansas 1858 and both parents were born in Alabama. JOHN's second wife CAROLINE was born in South Carolina and they were married in Corwell County, Texas. CAROLINE's father was born in North Carolina and her mother was born in South Carolina.

        CAROLINE was listed on the marriage license as CAROLINE JEFFRIES. Gainor Jeffreys was in Columbia County, Arkansas, with JOHN GOTCHER & family. CAROLINE is not listed on the census as his daughter. There is a marriage license in Columbia County, Arkansas, for a CAROLINE CLEARY & William Jeffreys. The age listed on the marriage license matches CAROLINE's age. It is believed she married William Jeffreys a son of Gainor Jeffries in Arkansas & the families moved together to Texas where she married JOHN GOTCHER.

    CAROLINE was the daughter of William Cleary .


        According to Vivian Goodman of Nolan County - the Sweetwater cemetery is on the west southwest side of town on Alabama Street. J. M. GOTCHER March 15, 1832-November 4, 1916 is buried there with a Confederate Civil War Plaque.


Cemetery Records of Nolan County, Texas, Sweetwater Cemetery Vol II 1802-1992 Section 16, page 53 compiled by Juanita Butler Hancock

J. M. GOTCHER March 15, 1832 - November 4, 1916 CSA Plaque


        In pages Pat Norton received from her aunt was a letter written by Ernest Curb - Grandson of Joshua Newton Gotcher & Susannah Jeffries (his mother Nancy Jane Gotcher m. George Thomas Curb), he said "Nancy daughter of Gainer & Polly Jeffrey born March 7, 1835 married JOHN MATTHEW GOTCHER. Children were Elizabeth and Matthew Washington (Bud). Nancy died when Bud was thirteen months old. Their Grandparents Gainer (Jeffreys) and Polly took him and his sister to raise… Susannah and Nancy Jeffrey were sisters. Joshua and JOHN were brothers."

        The bible pages of Joshua Newton Gotcher list information on his sister Winnie. There were all in the 1860 Columbia County, Arkansas Census. JOHN M. GOTCHER & 2 small children were living with Obed Roberts & family. Winnie was 16 & was living with her oldest brother Joshua Newton Gotcher & family.  William Gotcher & Mary Ann Box were not there.

        In a drawing of a family tree given to Pat Norton it shows Joshua Newton Gotcher, JOHN MATTHEW GOTCHER & Winnie Malone Gotcher as children of William Gotcher and Mary Ann Box. Pat believes this was drawn by descendants of Joshua Newton Gotcher since they are the main branch of the tree. Children of JOHN M. GOTCHER are also shown on this drawing.

        According to census records the Jeffreys grandparents (Gainer & Polly) raised the children of JOHN M. GOTCHER & Nancy Ann Jeffreys.

        Joshua Newton Gotcher married Susannah Jeffries 1851 Hempstead County, Arkansas. Hempstead County became Columbia County before the 1860 Census.


P. 114 Wm. Jeffreys & CAROLINE CLEARY

State of Arkansas ) I H. H. Cleary an acting & duly commissioned County of Columbia) Justice of the peace in & for the county of Columbia and State of Arkansas do hereby certify that I joined in marriage at the County of Columbia on the 11 day of February AD 1857 Mr. William Jeffreys aged about 23 years & Miss CAROLINE CLEARY aged about 16 years by consent of her parents & their & then declare them husband and wife together given under my hand as such Justice this 24 day of March AD 1857 filed March 31st 1857 H. H. Cleary J. P

[It is not known if J. P. was a relative.]

P. 63 State of Texas ) To any ordained minister of the Gospel     County of Coryell ) Judge Justice of the Peace or any                                       this 1st day of October AD 1866 

G. W. Taylor  C C Clerk       By R. B. Wells    Depty Clk

I Executed that the with Lisons joining the with in names in the holy union of Matrimony according to law this th 2d day of Oct 1866    Isaac H. Scoggins   M. G

Filed Record on the 6th day of October 1866 and Recorded same Day G. W. Taylor       Clk CCCC




Gotcher, M. W. Miss C. M. Nala 19 Aug 1880          Vol B-2 p. 2            

Gotcher, M. W. Mrs. M. E. Hoover 27 Dec 1883       Vol C p. 40             

Armstrong, H. R. Gotcher, Miss Martha J. 28 Feb 1886 "   174  

Gotcher, J. S. Miss A. T. Sparks see page 421 of records                 

Gotcher, J. S.         "                                  1 Aug 1895    "   421      

Eaton, D. Miss M. Gotcher                         27 Dec 1896   "   90  

Gotcher, G. W. Miss Eva Redwine              5 Nov 1899     "  68


Son Josiah S. Gotcher's grave is in Carlton Cemetery - Hamilton Co., Texas

"J. S. Gotcher 1870-1945 At Rest"


Comanche Co. Deeds (M. W. Gotcher son of JOHN)

Gotcher, M. W.             & Jeffreys, Joiner & Mrs. Ann   R 62

Gotcher, M. W. & wife & Wiley D. Conaway         R 466, Q 115,Q 551

Gotcher, M. W. & Geo. W. Conaway                           R 465


1850 Murray Co, Ga p153 

80 Wm. Cleary 50 M Farmer SC

Matilda              22 F                 SC                                                   

William E.         15 M Farming                                                     

CAROLINE        9 F                 Ga                                  

Lenoir                   6 F                Ga   


1860 Columbia County, Arkansas p. 393 58/59  

Obed Roberts            51 M W KY                                                  

Jemima                      54 F W KY                                                       

Cary Ann                  14 F W ARK                                            

Johnathan Baker   20 M W MISS                                             

JOHN GOTCHER  28 M W ALA                                                   

Mary E.                       6 F W ARK                                               

 Mathew W.                 1 M W ARK


1870 Coryell County, Texas Census 

GOOCHER, JOHN 44 M W ALA * he was 38                

CAROLINE              38 F W GA * she was 28                        

Thomas Jefferson     14 M W ARK                           

Richard                       12 M W ARK         ?who is Andrew Wolf?  

Rutha Ann                   2 F W TEX            he was on census:     

Martha Jane                1 F W TEX          1830 McNairy Co, 

Wolf, Andrew         69 M W TENN          Tenn then disappears


1880 Comanche County, Texas Census  Vol 8 Ed 30 Sheet 1 Ln 15 Prec #3 p. 84                                                   


CAROLINE                   38 W F    SC   NC       SC       father  & 

Rutha                              13 W F    TX  ALA      SC       mother       

Martha J.                        11 W F   TX  ALA      SC       born)

Josiah                                9 W M   TX  ALA      SC             

L. Frances                         8 W F   TX   ALA     SC    

W. George                          6 W M  TX   ALA     SC 

P. Adsria ?                         4 W F    TX   ALA     SC (Adar Parlee)

Sarah                                  1 W F    TX  ALA     SC


1880 Comanche County, TX p. 384     Gainer Jeffreys is in:

 Jeffrey, Gainer 77 W M NC 1803 NC VA       1790 Orange Co, NC

 Mary A.              71 W F SC SC SC              1800 Bunombe Co, NC    

 W. Matthew Gotcher 23 W M ARK ALA ALA  1830 Morgan Co, Ala      

 (JOHN's son by 1st wife)                                1840 Lawrence Co, Ala      

Daughter Elizabeth m. to John Bowman         1850 Lawrence Co,Ala        

                                                                                   1860 Ark above 


1910 Hamilton County, Texas Census ed 73 sheet 179 vol 64  177/179

Benjamin Smith Head M W 48 m25yrs Ark Tenn Tenn             Farmer               Owned Mortaged Farm #159

Annie R. wife F W                42 m25 yrs TX US NC 4 children 3 living

Modie     dau F W                19                 TX Ark TX                                                          

JOHN GOTCHER father-in-law   M W US US US


Military Record:


Full Name: GOTCHER, J. M

Rank: Private

Company: E

Regiment: 11th Ark

"Commanding - Colonel: Logan, John L. - Smith, J. M. Officers" Captain: Selvidge, W. R. - Moss, J. C. C.

Returns show he was a Corporal in the 11 and 17 Con'l'd Ark. Inf'y - "Falcon Guards". Muster roll shows he enlisted July 18, 1861 at Benton, Arkansas. He received pay for June 1 to Sept 22, 1862. He was captured & taken Prisoner at Island No. 10 on April 8, 1862. He was on the Roll of Prisoners of War at Camp Douglas, Ill., sent to Vicksburg to be exchanged. In June 7, 1862 as a private, he was admitted to U. S. A. Prison Hospital at Camp Douglas, near Chicago, Ill for Rheumatism. He was released from the hospital June 10, 1862.

JOHN GOTCHER applied for a Confederate Pension. It was granted March 2, 1908 #13337 at Carlton, Hamilton County, Texas. On his application he makes the following statements:

75 years of age

Lived in Carlton, Texas for 8 years

Physical condition - worn out with old age & Rheumatism

Served in Arkansas 4 years - July 1861 to May 1865

Had no property & was in indigent circumstances

R. A. Smith was witness (daughter Ruth Ann Gotcher Smith)

Physician statement says he had Rheumatism, chronic stomach trouble, prostatitus, together with old age and general ?

War Department records indicate the last roll on file for him was April 30, 1863

Witness was Squire J. Roberts (son of Obed Roberts who JOHN lived with) age 73 who stated he knew him for about 35 or 40 years since before the war in Columbia County, Arkansas. They served together & he was always a gallant, brave & faithful soldier until the end of the war. 

2nd Witness Brown L. Roberts age 77 - knew him 35 or 40 years in Columbia County, Arkansas. Is brother of Squire J. Roberts.


1886 Comanche County, Texas                                                              State of Texas      County of Comanche                      Know all men by these  presents that we J. M. GOTCHER and  CAROLINE GOTCHER wife of J. M.GOTCHER of the county of Comanche and State of Texas for and in consideration of the sum of nine hundred Dollars to us paid by E. S. Foucher as follows. Eight Hundred Dollars case in hand receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged and one promissory note for one Hundred Dollars bearing even date with this and due and payable on the first day of January 1888 with interest at the rate of ten percent per annim from date. To secure the payment of which amount the vendors lien is retained on the herein after described property. Have Granted Bargained sold Released and conveyed and by these presents do Grant Bargain sell Release and convey unto the said E. S. Fincher of the County of Bell and State of Texas all that certain Lot Tract or Parcel of land lying and being situated in the county of Comanche and State of Texas and described as follows to wit: A pre-emption survey of 160 acres known as survey 220 on Salt Branch a tributary of Resley's Creek about 18 1/2 miles N 78 E from the town of Comanche Beginning at the SW corner of a Prs Sur for W. J. G. Johnston for a cor of this sur Thence S 71 E 53 3/5 runs a stone mound in S line of said Johnston for NE corner of this sur. Thence S 19 W 1000 rns intersect N line of a sur for Jackson Berry at a stone mound for SE corn this sur Thence N 71 W 952 3/5 rns to the SE corner of a sur made for Saml Barron in N. line of said Jackson Berry for S. W. Cor this sur. thence N 19 E 945 rns to SW cor of pre sur for G. W. Mosley in E line of said Barron for NW cor this sur Thence S 71 E 899 rns a stone mound for SE cor said Mosley and a cor this sur Thence N 19 E 55 runs to the beginning Together with all and singular the rights members hereditaments and appurtenances to the same belonging or in any wise incident or appertaining to have and to hold all and singular the said premises unto the said E. S. Fancher his heirs and assigns forever. And we do hereby bind ourselves our heirs executors and administrators to warrant and forever defend all and singular the said premises unto the said E. S. Faucher his heirs and assigns against every person whomsoever lawfully claiming or to claim the same or any part thereof.Witness our hand this the 22d day of October A.D. 1886


CAROLINE X (her mark) GOTCHER                                            

State of Texas Before me R. R. McKeage a Notary Public in       County of Hamilton and for said County and State on this daypersonally appeared J. M. GOTCHER and CAROLINE GOTCHER his wife both known to me to be the person's whose names are subscribed to the foregoing instrument and acknowledged to me that they executed the same for the purpose and considerations therein expressed. And the said CAROLINE GOTCHER having been examined by me privily and apart from her husband and having the said instrument fully explained to her she the said CAROLINE GOTCHER acknowledged the same to be her act and deed and declared that she had willingly signed the same for the purposes and consideration therein expressed and that she did not wish to retract it. Given under my Hand and official seal at my office in Carlton, Texas, on this the 22nd day of October A.D. 1886                                 (L.S) R. F. McKege       Notary Public                                                 Hamilton County Texas                    Filed for Record at 3 O'clock P.M. October 25th 1886 and recorded October 26th 1886 to which I certify J. D. Bonner Clk Co Ct     Comanche Co, TX


Return to GOTCHER page