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Ancestor 6: John Fagan Everett was a sheep rancher with a royal history

John Fagan Everett was a sheep rancher who grew up on the Texas frontier.
Judy Everett Ramos

This is the sixth article in the genealogy project, "52 Ancstors in 52 Weeks."

John Fagan Everett is a paternal great-grandfather. He was born Sept. 28, 1853 in Alamo, Hidalgo County, Texas, located in the Rio Grande Valley. He was named for his paternal grandfather, who was a politician and judge in Mobile, Ala.

He was baptized in Mier, Tamaulipas, Mexico and his name is written Jose Juan Ebrete on the baptism record.

John Fagan’s father was Jack Ross Everett and his mother was Antonia Flores. His father left Alabama for Texas at age 17 to pursue a land grant. His mother was from Mier. John had ties to the American Revolution through his father and had direct lineage to European royalty through his mother. It is doubtful John knew how colorful his ancestry was.

John had seven siblings and the family lived in the Rio Grande Valley for several years. The 1860 U.S. Census shows the family living at the J.R. Everetts Rancho in Starr County.

John’s father died March 31, 1864, when John was 10. By the 1870 U.S. Census, John was living in San Diego, Texas, then a part of Nueces County. He was living with a family whose surname was Tovar.

It makes sense that John would move to San Diego because his mother’s ancestors had received land grants from the Spanish Crown to settle that area at the start of the 19th century. However, there is no census data for any other member of his family in 1870 in any part of the United States.

By the 1880 U. S. Census, John is listed as single at 26, a sheep raiser, living with his mother, one brother, and two sisters. Another sister is recorded at the next household and she lived with her husband and five children, and yet another sister was in the next household with her husband and five children.

All of John’s siblings either married in San Diego, raised children in San Diego, or died in San Diego, so while they appear to have been separated in 1870 they were eventually reunited as a family.

John married Juanita Valdez on Jan. 25, 1884 in San Diego. They were married by J. P. Bard, a Roman Catholic priest. Little is known about Juanita except that her death certificate lists her as being born in Texas on April 25, 1863. They had 11 children between 1886 and 1907.

Because the data from the 1890 U. S. Census were destroyed in a fire and are no longer available, John does not show up again until 1900. He is listed with his wife and eight of their 11 children. His occupation was stock raiser.

John Fagan Everett died Sept. 9, 1909 of spinal meningitis. He is buried in the San Diego Cemetery. His wife, Juanita, outlived him by 54 years, dying at age 97 in 1960.

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