Dolphin Ward Floyd (Immortal 32 Gonzales Ranger)

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Dolphin Ward Floyd

Birthdate: (32)
Birthplace: Nash, North Carolina, United States
Death: March 6, 1836 (32)
The Alamo, Republic of Texas (Died defending The Alamo)
Place of Burial: San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Penuel Floyd, Sr. and Sarah Beckwith
Husband of Esther House
Father of Elizabeth Whitfield Floyd and John W. Floyd
Brother of Elizabeth Whitfield; Temperance Griffin; Mary "Polly" Braswell; John W. Floyd; Thomas Beckwith Floyd and 4 others

Occupation: Private in the Gonzales Ranging Company of Mounted Volunteers, Died defending The Alamo
Managed by: Erin Spiceland
Last Updated:

About Dolphin Ward Floyd (Immortal 32 Gonzales Ranger)

FLOYD, DOLPHIN WARD (1804–1836). Dolphin Ward Floyd, Alamo defender, son of Thomas Penuel and Sarah (Beckwith) Floyd, was born in Nash County, North Carolina, on March 6, 1804. He immigrated to Texas and settled in Gonzales, where he made his living as a farmer. On April 26, 1832, he married Ester Berry House. Floyd joined the relief force from Gonzales and rode to the besieged Alamo, where he arrived on March 1, 1836. He died in the battle of the Alamo on his thirty-second birthday, March 6, 1836. Floyd County is named in his honor.

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Dolphin Ward Floyd, 32, born 6 Mar 1804 (some records say 1807) in NashCo NC, a farmer and resident of Gonzales, member of the Gonzales Rangers who came to the DeWitt Colony in 1832 or 1833 from Alabama. Floyd purchased lots 3 and 4 in block 16 of inner Gonzales town on St. Michael St. and four lots south of East Avenue in outer town east of Water St. on 24 Dec 1833. He was the son of Thomas Penuel and Mary Sarah Beckwith Floyd. He had a sister Sarah and brothers John, Penuel and Thomas B. in AL who had lost contact until a letter from Thomas B. reached Dolphin Floyd's remarried widow, Esther Berry House Floyd Clark in 1855. Floyd married widow Esther Berry House (1808-1870) in Gonzales on 26 Apr 1832. She was the daughter of one of the earliest residents of DeWitt Colony, Francis Berry (1760-1853) who came with a family of six from MO in 1825. They had children John W. Floyd and Elizabeth Whitfield Floyd (m. William Kilpatrick Hargis), the latter born on 16 Apr after Dolphin Floyd’s death while the family was fleeing east on the Runaway Scrape. Widow Esther Berry House Floyd later married Capt. John Clark of Kentucky in 1838 who was listed as agent for Dolphin Floyd and Isaac House, both deceased husbands of his wife Esther on the Gonzales Tax Rolls of 1838. Floyd County, Texas was named in honor of Dolphin Floyd.

Floyd's horse was commandeered to carry messages and requests for reinforcements from the Alamo on to San Felipe de Austin from Gonzales as indicated by the following filed by Floyd in the Alamo 2 Mar 1836:

"Appraised by the undersigned: a horse belonging to Dolphin Floyd. Taken from him for Govt. use valued seventy five dollars. Gonzales August 23rd 1836. I. A. Eggleston (signed) James Gibson (signed)." A document "Recd of John W. Moody a draft in favor of Dolphin Floyd for $75.00 on account of which I promised to keep him harmless. Mar 1836. John Fisher (signed)."

This indicates the obligation was met. Archival records indicate that Floyd's widow Esther Berry House Floyd Clark as administratrix of his estate petioned for and received $2.93 backpay for his service in the Alamo in which he paid the ultimate price. A response to widow Esther Floyd's appeal in 1838 to the Board of Land Commissioners in Austin indicates that Floyd's full headright was granted

"This is to certify that Esther Floyd, administratrix of the estate of a Dolphin Floyd decd, has appeared before us the Board of Land Commissioners for the County of Gonzales and proved according to law that he emigrated to this country in the year 1833 and that he was a married man entitled to one league and one labor of land upon the condition of paying at the rate of three dollars and fifty cents for every labor of irrigable land and two dollars and fifty cents for every labor of Temporal or arable land; one dollar and twenty cents for every labor of pasture land that may be defined in the Survey secured to her by this certificate. J. D. Clements, President; Adam Zumwalt, Associate Commissioner; Sam Williams, Clerk."

The field notes on the survey of the land were filed by Charles Lockhart, County Surveyor, in Gonzales 18 Aug 1838.

In 1855, twice-widowed and once abandoned Alamo widow Esther Berry House Floyd Clark received the letter below (unedited) from Dolphin Floyd's brother, Thomas B. Floyd in AL, describing his brother Dolphin Floyd before he went to TX:

Georgia Troup County June 15th 1855

Dear Nephew & Sister, for such as I shall call you, Very recently Sister Sarah Received a letter from North Carolina bearing some intelegence of our Deceased Brother Dolphin Floyd. How they got information of you and your whereabouts I cannot tell unless through the politeness of Mr. Davis Bunting. If it be the Bunting I knew in NoCa he is a man of 40 or 45 years of age. If it be the man I think he is he is well acquainted with me and all the rest of the family. I have written two letters since 1830 to my Brother, one addressed to Orleans. That was before annexation of Texas to the States. Some time in 35 I wrote one and Directed it to Nachadoces but never received no answer & give up all hope of ever hearing from him again but always inquiring. I have given the<nowiki>-----</nowiki>of my Brother to many travelers but never could get any information. I saw in some gazet of the United States but not Recollect what one; the Names of the persons of thoes that were Massacred in Texas and my Brother was one. The date of the schedule that contained the Names of the Slayn I do not recollect. I very Recollect the Name of my Broth.& David Crocket. My Mother Received one Letter from him after he went to Texas Stating to her he was Married and had one child 18 Months old & that he Married a Widow Jones. He also wrote that he used to tell us all, while joking and talking about Marying, that he intended Marrying some old Rich widow that she might Die directly & then he would be independant. Though he had Marred, as he always had said, a Widow and that she was not very old nor very Rich. So we have never heard any more about him untill now. Therefore I take the privilege of writing to you both Requesting you write to me as soon as these lines of my best love and Respects Reaches you and particular on the acount of my poor old aged Mother for since she has heard this much about him she is very desirous to hear more. She is now in her 86 year & lives within 1/4 of a Mile of me with my Brother Penuel & Sister Sarah both single. So far as Respects the goods of this world they are independant. My Mother is well taken care of as Respects the comforts of this life. In fact we that are here in Georgia are all getting along well. Brother John is very Rich. I have plenty my self for my children to do well on. Now there is one or two things I do wish to know. First I wish to know how you are situated and what your condition is Relative to living & making out in this life. Secondly what it was when you Married my Brother. Thirdly what his condition was when he Married you. Fourthly what was his reputation, whether good or bad. I wish to know whether he stood fair to the world as Respects truth and varasity & what was his general deportment. You may think I am too scrupulous & wish to know to much. My Dear Nephew & Sister, this is a great request, too much, you may think, to be revealed, but nothing less than the Revelation will satisfy me. Now for my Reasons to wish to know them is this: to see if a person once pure as vain Mortal can be can become adulterated by leaving his county and family Circle. When He left NoCa, Novr. 22nd 1825, and took a last shake of the hand from his poor old Mother & his Brothers & Sisters, With the exception of Sin, Stain was not to be found on him. He indulged in no bad practices save that of the folly of youth. He Drank no ardent Spirits, chew no Tobaco, nor used Sigrs. When he left us He made no pretentions to Religion of any sort. He was always lively and very good of company and had the good will of all that knew and was much beloved. He was very Industrous though subject to waist as we all thought. Now I wish to know some more things. I want to know whether he was a good Husband, a kind father, a good provider & if a master a good Master neighbor, whether he was charitable, Benevolent so far as in power. I wish to know something Relative to your Birth, where you were born and of what nation. We understand you have Married since my Brother got killed to a Mr. Clark. We do not blame you for that as it is reasonably supposed that every Body tries to do the best they can. I want to know how John is getting along. It would do me so much good to hear he was doing well. We understand you had a Daughter by my Brother and she had married and since Died as her name was Elizabeth. We have two samples of Hair to be John's and Elizabeth's. Now my Dear Sister & Nephew these Requests you may think to be Exaggerations and Spiculative. But they are the pure desiers of my heart and no speculative design in them, no farther than to know the truth. Now if you want to know my Brothers age he was born March 6th A.D. 1804. The times in Georgia are hard. Money is scarce. Provisions of all kind, scarce. Corn $5 per bushel, Bacon 12[1/2] cents pr. lb; Wheat has been 2 pr. Bush, Wheat Crops good. Other growing crops looks promising. I am older than Dolphin. He was next to me. I was born Feby. 27th 1802. When he left Northcarolina we were both about one Weight, say 125 lbs. Though at this time I way 190 lbs. I am corpulent and clumsey and feel my age much. The rest of our family is all small. Brother Penuel will weigh not more than 120 and is about 45 years of age. I have 6 living Children, 4 Sons & Two Daughters. One is dead, my oldest son. There Names are as follows. 1st De Witt Clinton oldest dead. 2nd John Curtis Elliott. 3rd Henry Drew. Thomas Penuel. James Dolphin. Rebecca Ann Priscilla. Martha Elizabeth Savanah. There Mothers name was Martha Daniel Hunter. She died Octr. 14th 1840. Born Decr. 16th 1807. I Married my present wife Feby. 1lth 1841, name Ann Sharp; never had but one child, stilled born. If these lines ever Reach they leave all your connections in this county well. May they find you enjoying the same blessing is my prayr. So I Subscribe my self your affectionate Brother and uncle untill death. So fare well, Thos B. Floyd. (From Alamo Legacy by Ron Jackson, whereabouts of original unknown)


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Dolphin Ward Floyd (Immortal 32 Gonzales Ranger)'s Timeline

March 6, 1804
Nash, North Carolina, United States
March 6, 1836
Age 32
The Alamo, Republic of Texas
April 16, 1836
Age 32
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, United States