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David Looney Family
By Frances Fox
Taken from Ye Olde Ancestors, June 24, 1991
Written permission given by the New Boston Genealogy Society
to post this information to the Bowie County TXGenWeb site.


In 1838 David Looney came here with his wife and some of his children.  He applied for a land grant and received the standard 640 acres for a married man in that year.  It was located just north of Simms.  Today many of his descendents still live here.  The 1850 census gives the birth place of his first set of children as Alabama, so we know he moved here from Alabama.  We will estimate the birth dates from that same source.

An affidavit written by Judge C A Wheeler identifies the first family of David Looney.  He married Isabella Lawhon born about 1800 and died about 1839.  Their children were:
 1. Margaret married Robert Nelson.  They did not come to Bowie County
 2. Salena born about 1822 in Alabama, married Jacob Barkman who owned 3635 acres of land in 1850.  They had seven children and they died in Bowie
     County after 1860
 3. Joseph A born about 1825 in Alabama, married Mahaliz Barkman.  Joseph had a headright of 640 acres and was a carpenter.  They lived in Bowie County
     and had seven children
 4. Mary born about 1826 in Alabama, married John W Askew.  She died after 1868 in Bowie County.  The had seven children
 5. Peter died at age eleven
 6. Robert "Bob" was born about 1829 in Alabama, married Leanah Barkman.  He died in Bowie County before 1870.  He was a cabinet workman like his
     father and they had at least three children
 7. Clarkie Isabella born about 1836 in Alabama, married Moses Hickerson.  They had at least six children.  She died after 1860 in Bowie County

These are the only children listed in the affidavit, so we will have to assume that the next child belongs to the next wife who was a widow of Jacob Wright.  Jacob Wright's family came to Texas in 1837 and died soon afterward.  His wife, Terry Wright, claimed the headright of 640 acres and it is in her name.  James Bowie School is on the Terry Wright headright which is south of the David Looney headright.  Terry was born in 1804 in Montgomery County, North Carolina, the daughter of James Poer and Mary Cochran.  Terry married Jacob Wright in Madison County, Tennessee.  They must have had four children:
 1. William born about 1841 in the Republic of Texas
 2. N Ann S J was born about 1843 in the Republic of Texas and married a Wallace or a Powell
 3. Serenah V was born about 1845 in the Republic of Texas and married a Wallace or a Powell.  These three children are listed in the 1850 and 1860 census
     and then no more.
 4. Jesse W born in 1850, listed in the 1860 census. 

The second wife Terry Poer Wright Looney died in 1856.  She had five older Wright children and they are listed in the James Poer family records but nothing was mentioned about her younger children.  She was probably buried in the Sand Hill Cemetery.

The third wife of David Looney was a Mrs Sarah A Davis, burn 1816 and died 1887.  Their only child was Pleas Duke Looney, born 1857, died 1899 Bowie County.  P D Looney married Mary Margaret "Maggie" McGee.  They had ten children.

The Looney name originated on the Isle of Man as far back as 1050.  There are red stone monuments with the Looney name on them that can still be read that date back to 1600.  Some of the descendents still live there.

Two Looney families came to America in the early 1700's.  The families of John and Robert Looney, both sons of Joseph Looney of the Isle of man.  Now we estimate that David Looney who came to Bowie County was born in 1795 using his age as reported on the census.  None of the family members know the parents of David Looney, but they are so close to connecting with the ones that came to America in the 1700's, maybe just two generations.

There is a picture of a historic, two-story long house, that was built back in the 1700's in Alabama and is considered to be quite unusual.  It was built by a Looney family and this may be the right family. 

The John Commodore Perry Looney, born in 1822 in Tennessee and died 1885 in Carrol County, Arkansas, family record is also on file with the New Boston Genealogy Society in the New Boston Public Library.



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