The Department of Nacogdoches, located in the northeastern portion of the state of Coahuila y Texas, was one of the earliest areas of Texas to be settled, beginning in 1737 during Spanish Colonial rule and continuing under the Mexican government through 1836. The Nacogdoches Archives includes official correspondence of the government, military records, land records, census records, election returns, entrance certificates and oaths, documenting the lives of area residents through government actions and presenting an official picture of life on the frontier of Texas.
In addition to numerous families, settlements generally included a mission and/or a fort nearby. Census records compiled by the priests at the missions provide valuable information about the settlers, Indians residing in the missions and foreigners in the area. Anyone desiring Mexican citizenship appeared before the municipal authorities and swore to obey the general Constitution and that of the State and to observe the Catholic religion. They also registered their name and those of family members, country of origin, whether married or single, and employment. After taking the requisite oath, he was considered to be citizen.
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“San Jose Mission.” Prints & Photo- graphs 0001/026-06.
“Padron de los Indios – Mission San Jose.” Nacogdoches Archives #0299.
“Mission San Jose Texas [by] G. Bealey.” Prints & Photographs 1954/051-01.
“Censo Estadistica – Estado Coahuila y Texas. Villa Guadalupe – Ano 1831.” Nacogdoches Archives #0304.
Cover for book of entrance certificates. Nacogdoches Archives 004-25.2.
Entrance certificate for Thomas J. Rusk. Nacogdoches Archives 004-25.2.
Letter signed by Estevan F. Austin calling for removal of five men and families to preserve order. Nacogdoches Archives 004-37.1.