Gone to Texas

Texas MigrationGTT. The initials GTT (“Gone to Texas”) came into use in the first half of the nineteenth century, when Texas had the reputation for producing and harboring outlaws. The letters were often chalked on the doors of houses in the Southern states to tell where the occupants had gone. Eventually “gone to Texas” came to be a synonym for “at outs with the law.”  Frederick Law Olmsted, in his Journey Through Texas (1857), says that residents of other states appended the initials to the name of every rascal who skipped out, and that in Texas many newcomers were suspected of having left home for some “discreditable reason.”

If you have an ancestor who suddenly disappears from all records, you may want to consider checking to see if he has Gone to Texas.


Online Texas genealogical records



This entry was posted in A to Z April Challenge, Genealogy Resources, History and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Gone to Texas

  1. johnvic8 says:

    My grandmother was “gone to Texas” from West Virginia at about age two or so. She returned to WVA about six years later after her mother died. I have two newspaper articles that shed light on why. Her mother’s brother took his family to Texas about 8-10 years earlier and must have been the draw that pulled my grandmother’s family there. A second one recounts my grandmother’s visit to the area some fifty years later.

  2. Isn’t it a wonderful feeling when you find the newspaper story that explains a mystery in your family?

  3. Jocelyn Rish says:

    I never knew that about Texas. My favorite part of the A to Z challenge is learning new things at all the blogs I visit. My dad is really into genealogy, so I’ll have to point him to your blog.

    Hope you’re having fun with the A to Z challenge,

  4. chancelet says:

    How very interesting! It’s funny because once I’d written a flash fiction piece about someone who escaped from an insane asylum, by way of murder, and went to Texas to find someone she knew a while back… a possible boyfriend. Too bad the story’s gotten lost in one of my many moves over the years. Writer’s Mark

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