The Matagorda Maddens

Chapter 3

"The Early Maddens "

The origin of the Maddens begins in Ireland in the Ancient Irish Kingdom on Connaught (present day County Galway) in about 1,000 B.C. Connaught means the Children of Conn. Conn of a Hundred Battles was the progenies of the ancient kings of Ireland, Dal Riata (Dariens) and the Scottish Highlanders (McDonald Clan).

The Madden family Y (male) DNA chromosome R1b1b2a1a2F are the children of Conn of Hundred Battles and the Ancient Irish King, Niall of Nine Hostages. The greatest hero from the Children of Conn is Chuchulain (Hound of Cooley) who was the fiercest warrior that was ever born. Other warriors were afraid to confront him in combat. In his last battle with his life fading through many wounds, he tied himself to a tree stump to fight before the pending battle. The advancing army halted for many days until they saw as raven picking at his dead flesh. They were so afraid of his dead body that they cut off his right arm. The warrior spirit of Chuchulain's right arm has been with the Irish Scottish Highlanders and American warriors through time.

Uncle Willie's great-great grandfather was Emanuel Madden. Emanuel was one of the first settlers of Natchez, Mississippi in the early 1770's. His moving to Natchez was probably because many of the first settlers on the Natchez District trace their history as veterans of the French & Indian War (1754-1763) which was the American theater of the Seven Year's War between Great Britain and France. Most of these veterans came from Connecticut or Old Frederick County, Virginia. The Madden family were some of the first settlers in Old Frederick County which became the military proving ground for the future president George Washington's Virginia Militia during the French & Indian War. The name "Frederick" is found later in many of Willie's relatives. This move was only one of the many moves to the current frontier by the Madden family members through time.

James B. Madden was Uncle Willie's great-grandfather. He was born about 1785 in Old Natchez, Mississippi. He was a veteran of the Creek War (1813-1814). Records indicate that he was a Private in Colonel Claiborne's Regiment Mississippi Militia which was organized in Natchez. He and his family were one of the first settlers of the Sabine Neutral Ground between present day Louisiana and Texas in the 1810's. This was area was again on the frontier between two countries and offered its residents many business opportunities. It was was a disputed area between Spanish Texas and the United States' newly acquired Louisiana Purchase in 1803. It wasn't until 1836 that Texas became a republic after gaining its independence from Mexico. In 1845 Texas was admitted as the 28th state to the United States.

James B. and his brother Henry moved to Rapides, Louisiana (presently known as Pineville, Louisiana) and were involved in shipyards and shipping commerce. Rapides is the second oldest town in Louisiana and was an important source of natural tar which was needed for ship repair for the steamers that were on the Red River . Deep sailing vessels could not get pass the rapids at Rapides. As a result the commerce had to be transferred to shallow going vessels. The Maddens helped to bring steamboats to the Red and Mississippi Rivers.

Dr. James Frederick Madden who was Uncle Willie's grandfather was born in the Sabine Neutral Ground in Rapides Parish, Louisiana. He probably graduated from Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri in 1838 with a Medical Degree. His best friend, Poitevent Bludworth Jr. (1820-1886) was about his same age and graduated from there in 1837. It was Poitevent's sister, Eveline who became Dr. James Madden's wife and Willie's grandmother.

Dr. Madden and Eveline spent their first year of marriage at Fort Jessup, Louisiana. He was serving in the U.S. Army during this time when Texas was in the process of being annexed into the United States of America. Since the U.S. feared that Mexico would invade Texas, U.S. forces were moved to the Texas Coastal Bend after Texas was annexed on February 28, 1845. At this time Indianola became the "Mother of the U.S. Southwest and the Texas Coastal Bend communities". Dr. Madden and his family stayed in Rapides, Louisiana until 1859 when they moved to Indianola. All of their six children except Van Dorn Toutant Beauregard (1861-1888) were born in Rapides. Dr. Madden was a Druggist/Physician in Indianola and probably got his license to practice at Jackson Square in New Orleans.

Uncle Willie's father, William Hanna Madden who was born on 15 June 1849 in Rapides Parish, Louisiana was one of the children of Dr. James Frederick and Eveline. The 1900 US Census shows he and his wife Margaret living in Calhoun, County with their six children. The last US Census lists him at 81 years old and Margaret at 77 still living in Precinct 4, Calhoun County. Joey Oglesby, a cousin living in Port O'Connor remembers he and his son, William Archie "Uncle Willie" living together on Matagorda Island before the government moved everyone off November, 1940. She didn't know how long they had lived together on the island. He made his living on the Texas Gulf Coast the way that many did during that time- fishing, oystering, shrimping and the cattle business.