It's been a long time since I wrote and I hope you are still out there somewhere. You are one smart cookie. I took your advice and ordered the tax rolls from Grimes Co. to search for this Morse ancestor and checked to see if his widow appeared on the tax rolls after he died.
Well, you will not believe this one. I found him (it must have been him, I gather, since he was the *only* Morse in Grimes Co. at the time). But I did not find what I expected. This guy appeared around 1854 or so, out of the blue. No record before and no record after--not him or his wife on the tax rolls after that--nada, nada!
I did find out his first name started with a "T." He had 100 head of cattle. We checked for registered brands at that point, but he wasn't registered either. Now where do you suppose he kept these cattle--on leased land? His children were born in Grimes Co. in 1850 and he doesn't show up till 1854! He was murdered shortly after that.
I have considered whether his wife's second husband may have owned the land that T. Morse had his cattle on. Maybe they were partners. I just heard that she married the next door neighbor--whatever "next door" meant in those days.
I'm thinking that maybe I need to go back to that county and start poking around in land records. I did see the widow's name somewhere once and thought it had to do with land. Any other ideas? This is a hard one--huh?