Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Captain John Bird

Texas Rangers, Texas

End of Watch Sunday, May 26, 1839

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Captain John Bird

I am a 3rd generation Boston Police officer my Grandfather was Roland W Bird sr and my dad was Jake Bird. I know of Capt. John Bird and hope that some how there is a blood relation. Although I was born in Boston, ask any body that knows me and they will tell you my heart has always been in Texas.

JEFF T BIRD (retired)

April 25, 2023

Very proud to have had you for a relative.

Christine Taylor
1st cousin 7x removed

April 22, 2023

Capt John Bird was my GG Grandfather. He was a brave man. I love the history of Texas and proud to be a native Texan.

Beverly Platt

July 5, 2022

Capt. Bird,
On today, the 180th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you to you and your fellow Rangers for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of Texas. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol
El Paso Station

May 26, 2019

I have been doing research on the Bird/Byrd family for a few years and i know as you do the spelling goes back and forth from Bird to Byrd. I have traced the name back to a Carlton Hugo Le Bird (1010-20/1067) Normandy,France. He came to England with William "The Conqueor" FitzRobert. He fought in "The Battle Of Hastings".He married Werbuger. Captain John Bird was my 3rd grandfather as follows:
Captain John Bird (1795-1839)
Sarah Elizabeth "Sallie" Denton (1800-1873)

William Parrish Bird (1819-1899)
Callie Roxanna Powell (1830-1895)

Jasper Newton Haney (1837-1926)
Sarah "Sallie" Bird (1857-1901)

William Newton Sanders Sr. (1865-!933)
Zodie Frances Haney (1899-1995)

Virgle LeRoy Downum (1910-1996)
Ollie Marcia Sanders (1921-2000)
My Father and Mother

My name is LeRoy Allan Downum . My grandmother Sallie Haney (Bird) died a year after giving birth to my grandmother Zodie Frances Sanders (Haney).My grandfather Jasper Haney buried his wife behind their home.

LeRoy A.Downum
GGG grandson
February 17,2018

SSgt LeRoy A.Downum III USAF 1961-1968
3rd Grandfather

February 17, 2018

In regard to the post by SSG USA Ret. Wm. D. McLeod above, I wish to make a correction. Captain Bird's surname was not spelled Byrd although some of his descendants did take that spelling. It may be that Mr. McLeod's family did the same. I have just finished writing a book on the Bird family history, and every early land record in Austin County and in Burleson County has his named spelled as Bird. Stephen F. Austin's registry has it listed as Bird. No record I found through the courthouses I researched had his name spelled with a "y". Indeed, there is a handwritten record written by Captain John Bird to his superior Major Moody in September 1837 in which he signed his request as "John Bird". As I stated, some of the captain's descendants spelled the name as Byrd, but he did not. The Captain's bravery and personal bravado is an inspiration and I am looking forward to the day when I meet him in person. He was a true Texas patriot.

Ladonna Viertel

November 14, 2017

Texas Rangers, mighty warriors, much respect!!

Judge /retired SC Trooper Danny Lynn
Aiken County, SC

May 26, 2017

Rest in Peace Rangers. Thank You for your Service and Sacrifice protecting the citizens of the Republic of Texas.

I Pray for Peace for your Families and ancestors and the men and women who have followed you. I also Pray that the heathens responsible for your murders are now being gnawed on by the hounds of hell.


Senior Special Agent B.L. Sherwood (Ret)
Port Terminal Railroad Police Houston, TX

May 23, 2016

Regarding the reflection by George Wesley Hensley. James H. Hensley is my great-grandfather. He was in Lincoln County, Tennessee on the 1840 census. He was too young to have ever served with Bird. He enlisted in the Confederate Army in Bowie County after his time with McKittrick. Muster Roll records are available. He was the son of Azariah Hensley. Azariah's sons moved to Bowie County. The oldest son Burrell is on the 1850 census. His wife Francis moved to Bowie County later.

Corporal Edward K. Hensley
Arkansas National Guard

January 11, 2016

Captain John Bird
I come to this site nearly everyday now and read about hero's such as your self. I leave a reflection, the same reflection in an attempt to show the same level of gratitude to all fallen Officers. But after reading what is known about you and the other Rangers I was not only deeply hurt by your deaths but sorry that I had never heard about you and the other Rangers before this. I am not from Texas originally (but love this great state and will one day die here) but I would have thought that any one of the schools I had attended would have taught me about you and the other Rangers. You and the other Rangers fought valiantly. I may not have known about you before, I will now never forget about you or the other Rangers that died that day. God Bless. Rest in Peace

Detention Officer A.Zambito

May 26, 2015

Time may have passed but you are not forgotten. I believe as long as someone remembers you or speaks your name, you are still with us.
Thank you for your heroism.
God Bless

Read more:

Detention Officer A.Zambito

May 26, 2015

Rest in peace. You are not forgotten. Listed on Capt Byrds' roster,
James and William Hensley, both Texas Rangers, split when they reached Bowie County. William went on to Memphis, TN, and was somehow related, later on to Patsy Hensley, who became country singer, Patsy Cline. Patsy was my fathers cousin. James Hensley's son, George Washington Hensley, son, George W. Hensley, Jr., son George Wesley Hensley all having relations in the Texarkana area. I am George Wesley. James was my great grandfather.

George Wesley Hensley
Relation to James Hensley, listed on Capt. Byrds' roster

October 22, 2014

The Capt. John Bird that you have listed as being killed in Texas while being with the Texas Rangers is true in every detail except for one. HIS LAST NAME WAS SPELLED BYRD.
I live in Temple Texas now, but was raised on the gulf coast . My Grandmother was a Bryd married to a McLeod in the early 1900s. She came from east of the Caldwell area and south of College station, but I am not sure where.


September 21, 2014

Can anyone help me? I'm looking for information on James and William Hensley who were children at Bird's Victory and listed on his roster and with Brookshire's when Bird died. My Great great grandfather is James H. Hensley who served under Felix McKittrick in the Denton County Rangers in 1860. Capt. Felix M McKittrick's name is on a Republic of Texas Ranger/Militia muster roll of 69 men from North Texas who left Fort Johnson in present day Grayson County, Texas in the spring of 1841 to find and destroy a group of hostile Indians who had been raiding and killing settlers in North Texas. This unit contained some the most prominent men in North Texas at the time. The courthouse in Denton burned and there are no records prior to 1860. His first 2 children were born in Grayson county before moving to Bowie county Texas in 1867. They always said he was a confederate soldier, but his family was with the old 300. All I have is a muster card from the Texas Ranger library

Texas Rangers

December 29, 2013

The wicked flee where no man pursueth, but the righteous are bold as a lion.
Proverbs 28:1

You are not forgotten. You and your Ranger brothers are my heros.

Friend of Off. Kris Fairbanks RIP 9-20-08


March 22, 2009

May you always rest in peace and know that you will never be forgotten.

Cpl/1 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police

May 26, 2008

For your courage and sacrifice we will never forget you. May you and your partners all rest in peace for eternity.

Cpl/1 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police

May 26, 2007

Rest in peace, Sir! You are not forgotten.

Police Officer

September 8, 2006

No officer should be without a reflection. Although this is long over due you are now remembered once again all these 170+ years later.

September 6, 2006



September 5, 2006

RIP, Captain Bird you are remembered we have the watch now. Thank you for your service.

Pecos Police Department
Pecos, Texas.

September 5, 2006

I dare say few, if any, law enforcement officers have faced such odds as you and your fellow Rangers did that day in that ravine. Your intrepidity is a credit to your agency, the great State of Texas, and to law enforcement officers of all agencies and eras. Rest in peace.

Anonymous Employee
Fort Worth Police Department

September 5, 2006

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.