The San Jacinto Descendants sponsor a variety of awards that are decided upon each year at our annual meeting.


San Jacinto Award

The San Jacinto Award is presented to an adult citizen of the State of Texas who has demonstrated a commitment to preserving Texas history and who possesses the highest level of patriotism, leadership, and service to the State of Texas and their local community.  Members of the San Jacinto Descendants are not eligible for this award.

The 2017 recipient of the San Jacinto Award was Sharolyn Wood.

Presented to the Honorable Judge Sharolyn Wood by Historian Gina Bouchard. Judge Sharolyn Wood is a former District Judge in Houston for 25 years.  She is married to Judge Mike Wood, both Rice and University of Texas School of Law graduates.  Among her numerous leadership roles in preserving Texas History are the following:  Co-Chair of the 2017 San Jacinto Day Ceremony, Past President of the San Jacinto Chapter – Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and Past President of the Pioneer Memorial Log House Museum.  She is a 7th generation Texan and is very worthy of this award.

There are 24 past recipients of the San Jacinto Award.


Sam Houston Award

The Sam Houston Award is presented to a member of the San Jacinto Descendants who has demonstrated the highest commitment to preserving Texas history and who possesses the highest level of patriotism, leadership, and service to the State of Texas and their local community.

The 2017 recipient of the Sam Houston Award is Julia Williams Cartwright. Julia not only meets these qualities of leadership and serving Texas but has also served the San Jacinto Descendants immensely over the past 5 years in the important role as Registrar. She has registered 90 new members during that time with 17 more currently in progress totaling over 100 new members. She takes the Registrar Office very seriously as a gatekeeper for the Descendants of the San Jacinto Heroes and that is one of the most important jobs in this organization. It is a thankless job, but we are here to thank her today. She tried to hand the reigns over in the election 2 years ago as she became Vice President, but the incoming Registrar resigned and she graciously stepped up to the plate and served for our organization in our time of need.


Outside of her San Jacinto Descendant work, Julia attends SRT and DRT meetings held in Montgomery County. She is an advocate for the Children of the Republic of Texas attending annual conventions and immersing her Granddaughter, Julia Grace, in Texas events each year. She has hosted the annual Judge Nathaniel Hart Davis Chapter of the Daughter’s of The Republic of Texas Christmas Party in her home several years. She has attended Davy Crockett’s Birthday Party – an event that should be on everyone’s Bucket List. She regularly visits the Alamo and all the Missions with her family. She has attended and worked San Jacinto Weekend events and Pioneer Log Cabin events. She attends Republic of Texas ceremony dedications and works to designate historical markers and ceremony dedications for her many descendants in the Lake Creek Settlement area.

Julia is descended from Matthew Winston Cartwright, a young man who had previously fought in the Battle of Concepcion and Battle of Bexar prior to the Battle of San Jacinto. Matthew’s horse was shot on April 20th 1836 in the Calvary skirmish the evening before the main battle of San Jacinto. Without a horse, he was transferred into Juan Sequin’s company to participate in the Battle on the 21st with the infantry. Matthew’s brother William was also in the Battle of San Jacinto. Julia is very proud of her ancestors and I know they would be proud of her. She celebrates her pride in Texas History as a way of life and is even married to a San Jacinto Descendant, Russell Cartwright. That is true commitment to Texas.

There are 24 past recipients of the Sam Houston Award.


Teacher of Texas History Award

The Teacher of Texas History Award is presented to a public or private school teacher who has exhibited extraordinary qualities as an instructor of Texas history.

The 2017 recipient of the Teacher of Texas History Award was Marianne Messinger

Marianne Messinger has been teaching 7th grade Texas History at Knox Junior High for 10 years.  She grew up in Connecticut, but came to Texas as soon as she could!  She’s proud to say that her three children are all first generation Texans.

Her students are used to the unexpected from her – she is apt to appear in class one day as Davy Crockett, Cynthia Ann Parker, Abraham Lincoln, Indiana Jones or Uncle Sam.  She has learned that her students learn best with different activities.

Perhaps their assignment for the day is to survive storms, disease, starvation and Indian attacks.

Marianne believes students need to live history and they need to experience it.  She loves convincing students that history might actually be interesting and that history is a collection of very cool stories, which are relevant to their lives.

Past Awards:

  • VFW State of Texas Junior High Teacher of the Year
  • Knox Teacher of the Year – 2008, 2010, 2014
  • Sons of the Republic of Texas Teacher of the Year – 2011, 2015
  • Superintendent Ambassador Award – 2008

There are 21 past recipients of the Teacher of Texas History Award.

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