FAMILY OF THOMAS WILLIAMS AND MARY ELIZABETH DAVIS
was born March 01, 1821 in Pecan Point, Coahuila, Texas, Mexico, and died March
29, 1889 in Ranger, Eastland County, Texas. He is buried in the Merriman Cemetery,
Eastland County, Texas.
He married MARY
October 22, 1839 in Houston, Republic of Texas, daughter of WILLIAM
She was born June 13, 1820 in Bayou Beth, Lafourche, Louisiana, and died
November 24, 1888 in Ranger, Eastland County, Texas. She is buried at Merriman Cemetery,
Eastland County, Texas.
Notes for THOMAS
TAKEN FROM OLD
NORTHWEST TEXAS, HISTORICAL-STATISTICAL-BIOGRAPHICAL, NAVARRO COUNTY,
TEXAS, 1846-1860 COMPILED BY NANCY SAMUELS AND BARBARA KNOX, PUBLISHED BY
FORT WORTH GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY
censuses indicate that Thomas Williams was born in Texas; his tombstone so
states. Below is an artist's sketch
(done from a photograph) of a double tombstone of Thomas and Mary E. Williams in
the Merriman Cemetery. Thomas'
birthdate clearly indicates that he was born some months prior to the birth of
Mary James Long (born December 21, 1821, daughter of Jane Long) credited by
historians as being the first American-born child in Texas.
In 1870, one
Leonard Crabtree, born about 1853 in Texas, lived in the household of Thomas
Williams; in Hill County December 5, 1877 Leonard H. Crabtree married Fredonia
Estes (see p. 421)."
IS THE FIRST WHITE CHILD BORN IN TEXAS BURIED IN MERRIMAN CEMETERY?
BY NANCY TIMMONS SAMUELS FROM THE EASTLAND COUNTY HISTORY BOOK,
state that Mary James Long, daughter of Jane Long ("the Mother of
Texas"), was the first white child born in Texas, on 21 December 1821.
However, there is conclusive evidence that Thomas Williams, who is buried
in the Merriman Cemetery, in Eastland County, deserves the honor of such a
claim, if indeed such claims should be made.
was born 01 March 1821, in the Williams Settlement, on the Angelina River, in
that part of the Mexican Municipality of Nacogdoches which is now Rusk County.
He was the eldest son of Leonard H. and Nancy Isaacks Williams, and the
grandson of Thomas and Priscilla Williams.
This Williams clan came from Tennessee and were in Texas as early as
1819, first in Red River County, then in Nacogdoches County.
Williams was a well known Indian commissioner, Indian agent, interpreter and
supplier, who served Texas during the days of the Republic. His first appointment was by Sam Houston in 1842.
As an Indian commissioner, he was present at the signing of a treaty at
Boggy Depot in the Chickasaw Nation (September 1842).
He was also present at the Treaty of Bird's Fort (September 1843) in
present Tarrant County, and at the treaty at Tehuacana Creek (October 1844) near
Waco. From 1844 until 1846, he served as resident Indian agent at
Torrey's Trading Post No. 2, below the Waco Village. His places of residence in Texas were Nacogdoches, Cherokee,
Houston, McLennan, Limestone, Navarro and Hill Counties, his final home being
located near present Mt. Calm, Hill County.
Williams was twice married, first to Nancy Isaacks and second to Jane Ware.
He had 8 children by Nancy and 3 by Jane.
Several of his children lived in Eastland County at various times.
Besides his son, Thomas, another son is buried in the Merriman Cemetery,
and several grandchildren are also buried in the county.
The Leonard H. Williams family appears on the Mexican census of
Nacogdoches Municipality, the oldest son, Thomas, listed as age 15.
married Mary E. Ware about 1840. They
are on the censuses of Navarro County in 1850, Hill County in 1860 and 1870, and
they came to Eastland County after 1880. Every
census indicates that Thomas Williams was born in 1821.
His tombstone states that he was born in Texas on 01 March 1821.
No doubt, history
books will continue to state that Jane Long's daughter was the first
American-born child in Texas for we are reminded of a quote from Schopenhauer:
"It is not so difficult a task to plant new truths as to root out
old errors, for there is this paradox in men; they run after that which is new,
but are prejudiced in favor of that which is old".
TAKEN FROM A
HANDBOOK OF WACO AND McLENNAN COUNTY, TEXAS EDITED BY DAYTON KELLEY IN 1972
AND PUBLISHED BY THE TEXIAN PRESS IN WACO
Elizabeth Davis was born at Bayou Beth, Louisiana, in 1820, the daughter of
William Davis. Sometime before
1830, the family migrated to Texas and settled in present Houston County.
Mary Davis married a man named Ware and was widowed before 1830
(obviously an error as she would have been no more than 10) when she received a
league and labor of land from the Republic of Texas.
The following year she married Thomas Williams at Crockett.
They had nine children but only two survived to maturity.
They moved to
Central Texas in 1847 and settled on the Mary Ware league and labor on the east
side of the Brazos River in present McLennan County near Dripping Springs.
During the Civil War, she sold nine hundred acres of her land to R.B.
Talley and H. Peters for twelve dollars to pay the Confederate war tax of four
dollars. Sometime after the war,
Thomas and Mary Williams sold the remainder of the survey and moved west.
She died in Eastland County on November 21, 1886, and was buried at
Bounty Records (M.S., General Land Office); Houston County Records;
McLennan County Records. By Dan Williams"
CHILDREN OF THOMAS WILLIAMS AND MARY ELIZABETH DAVIS
Thomas Williams, Junior - born 28 January 1840 in Houston County, Texas; died 28 November 1840 Houston County, Texas
Nancy Elizabeth Williams
Benjamin Russell Williams
Leonard S. Williams - born 2 July 1845 Texas; died about 1862 at Hopkinsville, Kentucky in the Confederate Army of the measles
Matthew D. Williams - 14 September 1847; died 11 October 1849 in Texas
Thomas Hardy Brooks Williams - born 1 February 1850; died 12 August 1854 McLennan County, Texas, buried in the Hardwick Cemetery at Gholson, McLennan County, Texas
Robert Williams - born 28 March 1852; died about 1853, buried in the Hardwick Cemetery, Gholson, McLennan County, Texas
James H. Williams - 4 December 1853; died 12 January 1854, buried in the Hardwick Cemetery, Gholson, McLennan County, Texas
Matthew A. Williams - born about 1855, nothing further known about this child
Eliza Delia Williams
Icahbod Williams - born 16 February 1857, died 12 December 1867 on Ash Creek in Hill County, Texas from a falling tree limb
© L.L. Kight 2002