John Punderson Austin, son of David and Mary (Mix) Austin, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on June 28, 1774. After his graduation from Yale in 1794, he went into business in New Haven, where he married Susan Rogers on September 11, 1797. They later lived in Bridgeport and in Norwich, Connecticut, and had thirteen children, two of whom, John Austin and William Tennant Austin, came to Texas. After John Austin's death in the cholera epidemic of 1833, John Punderson Austin came to Texas to take over his son's estate, but he too died of cholera, probably in July 1834. His remains were returned to New Haven, Connecticut, for burial.
Another John P. Austin, who is sometimes confused with John Punderson Austin and with John Austin, was a cousin of Stephen F. Austin and the brother of Henry Austin and Mary Austin Holley. This John P. Austin was a native of New York. He considered coming to Texas in 1825 but instead became a commission merchant in New York. He maintained his interest in Texas, however, and corresponded frequently with Stephen F. Austin, giving him news of importance to Texas from the United States. He also handled business matters for the Texas colonizer.