Cumings, Rebekah Russel (ca. 1757–1832)

By: Tim Cumings

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: August 10, 2020

Rebekah Russel Cumings, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, was born in Loudoun County, Virginia, to Samuel and Sarah Moore Russel around 1757. Before 1777 she married Anthony Cumings, a Loudoun County property owner. The couple soon moved to what is today Lewis County, Kentucky, on the Ohio River. They had seven sons and two daughters. Rebekah was widowed by 1807. In 1822, with her three unmarried sons, James, William, and John Cumings, and daughters Rebecca and Sarah, she traveled to Texas and became part of Austin's original colony. She received title to a league and two labores of land now in Brazoria and Waller counties on July 21, 1824. However, she made her home north of San Felipe in the vicinity of the sawmill and gristmill built by her sons on Palmetto (later Mill) Creek, now in Austin County. The 1826 census of Austin's colony lists her as a head of household with two daughters and three slaves. Rebekah Cumings died in 1832. Her daughter Rebecca was engaged to William B. Travis, who died in the Alamo; in 1843 she married David Y. Portis.

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James A. Creighton, A Narrative History of Brazoria County (Angleton, Texas: Brazoria County Historical Commission, 1975). Archie P. McDonald, Travis (Austin: Jenkins, 1976). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (James Cumings, Rebekah Cumings).

  • Women
  • Founders and Pioneers
  • Pioneers
Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas
  • East Texas
  • Upper Gulf Coast

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Tim Cumings, “Cumings, Rebekah Russel,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 28, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 10, 2020

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