Kuykendall, Barzillai (ca. 1806–1873)

By: Marshall E. Kuykendall

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: June 13, 2020

Barzillai (Barzilla) Kuykendall, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred, was born either in Kentucky or Indiana Territory around 1806, the son of Sarah (Gates) and Capt. Abner Kuykendall. His name is biblical. The family moved to Missouri Territory in 1810 and into southwest Arkansas near Pecan Point on the Red River in 1820. On November 26, 1821, they crossed the Brazos River at the La Bahía Road. In January 1822 they settled near New Year Creek, about four miles south of the site of present Independence. Kuykendall received title to a labor of land west of the Brazos River in what is now Austin County on August 7, 1824. On April 27, 1828, he received his second tract of land of a quarter league and a quarter labor on the east bank of Mill Creek, just north of the site of present New Bremen. He left several descriptions of early skirmishes with Indians, especially pursuits for stolen horses. During this time his father was authorized by Austin to raise troops and pursue the thieves; Barzillai and his brothers participated in the skirmishes. In February 1836 J. Hampton Kuykendall, Barzillai's younger brother, gave the alarm that the Mexicans were about to invade Texas; his older brother Gibson was elected captain of Company E, First Regiment, under Edward Burleson and Robert McNutt. They participated in the Runaway Scrape and attended the baggage at Harrisburg during the battle of San Jacinto. Barzillai served in the army from March 1 until May 30, 1836. For his services he received three quarters of a league and one labor of land in 1838. Sometime between 1828 and 1830 he married his cousin Catherine Kuykendall, the daughter of J. L. and Elisabeth Kuykendall. They had four children. Catherine died sometime after 1839, and before 1849 Barzillai married a woman named Elizabeth. They had three children. Kuykendall participated in the expeditions to repulse Rafael Vásquez and Adrián Woll in 1842. He is listed with his family in the 1850, 1860, and 1870 Washington County censuses. In 1870 he signed over to his daughters from his first marriage their share of their mother's portion (800 acres) of their headright. Kuykendall died at his home in Washington County on March 32, 1873; his wife died a month later. Their graves have never been found.

Lester G. Bugbee, "The Old Three Hundred: A List of Settlers in Austin's First Colony," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 1 (October 1897). Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986). Anne Kuykendall DeLany, A History of the Kuykendall Family in Texas (M.A. thesis, East Texas State Teachers College, 1942). Jonathan Hampton Kuykendall Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. J. H. Kuykendall, "Reminiscences of Early Texans," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 6–7 (January, April, July 1903). Villamae Williams, Stephen F. Austin's Register of Families (Nacogdoches, Texas: Ericson, 1984).

Time Periods:

  • Mexican Texas

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

Marshall E. Kuykendall, “Kuykendall, Barzillai,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 08, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/kuykendall-barzillai.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 13, 2020

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