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Williams, Thomas (1757–1835)

Doris Jeane Baldwin Pruett Biography Entry

Thomas Williams, frontier settler, was born in 1757, probably in North Carolina. He lived in Tennessee as late as 1803, and by 1818 he and his family had migrated into Missouri Territory (present Arkansas). Thomas and his wife, Maria Priscilla Williams, and their six children, including John, Leonard, and William, crossed the Red River into Texas at Pecan Point about 1819. According to the 1821 Mexican census Thomas and Priscilla were living in Nacogdoches District. Thomas Williams, his four sons, and two sons-in-law served in the 1826 Fredonian Rebellion. Thomas enlisted with the title of colonel in the company raised by Col. Peter Ellis Bean. According to Bean's testimony, Williams accompanied him in his chase of fugitives to the Sabine River. For his services, Thomas received a Mexican land grant dated March 24, 1829, for one league on the Angelina River in what is now Rusk County. He settled his family and cultivated land there; the area became known as Williams Settlement. According to an 1835 census Thomas and his grandson William were living in Williams Settlement. Thomas was listed as a laborer, and the family was of the Catholic faith. Priscilla died on July 7, 1834, and Thomas died on July 3, 1835.

Robert Bruce Blake Research Collection, Steen Library, Stephen F. Austin State University; Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin; Texas State Archives, Austin; Houston Public Library, Houston. Garland Roscoe Farmer, The Realm of Rusk County (Henderson, Texas: Henderson Times, 1951). Dorman H. Winfrey, A History of Rusk County (Waco: Texian, 1961).


  • Founders and Pioneers
  • Pioneers

Time Periods:

  • Mexican Texas

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

Doris Jeane Baldwin Pruett, “Williams, Thomas,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 25, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: