Austin History Center

Thomson Family Papers

An Inventory of the Collection

Collection Summary

Creator: Thomson family
Title: Thomson Family Papers
Dates: 1860-1934
Dates (Bulk): 1879-1906
Abstract: The Thomson Family Papers include family records of Thomas C. Thomson and Alexander Thomson dating from 1860 to 1934, and the genealogies of the Dawsings and Fontaines. In addition, this collection contains land grants from 1879 for John T. Brackenridge.
Accession number: AR.D.002
Quantity: 1.3 linear feet (2 boxes)
Location: Archives Stacks, qAR
Language: English
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Sketch

Thomas Coke Thomson was born in 1822 in Giles County, Tennessee to Alexander Thomson and Elizabeth Dowsing. In 1831, the family moved to Texas because Alexander Thomson worked as a surveyor and assisted in the settlement of 300 colonists in the Sterling Robertson colony. They established the colony on the Brazos River, about six miles from Hearne.

Thomas C. Thomson married Mary Jane Chriesman in 1846 in Burleson, Texas. Mary Jane was the daughter of Horatio Chriesman, who was the surveyor for the Stephen F. Austin colony. They had four children together: Francis Fontaine, Rector McDonald, Horatio Alexander, and Thaddeus Austin. Mary Jane died in 1877 and Thomas C. Thomson remarried in 1879 to Mary Isabella Mathews. Thomas C. Thomson died in 1901 in Austin, Texas.

Scope and Contents

The papers contain handwritten records of births and marriages, carbon copies of typescripts, printed materials, financial documents, and legal documents organized into two series: the Thomson Family and J. T. Brackenridge.

The Thomson Family series dates from 1860 to 1934 and includes genealogy reports of the Dowsing and Fontaine families and a hand-written document titled “Family Record of Alexander Thomson." Also of note are Bastrop Military Institute monthly report cards for George Thomas Graham, a newspaper clipping, a bank statement, and a reproduction of a sobriety statement signed by Fred Hillyer.

The J. T. Brackenridge series consists of 67 Texas land grant certificates from 1879 that granted J. T. Brackenridge of Houston East and West Texas Railroad Company land in Crockett County, Texas. The Thomson family's connection to Brackenridge is unclear.

The collection is arranged into two series:
Thomson Family
John T. Brackenridge


Access Restrictions

Open to all users

Use Restrictions

The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Thomson, Thomas C., 1822-1901.
Thomson, Alexander, 1785-1863.
Hillyer, Fred.
Brackenridge, John T., 1828-1906.
Graham, George Thomas, 1847-1897.
Subjects (Organizations)
Houston East and West Texas Railroad Company.
Bastrop Military Institute.
Land grants--Texas--Austin.
Austin (Tex.)--Genealogy.
Crockett County (Tex.).
Document Types
Land grants.
Marriage records.
Death records.
Monthly reports.
Bank statements.

Related Material

Austin Files

  • AF Biography - Alexander Thomson, Jr.
  • AF Biography - Horatio Chriesman
  • AF Biography - Robert J. Brackenridge
  • AF Biography - Beriah Graham
  • AF Subject - Thomson Motor Company (43)

Archives & Manuscripts

General Collection

  • A 976.431 AU Brackenridge, J. T., Charms of the Capital City and its Environs: Attractiveness and Resources of Texas and Peculiar Organic Code of the Great Commonwealth. circa 1877.

Separated Material

Some clippings and photographs were separated to appropriate Austin Files (subject, biography, and house-building) in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

The materials were donated by the grandson of Thomas C. Thomson, Rector McDonald Thomson, Jr., who lived in Austin from 1877 to his death in 1972.

Preferred Citation

Thomson Family Papers (AR.D.002). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1963/061

Donation Date: 1965

Processing Information

Initial inventory and preliminary processing by Regina Koehler in 2001. Final processing and finding aid by Alisha Little in 2003. Finding aid updated and encoded by Kelly Hanus in 2018.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Thomson Family, 1860-1934, undated

Box Folder
1 1 Report cards for George Thomas Graham, 1860-1861
1 Family record of Alexander Thomson, undated
1 Genealogy of Fontaine family, 1903
1 Genealogy of Dowsing family, 1906
1 Sobriety statement of Fred Hillyer, 1917
1 Statement of the First State Bank, 1934

John T. Brackenridge, 1879

Location Box
qAR 085 Texas Land Grant Certificates, 1879