Thomson Family Papers
An Inventory of the Collection
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.
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.
Open to all users
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.
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.
Thomson Family Papers (AR.D.002). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/1963/061
Donation Date: 1965
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