1997-2006, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved


The Tumlinson Family of the DeWitt Colony


Andrew, David C., James, John Jackson, Joseph and Littleton F. Tumlinson, members of the families of two brothers John Jackson and James Stevens, son of Jonathan Tumlinson (Tumblinson) of North Carolina, received land grants in the DeWitt Colony. Both had wives named Elizabeth. James and Elizabeth, John, John J. and Peter Tumlinson were among the "Old 300" Austin colonists, among the first to receive land grants in Texas. A James, John, John J. and Peter were taxpayers in WashingtonCo, TX in 1837, but do not appear in county records thereafter, probably because they moved to the DeWitt Colony or elsewhere by that time. John Jackson Tumlinson Sr. was born in LincolnCo, NC in 1776 and married Elizabeth Plemmons, (b. abt 1796 LincolnCo, NC) about 1800. Andrew, John Jackson Jr. and Joseph were his sons and are brothers. The family arrived from Arkansas along with the family of brother James Tumlinson and first settled on the Colorado River at a site called Montezuma near Columbus. David C., James and L.F. Tumlinson, all of whom were single on arrival in the DeWitt Colony in 1828-1831, were sons of James Stevens Tumlinson, brother of John Jackson Tumlinson Sr.

A James Tumlinson is mentioned in the following letters as early as 1824 concerning land in the Austin Colony:

Inclosed I send Mrs. Marples letter to her husband with her fathers and Brothers and his permission also to act on as you think proper. James Tumlinson Desires me to let you know that he is so unwell that he is not able to attend about his Land and he wants you to try to let him have the 8th League above Jacksons on the Colorado and the half or whole of the Tract he lives on as you think proper For such he will thank you to attend to. and says he will go to see you as soon as he is able to ride,  Yours JAMES CUMMINGS  July 19th 1824 Colo. Stephen F. Austin At San Felipe de Austin

Upper District Colorado, November 17th 1824 Col. STEPHEN F. AUSTIN SIR It is my wish to have you to make an entry of the Ninth League of land, on this River above Kinslow's [Kincheloe's] for me if no other person hase not entered it and wish you to send me an answer by the bearer Air. Moore and by so doing much oblige  JAMES TUMLINSON [Rubric]

James Tumlinson and wife are listed in the 1825 Census of the District of Colorado with 7 male children aged 20, 18, 14,10, 8, 5 and 2 and 1 female aged 4. James S. Tumlinson of the Austin Colony moved to and owned a home in Gonzales town after 1831. Various records indicate that the Tumlinson families came to Texas from North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Missouri. It is thought that related Tumlinsons in addition to the families of John J. Sr. and James may have come to Texas.

In 1822, John J. Tumlinson Sr., the father of Capt. John Jackson and Joseph Tumlinson, was elected alcalde of Columbus, one of only two settlements of significance at the beginning of establishment of the Austin Colony. John Tumlinson and Stephen F. Austin had business interactions as early as 1821 as evidenced by the following notes in the Austin Papers in the Texas Archives:

RECEIPT FOR A NOTE  Recd New Orleans Nov. 25, 1821. of Phillip Redinger a note on John Tumblinson payable to John Steel or order for One hundred and Sixty Dollrs ($160) which I am to collect on the best terms I can---Said Redinger is willing to allow a discount of Sixty Dollars for prompt payment  S. F. AUSTIN  The above note was given up to Redinger before the order on the back of this receipt was presented or known of as this receipt was Supposed to have been lost.  A. [Rubric] [Endorsed:] Recd. on the within rect: 1 Ax---I pr Blankets 3 Pt--2 Carrots Tobacco---1 Small oven  May 9th 1822  Mr S F AUSTIN Sir please to Lift your recept and Let Martin Varner have Mr Tumlinsons note and you'l oblige yours etc.  PHILLIP REDDINGER

Alcalde John Tumlinson was killed by Indians in the summer of 1823 while on a trip to San Antonio to meet the governor of Coahuila y Tejas as described by Baker in Scrapbook of Texas [Baker erroneously refers to Capt. John J. Tumlinson as brother instead of son of the murdered John J. Tumlinson Sr.]:

This venerable pioneer was a native of North Carolina, and immigrated to Texas at an early day. He settled at the Falls of the Brazos where he remained but six months and then removed to the Colorado river where the town of Columbus now stands. This town is located upon his head right. As he was a man of fair intelligence and good business habits he was appointed an alcalde in 1824 by the Mexican authorities. In the summer of 1824, Mr. Tumlinson left his house in company with a gentleman named Newman, and started to San Antonio on business. They had gone as far on their way as where the town of Seguin is now situated, when they were attacked, by a party of Waco Indians. Tumlinson was instantly killed, but Newman, who was on a good horse, fled, and succeeded in escaping. Diligent search was subsequently made for Captain Tomlinson's body, but it was never found. A little while after this a party of thirteen Waco Indians were discovered approaching the settlements, and it was supposed to be the same party who had killed Captain Tumlinson, the news was communicated to Captain John J. Tumlinson (a brother of the murdered man), who raised a company of eleven young Texas boys and went in pursuit of them. His youngest brother, Joseph, was dispatched in advance to spy out the position of the enemy. He discovered they were encamped about fifteen miles above where the town of Columbus now stands, on the east side of the river, near the bank of a deep ravine. Returning to the company he gave Captain Tumlinson the information he obtained. The Captain then, with his men, advanced had cautiously, and late in the evening reached the vicinity of the Indian camp, where they concealed themselves. Their plan was to defer the attack until morning, and the firing of Captain Tumlinson's gun was to be the signal for the onset. But his brother Joseph, who was a little nearer the Indian camp than the rest, seeing an Indian in fair shooting distance, could not resist the temptation to take a "pop" at him, and fired away. The Indian uttered a loud "wah!" and fell dead. Seeing this, the rest of the boys opened fire, and with such fatal effect that in a few moments twelve of the thirteen Indians soon lay dead upon the ground. The remaining one sprang off like a frightened deer and made his escape. Captain John J. Tumlinson will long be remembered, at least as long there are any old Texans still living, for his gallant services in the defense of the frontiers against the murderous savages.

Andrew Tumlinson (b. 21 Jan 1806 in NC; d. 1830) was the former husband of widow with a family of 2, Harriet Cottle Tumlinson (marrried 2 Jul 1829), who received title to a sitio of land in her maiden name on the west bank of the San Marcos River in Guadalupe County after Andrew was killed by Indians. Andrew was a son of John and Elizabeth Plemmons Tumlinson. Andrew and Harriet arrived in the DeWitt Colony in 1827 and were some of its earliest residents. The death of Andrew Tumlinson is described in Wilbarger's Indian Depredations in Texas.

"I think it was in the fall of 1831 that a party of Waco Indians came into DeWitt's colony, stole a lot of horses from Andrew Tomlinson and made off with them. Tomlinson, in company with four or five others, pursued the Indians. After following their trail for about twelve hours they overtook a couple of Waco Indians. They interrogated the Indians pretty closely and as they looked guilty and gave contradictory answers, they came to the conclusion that they were the very ones that had stolen the horses. They therefore took them prisoners, and told them if they did not point out the place where they had concealed the horses that they would kill them. When Mr. Tomlinson and his party arrested these Indians they took all their arms from them except their butcher knives. The Wacos strenuously denied knowing anything about the horses, but the Texans told them they knew better, and if they did not take them to the place where they were hid that they would certainly kill them. "Well, then," said the Wacos, "we will show you the horses;" and they went off in a certain direction towards the place where they said the horses were tied. After going about a mile one of the Wacos, knowing that death would be certain whether he showed the horses or not, determined to fight it out. He, therefore, suddenly drew his butcher knife and made a furious lunge with it at Mr. Tomlinson, who being on the alert, instantly drew his gun and shot him through the body. The Indian, however, had succeeded in plunging his knife into Mr. Tomlinson's side, and they fell dead together. The remaining Waco then endeavored to make his escape, but was pursued and killed. The Texans found the stolen horses, buried Mr. Tomlinson and returned home."

John J. Tumlinson, born 19 Dec 1804 in probably NC (some records call him a native of Tennessee), is the best known of the Tumlinsons because of his prolific record as a military leader and Indian fighter involved in security of the DeWitt Colony, particularly the area around current Cuero covering most of current DeWitt County and northern Victoria County. His life and activities are covered in more detail under DeWitt Colony Captains, Rangers and Minutemen. He was a farmer, rancher and land trader in addition to his role as a minuteman ranger. His first wife Laura Cottle was the daughter of Stephen and Sarah Turner Cottle of the Austin Colony. Laura Cottle was the sister of Harriett Cottle, wife of Capt. Tumlinson's brother Andrew. After wife Laura and their son Joseph died, Capt. Tumlinson moved to the community of Clinton on the Chisholm tract across the Guadalupe River from current Cuero. Tumlinson married Delaney Asher then her sister Mary Ann Asher. John Tumlinson died in May 1853 leaving one known heir, daughter Amanda L. Tumlinson. She was raised by John's brother Peter in Atascosa County and married Cullen W. Edwards.

Joseph Tumlinson received a quarter sitio arriving single in Feb 1829 on the south boundary of current Cuero on the banks of the Guadalupe River between tracts of Byrd Lockhart and Hepzibeth Taylor. Hepzibeth and Josiah Taylor were parents of William Riley Taylor who married Joseph's sister Elizabeth Tumlinson. Widow Hepzibeth Taylor later married Patrick Dowlearn a neighbor to both the Taylors and Tumlinsons. Joseph Tumlinson married Johanna Taylor, daughter of Josiah and Hepzibeth Taylor in April 1834. After Johanna's death, Joseph married Elizabeth Newman in 1838, thought to be the widow of the Newman killed with John J. Tumlinson Sr. in 1824. After Texas independence, Joseph settled in Eagle Lake in ColoradoCo and later moved to Yorktown in DeWittCo where he was a rancher where he served continuously as a minuteman and Ranger with his relatives in security of the area. Known as "Jo" Tumlinson, he became involved in the infamous Taylor-Sutton Feud of DeWitt County and formed a group known as the Tumlinson Regulators on the side of the Suttons. At one time he was a deputy sheriff of DeWitt County. He died on his ranch in November 1874. His descendants include numerous Texas lawmen which include Milam Wright, William L. Wright, Charles H. Wright and E.A. (Dogie) Wright who served Texas as rangers, sheriffs, custom agents and border patrol officers from 1898 to 1969.

David C., James, and Littleton F. Tumlinson, all single men and brothers from the same family (sons of James Tumlinson below), received quarter sitios next to each other on Peach Creek in northeast Gonzales County. According to land records, James and L.F. arrived in 1828 and David C. arrived 1831. L.F. owned two lots in inner Gonzales town across from Market Plaza on St. Lawrence St. James Tumlinson, thought to be James Tumlinson Sr. from the Austin Colony, owned adjacent lots in the same block and had a home in 1836 on one of the lots originally deeded to L.F. Tumlinson at the corner of St. Lawrence and Water St.

James Tumlinson was listed between 40 and 50 years old and had 7 sons and a daughter in 1826 according to the Austin Colony census. He was a widower with 11 children who moved from the Austin Colony after marriage to widow Dianah (Ann) Noyes Wilkerson White on 13 Jul 1831. Ann Wilkerson and Thomas White were married on 9 Sep 1819 and began a journey to Texas from Elizabethtown, NC in 1829 with their five children. Thomas White died suddenly in Alabama on 30 Jun 1829, but the widow and children continued the journey to Austin's Colony arriving near Columbia on the Brazos River. Mrs. Ann White is listed in Austin's "Register of Families" of April 1830, 30 years of age, a widow with 4 male and 1 female children. They were Kerr Bigharn (b. 20 Jul 1820), John A. (26 Apr 1822), Ann Eliza (23 Oct 1824), Thomas M. (17 Jul 1826) and Franklin (19 Jan 1828).

Diana Wilkerson White. On April 1, 1830 Diana White, widow of Thomas White of Bladen County, North Carolina, arrived from Alabama as a colonist in Austin's Colony and was deeded land at San Felipe in what was Washington County. Her family consisted of herself, age thirty, and five children: Kerr Bigham, John A., Anne Eliza, Thomas M. and Franklin H. In the late 1830's Anne married James J. Tumlinson and the family moved to Gonzales about 1838. James and Anne had a son named Samuel who died very early. Anne died in November, 1839 in Gonzales.

George W. Davis   of Gonzales was appointed by the court as guardian of the four minor children of Thomas White and Diana "Anne" White Tumlinson. A declaration of the estate of Thomas and Diana White was published July 28, 1840. Thomas M. White, sixteen years old, legally bound himself out to George W. Davis October 9, 1840. The terms of the binding were that Thomas would apprentice as a farmer, he would obey the lawful commands of Mr. Davis and do no harm nor damage or allow others to do so to Mr. Davis. He would not contract matrimony and would at all times in all things conduct himself and serve as a faithful apprentice. George W. Davis agreed to teach Thomas to read, write and cypher to the rule of three, provide meat, drink, clothing and lodging and other necessities during the term and at the expiration date, July 1, 1847, when Thomas turned twenty-one, he would give Thomas two suits of clothing, one suitable for Sunday and one for working days. But on September 25, 1845, George Davis asked to be discharged as the guardian of the White minor children and in December, 1845 Kerr Bigham [White] was granted guardianship of Thomas, voiding the terms of the binding out.

Kerr Bigham (1821-unknown) married a widow, Eliza Harrell, January 11, 1855. Mrs. Harrell had a daughter Mary Virginia who married Clayton Summers. Kerr and Eliza had no children. He served as sheriff of DeWitt County 1849-1851. John A., circa 1823, went to California with William Cardwell looking for gold. It was legend that he was killed by Indians. He never married. Anne Eliza (1824-1918) married the pioneer Crockett Cardwell April 15, 1846 in Gonzales. Cardwell (1812-1891) was a native of Mercer County, Kentucky and came to Texas in 1833. He operated a store in Port Lavaca and Hallettsville prior to his purchase of the D.B. Friar place in the Cuero Creek area. In addition to his mercantile business, he served as commissioner in DeWitt County and had plantation and cattle interests. Anne Eliza had a natural ability in the knowledge of medicine improved by the study of medical books; she gained much experience and a good reputation by caring for her family and others. They had two children, a son died very young and a daughter Evie who married Arthur Burns in 1882. Thomas M. (July 1, 1826- December 8, 1857) married Sarah Jane Houston December 8, 1853. They had two children: John Frank (July 11, 1856-1889) married Eliza Jane Kennedy November 5, 1878; and a daughter Annie May who married Lewis Burns. Sarah Jane "Kitty" Houston circa 1836 was born in North Carolina. Her parents were Robert Boyd Houston and Mary Allen Dunn. She married a Mr. Harrell a second time and a third time a Mr. Mitchell. Franklin H. circa 1828 married Laura Davis; their children were: Crockett, John, Annie Laura and Frank. After Franklin died, his family lived for quite some time with the Crockett Cardwell family. Although the White family was in Gonzales only a short time, most of the family records available were found in the Gonzales County courthouse. Sue White Hancock. (From The History of Gonzales County, Texas. Reprinted by permission of the Gonzales County Historical Commission).

In addition to David C. (b. 1809), James (b. 1806) and L.F. Tumlinson (b. 1808), who received title to properties in the DeWitt Colony, James S. Tumlinson had a son, George Tumlinson (b. 1814 MO) who was a member of the Gonzales Alamo Relief Force and died in the Alamo 6 Mar 1836. He is thought to also have had another son John Tumlinson (b. 1810) who fought at the Battle of San Jacinto, but this may be confused with cousin Capt. John J. Tumlinson. Ann and James Tumlinson had one son, Samuel, who was born 12 May 1832 and died 19 Dec 1846. Stepdaughter Ann Eliza Cardwell was interviewed by the Galveston News (Reporter Mr. S.M. Le Sesne) about her experiences in the critical days of the Texas Revolution in Gonzales, she told of the fall of the Alamo, described that they traded with sites in Columbia and Nacogdoches and an armed escort would have to accompany the trading parties to resist Indian attacks. Her family was close friends of Stephen F. Austin, "Three-Legged Willie" and other distinguished statesmen of the period. She related that her family received Mrs. Emily Dickinson who was the only Anglo survivor at the Alamo at the family home in Gonzales [original article quoted Mrs. Emily Dickinson, likely referring to Susannah Wilkerson Dickinson--WLM]. While escaping from the Mexican army which was crossing through the country after the Alamo defeat, members of her family could see both the Texas and Mexican armies near San Jacinto.

Additional Tumlinsons. Thomas Carney Tumlinson, a nephew of John J. Jr. and Joseph Tumlinson also settled in DeWittCo. His father Thomas Carney Sr. (b. 1797 NC), son of John J. and Elizabeth Tumlinson Sr., was killed by Indians in Arkansas before he was born. After he was grown, his adopted parents revealed the identity of his real parents and Thomas came to Texas. He lived on Cabeza Creek about five miles south of the site of Nordheim where he raised a family of nine children and in 1881 moved to the Lampasas area.

Peter F. Tumlinson, son of John J. Tumlinson Sr. returned to Arkansas soon after the family arrived in Texas.. His brother, Thomas Carney Tumlinson, had been killed in Arkansas by Indians and Peter went back to help his pregnant sister-in-law. He returned to Texas a few years later, and became a Texas Ranger. His second wife was Harriett Jane West, sister of James West, also a Ranger. At least three of Peter's sons were Texas Rangers.

1997-2006, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved