Posted By:Rex McLaurin
Subject:Hunter/Downs/Hill families - Travis Co., TX & Ft. Bend Co., TX
Post Date:November 28, 2007 at 14:04:20
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Forum:Fort Bend County, TX Genealogy Forum
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Looking for some help to solve what appears to be two cemeteries with
quite a number of the same people (including several surnames) listed
as buried there. The two cemeteries in question are located @160 miles
apart. I will show the cemetery listings below for comparison along
with other details in hope that someone can help me understand the
connection between these families and locations.

First of all I am a descendant of William A. Hill (1823-1891) & Anna
Adalaide "Addie" Downs (1825-1897). William A. Hill was born 31 March
1823 in South Carolina. I have no further information on who is
parents may be or any siblings. His wife, Ann A. "Addie" Downs,was
born 27 April 1825 in Laurens Co. SC. She was the daughter of Samuel
Downs and Elizabeth L. Jones of Laurens Co., SC. This couples marriage
is listed as "DOWNS Adalade, HILL William 19 Nov 1844 Laurens Co. SC"
in South Carolina Marriages A-F. It appears that this family along
with the family of Adalaide Downs' brother, Thomas Jones Downs,
migrated from Laurens Co. SC to Mississippi between 25 September 1845
and 05 July 1846. William A. Hill and his brother in law Thomas J.
Downs served with the 18th Battalion Mississippi Cavalry, Company H
"Peach Creek Rangers" during the civil war out of DeSoto Co., MS.
There were two other Hills listed in this unit, Hill, J.W. and Hill,
W.M., but have no idea if there is any connection. I have found this
family in the 1870 Census of DeSoto Co., MS living in the Arkabutla
area. In approx. 1878 the families of William A. Hill and Thomas J.
Downs migrated to Travis Co., TX. They are found in the 1880 Census of
Travis Co., TX living in the eastern rural area of Travis County,
south of the Hornsby Bend area.

According to what I had previously learned, they lived in the Hunter
Bend area of Travis County. This community was built by William Dunlap
Hunter. According to one source:

Hunters Bend
William Dunlap Hunter left his home in Huntersville, South Carolina in
1858 with plans to travel to California. Hunter, however, never
reached his original destination. By 1859, he had settled near Hornsby
Bend in eastern Travis County. His plantation, located about twelve
miles east of Austin on the northern bank of the Colorado River,
became a self-sufficient community known as Hunters Bend. The grounds
included a blacksmith shop and two gins, as well as a garden, a
greenhouse, a grape arbor, and a cemetery. Employees were paid in
script that was redeemable for merchandise at the plantation's general

I am not sure of the connection with the Hunter family but it appears
that it involves the Downs family. All of the families originated in
South Carolina.

Recently I was contacted by someone who was working on a book listing
burial sites of Confederate soldiers buried in Ft Bend Co., TX. She
had found William A. Hill buried in the Hunter Cemetery, Ft Bend Co,
TX. Being curious I checked it out and there he was, same name and
dates but approx. 160 miles away in the Dr. Johnson C. Hunter
Cemetery. Comparing the names and dates listed there were other family
members and people listed in the Travis County cemetery. Both were at
communities of the Hunter family. Not sure if there is a connection
between William Dunlap Hunter and Dr. Johnson C. Hunter, maybe someone
out there knows. Online listings for these cemeteries can be found at: Section II Other Graves

Can't help but believe there has been a big mix up here, the
names/dates are too similar, if not exact matches. If you have
information concerning these families and the cemeteries please
contact me.

Rex McLaurin