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John Williams

According to the Handbook of Texas, there were three John Williams in the Republic in its early days. One who called himself John Williams Sr (although he never married) is thought to be the grantee of a quarter league of land on the San Antonio River between grants awarded to Peter Teal and John B. Sideck. He was likely born in Caswell County, NC and possibly came to Texas with eight siblings. Robert H. Williams and Charles F. Augustus Williams are identified as John’s brothers.

John has died by May 1839 when his Will is probated, according to the Handbook. We do find a Robert H. Williams who is administrator of his brother’s Will in Matagorda County. There is mention in these documents of a “league and labor” of land, but it’s unclear where this land is.

The Fagan Papers have copies of a survey for John Fagan and field notes made in 1842, describing “1307 acres 4 or 5 miles above the rancho of Carlos de la Garza on the N.E. Bank of the San Antonio River.” This land is said to border the league belonging to Peter Teal. The survey was noted to have been made 30 December 1841. Somewhat puzzling is the notation on the survey that John Fagan is the administrator of the estate of John Williams deceased.

The memoirs of Annie Fagan Teal have an anecdote about John Williams, indicating that they were friends. Additionally, she says that upon his death, he left her all of his personal effects, his “soldier rights” from beginning to end of the war, and auditors’ scripts that were good as bank notes.

Her memoirs also note that he left John Fagan a quarter league of land between the grants of Peter Teal and John Sideck.

The John Williams grant is somehow folded into the Fagan family and becomes the homeplace of John Fagan’s widow, Elen Fox Fagan, sometime during the Civil War.