Part of an old map of the San Jacinto area from the Texas Revolution

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Participant

The Kemp Sketch

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AVERY, WILLIS -- Born in North Carolina, October 15, 1809, only son of Willis and Catherine (Overton) Avery. His father was a sailor and died at sea and his mother was later married to William McCutcheon. Of this union there were two children, William and Collins McCutcheon. Mrs. McCutcheon and children, Willis Avery and William McCutcheon, emigrated to Lincoln County, Missouri, Collins remaining with his father. In Missouri Mrs. McCutcheon was married to Joseph Jennings, and by him had four children: Abigail, who married John Talk; Joseph; Catherine, who married the Mr. Whistler who was killed by Indians in Texas; and Samuel Jennings.

Willis Avery was married to Elzina Weeks in Missouri, and with their two children, Nancy and Malinda, emigrated to Texas, arriving in what is now Bastrop County, November 12, 1832. Mr. and Mrs. Jennings and their family came to Texas in 1836.

Mr. Avery was a member of Captain Jesse Billingsley's Company of Mina (Bastrop) Volunteers at San Jacinto and on May 22, 1838, was issued Donation Certificate No. 176 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle. On March 20, 1840, he was issued Bounty Certificate No. 9491 for 320 acres of land for having served in the army from February 28 to June 1, 1836.

In Book of the Spanish Archives in the General Land Office it is shown that Mr. Avery was issued title to a league of land in Austin's Colony. In the Headright Certificate issued to him February 2, 1838, for one labor of land by the Board of Land Commissioners for Bastrop County it is stated that he came to Texas in 1832.

Mr. and Mrs. Avery eventually moved to Williamson County and settled on Brushy Creek, near Rice's Crossing. There Mrs. Avery died March 1, 1870, She was born in Missouri, November 10, 1812.

Mr. Avery died July 17, 1889, while a member of the Texas Veterans Association. The two were buried in the Avery family cemetery near their former home. Their remains were removed by the State of Texas and on July 3, 1938, reinterred in the State cemetery at Austin, where a joint monument was erected at their grave.

Children of Mr. and Mrs. Avery were: (1) Nancy, (2) Malinda, (3) Vincent, R. C. (4) Willis, (5) Lucinda, (6) Henry, (7) Calvin, (8) Harriet Avery, and (9) W. T. Avery.

(1) Nancy Avery was married to William Bryant. Children of Mr. and Mrs. Bryant were James, William, Sally, Jennie and Alice Bryant.

(2) Melinda Avery was never married.

(3) Vincent, R. C. Avery was married to Virginia W. Harvey. Their children were R. C., J. H., E. V., Cora and Lelia Avery.

(4) Willis Avery was born April 8, 1840. He was married to Sally Reed. Their children were Tom, James, John and Malinda Avery.

(5) Lucinda Avery was married to E. U. Kimbro. Their children were M. H. Fredonia, Josephine, Kate, Edwin and Henry Kimbro.

(6) Henry Avery was married to Betty Gardner.

(7) Calvin Avery was married to Nattie Tweedle.

(8) Harriet Avery was married to J. T. Christian. Children of Mr. and Mrs. Christian were Nettie and John.

(9) W. T. Avery was married to Missouri Sims. Their children were Adelia, Adolphus, Jessie, Shirley and William Avery.

Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.

Battle Statistics

  • Died in Battle: No
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: Capt. Jesse Billingsley

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1809 Oct 15
  • Birthplace: North Carolina
  • Origin: Missouri
  • Came to Texas: 1832 Nov 12
  • Date of Death: 1889 July 17
  • Burial Place: Texas State Cemetery, Austin, Texas
  • Bounty Certificate: 9491
  • Donation Certificate: 176
  • Wife: Elzina Weeks
  • Children: Nancy Avery Bryant; Malinda Avery; Vincent Avery; Willis Avery; Lucinda Avery Kimbro; Henry Avery; Calvin Avery; Harriet Avery Christian; W. T. Avery