Rachel Jane Carson1
Grandmother of Louise Underwood.
2nd great-grandmother of Laura Jane Munson.
- Family Background:
- Underwood and Allied Families
- Appears on charts:
- Pedigree for Louise Underwood
Rachel was a small child when the family moved from Catahoula Parish to Coahuila and Texas where her father obtained a Mexican land grant in Stephen F. Austin's first colony. Following the death of her father, sometime after 8 December 1830 and before the Texas Revolution in 1836, the family moved from their grant to Columbia (now West Columbia) where her mother operated a boardinghouse that catered mainly to the students of the Thomas J. Pilgrim school. (Pilgrim taught in Columbia between 1831-1836).
In April 1836, sixteen year old Rachel fled with her mother toward the Louisiana border in the mass exodus of Anglo colonists known as the "Runaway Scrape." They were fired on by Mexican soldiers at Fort Bend, but escaped unharmed. They traveled as far as what is today Montgomery County, camping there the night of 20 April. The next morning they heard the cannons firing at San Jacinto, but thought it was thunder. When news of the Texas victory reached them, they returned home to Columbia.
In 1838, Rachel's mother entered into a business relationship with Ammon Underwood and they commenced with plans to open a boarding house in the thriving river community of Marion. For that purpose property was purchased and work began to enlarge an existing two-room log frame cabin. It is presumed that Catherine Carson, who had prior experience running a boarding house, was going to run the business and that she, Rachel and perhaps her sons would live there. It was probably about this time that Ammon and Rachel began to take serious notice of one another, for Rachel was ten years younger than Ammon and then only eighteen. But whenever their relationship began and however it developed, by the time renovations were completed several months later, they had obviously made plans to marry and make the structure their permanent home. In the Underwood home seven children were born to them, four of whom reached their majority, married and had children. Sometime after Ammon's death in 1887, Rachel moved to Galveston where she lived out her life with her daughter Ella Borden, also a widow.
Rachel J. and Ammon Underwood appeared on the 1 June 1850 Federal Census of Brazoria County, Texas, enumerated 2 November 1850. Their children Joseph P. and Laura J. were listed as living with them, as were Rachel's mother and stepfather, Catharine J. and Gail Borden, and her niece Sarah J. Carson.4
Rachel and A. Underwood appeared on the 1 June 1860 Federal Census of Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas, enumerated 3 July 1860. Their children Joseph P., Laura J., Ella H. and Lendel were listed as living with them, as were Rachel's niece Sarah J. Carson, her mother C.J. Borden with her husband Gale Borden, Gail's daughter-in-law Luvica Borden and grandson Joseph Borden.5
Rachel and Ammon Underwood appeared on the 1 June 1870 Federal Census of Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas, enumerated 27 July 1870. Their children Laura, Ella and John were listed as living with them, as were their married son Joseph with his wife Louise and their daughter Kate, and Rachel's widowed mother Catherine Borden.6
Rachel Jane Underwood was named in Catherine J. Borden's will dated 9 January 1872 in Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas.7 Other than specific cash bequests to the three children of her deceased son John, Catherine left everything to Rachel, who was also named executor in the event that the first named executor, Ammon Underwood, could not serve. In that event, Joseph Patterson Underwood would have served as assistant executor.
Rachel was an honorary member of the Texas Veteran Association that was organized 14 May 1873.
On 25 December 1875, perhaps as a Christmas present, Ammon and wife, Rachel Jane Underwood, conveyed by gift of deed "to our beloved Son Joseph Patterson Underwood" their home in Columbia "but reserving to our own use the buildings formerly used by us as a Smoke house and Kitchen near the river with the enclosure as now fenced off, during the longest of either of our lives."8 Information from Rachel's great-granddaughter Catherine Munson Foster to Thurmond Williamson, a long time Munson researcher and author of The Munsons of Texas, an American Saga , is that Ammon and Rachel then moved into living quarters over their store. At least one other account states that Ammon continued to live in the Columbia house until his death in 1887.
On 10 September 1879, Ammon deeded to Rachel all of his interest in the firm of "A. and, J.P. Underwood" to satisfy his indebtedness to her for money borrowed and for land she pledged at his request; also to secure Rachel "against loss and Want" in light of his advanced age.9
R.J. and A. Underwood appeared on the 1 June 1880 Federal Census of Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas, enumerated 3 June 1880. Their son John C. was listed as living with them, as were their widowed daughter Ella Borden with her son Milam, and several black servants. The next household was that of David and Carry Nation.10
Ammon and Rachel Jane Underwood sold to C. Davis and W. Nash on 20 September 1882,
. . .two certain Sections of land of six hundred and forty acres each situated in said State and County about 16 miles N. 24 W. from the town of Brazoria, Said Pattents are no. 322 and 323, granted originally by the State of Texas to A. Underwood, both Patents dated April 11th 1872.Davis and Nash paid $640 down and two notes were made, the first for $320 @ 10% interest per annum due 60 days from the date of the note; the second for $320 @ 10% per annum due 12 months from the date of the note. Both were secured by a vendor's lien.11
Rachel J. Underwood and Ammon Underwood made their will on 3 December 1886 in Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas. The survivor was named sole heir and executor with J.P. Underwood, W.H. Diggs and J.C. Underwood, assistant executors. Upon the death of the second party, the estate was to be divided equally among their four children, Joseph Patterson Underwood, Laura Jane Underwood Diggs, Ella Harriet Underwood Borden and John Carson Underwood.
Rachel J. Underwood, widow of A., was living in 1891 at the southeast corner of Broadway and 13th, Galveston, Galveston County, Texas, with her daughter, Ella H. Borden. Living in the same household was Rachel's granddaughter, Miss Ella Diggs and A. Underwood.12
Children of Rachel Jane Carson and Ammon Underwood
- William Underwood b. c 1841
- Mary Catherine Underwood b. c 1843
- Joseph Patterson Underwood+ 1,13 b. 26 Feb 1845, d. 1 Feb 1925
- Laura Jane Underwood+14 b. 10 Aug 1850, d. 16 Apr 1938
- Ella Harriet Underwood+ b. 13 Oct 1852, d. 24 Jun 1912
- Lendol Underwood b. 1855, d. 1863
- John Carson Underwood+15 b. 4 Apr 1863, d. 11 Jan 1926
- [S49] Joseph Patterson Underwood entry, Brazoria County Deaths, certificate 699, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
- [S95] Undated letter from Catherine (Munson) Foster (Mrs. W. L. Foster; Angleton, TX 77515) to Peachy Borden, Undated; Brazoria County Historical Museum (Angleton, Texas), The late Mrs. Foster was great-granddaughter to the person she discusses.
- [S2] Brazoria County Marriage Book A: 83, no. 33, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
- [S55] Ammon Underwood household, 1850 U.S. Census, Brazoria County, Texas, population schedule, page 396, dwelling 225, family 225; National Archives micropublication M432, roll 908.
- [S54] A. Underwood household, 1860 U.S. Census, Brazoria County, Texas, population schedule, Columbia, page 19/63A, dwelling 163, family 150; National Archives micropublication M653, roll 1289.
- [S53] Ammon Underwood household, 1870 U.S. Census, Brazoria County, Texas, population schedule, town of Columbia, post office Columbia, page 186, dwelling 1674, family 1674; National Archives micropublication M593, roll 1576.
- [S97] Catherine J. Borden will (1872), Brazoria County Will Book, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
- [S81] Brazoria County Deeds, P: 273-274, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
- [S82] Brazoria County Deeds, S: 252-253, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
- [S52] J.P. Underwood household, 1880 U.S. Census, Brazoria County, Texas, population schedule, Precinct No. 2, Columbia, enumeration district (ED) 18, sheet 5B, dwelling 42, family 42; National Archives micropublication T9, roll 1292.
- [S79] Brazoria County Deeds, Z: 89-90, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
- [S96] Morrison and Fourmy's General Directory of the City of Galveston, 1890-1891 (Galveston: Morrison and Fourmy Co., 1891), viewed on Ancestry.com.
- [S1209] Joseph Patterson Underwood, death certificate 5124 (11 Feb 1925), Texas Department of Public Health, Austin.
- [S1204] Laura Underwood Diggs, death certificate 70479 (29 Jul 1938), Texas Department of Public Health, Austin.
- [S1231] John C. Underwood, death certificate 82 (12 Jan 1926), Texas Department of Public Health, Austin.