Grandchildren & Descendants of Andrew and Elizabeth Zumwalt Kent
Children of David Boyd Kent & Elizabeth Billings
Children of David Boyd Kent & Margaret J. Waldrope
Bosman Clifton Kent (b. 1889)
Child of Sarah Clifton Kent & Abraham Dillard
Sarah Elizabeth (1839-1922)
An article by Sidney Lord Richards in The History of Gonzales County, Texas relates that William H. H. Baldridge, second husband and cousin of the widow Sarah Clifton Kent Dillard "was made guardian of his two-and-a-half-year-old stepdaughter Sarah Elizabeth Dillard yet he did not take proper care of her. She was cared for by her aunt Susan Beason Dillard Burnett and by her cousin Elizabeth Ann Dillard Gates as well as by her grandmother Elizabeth Zumwalt Kent. Sadly, her grandmother Kent died in 1844 and her stepgrandfather Joseph Kent died in December, 1849. In 1850 her uncle David Boyd Kent was then made her guardian, and knowing she had but little education, arrangements were made for her to board, attend school and live with George Tennille Sr. and his wife Sarah Davis Tennille. The Tennilles were good friends of her parents, and no doubt she was happy with her new life. By this time Cousin Elizabeth Ann Gates, her husband Samuel Hardin Gates, her aunt Susan Dillard Burnett and her husband William Burnett were living on their leagues of land which adjoined and not too far from the Tennilles. There was also a young girl named Elizabeth Davis living with the Tennilles who had become Sarah Elizabeth's very best friend. This friendship was to last their lifetime. Elizabeth Davis married Roscoe "Ross" Roebuck in 1852, moved to Goliad and later back to Salt Creek near Pilgrim. After Elizabeth left, Sarah Elizabeth completed her education. She spent some time with her Kent relations, Adam and Jane Strain Kent Zumwalt, and went back again to be with her Gates and Burnett and Dillard kin. In 1856 Sarah Elizabeth was visiting the Burnett and Dillard cousins and happened to meet young Crawford Clifton Burnett from Spring Creek who was with his friend and former brother-in-law Winslow Burns. They met, fell in love and were married August 6, 1857 by Reverend A. Davidson in front of the fireplace in the home of Samuel Hardin Gates and his wife, her cousin Elizabeth Ann Dillard Gates."
Children of Louisa Naomi Kent & James Billings
Children of Bosman Clifton Kent & Rebecca Billings
Children of Mary Ann Kent & William Byas
In the 1850 census of LavacaCo, Mary Ann is listed with sons William and Joseph Byas. Children John C. (b. 1852), Mary A. (b. 1854), Isaac (b. 1856), Susan Emily (b. 22 Jan 1858), William Benjamin (b. 1861) and William Riley (b. 25 Dec 1864) are thought to be born while the family was living on Mary Ann's inheritance on the original Andrew Kent land grant.
Oldest son Joseph Byas known as Joe was the source of much oral family history. He maintained the farm on Big Brushy Creek while his father was on the road at an early age. Joe Byas never completed full schooling, but he tells of the one room school of the area and a strict schoolmaster whose prized teaching tool was a large atlas which he would only let the children touch under strict supervision. Normally he sat on the large book in front of the class, but pulled it out when needed and sat back down in his chair with the book on the desk. For a joke, the kids placed a freshly killed water moccasin under the book one day, the teacher pulled the book out and sat right back down on the soft snake and with panic jumped up again. Some snake blood got on the book. The children were marched around the room until someone broke and confessed, with the guilty receiving a severe whipping. Joe Byas related another incident where at the local swimming hole on Brushy Creek where his friends all would race to dive in the water on a hot summer day. The first one in one day proudly was standing with head above water in what they thought was the deepest part of the hole warning the others to be careful for he was standing on a very large log at that point. He suddenly realized that the log was moving and a gigantic alligator surfaced from under him. Joe Byas later joined his father in the freighting business learning by heart every stop and person between the coast and his home area to Austin and San Antonio.
While William Byas was on duty in Co. A of the 34th Texas Cavalry, Alexanders Regiment, 2nd Partisan Rangers of the CSA in 1862, Mary Ann sent Joe with a horse to inform his father of the urgent need of his presence. Joe replaced William in training at the age of 15 while he was on leave, but went home because of the difficulty of the training for a 15 year old. On the way he met father William returning to duty and rode his horse back home. Joe maintained the family under the difficult conditions of war until father William Byas was furloughed because of illness from his post in Louisiana in Mar 1864. He returned but again the rheumatism was too severe and he was transferred to a local reserve unit in Texas. He died prior to activation of his unit in Feb 1865 at age 41. Joe Byas expanded his work in the freighting business after the war from the coast to many more points in Texas. Sickness, either malaria or typhoid fever, continued to plague the family. In one day John C. at 18, Mary A. at 16, Isaac at 14 and William Benjamin at 9 died of the fever. Both Joe and Susan Emily were near death at one time, but recovered. The story goes that mother Mary Ann Kent Byas had no burial clothes except rags for daughter Mary, but she had a bolt of beautiful new cloth with no time to make a dress before the burial. She took the young girls body down to the spring to wash her and prepare her for burial wrapped in the cloth, but the cloth fell in the spring and ruined by shrinking unevenly and the coloring faded. The four children lie in unmarked graves at Sunset Cemetery in Mountain Home near the current fish hatchery. Exact dates of this episode are unclear, but is estimated at sometime between 1870 and 1875 when Joe Byas began to keep records of his freight business and the family.
[Photo: Susan Emily Byas and James Nathan Brunson in Oregon ca. 1930. From descendant Stan Delk] On 15 May 1877, daughter Susan Emily Byas married James Nathan Brunson at the residence of his father in KerrCo. On 29 Jan 1879 Mary Ann Kent Byas married blacksmith and farmer Robert Chambers and became stepmother for two Thomas children, Emley about 15 and Zeb about 11 at the home on Byas Branch. Joseph Byas age 27 and Emley Thomas married on 24 Jul 1879. In his notebook was the passage "Joseph Byas and Emley Thomas Chambers was married July 24, 1879 and she died November the 4 on Tuesday and buried this November 6th 1879. Emley T. Chambers was born October the 14th 1864." Emley is believed buried in an unmarked site in Sunset Cemetery, Mountain Home near the Byas children. Her father Robert Chambers died soon after and is believed also buried in the cemetery. On 11 Jul 1881, Joseph Byas married Sallie Augusta North, daughter of Thomas Collins North, a family from near Jackson, Mississippi whose farm and home had been destroyed and looted by Gen. Shermans raiders. Joseph and Sallie Byas had two children, Sallie May and William Oliver, and the family lived on an 80 acre homestead on Byas Branch south of Mary Ann Byas Chambers home.
On 18 Jul 1881, to the surprise of family and friends, 56 year old Mary Ann Kent Byas Chambers married John G. Morriss who was about 71 and a widower of many years. In LavacaCo, he had been married to Sarah Billings. According to Byas descendants John Morriss was an exemplary husband and stepfather as well as a fine Christian. In 1885 both the Morriss and Joseph Byas families moved near Shumaker Crossing on the Guadalupe below Hunt in KerrCo. Joseph and Sallie Byas became active in what became the Hunt Baptist Church and had eight more children born at their home on Teagner Creek.
[Photo: Mary Ann Kent Byas Chambers Morriss, standing, with son William Riley David Byas and family. Photo from Stan Delk]. William Riley Byas, youngest son of Mary Ann Kent Byas, married Nancy Isabella Smith 26 Dec 1890 and had 13 children. They later moved to Edinburg, TX where he died in 1949. In 1897 John Morriss broke a leg, went to live and be nursed by his children, but never recovered dying on 28 Nov 1897 at age 87. He is buried in Sunset Cemetery, Mountain Home. Son Joseph Byas was living with his son, Lee Byas, in Rainbow Valley when on 23 Apr 1925, Lee found his 73 year old father dead by the side of their well where he was drawing water. He and wife Sallie Augusta, as is Mary Ann Kent, are buried in Nichols Cemetery. Nichols Cemetery is about 5 miles west of Kerrville on Hwy 27 (Main St.) on the right just past Goat Creek at 4 miles, but before Nichols Creek.