Horatio Chriesman was born 13 August 1797, in Fauquier County, Virginia. He moved to Kentucky and then to Missouri, where he worked as a surveyor and married Mary Kincheloe in 1818. He chartered the schooner “Old Sun” and prepared to move with William Kincheloe’s family to Texas, but his wife Mary died at New Madrid before the expedition started. Horatio, his son Lewis, and other members of the party reached the Colorado River in Texas on 19 June 1822. He was one of the “Old Three Hundred” of Stephen F. Austin’s first colony in Texas. Horatio was chief surveyor of Austin’s colony from 1822 until 1836. He was also Alcalde at San Felipe and Capitan of the militia which caused him to be in many Indian fights.
In 1825, in San Filipe, Horatio Chriesman married Augusta Ann Hope, born 29 November 1806, a daughter of James and Mary England Hope. He signed the official call for the Convention of 1832, petitioned for the organization of Washington Municipality in 1835, and was defeated that year in the race for the office of Register. After attending the Convention of 1836, he started moving his family and others east beyond the Trinity River, having reached Jefferson County when they learned of the Battle of San Jacinto. Between 1842 and 1846, Horatio moved his family to what is now Burleson County, near present Deanville, Texas. There he donated 15 acres of land to the Methodist Church for a cemetery, church, and school. Mrs. Augusta Hope Chriesman died 25 June 1870, and was buried in the Chriesman Chapel Cemetery, on land that had been donated by her husband. Horatio Chriesman was living with his daughter, Mrs. Mary Jane Chriesman Thomson, near the present town of Chriesman, named for him, when he died on 21 November 1878, and was buried in the cemetery bearing his name, Chriesman, in Burleson County, Texas. There is a historical marker at his grave.
Horatio Chriesman had ten children: Lewis Chriesman, Rector O. Chriesman, Mary Jane Chriesman, Ellen Virginia Chriesman, Cornelia E. Chriesman, Richard O. Chriesman, Orsenith Wesley Chriesman, Sarah Ann Chriesman, Thomas Franklin Chriesman, and one other.
1. Lewis Chriesman, the only child of Horatio and Mary Chriesman, was born about 1819 in Missouri. Lewis assisted his father in surveying. In late summer of 1836, they were on horseback near a surveying camp when riding down to a creek to water their horses, a limb caught the lock of Horatio’s gun which fired and the ball passed through Lewis’ body killing him instantly. Lewis was about 17 years old. The heart broken father discarded his Jacob staff and never again engaged in surveying the land.
2. Rector O. Chriesman, born about 1828 in Texas, is reported to be the first child of Horatio and Augusta Chriesman.
3. Mary Jane Chriesman, born 11 August 1830, in Texas, is the first daughter of Horatio and Augusta. She married Thomas Coke Thomson in 1846, possibly in Milam County, Texas. Thomas was born 20 August 1820, in Tennessee, a son of Alexander Thomson, Jr. and Elizabeth Dowsing. He served as a Private in Company G, 2nd Texas Infantry, C.S.A. Mary and Thomas had at least four children: Horatio Thomson, born about 1847; Rector McDonald Thomson, born in 1849; Thaddeus Austin Thomson, born 17 January 1853; and Frances F. Thomson, born in 1859, and died 24 August 1864. Mary Jane Chriesman Thomson died 7 February 1877, and was buried next to her daughter in the Chriesman Cemetery. Thomas C. Thomson died 11 October 1901, and was also buried in the Chriesman Cemetery.
4. Ellen Virginia Chriesman, born in 1835 in Texas, married on 24 September 1854, in Burleson County, Texas, to McRuffin Nelms, who was born in 1828 in Georgia. They had at least two children: Henrietta Nelms, born about 1856; and Austin Nelms, born in 1858. Mrs. Virginia Chriesman Nelms died in 1881, and was buried in the Chriesman Chapel Cemetery, near Deanville, Burleson County, Texas. In this cemetery is a monument that reads, “In Memory of our Father Mc R. Nelms”, without any dates.
5. Cornelia E. Chriesman, a daughter of Horatio and Augusta Chriesman, was born in 1838, in the Republic of Texas. On 10 July 1853, in Burleson County, Texas, she married William Gaston Nelms. William was born in Georgia about 1829, a younger brother of McRuffin Nelms, and was an ordained minister of the gospel. He performed the weddings of Virginia Chriesman to McRuffin Nelms, O.W. Chriesman to Susan A. Hill, Richard O. Chriesman to Mattie Taylor, Thomas F. Chriesman to Viola Stamps, and many others in Burleson County, Texas. Cornelia and Rev. William Nelms had at least nine children: W.H. Nelms, born about 1855; Mary Nelms, born about 1856; Fannie Nelms, born about 1858; Cornelia Nelms, born in September 1859, died in 1878, and buried in the Chriesman Chapel Cemetery; Annie Nelms, born about 1862; Eddie Nelms, born about 1866; Walter Nelms, born about 1868; Sallie Nelms, born about 1871; and Jennie Nelms, born about 1875. In 1880, Rev. W.G. Nelms, Cornelia, and six children were living in Georgetown, Williamson County, Texas.
6. Richard O. Chriesman, a son of Horatio and Augusta Chriesman, was born in 1840, in the Republic of Texas. He married Mattie Taylor on 26 March 1869, in Burleson County, Texas.
7. Orsenith Wesley Chriesman, a son of Horatio and Augusta Chriesman, was born 29 April 1842, in Washington District of the Republic of Texas. He married Sue Abrigal Hill on 1 January 1861, in Burleson County, Texas. At the beginning of the Civil War, O.W. Chriesman enlisted in Captain Allen’s Company in the 17th Texas Infantry, C.S.A. and served until the end. He was in battles of Milliken’s Bend, Mansfield, Pleasant Hill, and others. Mrs. Sue Abrigal Chriesman, a daughter of W. J. and Sarah Coleman Hill, was born 15 June 1846, in Burleson County, Texas. O.W. and Sue Chriesman had at least ten children: Lela A. Chriesman, married Mr. J.N. Mayfield 26 January 1882; Ida Virginia Chriesman, born 12 January 1866, died 1 September 1870; Guy Rector Chriesman, born 27 January 1868, died 8 August 1874; William Horace Chriesman, born 8 August 1869, died 15 October 1895; John Wesley Chriesman, born 9 July 1871, died 18 October 1895; Sarah Chriesman, born in 1874, married Thomas H. Brewer, died in 1964, and buried in Caldwell’s Masonic Cemetery; Homer Eastland Chriesman, born 4 March 1876, died 23 September 1895; Bertha Eugenia Chriesman, born 26 November 1878, died 26 October 1885; Mabel Stevens Chriesman, born 10 April 1881, died 7 July 1888; and Richard Austin Chriesman, born in December 1885. Mr. Orsenith Wesley Chriesman died 5 March 1901, and was buried in the large family plot in the Chriesman Chapel Cemetery where his mother and his seven children whose deaths preceded him are buried. Mrs. Sue Abrigal Hill Chriesman died 23 July 1920, and was also buried in the family plot in Chriesman Chapel Cemetery near Deanville, Burleson County, Texas.
8. Sarah Ann Chriesman, a daughter of Horatio and Augusta Chriesman, was born 12 May 1846, in Burleson County, Texas. She married Arthur William Armstrong on 10 December 1868, in Burleson County, Texas. William was born in Ireland on 12 May 1837, and died 22 November 1909, in San Angelo, Texas. William and Sarah’s children were: one daughter Mary born in 1870; and four sons; Oscar Armstrong, born in 1871; Willie Armstrong, born in 1873; Arthur Armstrong, born in 1878; and Leslie Armstrong, born in 1883. Sarah was a member of the First United Methodist Church and a resident of San Angelo, Texas for 71 years. She was 101 years of age when she became a member of the Fort Concho Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas on 8 November 1947, a Real Daughter. Mrs. Sarah Chriesman Armstrong died 12 May 1951, at the age of 105, and was buried in Fairmont Cemetery in San Angelo, Texas.
9. Thomas Franklin Chriesman, a son of Horatio and Augusta Chriesman, was born in June 1848, in Burleson County, Texas. He married Viola L. Stamps on 16 March 1870, in Burleson County. Viola was born in December 1848, in Mississippi. Thomas and Viola lived in Ballinger, Runnels County, Texas with their two children; a son Hiram, and a daughter Nora, in 1880.
Horatio Chriesman, by Richard Austin Chriesman, undated.
Handbook of Texas Online; “Horatio Chriesman”; (accessed April 26, 2007)
Daughters’ Reflection; Daughters of the Republic of Texas; February 2008.
1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 Census of Texas.
Cemeteries of Burleson County, Texas; Burleson County Historical Commission; May 1988