Lisa, thank you for sharing the 1850s letters of Joseph Duncan Abney.Most of us have family or branches of our family who came to Texas in early times.The letters make history come alive and personal.
George Abney, Ruth's ancestor from my last posting was (as shown in The Abney File, a two-volume book published in 2001)the son of our immigrant ancestor Dannett Abney, Sr. (b. 1659, your 5th generation).George, therefore, was the brother of your Abraham Abney (b. 1702, 4th generation) which is how Ruth ties into your line.(If you believe that Dannett's brother Paul was George's father, George was a first cousin to Abraham but also a half-brother.This belief was held in the early 20th Century and was published in some books then without proof.It is often repeated today.)
George Abney and his wife Unity had five sons who settled along the Saluda River in South Carolina not long before the Revolution.A great-grandson, Thomas Hamilton Abney, went back to Virginia after the War of 1812; married and later with his growing family moved to central Alabama.His oldest son, Ruth's grandfather, came to Texas.
My grandmother also had an uncle and a grand-aunt who came to Texas from Alabama in the 19th Century, but it wasn't until the last half of the 20th Century that my branch arrived.