Augustus Thomson Kerr and spouse P.(Patsy?) Antoinette Moore arrived in the Mexican state now called Texas in April 1831. Almost all of the children of Lucy Fontaine Thomson and Hugh P. Kerr moved to Texas at that point, planning to take possession of a grant offered by Mexico through her brother, Alexander Thomson, an empresario for Robertson, who's colony was north of Stephen F. Austin's. When they arrived, they learned Robertson had lost his license due to bringing in non-Catholics, so they bought land in the northern part of Austin's colony, just north of what is now Burton. FYI, the Kerr's were huge Methodists, giving land at every stop for (1) a Methodist church, (2) a Masonic lodge, and (3) a school, so they exemplified the settlers Mexico did not want. Kerr Settlement sprang up, with a good number of kin families living there.
In 1835 the younger Kerrs participated in the Texas Revolution, while Hugh roamed the southern US raising money for the cause. After the fall of the Alamo, as Santa Anna's army moved east and north, the Kerr women and possibly AT (not certain) fled to Autauga Co. Alabama, where Antionette was seemingly from, and where she and AT had previously lived (based on old Alabama records). This flight from Texas by women and children, with some men to protect them, is generally called the Runaway Scrape. Their son (my Great Great Grandfather) Monroe Pierce Kerr was born while they were there. After San Jacinto, everyone moved back to the Brenham/Burton area, and AT is found as postmaster at Gay Hill many years later, so they must have stayed in the area. The area of the settlement, along Kerr Creek, is in private hands, as is the cemetery, but I've been allowed to ride around there - some restoration going on, by the owner, who is a big-time construction company owner out of Houston. The Kerr's gave land after the Civil War to build a church, Masonic Lodge, and school at Union Hill, established just south of Kerr Settlement to lure settlers. Both communitiees died when the train chose a route through what is now Burton.
I can't really say why AT and family left Alabama, nor can I say why Hugh gave up his appointment as customs inspector at New Orleans, or why the rest of the family moved from Bradshaw Creek, TN to Texas. I assume the lure of land and adventure was great; the sign of the times was GTT, so who knows what spurred people.