Our branch of the Mathews family first settled in Virginia in the early 1600s and migrated first to North and South Carolina and later to Clarke County, Alabama, in the 1830s. In the 1870s, a number left for Texas and established roots in the Dallas area.
Ancestors include: Josiah Allen Mathews (1803-1859) and Lucy Martin Mathews (1805-1879). Their offspring were: Joshua Louis Mathews, David Mathews, Martin Mathews, Nancy Ann Celia Mathews Hicks (Mrs. William C. Harrison), Elizabeth Mathews Harrison (Mrs. Robert R. Harrison), Lucy Mathews Summers (Mrs. Eldridge Simpkins), Josiah “Joe” Mathews Jr., Emaline Eleanor Mathews Green (Mrs. James Jefferson), Frances Posey Mathews, Mary Mathews Morgan (Mrs. Jack Morgan), Axeth Mathews Thompson (Mrs. John James), Elijah “Lige” Mathews, Marion E. Mathews, Amanda Mathews Green (Mrs. Alexander Franklin), and John Mathews.
Descendants of these Mathews include the children of David Mathews (1826-1867) and Rebecca Waldrum Mathews (1821-1901): Eleanor Elizabeth Mathews Hallford (Mrs. A. Monroe Hallford), Celia Ann Mathews McMullen (Mrs. Calloway McMullin), James Waldrum Mathews, Mary Evaline Mathews Carmichael (Mrs. Dan Carmichael), Sophronia Alice Mathews Hicks Payne (Mrs. Joseph E. “Jodie” Payne), and Marion Jackson Mathews.
The family’s ancient roots back to Wales and the sons of Mathew ap Evan, including Sir David Mathew, a Welsh knight born around 1390 and buried in Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff. Our ancestors are said to have included a warrior referred to as Cunnedda, who came from what is now Scotland and conquered sections of Wales left open by the end of Roman occupation in the 5th century.
In the United States, the family is thought to have descended from the two Samuel Mathews who settled in Virginia in the early 1600s, the younger serving as colonial governor in 1657. A Mary Mathews who came from this line is believed to have married Isaac Mathews of Halifax County, North Carolina.
A son of Isaac and Mary, named for his father and referred to as Isaac Jr., appears in the records of the American Revolution and the court records of Edgefield District, South Carolina. One of his sons, Lewis Mathews, married Nancy Allen and their son, Josiah Allen Mathews, was the common ancestor of our Mathews in Alabama. Josiah married Lucy Martin, who, with her older sister, Elizabeth (Mrs. Elijah Chapman), moved to Clarke County. Josiah’s maternal grandfather, Josiah Allen, was killed in the Revolutionary War and Josiah’s father-in-law, Joshua Martin, also fought in the Patriot Army.
Five of Josiah and Lucy’s sons (David, Elijah, Marion, Josiah Jr., and John) served in the Confederate Army and most are buried in the Mathews Cemetery located adjacent to the original site of the family’s log home. These Mathews were farmers. Because of the economic depression following the Civil War, some decided to move to Texas. We now have documents from the Texas branch which include John Mathews, Nancy Ann Celia Mathews Hicks, and her son Joshua I. Hicks. The family’s Bible was sent to us for our family historical records.
In Alabama, families that descend from Josiah and Lucy’s son David Mathews and his wife Rebecca Waldrum Mathews still live around Grove Hill and farm some of the 19th-century farmstead. The Mathews, Martins, Chapmans, and later in-laws, the McLeods, created a community in the 1830s just south of Grove Hill where Josiah and Lucy built their log home. This house has now been restored and moved to the grounds of the Clarke County Historical Museum.
McLeod Family Connection
The McLeods became part of the Mathews genealogy when Frances Isabella McLeod married James Waldrum Mathews. She was the granddaughter of Neal McLeod who is discussed in Walter Davis’ article, “The McLeods of Clarke County: A Thousand Year Journey” that appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of the Clarke County Historical Society Quarterly. The Society can be reached at www.clarkemuseum.com.