Name: Jeremaih Mathews 1
Birth: ABT 1731 in Halifax Co. NC
Father: James Mathews Jr. b: ABT 1707 in Surry Co. VA
Mother: Ann b: 1708 in Halifax Co. NC
- Title: Greg Matthewsemail@example.com
Name: Susan Johanson's personal email
Text: My idea for this is mostly guesswork built on circumstantial evidence that so far I cannot disprove. It rests primarily on one fact that so far I can't find anything to refute: that the Jane Jordan I "chose" as the wife for James Mathews Sr. is not recorded as having married (which means that since she had no known husband nothing prevents her from possibly being the wife of James). It also depends a fair amount on a second idea that, while if I'm wrong on this it doesn't prove that James Sr. didn't marry Jane Jordan, but if I am correct then it certainly bolsters it. And, again, with the second idea there is nothing so far to refute it. To begin with I started out with the obvious fact that James Mathews Sr. was married to someone named Jane. I was getting really frustrated by having so many Mathews men from the 1700s who were married to women for whom I had no last name. So, I decided I'd find any Jane that might be his wife. I literally used the Surry County will abstract book to look through the index for any woman named Jane who a) was the right age to have been his wife and b) was not known to have ever married. When I came across Jane Jordan and did some research on her I was floored as all the pieces fell into place and while I cannot ever claim with 100% certainty that she was his wife, in my own mind I am certain of it. It is hard to describe my thought process with this as there were several bits of information that I already had that had nothing to do with Jane Jordan and once I started researching her everything fit in nicely with the idea. I will do my best to list everything so it hopefully all makes sense to you. These tidbits may seem to be in no certain order, but like I said I already had all of this in my head. When I was in high school in geometry class we had to prove these hypotheses where the teacher tells you to prove something about a shape or some lines and you do it all based on known geometrical rules, every piece of the proof depends on the previous bit of evidence until you work your way to the conclusion. What I'm about to describe is nothing like that! 1) Based on the Surry County tax lists going back to the 1660s I found an even earlier James Mathews than James Mathews Sr. who was the right age to have been the father of James Mathews Sr. He was living in an area surrounded by surnames that appear in Mathews deeds in later years. This earlier James appears in the tax lists in four separate years: 1677, 1678, 1679 and 1680. Based on the fact that in 1677 he is listed as a servant of Rich: Hogwood I figure he must have come over on someone else's dime and then worked as an indentured servant for a number of years. He likely finished out his servitude in 1677 or 1678 as afterward he is not listed as a servant. Indentured servants worked for a number of years so why wasn't he listed prior to 1677? I don't know, but I can say that he was likely in VA as early 1674 (I think, going on memory here) as in that year a James Mathews along with a son of Francis Hogwood witnessed a will in Surry County so it seems very likely to me that the 1674 James was the same as the 1677 James. We know from Charles City County court records that our James Mathews Sr. and his brother Thomas Charles Mathews were fatherless as of 1688 so whoever their father was died before then and since the James Mathews from the tax records disappears after 1680 then this might be him. For all four years that the earlier James is in the tax records he is listed in the district of Col. William Browne (important here, remember this name). In 1679 the earlier James is living with a Jno Browne (no idea who he was) and in 1680 he is listed as living with Col. William Browne himself ("living with" may be too strong, for all we know he was a farmer working Browne's land). What is interesting about the Browne family is that in the deeds of the 1700s and even going into the early 1800s in Halifax County the Browne/Brown family is one of the top 5 most common found in deeds that also mention Mathews (directly or indirectly) and I know this because I actually made a list! OK, so the above I already had in my head before hand. When I came across Jane Jordan and investigated her this is what I found out: 2) Jane Jordan was the daughter of Thomas Jordan and Jane Browne. Jane Browne just happened to be the daughter of Colonel William Browne. You can do more reading on this Jordan family here: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~sassytazzy/family/surnames/jordan/docs/jordanfambyjluther2.html. Thomas Jordan died in 1685 so we know Jane Jordan had to have been born 1685 or earlier. Since we know James Mathews Sr. was a young boy as early as 1688 this puts Jane at the prime age to have been James's later wife. 3) I have looked and looked and looked and I cannot find anything that remotely suggests this Jane Jordan ever married. She is mentioned in the will of her grandfather William Browne as Jane Jordan which was written in 1704 so we know she wasn't married at the time that will was written. This is a good thing as it makes something else fit perfectly that I'll mention below. 5) Of the sons of James Mathews Sr. I am absolutely certain that the two oldest sons were James Jr. and Thomas. Obviously we don't have anything to prove this, but two things about them stand out to me. One, James Jr. and his family out of all the Mathews sons appeared to be the most successful. They had tons of land and several were lawyers and judges and served as officers in the militia. We also know this to be true of the family of Thomas (his son Charles was a judge and a captain in the early days of the Revolution before he died). James Jr's family, though, of the two between him and Thomas just sticks out at me as the most successful. As this is typically the case with oldest sons in these days I theorize that James Jr. was the oldest. James Jr. acquired a patent for 850 acres in Brunswick County in 1728. I'm sure you had to be at least 21 to do that. If so then if Jr was exactly 21 then he was born at the latest in 1707. 6) If Jane Jordan married James Mathews Sr. then there is a 3 year window between when she is last known to have been referred to by her maiden name in her grandfather's will in 1704 and the latest date at which James Jr. could have been born -- 1707. This gives James Sr a little time for courtin' after her grandfather's death and the possibility that James Jr. was a little older than 21 in 1728. The patent process could take a year or longer so it is quite likely he was even as old as 22 in 1728 or maybe even 23. 7) Finally comes the conclusion to something that was always in the back of my head ever since I found the Charles City County court order that stated that James Sr. was apprenticed out to be a carpenter. How does one go from being the son of an indentured servant to being a carpenter (even if he was an artisan instead of a mere house carpenter) to owning over 2,000 acres of land and being the father and grandfather to men who were attorneys, judges and officers of militia? Answer: you marry into money! Jane Jordan's family were obviously wealthy; practically every man in her family was an officer and she also had state burgesses in her family.