Entries: 295    Updated: 2009-06-25 03:55:08 UTC (Thu)    Owner: Gary Matthews

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  • ID: I008
  • Name: Hardy MATTHEWS
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: ABT. 1800 in NC
  • Death: 15 Apr 1874 in Johnson Co, IL; bur. Rentfro Cem., unmarked grave
  • Note:
    The surname spelling in primary records (land, marriage, etc.) of this family are generally spelled "MATHEWS" or "MATTHEWS" while secondary records are generally spelled phonetically as "MATHAS," "MATHES," "MATHIS" or "MATHUS."

    The correct spelling and pronunciation for this line was defined by Nancy Isabel "Nicey" (MATTHEWS) BRINTON who, as a witness to her brother James' Civil War pension application, stated "I suppose the name is spelled Matthews or Mathews, but it is pronounced as Mathis."

    While the MATTHEWS (originally meaning "Son of Matthew") surname undoubtedly originated in several European countries, historical research indicates that the pronunciation varied by origin. The British and Welsh pronunciation is generally "Mathis" or "Mathes," French pronunciation was generally "Mathies" or "Mathieus" while the German pronunciation was "Matteus" or "Mattus."

    The earliest documented record for this line is Hardy's marriage to Nancy THOMPSON (d/o William M. & Margaret [JACKS] THOMPSON), in 1827 in Lauderdale Co., AL. Nancy's older brother, Samuel Jack THOMPSON, was also married in Lauderdale Co that same year. (Nancy's other siblings were Anna who m. Archibald MURPHY, Isabella who m. James L. SIMMONS and James whose info I am uncertain of at this point.)

    The THOMPSON/MURPHY/SIMMONS family group seems to have arrived in the Waterloo area of Lauderdale County and settled near Bumpass Creek some time after July of 1823. This observation is based on the fact that Anna (THOMPSON) MURPHY's 5th child was born on 08 August 1823 in Murfreesboro, Rutherford Co, TN. (for more on Anna's family, see

    As indicated by their proximity to each other in the 1830 census (see transcription, below), these families probably arrived at the same time. I cannot tell whether Hardy and/or his family was already there, arrived with the THOMPSON bunch or arrived later. Resolving that question is severely hampered by the fact that the 1820 Census for this county has been lost.

    Hardy was said to have been an itinerant minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church. This is supported by his obit and the fact that he performed several marriages as a "M.G." (Minister of God) or "J.P." (Justice of the Peace) in 1843.

    1830 Census - Lauderdale Co., AL
    p. 215MATHISJohn0010010 - 000101hh. age 30-39 Possible relative of Hardy
    (11 intervening households)
    p. 216 JACKEvan0000001 - 0hh. age 40-49 (Note 1)
    (intervening household)
    MATHEWS Hardy1001110 - 0001001hh. age 30-39 (Note 2)
    LEMONSJames L.0100110 - 00001hh. age 30-39 (Note 3)
    THOMSON, Samuel2001000 - 0001hh. age 15-19 (Note 4)
    (intervening household)
    MURPHYArchibald0100010 - 221001hh. age 30-39 (Note 5)

    Notes for 1830 Census:
    1. Probably Nancy's uncle (brother of Margaret JACK) because he's too young to have been Margaret's father. Absence of spouse or children is odd. I have been unable to locate any further records on him.
    2. The 0-5y/o male is son, James T., but who are the two other males -- Hardy's brothers or James THOMPSON? The 15-19 y/o female is Nancy, but who is the 40-50 y/o female -- Hardy's mother or Margaret JACK? If Margaret, where was William THOMPSON who supposedly died on 12/25/1840?
    3. I believe this is James L. SIMMONS and wife Isabella THOMPSON as the ages correspond w/known birth dates. Also, a "J. L. SIMMONS" is found in the next census near Samuel THOMPSON
    4. I believe this is Nancy's brother Samuel Jack THOMPSON though his census age is probably incorrect -- 15-19 years old is rather young for a father of 2 children.
    5. This is Nancy's sister Anna THOMPSON and her husband - names and ages correspond with known birth dates, etc.

    The 1840 census of Lauderdale finds Hardy and Archibald MURPHY listed next to each other in the "Panther Creek" district, but James SIMMONS and Samuel THOMPSON were still listed in roughly the same positions relative to John MATTHEWS. This leads me to believe that Hardy & Archibald moved.

    Both Arch MURPHY and Samuel THOMPSON died in 1843. Anna (THOMPSON) MURPHY subsequently moved her family to Mississippi and Sam's widow, Harriett (nee FERRELL), married John SCOTT and she and her children are found near Hardy in the 1850 Census.

    The 1850 Census finds Hardy still in Lauderdale Co, AL, while James SIMMONS and one of Samuel THOMPSON's elder sons have moved to Hardin Co, TN.

    By 1860, Hardy's entire family has relocated to Hardin Co, TN. Also in this county are Hardy's two married children, John with wife, Fetny TACKER, and Malinda with husband, Robert STOUT. Hardy's household in this census consists of the unmarried children (except James who is living with Robert & Malinda STOUT) from the 1850 census, an additional child, Isaac H. (born abt. 1854 in AL), and Isabella SIMMONS. Since James SIMMONS is not listed in this Census, he probably died between 1850 and 1860.

    Following the outbreak of the Civil War, Hardy's two eldest sons, James & John, joined the Union Navy in February of 1862. Some time between that date and June of 1863 (when John is discharged), Hardy's family (except Malinda) again relocates en mass -- this time to Massac Co, IL.

    Oral family history states that the family lived in Livingston Co, KY for a while before settling in IL, but the only supporting evidence I can find for this statement is the fact that John's wife, Fetny, is consistently shown as having died in Smithland, Livingston Co on 15 Jun 1863. However, statements in John's pension application confirm the place of Fetny's death but seem to indicate that the rest of the family was in Massac Co by this time.

    1870 would be the last census year in which the Hardy MATTHEWS family would be found living close to each other. Hardy & Nancy's children, "Nicey," Robert and William are still at home, but Isaac (who would have been 16) is not listed. John is in Williamson Co, IL, near his in-laws, while Joshua & wife, Ben & wife and James & wife are all next-door neighbors to Hardy. Malinda is still in TN with her husband but I can't find Margaret & her husband B. F. HAMMONS.

    By 1880, Hardy and James are dead, John is still in Williamson Co and Ben is still in Massac Co, but I have been unable to find Nancy or any of the other children in the census for that year.

    Hardy died intestate. Estate admin documents on file at the Johnson County, IL, court house. Nancy's petition to be appointed administratrix of his estate gives date of death as 15 Apr 1874 as opposed to the date given in the obit, below.

    Weekly Times (Massac Co.?, IL)
    May 30, 1874
    Died -- Elder Hardy Mathis, of Johnson county [IL], died on the 21st instant [this month], at the age of 75. He was a minister of the M. E. Church for many years, and left many friends to mourn his loss.

    Father: Unknown MATTHEWS b: in of North Carolina

    Marriage 1 Nancy THOMPSON b: ABT. 1811 in TN
    • Married: 27 Jul 1827 in Lauderdale Co, AL
    1. Has Children James Thomas MATTHEWS b: ABT. 1830 in Lauderdale Co, AL
    2. Has No Children Malinda Freeman MATTHEWS b: ABT. 1831 in Lauderdale Co, AL
    3. Has Children John Neuton MATTHEWS b: 26 Mar 1833 in Lauderdale Co., AL
    4. Has Children Margaret Ann MATTHEWS b: ABT. 1834 in Lauderdale Co., AL
    5. Has Children Joshua W. MATTHEWS b: ABT. 1836 in Lauderdale Co, AL
    6. Has No Children Nancy Isabel MATTHEWS b: 14 Sep 1838 in Lauderdale Co, AL
    7. Has Children Benjamin F. MATTHEWS b: 18 Oct 1840 in Lauderdale Co, AL
    8. Has Children William T. MATTHEWS b: Apr 1842 in Lauderdale Co, AL
    9. Has No Children Hardy MATTHEWS b: ABT. 1847 in Lauderdale Co, AL
    10. Has Children Robert H. MATTHEWS b: ABT. 1851 in Lauderdale Co., AL
    11. Has No Children Isaac H. MATTHEWS b: ABT. 1854 in Lauderdale Co., AL
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