The Mathis, Mathews, Matthews Family
in Jackson County, Alabama
Note: The modern day spelling "Matthews" will be used on these pages with the understanding that past
spellings of "Mathis" and "Mathews" have been used by family members.
This is an extensive listing of ( Walker Matthews branch)
Walker Matthews was the first member of our family known to be in Jackson County, Alabama in the early 1800's.
Some indications show he may have come from Savannah, Georgia, other say Kentucky. He said his name as "Mathis"
but family members spelled it "Mathews". There was more than one Matthews family in the area. One group
that claims no relationship to Walker Matthews descended from William Matthews of Viginia.
They were James and John Matthews. Although no kinship can be established, the
families settled no more than three miles from the other.
To view, submit or help identify family photographs, go to
Benjamin Matthews was a Jackson County, Alabama Matthews who fought in the Revolutionary War. At this time he
cannot be linked to Walker Matthews' family. His wife's name was Mary.
Flat boaters or Mountain men
The Matthews family, along with other early Jackson county settlers, may have come down the Tennessee River
to Bellefonte, Alabama (See map) on flatboats along with their animals and belongings.
Some think that the Big Coon area was settled by pioneers that came over Cumberland mountain from the Winchester,
Tennessee area. There was a trail, up the mountain from Winchester, that followed the mountain ridges. That part
of Tennessee was settleed earlier than the Jackson county area. Coves off of the mountain, lead down into Paint
Rock , Big Coon, Little Coon, Crow, and other valleys.
Some think Walker was born in Savannah, Georgia. This is a good possibility. At the time of his birth, 1789
the state of Georgia stretched all the way to the Mississippi River, but only the coastal area was settled. there
was a small settlement just north of Savannah named, Mathews;. Many families left Savannah and moved
inland. Early trails lead northward to through the Carolinas toVirgina. Others lead to the upper Tennessee River
area in eastern Tennessee. One trail lead up through the middle of Georgia and on to Nashville.According to early
maps this trail went near the Chattanooga area and then turned south to go through the northeast end of Jackson
County and up through what later became Doran's Cove into Tennessee. Along this route are modern day communities
of Bridgeport, Bolivar, Mt. Carmel, Doran's Cove, and Orme, Tennessee. As a point of interest, in Savannah is a
place called Bonaventure. In our area near Bolivar is also a Bonaventure.
The Matthews family was among the earliest settlers of Jackson County, with some members being in the area possibly
as early as 1812, while the area was still Indian lands.Jackson County was established in 1819 and then only land
north of the Tennessee river was a part of the county. Many Cherokee Indians still lived in this area at that time,
mostly on Sand mountain, and were not moved West until the 1830's.
The Creeks and Coves
The early Matthews settlers traveled up the creeks and choose land in the remote coves of Jackson County (See map) They settled on creeks that were called "Big Coon", Little Coon",
and "Crow" creeks. They were said to have been, "Living on the Coon" or "Living on the
Early trails and roads
Modern day roads will leave one with the impression that the Matthews family was spread out in their choice
of living places. Following modern roads make what was then just a short horseback ride up and over a mountain
ridge into an extended car ride to travel around the mountains and up into the coves. Old maps show old roads and
trails connecting the families in nearby coves by the shortest distance of up and over the ridge. As the county
grew Matthews men worked on county road crews in lieu of paying county taxes.
Nearby creeks and the river were sources of food, work, and entertainment for several Matthews men. They were
trotline catfishermen, mud bank hand grapplers, and boatmen who used canoes and skiffs for a means of transportation.
Some were known to work on floating crop graineries.
Visit Matthews Cove online
One of the most remote areas of Jackson County, to this day, was settled by and named for the Matthews family.
(See map) Walker Matthews settled on the land around 1814 and legally obtained title
in 1830. The family owned the land until 1931. The cemetery (.5 acre) there is still family owned.
Like most other early pioneers, the Matthews settlers were farmers and some of the family still practice the
profession. They farmed land around Stevenson, Hollywood and near Crow mountain. A typical Matthews farm was mostly
self sufficient, with orchards and gardens, cows for milk, fish from the creek, beef and pork, chickens for eggs
and meat, bees for honey, turkeys, not to mention plentiful wild game. There were blacksmith sheds, corn cribs,
barns, chicken houses, and smoke houses, as well as out houses. They grew cash crops of cotton, corn, and potatoes
and timbered their lands for firewood, lumber for farm buildings, and to sell.
Early Matthews family farmers did own several slaves and they were willed as family property up until the War
Between the States. They were not large plantation owners but as many as sixteen slaves were in the family at the
start of The War Between the States. Some of the former slaves assumed the Matthews family name and became members
of the Jackson County population.
War Between the States
Many members of the Matthews family enlisted on the Confederate side of the conflict. One, William Jasper Matthews,
was killed in the war. Much of Jackson County was ravaged and left barren by federal troop occupation during the
last years of the war.
Matthews Cove has housed a few stills through the years and some Matthews men have been known
to tend those stills. County records show a James Matthews charged with distilling spirits in the
mid 1800's. County land titles also show a James Matthews purchasing land in remote areas of the county, about
that time, that had within their boundaries clear mountain springs.
Some moved on West
Some Matthews family members moved on from Jackson County to Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas after the
war, when conditions were awful in this area.
There are three known Matthews family cemeteries in Jackson County. (See map) One
is in Matthews Cove and two are in Little Coon Valley. The cemetery in Matthews Cove is the family of Walker Mathews.
The one at the head of Little Coon is the James Matthews of Lunenburg ,Virginia family cemetery and is well marked
but poorly kept. The other in Little Coon is unmarked and exact family is unknown.
The Family cemetery in Matthews Cove is the resting place of Walker Matthews and his wife. The cemetery is under
a large Cherry tree like the one shown above. Over a dozen of our family rest there. Marked graves are those of
Wiley Matthews and wife Zelphia. It is thought that a scratched limestone rock headstone is that of Luvina Mathews.
Thomas E. Jacks has written a family book, "Walker Matthews of Big Coon". He can be reached at
Extended Matthews Family Discussion list
All kind of Matthews' are here.
The John Robert Matthews branch of the family
submitted by Joyce Ann Matthews
This information provided by our cousin David pierce, who lives in Scottsboro, Alabama
This is concerning the William J. Matthews line (my particular line). First of all his wife was Caroline CROUCH,
the daughter of George Crouch and Nancy Carlton of Wilkes County, N.C. (See walker Matthews history in the Story
of Stevenson), etc. George Crouch died prior to his father's (John Crouch) death in 1828, but the Wilkes Co. probate
170. JOHN CROUCH. 22 July 1828, November 1828. Wife Abigail. (This was his second wife, as John Crouch married
Abigail Hampton in Wilkes Co. N.C. on Oct 22, 1817). daughter Sarah Crouch. Grandson Larkin Carlton. The rest of
my children, that is to say, my daughter Elizabeth Richardson, Tabitha Hoof, Wm. Crouch, John Crouch's heirs, Jacob
Crouch, Richard Crouch, Emelia Grayson, Polly Magee, GEORGE CROUCH'S heirs, Nancy Carlton, Thomas Crouch, and Jesse
Crouch. Exec: son Jesse Crouch, Witn: John Carlton, Judith Hampton. Book 4, page 120. Wilkes Co. N.C.
If you look in the 1820 NC census it has George Crouch 1 male 26-45, 5 females 0-10, 1f 26-45. So George died in
the early 1820's. On page 75 in the Stevenson Story, you read that Nancy Carlton Crouch and her 7 daughters came
to Jackson County, along with the Knights, Allisons and Carltons.
John Crouch's (George's father) first wife was Judith Wiggins (born March 3, 1747) in Albemarle Parish, Sussex
Co. Virginia. She was the daughter of Richard and Tabitha (?). This according to Ann Oppenheimer, 10715 W. Texas,
Wichita, KS., 67209.
Nancy (George's wife) Carlton was the daughter of Thomas Carlton (1756-1845) and Mary Land (who in turn was the
daughter of Thomas and Anna (Sumter) Land. (All this info is in a Heritage Book of Wilkes Co. N.C., which I can't
remember if I found in the Huntsville or Birmingham Library.) Thomas Carlton, in turn was the son of John and Elizabeth
Back to William J. Matthews, child #10, I believe should be Nicey Angeline. I have not seen Erica anywhere, in
William's probate, or in the 1870 census. So I know nothing of her.
Ok, now to my specialty. See child #2 Nancy Elizabeth Matthew (April 9, 1849-January 27, 1940) married James Martin
Bryant (August 8, 1845-March 12, 1906) on May 23, 1867. Martin was the son of John J (not A.) Bryant (Sept 3, 1818
Lincoln Co. Tn-March 7, 1898 Jackson Co.) who married Mary Arena Webb (Oct 11, 1820-March 12, 1906) on January
23, 1840. Her parents are unknown. John J. Bryant's parents were Randolph Bryant (Nov 18, 1786 Va-August 1, 1856
Jackson Co) and Mary Polly Alexander (Feb 1, 1796 Ky- August 7, 1856 Jackson Co.) Randolph was a farmer and Baptist
Preacher. His parents were John Bryant (November 5, 1754 Va-March 29, 1842 Jackson Co) and Judy Elizabeth Winfrey
who died in Jackson County on September 22, 1842. John fought in the revolutionary War and I have his pension records
if you so desire. Judy's parents were John Winfrey and Mary Turpin.
I wrote this in narrative form for the Jackson County Heritage Book, which you both need to buy. If you don't have
one, I'll copy these pages for you. Well, I'm about typed out for now. I will go on another line some other time.
sincerely, your cousin,
My Grandfather was Joseph Wheeler Mathews, third generation of Walker Matthews. He and my grandmother died on 10
Feb 1976 in a house fire in Stigler, Oklahoma, where they are both buried.
My Grandfather was part of a large group of Mathews who moved from Alabama and farmed in the valleys around Chickasaw
Creek near Kinta, Oklahoma. It is interesting to note that all of the many Mathews in this area spell their name
with one, rather than two "t's".
I have researched just a little and have found the name spelled Matthews, Mathis, and Mathews in various document
from the 1840 and 1850 census, Jackson County marriage records, and Civil War records of my great-grandfather,
Wiley Mathews and his brothers Joel, Walker, James, Godfrey, and William.
Wiley Mathews and Joel Mathews could not write, as evidenced by Wiley Mathews surrender oath to the Union and the
pension application to the State of Alabama by Wiley Mathews. Wiley and Joel, who was acting as a witness, signed
with an "X". Walker Mathews' wife, Sallie L Mathews, submitted a widows pension application in July 1914
and signed the form very legibly with two "t's".
I am sure we will never know when the variations of the name came about but I am sure it has a lot to do with whoever
recorded their names at the time or taught them how to write. I have been in the Army for 14 years and every day
it seems as if someone spells my name with two "t's" in official documents.
If you have any other information on the family, especially who the first generation Walker Matthews' parents are
I would appreciate you sending it to me. If you would like information on children and descendants of Joseph Wheeler
Mathews I would be happy to send it to you.
Rodney W. Mathews
PO Box 620222
Fort Rucker, AL 36362
Thanks for the Matthews Family information on the internet. My cousin
also did a book on the Matthews Family and I am surprised if it is not
in the Scottsboro library. My great-grandmother was Mary Ellen Walker,
married to Alfred(?) Dawson. She died in 1952, and I remember going to
her funeral at Bridgeport. The other family history will fill in many
of the blanks in this one, especially down some of the other branches.
Do you know of any Cherokee bloodlines in the Matthews family? Since
this area was still Cherokee territory at the time, they could only have
settled there that early if they had intermarried. My Moore family also
settled first in the Bellefonte area, originally from the Carolinas by
way of Greenville, TN, and they were part Cherokee. On the map, I do
not see any roads to the Matthews cemetery in case I want to visit my
ancestors' graves. Is there one? My nephew now lives in the old
Matthews home in Bridgeport. We have known the Bridgeport Matthews clan
all our lives and did not know we were related until my cousin did the
research. Anna Moore Carroll, (firstname.lastname@example.org)
You can communicate with me by sending email to:
Paul Richard Matthews, at email@example.com Scottsboro, Alabama
DEEMATH@aol.com Dee Matthews
firstname.lastname@example.org David Pierce
email@example.com Thomas Jacks
firstname.lastname@example.org Rodney W. Matthews
email@example.com Anna Carrol Moore
firstname.lastname@example.org Pam Matthews
The following search form will allow you to find the address and phone number of any Matthews presently living
in the United States.
If you are looking for Matthews family in Jackson County, Alabama, use the following city names for your search: