John Matthew and Anne Archer line - Virginia

+6 votes
Any thoughts  about this publication:
"The Mathews Family", Cole, J.R. History of Greenbriar County. [Lewisburg, West Virginia: J.R. Cole, 1917] p.69-70
Is it a trustworthy source?

Even without the information from this book, it has become increasingly clear that this particular [[Mathews-1975|William Matthews]]  is  not the son of John and Anne Matthews.  I have added information about the incongruencies to his profile and his wife's.

Additionally, Bill Wright called attention to problems with the profile of the wife [[Wright-1819|Mary Wright]] in both 2011, and 2014, in the research section of her profile.

Before I detach this [[Mathews-1975|William]] as a son of John and Anne and  attach a profile for a documented William as a son to John and Anne (based on Cole's book) I am wondering if other folks would be willing take a look at these two profiles, and also provide an opinion about Cole's book.

I found one of my ancestors [[Mathews-167|Richard Matthes]] attached to this couple and to a son William of this couple and detached him from both because this undocumented line is not trustworthy.  Mary

WikiTree profile: William Mathews
in Genealogy Help by Mary Gossage G2G6 Mach 2 (28.0k points)

4 Answers

+7 votes

The information in the book is not backed by a source so it cannot be deemed reliable. It is better to search for original sources to document what the author stated.   Also the book on page 69-70 discusses a WILLIAM MATHEWS born in Augusta in 1741-2, and the profile you have linked is for someone born 1715 with a son William born 1769.  Digital image:

by Brenda Breland Shaffer G2G6 (7.5k points)
Hi Brenda - yes the William born 1715 is the person in question (and his wife) who I intend to detach.
And of course original sources are best.  But so far Cole's book is the only source I have found for the son William and his wife.  Still looking.  It seems that the less illustrious member of the family are not covered - anywhere! Mary
Hi Mary,

The Mathews section of the J. R. Cole book is quite accurate beginning with the life John Mathews (d. 1757), who settled in Augusta Co., Va (though the book is incorrect as to his parentage, which is currently unknown). The information about William Mathews (1741-1772), son of John and Ann (Archer) Mathews, in the Cole book is also correct.

A transcript of this William Mathews' will can be found here:
Thank you both for your replies.  Going to look into this more.
+6 votes
I'd like to keep this discussion open a bit longer.
Could William have married twice? 1st to Mary Wright, 2nd to Frances Crowe.
Could there have been two sons named William?
Could the elder and longer-lived Wm Mathews actually be a brother to John Mathews?

I am a descendent of the William Mathews (c 1715-1811), whose parentage we question. Of course I am eager to resolve it.
A transcription from the Mathews Family Bible appeared in the Arkansas Gazette in 1916. Although its publication didn't name his parents, John or Ann (Archer) Mathews have long been accepted as our ancestors. Several family members hired genealogists during the 40's nad 50s, who seemed to confirm it. Those records are now at Arkansas Archvies, not at hand at the moment.
I guess it's established that this Mathews family immigrated abt 1739 and settled in Augusta Co VA. John and Anns had 6-7 sons and at least 4 daughters. A number of Wm's children moved to KY and Ohio. Some desc's ended up in Arkansas, including Hanger family members/cousins. The Bible was last in possession of descendants of Peter Hanger, son of Frederick Hanger and Margaret Mathews, grandson of Peter Hanger Sr. of Augusta Co.
Source: L. Lewis Peyton's "History of Augusta Co, Virginia" gives a brief description of this Wm Mathews who married Mary (Martha) Wright. The author includes names of children and some of their descendants. His section on the Mathews family concludes with mention of George and Sampson being family members

Source: Rowland, Jane Thomas. "John Mathews, immigrant : papers from the family files with Rowland/Thomas connections and some ancestors and descendants of Jane Thomas Rowland and Arthur Ray Rowland" Title No 693024
Image 7 - names John and Anne's children with birth years much earlier than what we usually find. (e.g., Mary b. 1719, etc)
Source: Chancery Ct records, Augusta Co indicate that the older William provided keep for Rebecca (Sawyer) Archer when separated from her husband, John Archer.
Source: Family, memory, and property.  The house (my) William Mathews built (so-called "White House")  was still standing in the 1950s on the northeast side of Union Church Rd south of Hupman Rd in Augusta Co. I have video of old home movies of mother visiting it in the 1950s. She claimed the then-owners knew of the property's hisotry, that it belonged to Wm Mathews of the John and Ann Archer family. Circumstantial, I know.
But, the property seems to have transferred to Gaines family (2 daughters married Gaines men) before Valentine Hupman acquired it.. Land records might be a way to gain confidence in the relationship? Where was John Mathew's property in Borden's grant?
I guess my point is that the older William Mathews who married Mary Wright is related. The Bible record says he immigrated with his family when he was about 17 years old and was related to George, Sampson, Richard, John, Joshua, Ann, etc.
Source: North Amer Histories
by Frances Carner G2G4 (5.0k points)
edited by Frances Carner
The link in the reply above - that to the "North American Families" page found on -- shows an entry based on application from Ratcliffe, who was a descendant. It was she and her family who last possessed the Mathews Family Bible that listed William, George, Sampson, Joshua, John, Rachel, Anne and the rest of the Augusta Co Mathews clan descending from John and Ann (Archer) Mathews.
As you can tell, I am really obsessed with straightening out some of this.
This may indicate there were TWO SONS named WILLIAM? (My capitalization of John's children's names)

From "Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish settlement in Virginia Vol 3"

"Page 205. -- 20th April 1757. John Mathew's will, of Forks of James River, Gent. -- To son JOHN, tract where on son John lives; to son JOSHUA tract whereon son Joshua lives for life with remainder to Joshua's 2 children, Anna and Elizabeth, both infants; if they die in infancy, then to their uncles GEORGE and ARCHER and WILLIAM; to son RICHARD, 1 shilling; to son SAMPSON, tract called Kelley's entry on Borden's Branch, 350 acres; to son George, 1 shilling; to daughters, JANE, ANNE, RACHEL, 1 shilling each; to daughter ELIZABETH, infant; sons WILLIAM and ARCHER infants; wife Ann; to poor of Augusta Parish provided it is not divided before testors death. Executors, sons Sampson and George, who are to convey to William Bradshaw a tract sold to Bradshaw. Teste: Mathew Campbell, Anne Kelley, Jno Poage. Proved 16 Nov 1757 by Cambel and Poage. Executors qualify with John Poage, Jn Mathews"

I don't read it as two different Williams, but as three sons George, Archer, and William (in addition to Joshua, Richard, and Sampson).  William and Archer were under 21 when their father wrote his will.   "Infant" doesn't mean new baby, it just means they were under 21.  

The microfilm of John's will is almost illegible, but you can see the complete will at FamilySearch beginning at Will book, v. 1A, 1789-1828 (

Yes, "infant" meant any child under age of majority (21). I think I'm going to have to focus on land records or whatever can be gleaned from property records or mention of it. I know where he built his house and who owned it afterward. Just need to figure out who owned or leased it before?
William was left a share of the land his family lived on; land transferred in a Will didn’t generally result in a deed, unless William transferred it to someone else.
Yes but there's some information in the Chronicles of Scotch-Irish Settlers that may be useful. I know where Wm lived and built his house, which stayed in the family for a while. It's mentioned in Peyton's book and elsewhere.
Do you think there's a way to determine what portion of Borden's or Beverly's Grant "the John Mathews" owned or claimed and then later distributed to his heirs?

For instance -- where would John Mathew's original plat be in Augusta Co on a current-day map? Recorded in Patents No. 31 - 1751-1756. Reel 29, pp 664-5. Description:
"Beginning at a Stake near a blazed black Oak corner to Erwin Patterson's Land and running thence with his Line South 30 (deg) East eighty six Poles to three black Oaks in the old Patent line then with said line North 75 (deg) East 226 Poles to a white Oak North 18 (deg) East 54 Poles to a Hickory and black Oak corner to Thomas Williams Thence with his line North 35 (deg) East 114 Poles to a white and black Oaks corner to Williams's Then North 70 (deg) east 102 Poles three white Oak Saplins in William's line then North 3 (deg) East 238 Poles crossing Mill Creek and another Branch to two white Oaks then North 82 (deg) West 201 Poles to a white and black Oaks West 120 Poles to between two black Oaks then North 40 (deg) West 100 Poles to a white Oak on a Hill South 62 (deg) West 160 Poles to a white and black Oaks South 25 (deg) East 86 Poles to three white Oak Saplins then North 85 (deg) West 96 Poles to a black and white Oaks then South 59 (deg) West 96 Poles to a black Oak and South 17 (deg) East 22 Poles to a black Oak and Hickory Corner in Poage's Land with his Line South 40 (deg) East 1 Poles crossing Mill Creek to a red Oak Then South 30 (deg) West 90 Poles to a large Chestnut Then South 40 (deg) West 212 Poles to a red Oak and Hickory South 100 Poles to three black Oaks South East 46 Poles to two black Oaks and a white Oak in Erwin Patterson's Line with said Line North 59 (deg) East 326 Poles to the Beginning."

There are some maps that show the original patentees; to find the land today you’d have to trace the deeds forward until there’s a recognizable landmark or address.  Sometimes you can find it by looking through road orders because the roads are still in existence.

See Source Imaged uploaded to profile for William Mathews (Mathews-1975)
Location of Wm Mathews house.

Thank you for your responses  I have just now seen the email informing of them.  I will focus my attention on all that has been presented too - after a good nights sleep.  Clearly, you are knowledgeable and invested in getting the family straightened out, Francis!  Also Kathy, Brenda, J. Matthews.  We should be able to figure it all out.

There was over 11 hours of constant loud frantic barking from a dog very nearby starting at 7:30am.  The longest break until 6pm was only 40 minutes.  Needless to say it is exhausting.  I usually nod off after the barking stops within an hour or two, of quiet to get everything done I need to do.  Usually the owner does not violate that way two days in a row.  Praying, tomorrow is a better day.
+4 votes
Please review my proposal:

1. Merge newly found duplicates; retaining sources and add research notes where needed.
Mathews-5774 < - > Mathews-1975
Wright-1819| < - > Wright-51454
2. Detach John Mathews (Mathews-168) and Ann Archer (Archer-258) from William Mathews (b. c 1715) for the time being.  But, include link to his disputed parents, John Mathews and Ann Archer, so cousins can find the profiles that currently exist.
I kindly ask that a note for Mathews-1975 be included in research section for Mathews-168 and Archer-258. I can add it or someone else can. It will help people find this potential family relationship. It might help avoid someone creating yet another duplicate.

I will *not* detach Mary/Martha Wright from her mother Malcome-1 and father Wright-1817 despite researcher's questions. I am very confident about this relationship.

One source is the Mathews Family Bible that I've already mentioned several times.
Besides Peyton's history, Waddell's Annuls, and professional research cousins contracted for SAR and DAR applications (copies stored in collection at AR Archives), information also came from living memory passed down through Gaines, Mathews, Hanger, Breckenridge families. (Ironically, the Caulkley Papers may have come from a Breckenridge cousin or her husband.)
Although I am not a professional genealogist and would never claim to be one, please consider that I might be basing conclusions on more than wishful thinking or online ancestry trees. Therefore, I'll add it to research notes.
What do you think?
by Frances Carner G2G4 (5.0k points)
Yes, Francis.  Sorry it has been four days.  Thank you for responding to my original question.  I think all your suggestions are excellent and of course well taken.  I will apply myself, too, tomorrow, to these ancestors of many of us, after a good night's sleep, in the event that I may notice something useful to contribute.  I appreciate all of your research.  I'm sure we all do.
I like to work on merging profiles and get them straightened out.  Sounds like you are ready to go on the merge and have a good plan . . . I say go for it.
I am happy to do nuts and bolts of the merging, if you like, and leave it for you to finish up and polish it in the way you envision.  I'll be back tomorrow, and awake! Mary
Please forgive me for trying to make a commitment, again.  It is impossible for me to commit to any plan as long as the harassing, intentional guerilla barking sessions are happening.  It is happening, again, today.
I need to dedicate my time to getting through to the city attorney, to learn why animal control refuses to enforce the ordinance.  And if that is not the solution forward, then I need to research what is.  So sorry.  I would rather be spending time at Wikitree doing what I can.

Francis Carner and Bill Wright - It looks like we do not have primary sources for the parents of Wright-1819| < - > Wright-51454.
How do we know her parents are: William Wright and Margaret Eleanor (Malcome) Wright?
We are going to have to find sources (other than ancestry) for these folks.  Let's get those sources you mention cited, Francis. 
I've had a long day . . . I can look for them online tomorrow and see about specific citations.
I can't do the merging though because I am not on the trusted list for

Mathews-5774 < - > Mathews-1975
Wright-1819| < - > Wright-51454

If you want to put me on the trusted list I will do the merges, otherwise I am happy to consolidate the bio info.
It can be fine-tuned, after, to make any needed changed. Mary

+3 votes
Has anyone seen the book The Mat(t)hews Family by John Boots, 1970?  This is an extensive work containing documentation of this Mathews line as well as other lines such as Paul and Taylor of early Botetourt/Augusta counties, VA.  The Will of William Mathews (b 1741) is printed and "is of record in Will Book "a", page 19, Public records of Botetourt County, Virginia.:  Francis is stated as his"dearly beloved wife" with eldest son John named and daughters Ann and Elizabeth.  Other sons, John, Joseph, and James are mentioned.  Also brother Sampson and George Mathews.  If you can find this book, it is an extremely valuable resource.
by Dusti Ide G2G4 (4.6k points)
Thanks for letting me know!  I downloaded it.  I have a hard copy but it doesn't have the photographs or the index.
While there are individual points of data in this book that are correct it is not to be trusted in general.  Boots covers, if I recall correctly, four unrelated Matthews lines.  He did no independent research on his own to my knowledge, relied on work done by others, warts and all, and just compiled it into a single volume.  When contacted several times over the years by my uncle in the 80s and me in the 90s and early 2000s Boots always deflected any questioning of his "work" and it's lack of original research.
I agree, generally speaking.  I think, however, that there were several editions.  My copy was taken from old diskettes 30 years ago when the PC was in its infancy.  His foreword "Read Me 1st" states that this is the 1970 edition.  I printed my copy from the diskettes and it requires a 4" (I think) binder with copies printed double sided. Whether or not he revised it as was planned, I don't know.  It is true that his work isn't original but at least it's sourced.  I would never accept his work (or any other) without finding original documentation.  I used it primarily for related families such as the Pauls and Walkers when I first got it. Haven't looked at it in a long time.  Thanks for making me reexamine it!

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