Colorado County Biographies

Do you have biographies you would like to share?

Thomas M. Matthews

1839 - 1872

Presented to the Shropshire-Upton Chapter
United Daughters of the Confederacy No. 361
Columbus, Texas
April 14, 2005

Thomas M. Matthews, my great grandfather, is my Confederate ancesetor.

Thomas’s grandfather was Mussenden Matthews who was born @1752 In Ireland. Family tradition says Mussenden immigrated to the Colonies from England and that he was a Presbyterian minister who had fled religious persecution. If he was a minister, he did not practice that profession. He was a plantation owner, officer in the Revolutionary War and a public official in several capacities. The first record that we can find of Mussenden was in 1778. He was on the 1778 Tax List for Rowan County, North Carolina. At that time he was a 27-year-old military officer.

[Statesville Sentinal – February 1915
Abstracts of Wills and Estates records of Rowan County, North Carolina, 1753-1805 and Tax Lists of 1759 & 1778, Jo White Linn, C.G., 1980
Sketches of North Carolina, Historical and Biographical, Illustrative of the Principles of a Portion ofher Early Settlers, by Rev. William Henry Foote, New York: Robert Carter, 58 Canal Street, 1846. pp 324-326.]

Mussenden first married to Anne Sloan @ 1779. She was the daughter of Fergus Sloan and Ann Elizabeth Robinson. They were the parents of five children. Anne died 17 October 1805 at the age of 54.

[North Carolina Revolutionary Soldiers, Sailors, Patriots, and Descendants, Vol. I, Georgia Pioneers
Publications, P. O. Box 1028, Albany, GA 31702, p. 143
Tombstone, Cemetery at First Presbyterian Church , Statesville, North Carolina, per Joyce M. Stancik,
711 South McCarty Ave., Eagle Lake, Texas 77434 – October 15, 2004]

Mussenden then married Jane Knox Brandon in @ 1808, who was a widow. Jane was the daughter of Absolem Knox and Mary Morrison. Jane and her first husband, John Brandon, had four children. Jane’s husband, John, died in 1806.

[Stories and Records of the Families of Morris and Maudeetta Timbes, by Maude Etta Graham Timbes, 1994.]

Mussenden and Jane were parents of two children. They were Mussenden Ebenezer Matthews and Milas Brandon Matthews.

[Will of Mussendine Matthews, written 12 Jan 1825, Will Book, Iredell County, North Carolina]

Mussenden Matthews died March 7, 1830, at the age of 77 and Jane Knox Matthews died August 6, 1833, at the age of 66. They are both buried in the Fourth Creek Memorial Burying Ground in Statesville, Iredell County, North Carolina.

[Obituary of Mussendine Matthews, Raleigh Register, April 1, 1830.
Obituary of Jane Knox Brandon Matthews, Raleigh Register – August 27, 1833.]

I am descended from Milas Brandon Matthews, the second son of Mussenden and Jane Matthews. Milas Brandon Matthews was born August 12, 1809 in Iredell County North Carolina. Milas Brandon Matthews married Nancy Young on December 12, 1833, in Rowan County, North Carolina. Nancy was the daughter of Samuel Young. Milas and Nancy had 10 children, all born in Alabama. Their third child was Thomas M. Matthews. Thomas M. was born circa 1839.

[Will of Mussendine Matthews, written 12 Jan 1825, Will Book, Iredell County, North Carolina.
Marriage Bond – Rowan County, North Carolina, December 12, 1833.
Census Records – Colorado County, Texas – 1860.]

Milas Brandon and Nancy Young Matthews moved their large family to Texas sometime before 1854. The TEXAS SCHOLASTICS – 1854-55 by Clifford White – 1979 shows that Milas B. and Nancy were living in Jackson County, Texas, with six of their children, including Thomas M. Matthews, attending school.

[Texas Scholastics – 1854 – 55, by Clifford White – 1979, page 144.]

The 1860 Colorado County, Texas, Census records show that Milas B. and Nancy Matthews were living in Colorado County with seven of their children, including Thomas M. Matthews.

[Colorado County, Texas Census Records – 1860.]

In 1864, Milas B. Matthews was listed on the tax rolls as owning a plantation “around the bend across the river from Columbus with 21 slaves. In the County Deed Records there are listed several sales and purchases of property in this area by the Matthews family.

[Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal – May 1997 – Volume 7, Number 2.]

By 1870, Milas B. and Nancy were living in Grimes County, Texas. On the 1870 Census Record his occupation was listed as “Broom Mfg.”.

[The 1870 Grimes County, Texas Census Records.]

Milas B. Matthews died on March 18, 1884 and Nancy Young Matthews died on January 3, 1894.Both died in Navasota, Grimes County, Texas, and are buried in the Oakland Cemetery in Navasota.

[Cemetery Records – Oakland Cemetery in Navasota, Grimes County, Texas, as per Joyce M. Stancik,
711 South McCarty Ave., Eagle Lake, Texas 77434 – March 2005.]

Thomas M. Matthews married Mary Debora Burford 21 May 1861 in Colorado County, Texas. Mary Debora Burford was born May 19, 1842, in Tennessee. She was the second of four children born to Dr. Jonathan Burford and his second wife, Harriet B. Campbell Yates.

[Colorado County Marriage Records.
Burford Family Files copied from files of Mary Elizabeth Hopkins – 1982.]

In 1860 and 1861, the strife between the Northern States and the Southern States was growing stronger. The issue of slaves was the issue that seemed to be causing the political unrest in the United States. The Southern states needed the slaves for labor on their plantations. As war seemed inevitable, local plantation owners became involved. In early 1860, Colorado County men organized several new militia companies. News of the battles being fought in the North reached local citizens.

[Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal – May 1997, Volume 7, Number 2, page 75-78.]

In early 1862, Richard V. Cook was recruiting local men to prepare for war. R. V. Cook’s Company was formally organized on March 22, 1862 and was admitted into the Confederate army as Company D of the 21st Texas Volunteer Infantry Regiment. These men spent most of the war in Texas. Before the war was over, full one-third of the county’s eligible male population served at least some time in the army of the Confederacy. According to a count based on Eighth Census of the United States, Colorado County, Texas, there were 1343 males between the ages of 12 and 45 in Colorado County in 1860.

[Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal – May 1997, Volume 7, Number 2, page 84.]

After the Union Army defeated the Confederates at New Orleans, in early 1862 they came on down the Gulf Coast and after meeting some resistance from the Confederates, soon occupied Galveston, Texas, as well.

[Battle of the Bay – The Civil War Struggle for Galveston, by Edward T. Cotham, Jr.]

Thomas M. Matthews enlisted in Co. D, 21st Texas Infantry, Griffin’s Battalion by Captain R. V.Cook, on April 24, 1862.

[Confederate Service Records.]

On August 29 and September 1, 1863, Thomas M. Matthews was issued clothing. In September and October, 1863, Co. D, 21st Texas Infantry was sent to Sabine Pass. They arrived during the Battle of Sabine Pass.

[Confederate Service Records.]

Thomas M. Matthews was detailed with Co. D, Griffins Battl., R. V. Cook, Commander, to the signal corps at Galveston, September 28, 1863, by orders of General Magruder.

[Confederate Service Records.]

On January 1, 1864, Thomas M. Matthews is listed as an operator, with the Signal Corps, Galveston, Texas.

[Confederate Service Records.]

He was re-assigned along with the entire Co. D, 21st Texas Infantry to 3rd Company A, 13th Infantry in November 1864. He remained in service in Galveston until April, 1865.

[Confederate Service Records.]

Thomas M. Matthews was released as a Prisoner of War, on August 8, 1865, in Colorado County, Texas.

[Confederate Release from Service Record – Number 1638 – August 8, 1865 – Colorado County, Texas.]

Thomas M. Matthews died in February 1872, at the age of 32, in Colorado County, Texas. Mary was left with four minor children, ages 8, 6, 3 and l.

[Settlement of the Estate of Thomas M. Matthews, Recorded in Final Record, Book H, Pages 454 & 455, Filed on June 20, 1872, Colorado County Courthouse.]

Mary Deborah Matthews and her four children are listed on the l880 Colorado County Census Records. I am descended from their third child, John Young Matthews, born June 13, 1869, in Colorado County, Texas.

[Colorado County Censes Records – 1880.]

Mary Debora Burford Matthews died on September 21, 1890, at the age of 48, in Colorado County, Texas.

[Obituary – Colorado Citizen – September 25, 1890, Columbus, Texas].

Decendants of Thomas M. and Mary Debora Matthews have said that they are buried in the Columbus City Cemetery, near the fence on the south side of the Cemetery. There are no markers now. If markers were ever placed there, they may have been misplaced during the flood that swept across Columbus and Colorado County in the 1900’s.

Compiled by
Joyce Matthews Stancik
711 South McCarty Avenue
Eagle Lake, Texas 77434
979 234-3449

Special Acknowledgements

(Matthews Cousins)

Materials and information provided by Suzanne Reese – 2005

John MaKemie Wilson Matthews and Amanda Tate Allen by
Barbara Gunn Ryon – 1990

On The Watershed of Ecleto and the Clear Fork of Sandies by
Karon Mac Smith – 1983

Stories and Records of the Families of Morris and Maude Etta Timbes
by Maude Etta Timbes - 1994

 Do you have biographies which you would like to share? If so, contact the county coordinator. 

Return to Colorado County Biographies 

Return to Colorado County Home Page