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Bulloch Genealogy by Roger Allen
Mathis clan makes move to Bulloch
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    Many in Bulloch County recognize that the Mathis’ and Matthews’ families were some of the first to settle in the area. Their first ancestor, as far as I have been able to ascertain, would be Robert Edward Mathis. He came from the small Welsh town of Mathias. Robert was born in 1640, and married Sarah Bishop. They had two children: James Ezekiel Mathis, born in 1670 and Edmund Mathis, born in 1675.
    Ezekiel married Elizabeth Boddie in 1714, and they had seven children: Sarah, Mary, Enos, Unity, Moses, Edmund R.S. and Elizabeth. Their family sailed from Liverpool in August of 1720. His father, Robert, may have accompanied him, as it is reported that two Mathis families sailed for Jamestown, Va., arriving in November of 1720.
    Records show that a Robert Mathis went to northern Pennsylvania, and Edmund stayed in Virginia. Edmund R.S. (as he is known to Genealogists) was born in 1720 in the Isle of Wight area of Virginia. He is considered to be the first American ancestor of the Bulloch County Mathis families.
    In Virginia, there were several new ways the family name was being spelled: Matthias, Matthis, Mathews, and Matthews. Edmund R.S. married Mary Mollie Price, and it is suspected at least one other woman whose name has not survived. Mary eloped with Edmund after her father refused to give his consent. She rode some 650 miles with Edmund to the place that became their new home: Taylor Bridge Township in North Carolina.
    Edmund is said to have had at least one other wife and had a total of 22 children, not all of whom made it to childhood (as many as five are said to have died in infancy). Those said to be Edmund’s children are: Edmund Jr., Edmund III, Elizabeth, Esther, Ezekiel Jr., Harmon, Rice, Jemima, Lazarus, Mary Ann, Olive, Oliver, Sarah, James, Tomsin (or Tomzin), Sabra, Zacheus, Edith (also called Eady or Edah), John, Annie and Thomas, along with several whose names are unknown.
    Edmond served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War from 1776 to 1778. He (apparently) was his company’s fiddler and served under Captain Turner in the Duplin County Militia (part of which later became Sampson County). Several of his sons are also listed as having served under Captain Turner, whose company was actually mustered at the Mathis plantation. Edmund Jr. served as the Justice of the Peace for several years in Duplin County, N.C.
    He built a big plantation at the Six Runs Branch of the Black River. He quickly established himself as the owner of the largest naval stores business in the Wilmington, N.C. area, shipping tar, pitch, turpentine and produce by raft to Wilmington. While on business he traveled to Georgia and decided to settle in Bulloch County, establishing the BC branch of the Mathis clan. Edmund died and was buried in Duplin County in 1783.
    Edmund’s son Rice was born in 1754 and married Civility (or Civil) Goff in 1773. They had six children: sons, John (born in 1774), Edmund (born in 1776) and James (born in 1786); and three daughters, whose names are not known. Rice died in Duplin County, N.C. in 1793.
    Rice’s son John married Phoebe Alderman, and after she died, married Susannah Edmondson. Some researchers say that Edmund also married Susannah’s sister, Nancy, after she died, and that as many as 11 of the children may be hers. John and his wives had a total of 23 children. They were David, James, Rice, Neil, Thomas, Civil, Jemima, Miles, Elizabeth, Riley, Rebecca, Nancy, Phoebe, John, Matthew, Sarah, Pollie, Martha, Edmond, Susannah, Henry M., Hiram Monk and Saleta Ann.
    John and his wives moved from North Carolina to Bulloch County, Ga., in 1803. Here, John served as the Justice of the Inferior Court in Captain Fred Williams’ District of BC, and then as the Sheriff of BC from 1816 until 1822 and from 1825 through 1826. Eventually, John and some of his family moved to Lowndes County. Many of his children, however, stayed behind in Bulloch County.
    Rice’s son Edmund married Unity Register and they had four children: Bunyan (born in 1800), John (born in 1802), Tyre (born in 1810) and Nancy (born in 1812). They settled in Bulloch County for a while, and then some of them moved (apparently) first to Appling and then to Lowndes County.
    Rice’s third son, James, married Rhoda Monk, and they had at least seven children: Wealthy, Pollie, Phoebe, Elizabeth, John, Mahlon and James W. While they spent time in Bulloch, they lived first in Appling, and then Lowndes County, Ga.
    You can E-mail comments to Roger at roger
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