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Below is a family biography included in the book, The History of Hardeman County, Tennessee published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1887.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Joseph A. Mathews, planter of Hardeman County, is a native of Abbeville County, S. C., born January 15, 1830, the thirteenth of fourteen children born to Joseph C. and Margaret (Brough) Mathews. The father, of Irish descent, was born in Abbeville County, S. C., and his occupation was farming and tanning. He was a Democrat in politics and an elder in the Presbyterian Church for many years. He died in his native county in about 1854 The mother was also a native of Abbeville County, S. C., and a member of the Presbyterian Church, and her death occurred in 1860. Joseph A. secured by his own efforts a practical education and for several years followed the tanner’s trade in South Carolina, but in 1848 immigrated to Tennessee and settled in Fayette County. He here followed the same business for four years but in 1852 bought four horses and began teaming from West Tennessee and northern Mississippi to Memphis. In the summer of 1860 he took a prospecting tour through Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana, but did not buy and soon returned to Fayette County and gave his attention to farming. In 1865 Mr. Mathews purchased the place where he now lives in Hardeman County, where he moved the next year, and now owns 850 acres of land in this county. September 15, 1857, he married Miss Ellen Morrow, a lady of highly respected family, born in Greenville County, S. C., June 22, 1822. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church and died February 27, 1880, leaving two children: William M., a young lawyer of much promise, and Jennie, a young lady of many accomplishments. December 1, 1881, Mr. Mathews married Miss Fannie Campbell, a most worthy lady, born in Mississippi, May 15, 1860. Mr. Mathews is a Democrat, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

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This family biography is one of 101 biographies included in the book,  The History of Hardeman County, Tennessee published in 1887 by Goodspeed.  The History of Hardeman County was included within The History of Fayette and Hardeman Counties of Tennessee. For the complete description, click here: History of Fayette and Hardeman Counties, Tennessee

View additional Hardeman County, Tennessee family biographies here: Hardeman County, Tennessee

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