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Below is a family biography included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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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Judge Robert L. Matthews was born in Obion County, Tenn., May 25, 1843, and is a descendant of one of the oldest and leading families of the “Old North State.” His grandparents were among the early settlers of Tennessee, and Bayless D. Matthews, the father, was born in Giles County, in that State, and there grew to manhood. He was married to Priscilla Parkey, who was born in Christian County, Ky., located on a farm in Obion County, and became one of its public-spirited citizens and a wealthy man. He died in 1887. His widow, who survives him, lives on the old home farm with three of her children. Robert L. Matthews was educated in the public schools of Tennessee, and early in 1861 enlisted in Company E, Fourth Tennessee Regiment, Confederate States Army, and did active service until the close of the war. He was wounded at the battle of Franklin, and was taken prisoner, but was paroled and returned to his home. For gallantry at the battle of Murfreesboro he was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant. After the cessation of hostilities he engaged in the peaceful pursuit of farming, and in 1869 was married to Miss Sarah Bynum, of Fulton County, Ky., who died in 1880, leaving three children: Laura, wife of Eli Cox; Oscar D. and Lela. In 1881 Mr. Matthews was married to Bettie Jenkins, who was born in Obion County, Tenn., in 1856, and their union has resulted in the birth of four children: Archie, Arnett, Loren and Ima. In 1881 Mr. Matthews became a resident of Lawrence County, Tenn., and soon became one of the leading men of the county, being elected judge of the county court in 1886 on the Democratic ticket, although the county is largely Republican. He is a member of Lodge No. 193 of the A. F. & A. M., at Union City, Tenn., and he and wife are members of the Methodist Church. He owns a finely improved farm, consisting of 320 acres of land.

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This family biography is one of 272 biographies included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Lawrence County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Lawrence County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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