Floating a Lotus Flower at the Erawan Museum in Bangkok, Thailand

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Lazarus Matthews Family

Joseph Lazarus Matthews, son of Lazarus Matthews
married

sister of James Carroll (father of Major Carroll of Ozark, AL)

Lazarus Andille Matthews (1776-1860) and Dillia Ann "Dilly" Howard (1788-1850) lived in Johnston County, North Carolina as early as 1802, when Lazarus bought his first land there. Previous to that, Lazarus lived in Cumberland County.  Three of their children married children of James Carroll (1765-1834) and Rhoda Stephenson (1776-1896): Mary "Polly" Matthews (1802-1843) married David Carroll (1800-1863), Margaret "Peggy" Matthews (1800-1831?) married Reuben Carroll (1803-?) and Joseph Lazarus Matthews (1809-1886) married Rhoda Carroll (1818-1896) in 1832.   I think shortly after their marriage, Joseph and two of his brothers, Henry and Simon, went to Noxubee County, Mississippi. It amazes me how often people in the South moved around. This was due to a couple of things: first, the Carolinas were becoming quite  overpopulated, and second, most of them were farmers and they weren't aware of fertilization techniques, so they would wear out the land growing cotton and move on to newly opened lands or other less populated areas.  Two of the Carroll brothers, John and Major James had been making in-roads into Alabama, starting in 1828. They both went back to North Carolina, then John went back to AL to stay in 1830. In 1834 in NC, James Carroll, the patriarch of the family died, and soon after that early 1837 a big part of the Carroll family (Rhoda Stephenson Carroll, Major James and wife, Levi Stephens and wife Sallie Carroll, and Rebecca Carroll) arrived and settled in Dale County, Alabama. Not all of the family came at this time. The Langdon's (Margaret Carroll Langdon died in 1836), and Elisha & Obedience Carroll Lassiter family stayed in NC.  I mention the Carrolls as well, because the Carroll and Matthews family were very closely associated.  The last mention of Lazarus Matthews that I could find in the Johnston County land records is 28 Feb 1837. It appears that he probably went to  Dale County, Alabama at the same time as the Carrolls. One of his family did not move. Green Jordan and his wife Middy Matthews stayed in NC, where  Middy died between 1840-1842.   Lazarus and family are in the 1840 Dale Co. AL Census: 1 male (60-70 yrs), and 2 females (50-60). Other names on the  same page are: James Carroll, Seaborn Carroll, Reuben Carroll, David Carroll, Levi Stephens, Matthew Matthews, Elisha Matthews, John Matthews, and Moses Matthews. I don't know if all of these Matthews are related.  There was another quite prominent Matthews family living in Dale County.    I have already indicated the movements of Simon and Henry Matthews and Joseph Lazarus. It seems that the Dale County, Alabama part of the family remained there at least until the Civil War, when I do lose track of some of  them. In 1850, Lazarus and Dillia are on page #187 of the census, and in 1860, they are on page 615. The last record that I know of for Lazarus and Dillia Matthews is the 1866 State Census of Alabama, page 37, where Lazarus is 90-100 years old and his wife is 80-90 years old. I couldn't find either of them in the 1870 Census. Some of the family is buried in the Carroll Cemetery in Dale County, AL but I didn't find a listing for Lazarus or Dillia in the county. If they both died between 1866-1870 shortly following the Civil War, it is understandable that their graves may not have been permanently marked.

Contributed by Beverly Espy Dayries

click here for a history of Joseph Lazarus Matthews by George Augustus Matthews

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