John Dudley Mathews

John Dudley Mathews (1816–1885)

John, the firstborn child of Ellender Penelope Mathews, was born on March 2, 1816 in Montgomery County, North Carolina. According to some family histories, he was taught to read and write by his father and slave owner, Byron Dudley Mask, despite the fact that teaching slaves these skills was specifically prohibited by law in North Carolina. John does not appear to be listed with his mother in the 1830 census and the assumption is that he and his brother may have been living elsewhere. Sometime after the family was granted their freedom in 1830, he moved to Tennessee. In October of 1837, he married Eliza Rachel Wooley. Although the records are inconsistent, it would appear that Eliza was white and they had 15 children:

Photo of John Dudley Mathews in a black suit and top hat. He's holding a flute.
John Dudley Mathews stands with a flute. Enlarge image
  1. William C. Mathews (1838–1875)
  2. Drucilla Mathews (1840–1920); married Samuel Turman and second husband, William Brown
  3. Milla/Millie (1842–1856)
  4. Dudley K Polk Mathews (1844–1906); married Mary Aseneth Geary
  5. America H Mathews (1846–1938); married James Spear and second husband, Maurice Fitzgerald
  6. Rutha Mathews (1849–1863)
  7. Hezekiah “Ki” Mathews (1850–1920); married Elizabeth Ann “Lucy” Johnson
  8. Juda/Julia Rachel Mathews (1851–1917); married David W. Mayham
  9. Mary Ellen Mathews (1854–1934); married Andrew McNeil and second husband, Zera Dahack
  10. Elizabeth Jane Mathews (1856–1873); married Charles Wilson
  11. Martha Maria Mathews (1858–1902); married John Allen and second husband, Eli Dahack
  12. Green Banks Mathews (1861–1943); married Ida May Dahack
  13. Infant girl Mathews, (1863–1863)
  14. Lot Minerva (1869–1873)
  15. Champion Grant Mathews (1870–1953); married Martha Ada Wolary
Photo of John Dudley Mathews, a black man with a bushy beard and mustache.
John Dudley Mathews
Reads: Died. Mathews - on Butte Creek August 12, 1885, of typhoid fever, John Mathews, aged about 70 years.
The obituary for John Dudley Mathews.