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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Aaron and Margery Kirkbride Mathis Portraits

A few weeks ago Elaine Allen loaned me a Mathis Family photo album that was compiled some years ago by Howard Ware's late wife, Sara Allen Ware who was Bennie Allen's sister. We met Howard in the Lee Brothers cranberry bogs on our Thanksgiving Day Blog.

Howard and Sara Allen Ware in 1945. Sara was interested in her family geneology which included the Mathis family. She compiled a scrapbook of some of the Mathis family members in her family line. (Photo courtesy of Howard Ware.)
When I turned to the first page in Sara's Mathis Family scrapbook, I found a pleasant surprise. I found myself staring at color photos of oil paintings of Aaron Mathis, Sr. and his wife, Margery Kirkbride Mathis. These paintings were done before the use of cameras and preserved the earliest likenesses of Bass River area residents that I have seen. Actually, they predated Bass River Township by more than 14 years, as Bass River Township was not formed from Little Egg Harbor Township until March 30, 1864. Both Aaron and Margery died in 1851 at the age of 61. The date of the oil paintings are unknown, but they would appear to have been painted late in Aaron and Margery's lives.

What a find! I have no idea who took the photos or where the oil paintings hung, but I'm indebted to Sara for preserving them in her Mathis Family album. Many Blog readers are somehow related to the Mathis family and may be in the same line as Aaron. He was the great grandson of Great John Mathis through Great John's second son, Job.

Aaron Mathis, Sr, (1790-1851) the great grandson of the Great John Mathis through the line of Job Mathis. (Photo of an oil painting from Sara Allen Ware's Mathis Family photo album.)

Margery Kirkbride Mathis (1790-1851), the daughter of Phineas and Martha Rogers Kirkbride, and wife of Aaron Mathis, Sr. (Photo of an oil painting from Sara Allen Ware's Mathis Family photo album.)

Below, I've included the genealogy from Murray and Jean Harris' book, "The Mathis Family of Little Egg Harbor" showing the line from Aaron Mathis, Sr. back to the Great John Mathis. The numbers preceding some names are reference numbers used by Murray and Jean related to navigating through their book. The line continues forward to Sara Allen Ware who was Aaron Mathis Sr.'s great great grandaughter. Perhaps we will include that in a future Blog entry.

Aaron Mathis, Sr. to Great John Mathis Line

2007. Aaron Mathis, son of Daniel (2002) and Phoebe (Smith) Mathis, born 1790, died June 28, 1851, married May 19, 1814 Margery Kirkbride, daughter of Phineas and Martha (Rogers) Kirkbride, born 1790, died January 28, 1851. They are buried in Miller Cemetery, New Gretna. Children:

2015 i Daniel M., married Rachel W.Gifford

2016 ii Phineas Kirkbride, married Mary Ann Cramer

____ iii Enoch, born October 3, 1826, died November 5 1895, unmarried, buried Miller Cemetery.

2017 iv Phoebe, married (a) Thomas Cartright and (b) John P.Leek

2018 v John O., married Elizabeth O.Sears

2019 vi George W., married Abigail Mathis (1008)

2020 vii Aaron Jr., married (a) Zelphy Anderson and (b) Esther A.Rake

2021 viii Marjorie, married Lemuel R.Adams

____ ix Martha Kirkbride, born December 15, 1815, died December 29, 1872, married Jauary 18, 1840 Samuel Oliphant Shinn, born January 27, 1804

x Leah

xi Esther married Joseph Church, no children

xii Elizabeth married Jerry Church

2002. Daniel Mathis, son of Job (2001) and Phoebe (Leek) Mathis, born July 21, 1761, died March 10, 1836, married 1786, Phoebe Smith, daughter of Micajah and Sara (Owen) Smith of Port Republic, born June 30, 1764, died September 1, 1836. They are buried in the Methodist Cemetery, Tuckerton. Children:

____ i Owen Mary, married Jonas Miller

2006 iii Sarah, married James Downs

2007 iv Aaron, married Margery Kirkbride

2008 v Leah

2009 vi Micajah Smith, married Nancy (Gamage) Mathis

2010 vii Daniel Jr., married Elizabeth White

2011 viii Phoebe S., married Captain William French

2012 ix Anna Maria, married Francis French

2001. Job Mathis, son of John and Alice (Andrews) Mathis, born May 13, 1719, died 1771, married May 15, 1760 Phoebe Leek, daughter of John and Phoebe (Deviney) Leek. He is buried at the Tuckerton Friends Meeting House with no stone. Children:

2002 i Daniel, married Phoebe Smith

2003 ii Enoch, married Nancy Gamage

2004 iii Phoebe, married John Forman

____ iv Mary

1000 John Mathis, or Mathews, is said to have emigrated from Wales to Oyster Bay, Long Island around 1700. According to one family tradition his birthplace in Wales was Merthyr Tydfil. There are early colonial deeds to show that he accumulated property near the village of New Gretna. By 1714 he had moved to an island along the Bass River. In 1716 John married Alice (Andrews) Higbee, the daughter of Mordecai and Mary Andrews, and the widow of John Higbee. Some sources list Edward Andrews as her father, but reference to the will of Mordecai Andrews shows that she was, in fact, the daughter of Edward's elder brother Mordecai. John Mathis died October 23, 1779 and is buried beside the Friends Meeting at Tuckerton. John and Alice had seven children, as follows:

1001 i Micajah, married Mercy Shreve

2001 ii Job, married Phoebe Leek

3001 iii Sarah, married (a) Marmaduke Coate (b)John Leeds

4001 iv Daniel, married Sophia Gauntt

5001 v Jeremiah, married Hannah Andrews

6001 vi Nehemiah, married Elizabeth Cramer

7001 vii Eli, married Phoebe Devinney

I would encourage anyone who is a descendant of Aaron Mathis, Sr. to drop a comment below and let us know. You may find out that you have a previously unknown aunt, uncle, cousin, etc. somewhere out in the Blog-O-Sphere. There may even be some Kirkbrides out there who can trace their roots back to Aaron's wife, Margery Kirkbride. I would love to hear from them, too.

Pete S


  1. Pete,

    Great to have back and blogging.

    My Grandmother Ientha Mathis Allen (1900-1981) was directly descended from Aaron and Marjorie. She was married to Les Allen.

    Her father was also an Aaron Mathis (1856-1928). Her mother, his 2nd wife was Ida Allen, daughter of William Henry Allen and Martha Adams.

    Her grandfather was Daniel M. Mathis (1819-1885)M. Rachael Gifford dau. Issac Gifford and Hannah Mathis oldest son of Aaron Mathis #2015 above.

    Great pictures.
    John Allen

  2. Hi Pete!
    These are great pictures. I would love to see the rest of the album. I am related to Aaron and Margery. My line decends from Daniel Mathis Jr. who was Aaron's brother. My line continues from Daniel Jr. to Dewitt Clinton Mathis to George Allen Mathis to John Tilton Mathis to John Tilton Mathis Jr. to me George Fox Mathis. I would really love to hear from any long lost relatives or anyone who has something to share.


    George Mathis

  3. George,

    Give me a call or drop me an email. You are welcome to stop by my house and look at the album.

    Pete S

  4. Me three. All the people mentioned are in my line. In fact, my grandfather's middle name was Phineas. Thanks for the pictures, Pete, I wish I could "drop by the house" to look at the photos but it is a bit far from Texas. Is there any chance you will publish other photos on the blog? I would really like to see photos of Phineas Kirkbride Mathis and John Oliphant Mathis if they exist.
    Beverly Mathis Robinson

  5. It is interesting that my cousin Beverly ( whom I've never met ) and I both have lived in Texas for years. In fact she lives in the next county. It is indeed a small world.

    George Mathis

  6. George,

    I had forgotten that you lived in Texas when I invited you to stop by my house to look at Sara Allen Ware's Mathis family photo album. Sorry about that! I'll get in touch with you by email about a way to get you to see some of the photos in that album.

    Pete S

  7. Hi Pete,

    I so enjoy your blog, and am always intrigued at the way you manage to gather all these lines of genealogy and keep them straight. The other day I got to thinking, I am related to an "Allen" family also. And wondered if maybe, somehow, those New England Allens might be related to the New Gretna Allens.

    My relation is to a Francis (Frank) Eugene Allen from Fair Haven, Vt. I am his great-great niece. Uncle Frank's father was Ira C Allen, a banker, marble (quarry) magnate, and State legislator, who was a distant cousin of the Green Mountain Boy of history, Ethan Allen. Actually, I beleive Ira's family roots started with a Timothy Allen from Woodbury, CT.

    Well, I'll keep digging and check with you from time to time, to see if any of those New Englanders ever tried clamming!

    Thanks for the blog...

    Michele Scamoffa
    New Gretna Postmaster

  8. Michele,

    A good source regarding the New England Allens can be found at:

    (or Google Descendants of George Allen)

    This a regularly updated page containing 10 generations (about 215 pages) of the descendants of George Allen of England and Sandwich, MA.

    I remember seeing some CT Allens in there.

    Even though no one has found a direct connection, the New Gretna Allens appear to descend from the "other" Ralph Allen also of Sandwich, MA at the same time as George and his son Ralph. (1630-1640 timeframe)

    They may still be related further back in England, as the Allen surname begins in the 1100's.

    It's possible that the Northern England/Scotland Allen surname has a different source and the New Gretna Allens descend from them.

    If you find any connections, let Pete know.

    John Allen

  9. Looking for parents of a Lemuel French Mathis born in Ohio in 1849...any other Mathis' claim him or his siblings...I can be reached at

  10. Texastowns,

    Sorry, I don't have any info on a Lemuel French Mathis. I also tried to no avail.

    Pete S

  11. Hello Pete, I was surprised to come across this page in your blog. I believe that I have contacted you about a John Rake before, but you were unaware of him. Howard Ware lives a few houses down from my Mother in Law, they have been friends for years. Would there by any chance be a photo of Aaron Mathis Jr. and Esther A. Rake, in Sarah Ware's photo album? They were married on 22 September, 1867 at Lower Bank, NJ. Esther A. Rake, was the daughter of John and Esther A. Rake, who lived in Randolph/Washington Twp, NJ. Thank You, Wayne Bumm

  12. Hi Pete , I am a direct descendent of Captian Aaron . As follows: Aaron Sr, John O. , Joseph A. , Horace A. Sr., Horace A. Jr. , James H. Sr;(myself), James H. Jr. Capt. Aaron's grave site is located in Miller cemetery as you come in from rt 9 entrance, go straight to the perpendicular road turn left and park. Go on foot to the top of the hill and he is on the right next to his 2 wives. Captain Aaron is also in the first minutes of the Tuckerton Lodge Masonic meeting dated 1820 as a visiting brother from our Mother Lodge of Mount Holly. Thanks for the blog. J. Mathis.