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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cecil Mathis

There was a question posted in the Comments section of last Wednesday's Blog, asking if Cecil Mathis was related to Catherine Mathis who had just passed away. Elaine Allen called me this morning from her son and daughter-in-law's home (Mike and Helen) in Alabama with the answer. The answer is YES.

Cecil was the nephew of Herbert Mathis, Catherine Mathis' husband. That would make Catherine Cecil's aunt through marriage. Elaine's would have first hand knowledge of Cecil's pedigree as her late husband Benjamin Austin Allen's mother, RayEtta Mathis, was Herbert Mathis' sister (See Joshua H. Mathis' family genealogy below). Getting complicated, isn't it? That would make Bennie Allen and Cecil cousins. It's amazing how the Mathis family was so intertwined throughout the community in the old days. They all can keep it straight, but I need a score card!

Cecil Mathis (1928-1992)
Photo courtesy of Ben and Elaine Allen.

Cecil was the son of Leon Mathis, Sr. with Leon's first wife, Verda:
Leon Hilliard Mathis, son of Joshua H. and Rebecca (Grant) Mathis, born May 9, 1904 at Atsion, died September 25, 1976 at Manahawkin, married (a) October 1, 1924 Verda Mamie Mott, daughter of Joel Milton Sr. and Florence Virginia (Quinn) Mott, born September 28, 1906, died April 26, 2002 and (b) Elizabeth S. Baker, born 1912, died January 19, 1971 and (c) Awilda Lippincott. Leon was a supervisor of public works and lived on Stage Road, Tuckerton. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery there. He had five children with Verda and four with Betty.

i Leon Jr., married Lorraine --- (died 1999)
ii Cecil Allen Milton, born January 22, 1928, (died 1992)
iii George W., born November 14, 1929, married Mary --- (lives in Farmville, VA in 1999)
iv Mary, married --- McGill, live in L/E.H. in 1999
v Charles (adopted by Luker) (lives in Hanover Indiana in 1999)
vi Clarence, married Patricia Klein
vii Helen, married on October 8, 1966 William White, son of George White of Tuckerton, (lives in L.E.H. in 1999)
viii Margaret M., married --- Boyd, and lives in Southampton in 1999
ix William J. (lives in L.E.H. in June 1999)
Cecial was 2 years and 2 months old at the 1930 Bass River Township census, below, which showed him living on Greenbush Road with his parents, Leon and Verda Mathis, and an older brother, Leon, and a younger brother, George. The house has since been torn down. It was just a stone's throw from where Herb and Catherine Mathis lived.

1930 Bass River Township Census

Cecil's father Leon Mathis, Sr. and Herbert Mathis, Catherine Radar Mathis' husband, were brothers. That would make Cecil Herbert's nephew.
Joshua H. Mathis, son of Aaron (2020) and Zelphy (Anderson) Mathis, born September 1863, died August 21,1921, married, in 1892, Rebecca A. Grant, daughter of Abraham and Matilda (Goldy) Grant, born at Chatsworth March 2, 1874, died February 16, 1963. He lived on Greenbush Road and worked in a sawmill. They are buried in Miller Cemetery, New Gretna. Children:

i Ray Etta, married (a) John Allen Jr. and (b) Harry Allen
ii Marjorie Nevada, married Benjamin Cavileer
iii Martha Elizabeth, married Leslie Parker
iv George W., married Jennie Brown
v Leon Hilliard, married (a) Betty Baker and (b) Verda Mamie Mott
vi Esther Mathilda
vii Adelia Margaret, married Arlington Conrad
viii Clarence Lloyd, born November 15, 1911, died August 29, 1974, married Margaret Ford, no children, buried Miller Cemetery
ix Herbert Franklin, married Kathryn Radar
Cecil's obituary tells us that he was born in New Gretna, married Joyce C. Leek; had two sons and five daughters; lived in West Creek; was a bayman; drove a truck for Eagleswood Township; died April 4, 1992 after a brief illness, and is buried in West Creek Cemetery. It is likely that he was buried without a tombstone, as the West Creek Cemetery listing that I have does not list a Cecil Mathis as being buried there.

Obituary courtesy of Shirley Whealton.

Cecil Mathis served in the military during peacetime.
From a Sarah Allen photo album, courtesy of Ben & Elaine Allen.

If anyone has any photos of Cecil's wife and children, let's hear from you. They would be welcomed additions to our Bass River History Photo Archives.

Well, that's about all I know of Cecil Mathis. Hope it was helpful.

Pete S

PS- The Leon Hilliard Mathis and Joshua H. Mathis family genealogies were transcribed from "The Mathis Family of Little Egg Harbor" by Jean and Murray Harris.


  1. Pete I think in your first paragraph you meant Elaine Allen and not Elaine Mathis.

  2. Thankyou for the update on Cecil. We were the same age and had fun together back in the old days.

  3. Yes, I did mean Elaine Allen. I made the correction. See, I told you all these Mathis names were confusing!

    Pete S

  4. Cecil & Leon were my older brothers. Leon married Lorraine, not Joyce. Joyce was Cecil's wife, and still lives in the area. Our mother did not pass away in Oct 1924, she lived until Apr 26 2002.

    Followup- I made the appropriate changes above. Thanks. Pete S


  6. photo on left of cecil not sure who his army buddy is right is all his children except mare and's a link not sure how to copy and paste them.

  7. photo of joyce mathis on there wedding day

  8. And, he is my third cousin once removed. Yes, the Mathis family has tentacles all over the place.
    Beverly Mathis Robinson