Category Archives: Nation

Matthew Winburn Mathis & Alice Nation of Overton County, Tennessee

Today, we have the family sketch of the youngest child of Joseph Michael Nation and his wife, Annie Riddle.

Alice Tilda Nation was born between 1872-1875, probably in Cumberland County, Kentucky. She died at a young age, possibly giving birth to her sixth child c1901 or a later child that didn’t survive.

She married Matthew Winborn Mathis on 10 January 1891, Overton County, Tennessee. He was born on 4 December 1866, Fentress County, Tennessee and died on 9 August 1944 in Robertson County, Tennessee. Matthew never remarried after Alice’s death.


1. Emma J., born January 1892, Overton County, Tennessee. It appears Emma never married. She was at home with her widowed father in 1930 and may be the same person who sailed from LeHavre, France to New York in October 1938. No further information.
2. Em, born May 1894; no further record. He is NOT F. Elmer, who married in 1907 and is linked to hints online.
3. Anna Lou, born December 1896; married William McKinley Harvey, 10 December 1913, Clay County, Tennessee. She may be the Anna who died in 1978 an dis buried with William in Warren County, Tennessee. However, the gravestone says Anna L. and gives a birth date of 14 April 1895. They were the parents of six children.
4. William McKinley, born 7 October 1896/97, Clay County, Tennessee; died 1968. He is buried at Fellowship Cemetery, Overton County, Tennessee. There is no indication that he married.
5. Rosetta, born 17 September 1899, Clay County, Tennessee; died 8 April 1958, Clay County, Tennessee; married Charlie D. Dulworth, 17 July 1918, Clay County, Tennessee. He was born 14 March 1893; died 6 April 1979. They had nine children.
6. Martha Bertina, born 31 December 1901, probably Overton County, Tennessee; died 28 December 1986, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, but buried Logan County, Kentucky; married Bud Morrow, 6 October 1929, Overton County, Tennessee. They were the parents of two daughters.

There are descendants of Alice and Matthew through their daughters, Anna, Rosetta and Martha.

This concludes the family sketches of the grandchildren of Joseph Michael Nation and his wife, Annie Riddle.

I would love to make contact with family members of any of the branches in this line.

Thomas Nathan Nation & Mary Jane Mathis of Overton County, Tennessee

Thomas Nathan Nation, who sometimes went by Nathan, was the sixth child and fourth son born to Joseph Michael Nation and wife Annie Riddle, on 12 March 1871 in Cumberland County, Kentucky. He died at the relatively young age of 45 on 4 November 1916 in Overton County, Tennessee of an unknown cause.

Thomas married Mary Jane Mathis on 12 May 1892 in Overton County, Tennessee. She was born 15 June 1864, likely in Fentress County, Tennessee and died on 26 July 1926 in Overton County. She was the daughter of Elisha and Maranda (Adkins) Mathis.

This is an interesting family for several reasons. First, Tennessee kept death records from 1910 onward, but neither Thomas nor Mary has a death certificate. Second, Thomas was 21 years old when he married, which was very common. However, Mary Jane was 28 years old, which means she not only married at a late age compared to others in her community, but she was 7 years older than her husband, which was also very unusual.

The Nation family was enumerated twice in 1900. The first was on 8 June 1900 in District 9 of Clay County, Tennessee:

Source: Ancestry

We have:
Nation, Thomas, born May 1871
Nation, Mary, born April 1864
Nation, Mike, born February 1892
Nation, Pansy, born February 1895
Nation, Amy, born December 1896
Nation, Mary, born October 1899

Note that the names of Amy and Mary are very hard to read.

Then, just three days later (!), the Nations were enumerated in District 7 of Overton County, Tennessee:

Source: Ancestry

Here we have:
Nations, Nathan T., born June 1871
Nations, Mary J., born June 1864
Nations, Mike S., born February 1893
Nations, Pansey L., born February 1894
Nations, Carra (Carrie) M., born December 1895
Nations, Sarah A., born October 1898

I’d love to know who gave the details to the enumerators, as the two records have the same birth year for Thomas and Mary, but neither have birth months that match. Then, all the birth months match for the children, but all the years are one off from each other.

Sadly, Thomas and Mary lost their two oldest children, Mike and Pansy, just a few months later. I have to think there was either an epidemic that took them or else they got into some mischief and died of injuries as they were buried one week apart.

The gravestone for Mike gives a birth date of 24 February 1893 and died on 22 September 1900.

Pansy’s gravestone says 15 February 1895 and died on 29 September 1900.

Both are buried at Fellowship Cemetery in Overton County where other family members were also buried.

Life went on, despite the loss of two children in quick succession.

The 1910 census of the family shows that three more children were born to Thomas and Mary and that Thomas’s 76 year old widowed mother, Annie, also lived with the family.


1. Mike S., born 24 February 1893; died 22 September 1900
2. Pansy L., born 15 February 1895; died 29 September 1900
3. Carrie Mae, born 27 December 1895/96; died 25 March 1967, Overton County, Tennessee; married Andrew Jackson Reagan, 11 January 1914, Overton County, Tennessee. He was born 18 December 1886, Clay County, Tennessee and died 27 March 1975, Overton County, Tennessee. They were the parents of ten children.
4. Sarah A., born 26 October 1899; died 11 March 1983, Overton County, Tennessee; married Edmond Mathis, 4 April 1933, Overton County, Tennessee. He was born in 1894 and died in 1958. They were the parents of three children, although one daughter died young.
5. William Thomas, born 31 August 1901; died 2 October 1982, both in Overton County, Tennessee; married Delma Vada Richardson. She was born 20 October 1917; died 22 July 2001, both in Overton County, Tennessee. They had five children.
6. Clay M., born 10 January 1905, Overton County, Tennessee; died 9 February 1967; married Austie Sells, 3 October 1923, all in Overton County, Tennessee. They had three children.
7. Alice M., born 1908, Overton County, Tennessee; died 25 March 1930. She had pre-eclampsia and St. Vitus Dance during pregancy, according to her death certificate. She married Oliver Bedford Brown, 7 December 1924, Overton County, Tennessee. He married (2) Columbia Frances Davidson, 22 February 1931, Clay County, Tennessee. Alice and Bedford had one son, born c1926.

Thomas Nathan and Mary Jane Nation had 21 grandchildren who grew to adulthood, so there are many descendants in this branch of the family.



Sylvester Columbus Robbins & Rosetta Nation of Overton County, Tennessee

We are half way along in the family sketches of descendants of Joseph Michael Nation and Annie Riddle. However, Rosetta married the brother of Anna Belle Robbins, wife of her brother, John Wesley Nation.

At least in his description, there is no confusion over the identify of his father.

Sylvester Columbus Robbins was born 8 July 1863 in Overton County, Tennessee, the son of Sylvester Robbins and Mary, who may or may not be Mary Ann Reeder. He died on 13 January 1922, also in Overton County. He married “Rosetty Nations” on 27 January 1887, again in Overton County. She is the fifth child and second daughter of Joseph Michael and Annie (Riddle) Nation. Rosetta was born in 1869, Cumberland County, Kentucky.

Rosetta gave birth to daughter Cora Belle on 10 April 1895 (Cora’s death certificate names her parents as Columbus Robbins and “Nations”) and died sometime between that day and the 1900 census. No gravestone has been found for her.

Sylvester seems to have spent his entire life in Overton County.

On 26 April 1900 in Overton County, Columbus married 16 year old Nancy Newberry as his second wife. That census lists four children who would have been born to Rosetta. Columbus and Nancy had eight children, but they are not Nation descendants.


1. Mary, born November 1887; died after 1900; no further record
2. Henry Harrison, born 19 November 1889, Overton County, Tennessee; died 6 December 1965, Putnam County, Tennessee; married Dicy France, 14 May 1909, Overton County, Tennessee. It appears that they had no children together.
3. Pearley, born August 1893, Overton County, Tennessee; died 28 June 1943, Madison County, Indiana, but buried in Overton County, Tennessee; married Carson Key, 11 April 1912, Overton County, Tennessee. Carson was born 7 September 1886, Overton County, Tennessee; died 3 March 1950, Madison County, Indiana and is buried there. They were the parents of nine children, seven of whom lived to adulthood.
4. Corda (Cora)  Belle, born 10 April 1894/5, Overton County, Tennessee; died 8 June 1954, Putnam County, Tennessee; married Carmon Key, 7 June 1913, Overton County, Tennessee. Carmen was born 29 April 1902, Overton County, Tennessee; died 12 March 1960, Overton County, Tennessee. They were the parents of seven children.

Pearley and Cora gave birth to sixteen children between them, so Rosetta Nation Robbins most likely has quite a few descendants today.