Tag Archives: Thomas Nathan Nation

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.