Saturday, March 6, 2010

SURNAME SATURDAY: MATHIS OR MATTHEWS WHICH ONE DO I USE?

I visited my Family History Center today to obtain a copy of a marriage record for my Paternal Great Grandparents Virgle Matthews and Alice Casey. I made a copy of the record, but on my way home my mind start racing and now I'm more confused as ever.

As you can see from the record my Great Grandfather Virgle signed the marriage record using the last name of Matthews. I can see it clear as day. The problem that I am having is my Grandmother Lily used the last name of Mathis. Which is my last name, my dad's last name, and all my Aunts and Cousins last name in between.

My mom always told me that my Grandmother never married, in fact I was never bothered by the fact that I have not gotten married because I just thought that I was going to be like my Grandmother(which is not a bad thing).

I'm starting to think that is not so. My Paternal Grandfather's name is suspected to be Al Peoples. I don't know anything about him, not really sure if anyone does because no one has ever really talked about him. I'm starting to think that maybe she did get married. She had to, thats the only way I can explain the use of the last name of Mathis. Althought they seem to be in the same Surname Family and I know after Slavery most African Americans did change their last name, but this is a bit much.

My grandmother was born in 1908 long after Slavery had ended. Then again maybe she just adopted the name. I know way back when you could obtain a Social Security Card without showing a Birth Certificate. I'm not sure. Its just that now I have so many question and not enough answers. The real problem is Who Do I Ask?

4 comments:

  1. Felicia,

    This is quite interesting. I'll be following along to see how you solve this mystery. BTW, I love the new look; you did a great job.

    San

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your blog looks so good Felicia, I love the template and the colors you picked! Good luck getting things worked out and solving the Al Peoples mystery!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice looking blog! :) If Lily was Virgle's daughter, it could just be that Mathews/Matthews was misspelled on a record along the way as "Mathis" and it stuck. Depending on a person's pronouncing the name and their accent, a clerk can easily spell something wrong.
    (Take it from me from reading a lot of French names spelled by non-French census takers in La. :) )

    ReplyDelete
  4. p.s. I'm imagining my N. La. grandmother (up near Ark.) pronouncing it "MATH-yuss" instead of
    "MATH-YEWS," for example. :)

    ReplyDelete