Joseph Calhoun Mathews was born 11 July 1785 in Abbeville, SC. He was the oldest child of five. His father, Isaac, died on 25 March 1801, when he was 15 years old and he became the 'man of the house.' On 18 September 1807 he married a Scottish lass named Margaret Brough, the daughter of Thomas and Nancy Brough. They had a large family and were lifetime members of Hopewell Presbyterian Church. Joseph cared for his mother, Anne, throughout her life and was there by her bedside when she passed away at age 75, on 19 December 1830.
Joseph held the rank of Captain in the militia and was the Parsecutor at Hopewell Church. It was his duty as parsecutor to parcel out the lines of the hymns to be sung by the congregation. His trade is listed as tanner and cobbler on some census records.
Joseph and Margaret had 14 children, three boys and 11 girls. The boys were Ezekiel Waddell, Thomas Jefferson and Joseph Alexander. The girls were Jane Brough, Nancy Ann, Eleanor Caroline, Jane Adeline, Mary Louisa, Rachel Calhoun, Elizabeth, Margaret Eliza, Martha Laura, Amanda Catherine (died at age 1), and the youngest Lucretia Ann.
True to the era, the children of Joseph and Margaret would marry and venture west. Of the 14 children, I can only confirm of two that remained in Abbeville, Rachel, who married James Patrick McCaslin, and Margaret Eliza, who married Samuel Clark McGaw. The descendants of Joseph and Margaret ventured west to Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas.