and his wife, Catherine (Evans) Matthews,
of Wales and Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania.
William and Catharine were married in Nantyglo in 1838. He was a miner at the Nantyglo works where their fathers, Richard Matthews and John Evans also worked. William and Catherine then moved around a bit, to Llangattock in Brecon, Machen and Tredegar (Bedwelty Parish) in Monmouthshire, and finally to Trehafod (Llanwonno Parish) in in Glamorgan. By today's standards, these places are not very far apart, even though they are in different counties.
By the middle 1800's coal was being mined in the Rhondda valley and the 1841 census finds the small family in Tredegar (Bedwellty Parish), Monmouth where William is a collier. By 1851 William is still working as a coal miner, the family has grown and is now in Trehafod (Llanwonno Parish, St. Gwynno Church), Glamorgan. However, they must have had a low tolerance for the harsh working conditions and a desire for land on which to farm, so they decided to emigrate to a place where they could more easily raise a family.
William and Catharine arrived in America with four children on October 29, 1851. They had left Wales and sailed from Liverpool, England to New York City on the packet "Queen of the West". The voyage lasted six weeks, and tragically, their younger daughter Catherine-I, age 2, died at sea, shortly before arrival.
William, Catherine and their children on the voyage were all born in Wales, while the remaining children of the family were born in America. They first came to Honesdale, Wayne County, Pennsylvania, and later settled in Spring Brook Township, Lackawanna County, also in Pennsylvania. There were eventually eleven children, and ten lived to adulthood.
William also had two brothers, Richard and John R. who emigrated to America. William settled on a farm at Maple Lake in Spring Brook Township near John. Richard moved to Chicago, Illinois and little was heard of since.
The name MATTHEWS is seen with one T in the 1851 census for Wales, the "Queen of the West" passenger list, and also in early census records in Pennsylvania. However, in the marriage registrations of Richard and Mary in 1813, and of William and Catherine in 1838, both men signed their names with TT. By the 1890's it also appears with TT, in wills, the 1900 census, and on the gravestones at Springbrook Cemetery. All of the descendants of William and Catherine use the name with TT.
A similar sailing voyage, the 1863 diary of Thomas and James Laviers (broken link, need new one).
See 1860 census image, Dyberry Township, Wayne County, Pennsylvania.
See 1870 census image, Spring Brook Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
See 1880 census image, Olyphant, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania.
See 1900 census image, Spring Brook Township, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania.
See the 1873 map of Spring Brook Township, showing Wm. R. Matthews farm.
Many of the early family are buried in Springbrook Cemetery.
July 11, 1936 Reunionat 1400 Birch Street, Scranton, Pa.
Who's in the photo,
and read the invitation (text).
See the house as of July, 1999.
More MATTHEWS information:
Created by John K. Matthews