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Rev. Matthew TALBOT, II

Male 1729 - 1812  (82 years)

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  • Name Matthew TALBOT 
    Title Rev. 
    Suffix II 
    Born 27 Nov 1729  Prince George County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 12 Oct 1812  Morgan County, GA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • (1) "Matthew (II) Talbot" <>:

      Matthew (II) Talbot, November 27, 1729 - October 12, 1812, by Milton W. Talbot, Jr., MD and Farris W. Womack

      The Birth and Youth of Matthew (II) Talbot

      Matthew (II) Talbot, the second son and second child of Matthew (I) Talbot and his first wife, Mary Williston, was born in 1729 in Prince George County, Virginia. He was the first of the Talbot children to be born in Virginia, his older brother, Charles, having been born more than six years earlier in Maryland. Mary and Matthew (I) were married in Maryland in 1721 and probably lived there for a few years before moving the short distance to Virginia. Speculation that there may have been other children born to them during this period is not supported by any known records. Conventional wisdom holds that the Talbots left Maryland after Matthew (I) and his partner, Nicholas Hale, had suffered heavy losses at sea. Why that fact would prompt their move to Virginia remains unclear. At any rate, they were living in Virginia by 1729 and Matthew (II)'s birth was duly noted in the Parish Register.

      Two brothers, James and John, were born in 1733 and 1735, respectively. During this period the family moved at least once and perhaps more but by 1735 they were settled in the area near the present day city of Lynchburg, Virginia. The counties where they lived changed several times but that was the result of new counties being established out of older and larger ones rather than the actual movement of the Talbots. Numerous records exist detailing the land transactions of Matthew (I) in Lunenburg County and, indeed, in 1754, Matthew (I) and his son, Charles, were asked to fix the boundary for the new county of Bedford to be carved from Lunenburg. The first session of the Bedford Court met in Matthew (I)'s house.

      Matthew (II)'s mother, Mary Williston Talbot, died in 1736 at the age of 39, leaving four young sons, the oldest barely a teenager and the youngest an infant. Matthew (II) was seven. The cause of her death has not been determined but it no doubt left the Talbot children with a sadness, bewilderment, and emptiness appreciated only by those who, in childhood, have experienced the loss of their mother.

      Nevertheless, Matthew (II) was not destined to grow up without a mother for on May 23, 1736, eight months after Mary's death, Matthew (I) married Jane Clayton. Unfortunately, there are no written records to substantiate the nature of the relationship between Jane and her new stepchildren but there are many evidences to suggest that she was a good mother to them and that they loved her dearly. Matthew (II), himself, named one of his children, Clayton, an act, taken in his adulthood, that would have been quite unlikely if the relationship with Jane Clayton Talbot had been a bad one.

      In 1738, Jane gave birth to Isham Talbot and two years later she gave birth to Martha who would turn out to be the last. And so, in 1740 young Matthew (II) found himself in a family consisting of two parents, age 41 and 26, respectively, and six children, aged 17, 11, 7, 5, 2, and 1, respectively. While actual records do not exist to provide details of family life, it seems that the family enjoyed a life style that was comfortable by the standards of 1740. But life in the Virginia Wilderness in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains was treacherous and difficult. There was no mail service, supply wagons came rarely, exposure to the elements, illness, and disease took an enormous toll, and life existed near the edge.

      Matthew (I) was becoming a successful farmer and businessman and his neighbors were showering him with the "honors or trials" of elective offices. No doubt the children shared in the accomplishments of their father and enjoyed the respect accorded to him. But we should be careful not to judge the 1740 time period through the prism of the late 20th or early 21st century. Growing up in the Virginia wilderness was demanding; survival was uncertain, medical care was non existent, Indian raids were frequent, educational opportunities were rare or not available, and the work of making a living was very hard, physically and emotionally. But such was the period in which Matthew (II) grew to manhood and, if the accomplishments during the remainder of his life can be used as a yardstick, he grew up well.

      Matthew (II)'s life in western Virginia was apparently also successful. He was an extensive landowner and at one time may have held over 40,000 acres on the Virginia frontier. For 20 years after his father's death he remained in Bedford County occupying himself, it is assumed, with the management of his portion of his father's estate, and, as his son Edmund reported, pursuing his primary business of raising cattle. It was during this time that he married and that his seven children were born. Also during this time he remained active in the Bedford County Militia, in which he held the rank of Captain, and was involved with pacification activities against the depredations of Indians on the frontier

      Mathew (II)'s marriage to Mary Hale Day

      In the 23rd year of his life, Matthew (II) Talbot married Mary Hale Day. She was almost 25, a widow with a young daughter. Mary Hale had married Thomas Day some years before and to them was born, Elizabeth. The circumstances surrounding Thomas Day's death are unknown. Nevertheless, Mary was an available young woman and Matthew (II) found in her the wife with whom he would spend the next 32 years of his life and with whom he would father seven children.

      Mary Hale was the daughter of Nicholas Hale and Ruth Ann Long. Nicholas Hale had been a business partner with Matthew (I) when the two lived in Maryland, that business having failed due to losses at sea. Indeed, they may have remained business partners after the move to Virginia and it is possible that Matthew (II) became a business associate with his father and father-in-law. Later the Hale family would be found in the Watauga area of what is now Tennessee, an area to which Mary and Matthew (II) would move sometime during the mid 1770's. There exists a substantial body of knowledge to suggest that the Hales were among those early Baptists in Tennessee and may very well have been involved in the move to Tennessee by Matthew (II) and Mary. So it seems clear that Mary Hale and Matthew (II) Talbot had known each other during their youth. It is tempting to speculate about how he let her get away in the first place but that avenue probably leads to a dead end. His decisiveness when the second opportunity presented was quite clear.

      Throughout the remaining history of the Talbot family, the Hale name appears frequently, both as the first name for the males and often as a middle name for the females. The spelling varies from Hale, Haile, Hail, and perhaps others. The official records contain the same kind of spelling variations.. The predominate usage is "Hale" because Edmund Talbot, the son of Matthew (II) and Mary Hale Day Talbot, used that spelling in his 1849 Memorandum of the Talbot Family. . . .

      Leaving Virginia and moving west

      Around the time of the Revolutionary War, there was an increasing migration toward the southwestern area of the colonies and the new country. The yeoman farmers of Virginia and Pennsylvania found the journey down the Great Valley Road of western Virginia relatively easy and the land plentiful at its southern terminus in an area now part of eastern Tennessee. (Then it was on the western slopes of North Carolina - a region that would become the Southwest Territory, later the State of Franklin before becoming part of the State of Tennessee). Matthew was certainly familiar with the area; during his service in the Bedford County militia in his younger years he was frequently occupied in pursuing Indian raiders along the Virginia and Carolina frontiers.

      Matthew (II) joined this migration in the mid 1770's. Although his name appears at #166 on a list of land grants by North Carolina in the Tennessee Territory in 1778, Virgil Talbot claims that Matthew (II)'s move must have occurred before 1775, since he built the first gristmill in that area in that year. At that time, when he was about 46 years old, Mary 47, and his youngest child under ten, he moved to the Watauga area of what was then the western portion of North Carolina, approximately 150 miles from his Bedford County home. He settled on Gap Creek near its confluence with the Watauga River, and began the first gristmill in that area in 1775, presumably while pursuing his ranching interests. The area to which he moved was near the present-day city of Elizabethton, Tennessee and the actual location of the mill may very well have been along present day US Route 321 .

      Edmund Talbot stated in his Memorandum of the Talbot Family that the reason for the move was because his father was in the stock raising business. That answer provokes more questions rather than settles them. Moreover, the few records available to describe living conditions provide no clues about occupations. Nevertheless, a son, Hale, would later engage in the horse raising business, perhaps a skill he learned from his father. Whatever the list of reasons, the wish to acquire new land must have been a compelling one but it is also likely that the reasons may have been religious as well as economic. One wonders how important religious conviction was in prompting the westward migration of so many of the residents of the Virginia frontier. It is known that the aristocratic landowners of the eastern seaboard remained largely with the Episcopal Church, held to their land holdings and were not as active in the migrations to the west and south. It was perhaps a recognition of a sense of community within those converted to the fundamentalist churches that facilitated and indeed impelled the search for new lands and new beginnings.

      Raised in the traditions of the Colonial Church of England in which his father was a staunch participant, Matthew (II) renounced that association and embraced the growing, enthusiastic flood to the fundamentalist, evangelical calling of the Baptist Church. He felt so converted to this belief that he became a minister in that church along with his immediate neighbors, James and John Edens. After his move to Tennessee, he founded the Sinking Creek Baptist church in present day Carter County and became its first preacher.

      Samuel Edens asserts that "I have traced John, James and Alexander [Edens] from Buckingham Co VA to Bedford Co VA and then to Watauga Settlement in TN. They traveled with and lived among the Chastains. John and James Chastain and James and John Edens were Baptists preachers. Matthew Talbot along with John Chastain founded the Sinking Creek Church in Carter Co TN. Matthew Talbot was the first pastor and James Edens was the second pastor. In order to more precisely trace their movements I would like to know more about Matthew Talbot. I understand he married in either Augusta Co., VA or in Bedford Co., VA. How and when did Matthew Talbot become aquatinted with James and John Edens and James and John Chastain? Was it in Bedford Co., VA or in Watauga Settlement? It appears that maybe Matthew, James E, John E, James C, and John C were all circuit riding preachers and I believe that they all went down the Great Indian Warriors Path from VA to TN and founded the Mother of All Churches in TN. I believe that Matthew (II) Talbot stayed but John Edens, John Chastain and James Chastain returned to Bedford Co for a few years and then went back to Watauga Settlement and on to Pendleton Co., SC in the early 1780's. . . ."

      Michael Hyder wrote about his ancestor, J. Hampton Hyder, (Uncle Hampie) and the (Sinking Creek Baptist Church). ". . . A tradition handed down from Uncle "Hampie" Hyder, a veteran pioneer Baptist preacher for more than forty years, tells that during the winter of 1775 two preachers, John and Charles Chastain, held a revival at the home of Charles Robertson. Matthew Talbot, a local preacher of the same faith, was then instrumental in continuing the work. However, because of Indian raids in the summer of 1776, the services were neglected. Sometime about 1777 or 1778 Talbot reorganized the church and served as its pastor until his removal to Georgia about 1783. Jonathan Mulkey and Joshua Kelly also probably preached at Sinking Creek before 1783. Hyder came into the Sinking Creek Church in 1836, just sixty years after the supposed founding. He would have been in a position to hear from the earliest settlers an eye-witness account of what had happened."

      Matthew II remained an ardent pastor of the Baptist Church throughout the remainder of his life and continued to preach the Gospel until his death. Other children of Matthew and Mary Williston Talbot repeated his conversion for his brother Charles also became a Baptist, his brother John a Presbyterian. Each generation of his descendants have had many who chose to follow in his footsteps as ministers and preachers. The family has had a deeply religious character no doubt due in part to the abiding faith that Matthew (II) transmitted to his children. No event during the lives of Matthew (II) and Mary so changed their own life as well as the lives of the generations of their descendants that were to follow.

      Many of the residents of Bedford County moved to this area at the same time. Mary and Cleavers Barksdale, his daughter and son-in-law, were among them. Nicholas Hale, his brother-in-law, is noted to have been a founder of the Kendrick Creek Baptist church in nearby Sullivan County.

      At the Sycamore Shoals State Park headquarters there is a historical research paper that was compiled but never published. Its title is "Historical Research - Sycamore Shoals State Park & Colonel John Carter House; chapter IV - Land Use Study; pages 66-254; done by the Department of Conservation, Tenn.; by Miss Pollyanna Creekmore, primary Source Researcher, and Mrs. Muriel C. Spoden, secondary Source Researcher for the Tenn. Historical commission and the Tenn. Department of Conservation".

      ["]Page 95 - Buffalo Creek Settlers: The first settlers on Buffalo Creek were as follows:

      ["]At the mouth of Buffalo Creek, Cleavers Barksdell, by 1778, settled on the west side, and Matthew Talbot by 1775, on the east side (see hereafter for details on this property). They built their residences and established their plantations along the banks of the Watauga River at this location. Adjoining their land on the south and on both sides of Buffalo Creek was Andrew Taylor, Sr.'s 450-acre land grant which survey had been entered for him by Christopher Cunningham, Sr. his immediate neighbor on the south and also on both sides of Buffalo Creek. Both men had brought their families from Virginia and built their homes at these locations. Christopher Cunningham's daughter, Jane married Andrew Taylor, Sr.'s eldest son, Isaac Taylor. Andrew Taylor Sr. was the progenitor of the famous Taylor family who have contributed so much to the history of Tennessee.["]

      The Watauga years, although lasting perhaps only a decade, were filled with adventure and change. When the Talbots arrived, Indian raids were common and a source of constant anxiety. Perhaps most unsettling, the young nation was deeply engaged in a revolution, trying to throw off the ties that had bound them to England for more than 170 years. In that struggle, many colonists chose to remain loyal to the Crown and the emotional toll that resulted surely was considerable. That, too, made life on the frontier more difficult.
      Participating in this upheaval, Matthew Talbot erected a fort, known as Fort Watauga, on his property. As legend has it, John Sevier, the hero of the battle of Kings Mountain in 1780, assembled his men at Fort Watauga the night before marching to that successful battle at Kings Mountain against the British under the command of Colonel Ferguson. Matthew (II) is credited with having provisioned these American troops during their encampment there. The area is now in Carter County, TN, near the present town of Johnson City.

      During this time four of Mathew (II)'s sons fought in the revolution. Matthew (II), too old to be in battle, served his new country and the Commonwealth of Virginia in the Patriotic Service as Commissary and provisionary. Although Matthew (II) probably was not engaged in the Battle, his four older sons were - Edmund and Clayton being too young to fight. Thomas was wounded there.

      From Fort Watauga, the American force marched for miles through rain, snow and over treacherous terrain. By early afternoon they came upon the British. At 3 p.m., without having rested or had refreshment, the Battle commenced. In an hour, it was over and the British were laid decimate. The American losses were 28 killed and 62 injured; surely Thomas Talbot's scalp wound was among that number.

      ["](King's Mountain and Its Heroes: History of the Battle of King's Mountain Author: Lyman C. Draper, LL. D.

      ["]Then mounting their horses, for the most of them were provided with hardy animals, they commenced their long and difficult march. They would appear to have had some trouble in getting their beeves started, and probably tarried for their mid-day lunch, at Matthew Talbot's Mill, now known as Clark's Mill, on Gap creek, only three miles from the Sycamore Shoals. Thence up Gap creek to its head, when they bore somewhat to the left, crossing Little Doe river, reaching the noted "Resting Place," at the Shelving Rock, about a mile beyond the Crab Orchard, where, after a march of some twenty miles that day, they took up their camp for the night. Big Doe river, a bold and limpid mountain stream, flowing hard by, afforded the campers, their horses and beef cattle, abundance of pure and refreshing water.(+) Here, a man of the name Miller resided who shod several of the horses of the party.["]

      The Battle of Kings Mountain took place in October 1780. Its successful outcome for the Patriots marked the beginning of the end of the Revolution. Not only was the Battle important strategically, it was fought by British Regulars who were actually colonists who remained loyal to the Crown against their fellow colonists who were revolutionary Patriots. There are numerous web sites where the reader may find further details about the Battle of Kings Mountain and its peculiar importance to the American cause.

      The Move to Wilkes County, Georgia

      It was during the sojourn in Watauga, in 1785, that Mary Hale Talbot, Matthew's wife of thirty-two years died, and soon after the years in the Tennessee country came to an end. He was approaching sixty years of age by that time. Exactly what motives prompted him to forsake his life there is not known and he left no known record to reveal them. But around 1783-1785 he moved with what remained of his family to Wilkes County, Georgia, where his younger brother John, who had become a very successful planter and political leader, had settled just a few years before. Furthermore, current scholarship has revealed that his half sister, Martha, and her husband, Barnabus Arthur, were either living there, came about the same time, or soon afterward. Whether it was Mary's death, his ministry, the wanderlust of a pioneer, or family ties, the fact of his moving is certain. His brothers, Charles and James, had died during the American Revolution and his half-brother, Isham, had moved to Kentucky, and so there could very well have been some interest on his part in being nearer his sister and brother. In addition, a number of families from Bedford County and Campbell County in Virginia had relocated in Wilkes County, Georgia during and immediately after the American Revolution. He perhaps abandoned his ranching interests as he did the gristmill and pursued the ministry as his principal occupation.

      Matthew (III), William, Edmund, and Clayton joined their father in the move to Wilkes County. Mary, Hale, and Thomas stayed in Watauga although Hale left for Kentucky after a short time and Thomas relocated further west in Nashville. The four brothers who accompanied their father to Georgia soon found brides and began families of their own. Matthew (III) and William married Lucy Bailey and Mary Bailey, perhaps sisters although no records have been found to substantiate that speculation. Clayton married Mary Crews and Edmund married Mary Harvey. Mary Harvey's father was a preacher, an occupation that her new husband was to follow for the remainder of his life.

      Matthew (II) Talbot, now a widower, and with his family at or near adulthood, surely continued his ministry but we have no record of that effort. He was married a second time to a woman named Agnes. It is not known whether the union occurred in Tennessee or in Georgia, or who her antecedents were. They had no children.

      Matthew (II) Talbot lived perhaps a quarter century or more in Georgia. Unfortunately, the paucity of records available to document that time provides little insight as to the events that filled those years. By the time of his death in Morgan County, Georgia in 1812, he had many grandchildren. All his children with the exception of Matthew (III) were still living. He had survived all his siblings with the exception of his half brother, Isham, who was living in Kentucky at the time of Matthew(II)'s death and with whom he had probably had little contact.

      And so ended the life of a truly great man. He had seen the young country grow from a collection of thirteen struggling colonies to become a world power. Its economic muscle was strong and would become even mightier. He could look back on a life that had been filled with hardship and much adventure and surely he could take pride in having been a substantial player in a saga that few had witnessed and perhaps even fewer had thought possible. He could not know then that his descendants would find their place in a host of disciplines and that many would distinguish themselves in significant ways. But surely, he would have been the most pleased with knowledge that so many of his descendants would follow his example to serve others, either as ministers, physicians and other health care professionals, or teachers. He had laid the groundwork well.
    Person ID I38351  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 5 Jul 2018 

    Family Mary HAILE,   b. 7 Jul 1730, Baltimore County, MD Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1785, Watauga [Present-Day TN] Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 54 years) 
    Married Jun 1753  Bedford County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. William TALBOT,   b. 1761, Bedford County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 5 Aug 1831, Walton County, GA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age < 70 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 5 Jul 2018 11:25:31 
    Family ID F16539  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart