The McMaths of America are related to the Clan Matheson of Scotland. Family tradition says that two McMath brothers came to America from Scotland before 1750, one settling in "the North" and the other in Virginia. Despite much searching, we have been unable to link our oldest known McMath to either of these brothers.

1. Joseph McMath, (1750 - 1825)

According to the now lost McMath family Bible, Joseph McMath was born in 1750. Reports disagree about a location. Joseph married to Elizabeth WILSHIRE in 1776. No family connections have been discovered for her to date.

Joseph McMath was acknowledged by the NSDAR as serving in the patriotic forces during the American Revolution. However, currently admissions are suspended pending further proof of real service. At one time, it was believed that a certain type of Georgia land grant denoted service, but it later came to light that those grants were also given to citizens who merely stayed in Georgia and did not help the British. In any event, many DAR sources list Joseph McMath as a Revolutionary Veteran, but his actual service is unknown.

Joseph and Elizabeth (Wilshire) McMath had 10 children:

2. Hachaliah McMath, (1799-1876)

Hachaliah McMath was born 16 FEB 1799 in Warren County, GA. His name is Biblical, from Nehemiah 1:1, "The words of Nehemiah, son of Hachaliah..."

Hachaliah McMath married Elizabeth HARBUCK, the daughter of John and Mary Barbara HARBUCK, on 4 MAY 1820. The service was performed by H. Hinton, the Justice of the Peace of Warren County. The family stayed in Warren County for a few years, then been moving westward across Georgia in about 1826.

After a short stay in Jones County, the McMaths arrived in Sumter County, GA in 1834 and began purchasing land. Around this time the white settlers were frequently battling the Indian tribes they were displacing. Hachaliah McMath served as First Sergeant in McCrary's Company of Howard's Battalion in the Georgia Mounted Militia during the Florida Indian Wars.

From 1834 through 1839 Hachaliah McMath shows up frequently in the Sumter County deed books. He was buying and selling a lot of land. He served as the Sumter County Treasurer in 1838-1840. He was also elected as State Representative from Sumter County in 1840.

Through some course of action that I cannot determine, Hachaliah McMath came to be sued by several men, including James H. Killen of Houston County, GA. (in two generations, the Killens and McMaths would marry). As a result of his failure to pay these men what they felt they were owed, Hachaliah McMath's property was seized by the sheriff and sold at auction in 1842. His son William bought the lands. Hachaliah does not appear in Sumter County records after that date.

In 1858 Hachaliah McMath and most of his children, some grown, some not, moved to Henry County, Alabama where he received land through the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Hachaliah seems to have recovered some of his former lifestyle while in Alabama, but was not ever as politically active.

On 7 DEC 1874, the living children of Hachaliah McMath sold his lands in Alabama. It is unclear why Hachaliah's children took this action instead of him or his wife handling the sale.

In any event, Hachaliah McMath died on 5 JUL 1876 and is buried at the Shiloh Baptist Church in Sumter County, GA. His tombstone is broken now, and lying at the foot of the stone of his wife Elizabeth McMath. Sometimes the stone is overgrown by grass. The stone actually reads "Hachariah".

Elizabeth Harbuck McMath lived with her son Joseph McMath and his family until her death on 8 MAY 1884. She is buried at the Shiloh Baptist Church. Her tombstone is broken also, but is propped up by the lower portion of the stone and her footstone.

No probate records have been found for Hachaliah or Elizabeth McMath. I assume they disposed of their possessions when they sold the Alabama land.

Hachaliah and Elizabeth McMath had 13 children. Six of their seven living sons went off to fight in the Civil War, three did not return.

3. Joseph McMath, (1825-1892)

Joseph McMath was born 2 JAN 1825 in Warren or Jones County, GA. His tombstone shows a birth year of 1826, but Joseph stated 1825 in a pension application.

Joseph McMath enlisted as a Private in Company G, 1st Regiment of Georgia Infantry on 12 JUN 1846. He served for 12 months during the Mexican War and was discharged at New Orleans, LA.

After he returned home, Joseph McMath married his neighbor Mary Anne P. HOWELL on 3 AUG 1848. Mary Anne was the daughter of James and Elizabeth (Pearce) HOWELL.

Though I have checked every source I can think of, I cannot determine how Joseph McMath came to be charged guilty of manslaughter on 15 APR 1859 in Sumter County, GA. He entered the State Penitentiary on 30 APR that year as prisoner #1729. Joseph had been sentence to 3 years, but was pardoned on 13 OCT 1860. The Sumter newspapers no longer exist for this time frame, and the court documents only have the verdict of the jury but no details of the case.

After leaving prison, Joseph McMath served as a Private in Company B, 11th Battalion of the Georgia Artillery, also know as the Sumter Flying Artillery. Joseph rose to the rank of Sergeant and was wounded during his time at war. He was on furlough at home to obtain a horse in early 1865, but was back with his unit in time for Lee's surrender at Appomattox.

In 1869 Joseph and Mary McMath left Sumter County for a time. They settled in Buena Vista, Marion County, GA. They were back in Sumter County by 1873.

In 1887, Joseph McMath was given a Federal pension for his service in the Mexican War. He lied about his Confederate service in order to receive his $8 pension. The State of Georgia was not yet giving pensions to its Confederate soldiers and widows.

Joseph McMath died at age 66 on 29 SEP 1892. He is buried in the Howell Family Cemetery in Sumter County on the Shiloh Road. According to his obituary, Joseph McMath was a well-known man. He was respected and had many friends. No mention is made of his prison term.

Mary McMath received a widow's Mexican War pension from 1893 until her death on 13 JUN 1898. Her obituary states that she was "beloved among all for her gentle kindness and many Christian virtues." She is buried in the Howell Family cemetery, but she does not have a tombstone.

Joseph and Mary Anne (Howell) McMath had 13 children:

4. Dr. John Fillmore McMath, (1856-1948)

John Fillmore McMath was born 9 SEP 1856 in Sumter County, GA. As a young man, he was a school teacher, first in Irwin County and then in Terrell County, GA. He taught at Brown's Station in Terrell County where he met Varina Killen.

Fillmore McMath went to the University of Georgia School of Medicine in Augusta, GA and graduated in 1888. After graduating, he returned to Americus to practice medicine and married Varina Killen on 28 APR 1889. She was the daughter of Theodore and Frances (Ellison) Killen.

Dr. McMath served the community of Parrott in Terrell County early in his career, and later moved to the small town of Andersonville. The family moved to Americus in 1903 and lived there for many years.

Fillmore McMath died at age 91, on 28 JAN 1948. He had been ill for several years. He is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Americus.

Varina McMath moved to Adairsville, GA with her daughter Lucy. Varina died on 28 JUL 1953 and is buried beside her husband in Americus.

John Fillmore McMath and Varina Killen had 9 children:

5. Gracie Miriam McMath, (1896-1986)

The fourth child, Gracie Miriam McMath was born 22 NOV 1896 in Andersonville, GA. She was a small child when her family moved to Americus. Gracie attended Americus High School, graduating in the Class of 1915. Gracie taught school until her marriage on 22 JUN 1918 to Gustavus Adolphus ANDERSON. Some of their children are still living, so no details are provided.

Last Revised: 14 SEP 2010