Many Panola County, Texas residents are descendants of Adam Sherrill, who was born about 1700 in Cecil Co, Maryland. Most of these residents are also descendants of the Matthews family, a related family.
The Matthews family came to Texas about 1839 from Alabama and settled near "Jaybird", close to the present location of the Mt Zion Methodist Church north east of DeBerry, Texas. Some of the Sherrill family and the Matthews family also located in Milam Co, Texas near Cameron.
Both the Sherrills and the Matthews have an interesting history. Thomas D. Mathews, a Panola County immigrant, married Mary Mason Sherrill and brought their family to Panola Co about 1839.
Mary Mason Sherrill's ancestors included Adam Sherrill, who was born about 1700 in Cecil Co, Maryland. Adam married Elizabeth Corzine and moved to York Co, Pennsylvania about 1726. About 20 years later, they traveled down the Old Wagon Road and settled in Augusta County, Virginia and finally went on the Catawba River in North Carolina.
The Sherrills founded a settlement called Sherrill's Ford on the Catawba that would prove to be a strategic crossing during the Revolutionary War some 25 years later.
Mary Mason Sherrill Matthew's grandfather, Uriah "Ute" Sherrill, was about 19 years of age in 1745. The Sherrill's were truly on the frontier of North Carolina at that time, and one can image the hazards they faced during the French and Indian War that began in 1755. War seemed to be a way of life on the frontier. If it wasn't the Indians the settlers had to fight, it was the French in the Seven Years War or the British in the Revolutionary War.
Speaking of the Revolutionary War, after a stalemate in the New England states, the British turned to the southern states to try to quell the rebellion. First, the British occupied Savannah, Georgia. Then when Charleston, South Carolina also fell, the British were ready to overrun the southern states with nothing to stop them.
Major Patrick Ferguson, commander of the British troops began a pincer movement through the Broad River area of South Carolina toward North Carolina. He sent word to the "Over Mountain Men" of Tennessee and North Carolina to remain neutral or he would burn their homes and hang their men. The mountain men along with Isaac Shelby, John Sevier and others caught Major Ferguson and his troops encamped on Kings Mountain. The British were defeated there, and Major Ferguson was killed. Ute Sherrill and other Sherrill men participated in the battle.
Ute Sherrill's son, Lewis Lanier Sherrill was living in South Carolina in the early 1800's. His daughter, Mary Mason Sherrill married Thomas Dickensen Matthews, moved to Alabama and later to Panola Co, Texas.
Thomas D Matthews and Mary Mason Sherrill had the following children:
James Lewis Matthews, b. 4 June 1819
All of Thomas D Matthews and Mary Mason Sherrill's children lived in Panola County, Texas and left many descendants. All of these children are descendants of the Sherrill family as well as the Matthews family. The American Revolution may have happened two centuries ago, but many Panola County ancestors made a contribution to our freedom.
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