On the whole, I have been pretty successful in finding and gathering information pertaining to my various family lines. However, there are a few brick walls that have presented themselves through the years, especially with the Friddle family. I don’t know if I ever will make much progress on Moses Friddles past his supposed 1826 birthdate – but I have had almost as difficult a time on my great grandfather’s mother as well.
Martha “Mattie” E. Brown was born Sep 1862 in North Carolina probably either in Ashe Co., NC or Watauga Co., NC. She was the daughter of a John Brown born abt 1836 in North Carolina and his wife, Margaret J. b. abt 1844 in North Carolina. Her family is recorded in the 1870 census in Taylorsville, Dist. 2, Johnson Co., TN Pg. 3, #18. By the 1880 census, Martha is married to Moses Friddles. I have to wonder on a personal note if the pickings were pretty slim. When she married Moses Friddle on 12 Oct 1878, she was 16 years old and he was 52 years old and she was his 4th wife. Moses died in 1890 and by that time, they had had six children in 10 years. The youngest was my great grandfather. Their children were:
- Roby B. Friddles b. 23 Mar 1879 Johnson Co., TN d. 25 Aug 1928 Johnson Co., TN m. Dora McLain
- Jesse C. Friddles b. 16 Mar 1881 Johnson Co., TN d. ?
- Calia Friddles b. 16 Mar 1883 Johnson Co., TN d. bef 1910 m. Clayton Matherson
- James Blaine Friddles b. 29 Sep 1884 Johnson Co., TN d. 10 Oct 1928 Johnson Co., TN m. 1 25 Dec 1901 Dora Nevada Heck m. 2 4 Nov 1917 Emeline Guy
- Roy Friddles b. 4 Feb 1887 Johnson Co., TN d. bef 22 Apr 1891 Johnson Co., TN
- David Carl Friddle b. 1 May 1889 Johnson Co., TN d. 4 Jan 1955 Lewiston, Nez Perce Co., ID m. 22 Dec 1908 Sophia Vestelle Dollar.
The only reason that I have definite dates on their children is because the information came from Moses Friddles Civil War pension. Evidently, Martha attempted to claim a few children who were no longer living. I’ve never been able to find out much on her siblings or her parents after the 1880 census when they are still recorded in Johnson Co., TN.
By the 1900 census, Martha has remarried to John M. Tester (m. 18 Jun 1899) and is living with him, however her children are not. My great grandfather is located in the household of Richard A. Wilson and is listed as a servant at the age of 11. A short distance away, Calia is listed as a servant of Nathaniel Ward in his household. Roby is listed in the military at Balincaguin, Philippine Islands, Military and Naval Forces, Pg. 1 - 36th Inf, Co H. I’ve never located James and I believe that Jesse and Roy are both dead at this time. I don’t know if Martha and John Tester divorced or separated, but John Tester is remarried after 1903 and Martha marries a T. F. Dyson on 29 Nov 1908 and she herself dies on 16 Jun 1909. I’m not really positive about the third marriage, but I know that the first two did occur and that John M. Tester marries a Virgie in 1903. According to the death record that I found for Mattie Dyson, she died of paralysis at about the age of 50.
My great grandfather never really wanted to go back to Tennessee especially after his brother, James died in 1928. The bare facts of his childhood support the fact that he didn’t have a happy childhood and probably never really had a real childhood or a close relationship with his mother. I know that she worked as a servant for a while for a Judge Vaught and that the old Judge taught my great grandfather how to read and write and that was probably the most formal education he had until he married my great grandmother.
Mattie still remains a mystery. I have some clues to what happened to her but few facts. I can’t seem to find the right section of Browns that would include her family. In this area of Tennessee and North Carolina, Brown might be a more common name than Johnson and then to stick the first name of John on the front really makes it difficult. I was excited a few years ago to finally get a copy of a picture of her. It must have been taken at about the time of Calia’s marriage. Perhaps someday, I will find out more about who she was and who her family was.
|Upper level - James Blaine Friddles next to Calia Friddles - Lower - possibly Clayton Matherson, Dora (James' wife holding baby Jessie) and Martha Brown Friddles Tester on the lower right.|