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History of the Matlock Family Association

MATLOCK researchers may have heard of the work done by Jess Nettles Armstrong. She put out a series of booklets in the mid 1970's titled "They Multiplied -The Story Of The Matlocks/Medlocks". Unfortunately for all of us she passed away in the early 80's and nobody took over her work. In the early part of 1999 Mrs. Armstrong's husband and children agreed to give all of her research to Shawn Zane Matlock. It was a full pickup truck load. As you can imagine he has been overwhelmed by the amount of paper involved. Sadly most of her writing is not legible and if we could pass along one tip for family researchers it would be: please print and think of the person who comes behind you to pick up the pieces. Shawn has been posting the booklets and other information to this web page. He has also included a few photos on his own pages.

Meanwhile, Jana McPherson Black who descends from Susan Mulvina Matlock on her mother's side assumed the MATLOCK Mailing List in 1998. Her direct lines can be seen on her web site Climbing the Branches. As research efforts continue and many others joined in the quest, she has been approached by other "old time" researchers who knew and worked with Jess Armstrong or her cohorts, Melba Duddick Woods,  Edgar L. Matlock, and Marie Matlock Harris, to name a few. All agree the collected efforts of all family members are best published to benefit all as we attempt to find our "place" in this family. We are now involving a second and third generation of researchers but we still don't have this very large family all sorted out. It is the purpose of this page to assist all descendants in this process.

In the year 1999, Shawn and Jana decided to collaborate in creating this website to make all the information freely available and accessible online to benefit all MATLOCK family researchers. In the year 2000, Winnie Bailey, who had inherited the work of Melba Duddick Woods and Marie Matlock Harris offered to add all of that information to the website. Also in the year 2000, longtime Mailing List contributors, Brenda Stanton Avila, Wanda R. Grubb Albers and others began the massive project of collecting, indexing and posting to the web all the MATLOCK census data in every state for every census year. These hard working folks have not stopped and are constantly adding more data as they find it to their pages! About this same time, Joe Matlock of Tennessee came aboard and started putting the compiled information together so that GedComs for the lineages could easily be generated. We now know that there are errors in the original work and corrections are being made as they are proved, so never feel afraid to contact us if you see we have something wrong!

By 2002, we decided to create an umbrella for all this good work and the Not-for-Profit Matlock Family Association was born! Our work is ongoing and collaborative ~ a legacy for all of our descendants! This family is huge and all the children named their children after each other over and over again in the finest of American traditions, so the work is complex. Of one thing we are certain, however ... If we all continue to work together, eventually we may actually get this family all sorted out!