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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Keeping Up With the Joneses IV

Mathew, Pete & Emily Jones
I think that my Jones ancestry is pretty solid from my grandfather James Dewey Jones to his parents Jacob Jones (1866-1951) and Nancy Rosanna “Rosa” Barnes (1872-1948), and to Jacob’s parents Mathew Jones and Emily Nevil Jones (the Nevil name is variously spelled Nevil, Nevils, Neville, Nevilles, and others).  I got distracted by the serendipitous discovery, made while preparing my last post, of additional documentation to support the Mathew/Emma to Jacob connection, so I didn’t even mention Mathew & Emily’s marriage record I found at the Georgia’s Virtual Vault website.  There is a lot of bleed-through on this page of the marriage book, but I enhanced it a bit, and it legible enough to make out that they were married in Bulloch Count on 7 June 1860 by John G Williams M.G. (Minister of the Gospel).  A quick Google search confirms that Williams was an early pastor of the Upper Black Creek [Primitive Baptist] Church.
Mathew Jones & Emily Nevil marriage record

The only confirmed census records for Mathew Jones I have so far are 1900, 1880 and 1870.  I also have Matthew & Emily’s gravestones and Emily’s  Widow’s Indigent Pension application from 1906.  These are often called Confederate soldier's widow's pensions.  The last two are in agreement that Mathew died 21 September 1904, and that Emily was born 21 September 1839 (yes, sadly, her husband died on her 65th birthday), and her tombstone gives her date of death as 27 November 1910.  But when was Mathew born?  Mathew’s tombstone says 16 May 1833.  Emily states on her Pension application that it was 16 May 1834, in Liberty County, Georgia.  The 1870 census says he was 35 and the 1880 census says he was 45, both of which allow us to calculate his year of birth as 1835.  However, the 1900 census, which asked the month and year of birth in addition to the age, records that he was born in May 1833 and was 67 at the time.  So far I’ve had no luck finding him in the 1850 or 1860 census, and prior to 1850 the census didn’t list the names of all members of the household, so the year of birth remains inconclusive.  Then there is the matter of his parents.  On that both my cousin and I were stuck for a while.

Then I came across a posting from 2001 on the Jones mailing list archive (JONES-L Archives) on Rootweb.  In the opening sentences is states:
I found this in the Atlanta Archives. Hope it helps someone, I copied it verbatim:
Nancy Hendricks b. 2-17-1820 d 8-8-1907 married William M. Jones b 11-24-1813 d 8-25-1877
Their children:
Mathew E. "Mack" Jones b 1835 married in 6-7-1860 to Emily "Emma" Neville b 1839
(http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/jones/2001-03/0983934562)
The posting goes on to list additional children of William and Nancy and their spouses.  I tracked some of these and was able to confirm names and dates in many cases.  I was able to find 1850 (Lumpkin County) and 1860 (Bulloch County) census forms for William and Nancy Jones, nothing for 1870, and 1880 and 1900 census forms for a widowed Nancy Jones living in Bulloch County with her children.  So far I haven’t found a marriage record or gravesites for either of them.  The problem is of course that there is no census or other form listing Mathew on the same document as his parents.  Additionally, I can’t confirm William or Nancy living in Liberty County around 1833-1835.  I had hoped to verify some documents this week, but the Virtual Vault website seems to be down this weekend (4-6 March 2011).  The main Georgia Archives website works (http://www.sos.ga.gov/archives/), but none of the links to the Vault (http://cdm.sos.state.ga.us/) seem to be working. [UPDATE 4/7/2010: The website has been fixed, just make sure that the first part of the web address url after the // is cdm.sos instead of content.sos.  I will update attempt to update all the links in my posts.]   In any case, I haven’t had luck with the finding additional documentation, but I hope to at least find a marriage record, perhaps by ordering microfilm from the Family History Library
Emily Jones' Widow's Indigent pension application for 1906
East Georgia in 1835; map courtesy of the Newberry Library
(http://historical-county.newberry.org/website/Georgia/viewer.htm)
 Another issue, and the reason I spent so much time discussing Mathew’s year of birth, is that if the record of Nancy Hendricks’ birth is correct she would have been 13, 14 or 15 years old when Mathew was born.  None of these very young ages are unheard of for brides in the early 1800s, but it does give one pause.  I did find Jones and Hendricks/Hendrix families in close proximity in Bulloch County, so the connection is entirely possible.  Nevertheless, the link to my possible 3G Grandparents William M & Nancy (Hendricks) Jones is tenuous at best, supported by only one transcribed document with no additional primary or secondary sources.  Still, while researching this particular set of names I came across another posting in the Rootsweb mailing list archive, in this case the GA maililng list (GADATA-L Archives) at http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/gadata/2004-02/1076555967.  This is a lengthy discussion of a Daniel E. Jones who was born around 1787 in North Carolina to a Welsh immigrant, Daniel Eastwood Jones, and his Irish wife.  (I’ve also seen both father and son listed as Daniel Eastman Jones in other family trees since this initial discovery.)  The original posting to Rootsweb was made by William Scott, Jr., in 2004.  It details Daniel E’s wife Susanah and lists their children, William among them.  In part, it says:
He [Daniel E. Jones] married Susanah Miller on 3 October 1811 in Tattnall County, and they had all their children there. Susanah was born in Screven County, Georgia, in 1793, a daughter of Revolutionary Soldier William Miller (1759-1837) and Amy Barker (1760-1831). One of William Miller's ancestors, James Wood, founded Winchester, Virginia.
William M. Jones
b. 24 November 1813 Tattnall County, Georgia
d. 25 August 1877 Bulloch County, Georgia
married Nancy Hendricks
17 February 1820 Tattnall County, Georgia
8 August 1907 Bulloch County, Georgia
daughter of John Hendricks (1790-1837) and Jemima Brewton (1798-1876)
The post also details property ownership by Daniel père in Tatnall and Bulloch Counties and by Daniel fils in Bulloch County, and that Daniel E. (the son) moved his family to Lumpkin County, near present-day Dahlonega, in the 1840s.  As Bill Scott tells it:
In the 1840s, Daniel and his family, with the exception of daughter Mary (who married John Smith), moved to Lumpkin County in the 1840s. He was listed in the 1854 and 1855 Lumpkin Tax Digests, in Davis's District #935, owning 154 in 1854 and 156 in 1855, and one slave. His son William M. Jones (who married Nancy Hendricks), the only one of Daniel's children to eventually return to Bulloch County, was also listed, with 3 children and 70 acres.

Why would Daniel E. Jones move with his family at that time even though he owned farmlands in Bulloch County?  Because of the Georgia Gold Rush.  The Wikipedia article is a good starting place, but this is a good example of why you should try to understand the history of the state and the country at the times in which your ancestors lived.  Knowing when major events of the time occurred, not just wars, but things like this Gold Rush, the various financial panics and depressions, etc. help you to understand their motivation and something of their lives.  This will help to make your forebears come alive to you.

Marriage record for Daniel E. Jones & Susannah Miller
I was able to find a transcribed marriage record from the Tattnall County marriage books for “Danl. E. Jones to Susannah Miller; License issued 30 Sept. 1811, and married 3 Oct. 1811”.  This marriage transcription, dating from March 1938, is what is preserved in the microfilm.  I can only assume that the original books had deteriorated to such an extent that they weren’t made available to the team performing the microfilming.  There is a notation in the book verifying the authenticity of the transcription, performed by Hazel Easterling and Ella Mae Scott and signed by the Ordinary of Tattnall County.  I also have census forms for Daniel E. Jones for 1820 and 1830 in Bulloch County and for 1840 and 1850 in Lumpkin County.  The ages of the members of his household given before 1850 seem to agree with what is expected based on the children listed in the Rootsweb posting.

One big problem connecting all Daniel and William M. Jones to Mathew “Mack” Jones is that on two separate census years (1880 & 1900) Mack says that his father was born in South Carolina.  The census for William M. Jones reports that he was born in Georgia, as does the document detailing the two Daniels and William.  While this isn’t a complete deal-breaker, it is a huge red flag.  More research and more documentation are needed before I can accept the lineage given in these two Rootsweb postings.  This is a prime example of both the value and the danger of relying on other people’s research.  I need to do additional research of my own in order to decide which of the conflicting claims, if either, is true.  And I’ve reached another brick wall.  My plan of attack is to document all the Mathew Joneses and William Joneses for the appropriate years, and their families where possible, by search census records, deeds & mortgages and marriage books.  This will give me an idea of how many people could have these names, and how many could be related.  Hopefully someone will come through with more information to make this search more focused, or another discovery will open new windows on this portion of my family’s past.

Here’s your summary:

  • It is often helpful to search Rootsweb, Ancestry.com forums, GaGenWeb and other forum sites and mailing lists for your surnames and counties.  Often a Google search will turn these up; to search within each forum or mailing list using Google without having to go to each site separately use the following trick (I learned it from The Genealogy Guys podcast, but it has been posted on numerous other websites and blogs): in the Google search box, type in the surname and any other search terms to narrow your search, then type a space, then type the word “site” (without the quotation marks) followed by a colon (the two dots) followed by a forum or mailing list website’s base url, like this
    Jones Bulloch Georgia site:archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com
    Typing in
    Jones Bulloch Georgia site:Rootsweb.com
    gives a different set of results, as does
    Jones Bulloch Georgia site:ancestry.com
    The important thing is to leave a space between your search term(s) and the word “site” but DON’T leave spaces between “site” and the colon (“:”) and the url.  You can have whatever complex search terms you want, with or without quotation marks before the space and the word “site”, so I can type:
    “Mathew Jones” +Bulloch +“deed book” site:rootsweb.ancestry.com
    in Google and hit the search button for a different set of results.  As usual, add or subtract search terms and modify the url as needed.  The + marks (plus signs) aren’t supposed to make a difference, but I find that sometimes they do.
  • To repeat (because it bears repeating frequently): Families weren't always consistent or particularly accurate with names or ages when talking to the census takers.  When conflicts arise, try to arrive at a reasonable decision based on a preponderance of evidence.
  • Marriage and death records can often be found online at Georgia’s Virtual Vault, a digital document resource from the Georgia Archives and the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.

Later y’all,

*GeorgiaTim

4 comments:

Heather Rojo said...

I'm glad to see that you weren't afraid to tackle your Joneses. It took me many tries and 30 years, but I got mine back to the time of the American Revolution in Boston, fresh off the boat from Wales. It was difficult, but I learned a lot.

Jim jones said...

if this is the line that it seems to be, follow noble jones in Savannah Ga. It will be interesting what you find.

*GeorgiaTim said...

Heather, that's good to know. It's always inspiring to hear of others' successes with their family histories. It helps to keep you going when you hit a dry patch in your own research.

Jim, thank you for the suggestion. I don't believe I've encountered a Noble Jones yet. I'll look into that. I believe there are no dead ends, some leads are just incredibly long detours!

William Scott Jr. said...

Hi, I'm the William Scott whose Rootsweb passage you cited. I descend from William and Nancy Hendricks Jones's daughter Jane, who married William Cartee. I'm honored to be mentioned in your blog. Please contact me, I'd love to exchange information. aeturnallrain31@aol.com.