Isaac Jones homestead (1837-1851) Calloway County, KY

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Earliest Known Land Purchase.

Now that it's been established that Isaac Jones wasn't living in Surry County, NC or just across the border in neighboring Virginia prior to 1801, where exactly was he? We know that he was definitely residing in the state of North Carolina as early as 1788 based on the birth of his oldest child and son Thomas.

The answer to Isaac's pre-1801 whereabouts lies in a series of Rowan County, North Carolina deeds beginning in 1798 and ending in 1803. The first deed dated March 2, 1798 involves John Hill of the county of Rowan selling to Isaac Jones "of the same county", one hundred acres of land lying on the waters of Cedar Creek for the sum of twenty pounds lawful money of the state. The land lay adjacent to Andrew Hunt and Henry Miller and the deed was witnessed by Nathan Chaffin Sr. and E. V. Harbin. Cedar Creek once lay in the far northern portion of Rowan County just across the southern border of Surry County in what is today known as Davie County. The second deed appears nearly four years later dated September 23, 1801 and involves Isaac Jones now of Surry County selling to William Graham, 100 acres of land on the waters of Cedar Creek for the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars. As before, the land is adjacent to Andrew Hunt and Henry Miller although this time the deed is witnessed by E.V. Harbin and Elisha Stonestreet. Two months later on October 10, 1801, Isaac makes his first land purchase in Surry County, buying one hundred and forty two acres of land along the waters of Hunting Creek from Noel Waddle. The deed states that both parties are from Surry County and was witnessed by James Whitlock and John Brown. Isaac would once again be involved with the Cedar Creek piece of land by acting as a witness on December 6, 1803 when William Graham sold the land to a Thomas Canter.

It's important to note that both Cedar Creek and Hunting Creek hold much more significance than simply being place markers on a few land deeds. Both areas were Methodist strongholds in their perspective counties dating back as far as the first emergence of Methodism on the Western North Carolina frontier. Prior to the formation of Davie County in 1836, Cedar Creek lay in the far northern part of Rowan County once referred to as the Forks of the Yadkin. Not far to the southwest of Cedar Creek is Beal's Meeting House, established in 1780 and the oldest Methodist church in North Carolina west of the Yadkin River. Just directly to the south of Cedar Creek is another nearby early Methodist Church also dating back to1780 known as Whitaker's Meeting House. And just to the east was once located the historic Cokesbury School, the first Methodist school in North Carolina, started in the early 1790's and organized by James Parks and Hardy Jones, who incidentally would both also eventually relocate to the Hunting Creek area of Surry County. James Parks would go on to serve as a local elder on the Iredell Methodist Circuit during the 1820's, while Isaac Jones would fill the position of local deacon during that time. Many of Isaac's later acquaintances and neighbors in Surry County and even later in Tennessee had once resided in this area of Rowan County. People such as James Whitlock and Matthew Sparks, whose sons would eventually marry Isaac's daughters Alvina and Jane. Famed Methodist preachers James Patterson and Gersham Hunt, the  later of which was the brother of Isaac's neighbor on Cedar Creek, Andrew Hunt. Gersham Hunt would eventually go on to cofound the Liberty Methodist Church in Williamson County, Tennessee, one of the oldest Methodist congregations in that state.

1798 Rowan County, NC Deed~John Hill to Isaac Jones

1801 Rowan County, NC Deed~Isaac Jones to William Graham

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