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

Monday, May 28, 2012

Child #4.....Burrel Jones (1795-1868).....Part 1

Child number four for Isaac Jones, and my personal great (x4) grandfather, was Burrel Jones born sometime between June and late August of 1795 in Rowan County, NC. Having spent 16 of the first 22 years of his life living directly next door to the family of John Brown, it really comes as no surprise that on March 4, 1817 Burrel and his father Isaac apply for a marriage bond in Surry County with Burrel's chosen bride being listed as Elizabeth Brown. 

Elizabeth was born in Surry County, NC sometime during the summer of 1799 to her parents John and Molly Brown. Elizabeth's father had migrated to Surry County in the late 1780's from Rowan County where he was born sometime circa 1768. John Brown was the son of German immigrants who had come to Rowan County at such an early point that they are considered some of it's earliest settlers. His father Jacob Braun had gained a reputation throughout the area for building exceptional wagons, eventually becoming known regionally as "The Wagonmaker". Jacob's brother Michael was also a prominent early settler, serving as constable in the early 1760's and later that decade building the now-famous "Old Stone House" which still stands near the town of Granite Quarry and is considered the oldest still-standing private residence in the county.

Old Stone House, Rowan County, NC

Elizabeth Brown's mother has long thought to have been a woman named Molly McCulloch. This is based on a marriage record in Rowan County dated November 26, 1788 showing a John Brown marrying a Mary McCulloch. Unfortunately, THIS IS A CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY. The first sign of this can be seen in the July 27, 1812 Rowan County will of Mary's father James McCulloh (McCulloch). In it he makes mention of some slaves being left to Mary, referring to them as the "negroes now in possession of Revd. John Brown her husband." This Reverend John Brown finds further mention in a book by George Howe called "History Of The Presbyterian Church in South Carolina: Volume 2" in which he is said to have moved to South Carolina from Ireland as a boy. After serving in the American Revolution, he went to Salisbury, NC (Rowan County) to study under a Dr. S. E. McCorkle and then was licensed by the Presbytery of Concord in 1788. After marrying Mary McCulloch he eventually went back to South Carolina and became a Professor of Logic and Moral Philosophy at South Carolina College (currently University of South Carolina). Then was appointed president of the University of Georgia during the War of 1812. He would eventually die in Ft. Gaines, Georgia in 1842.

What is known about Elizabeth Brown's correct mother Molly is very little and primarily comes from later census records that indicate she was born in Pennsylvania sometime around 1764. Circumstantial evidence has led one Brown Family researcher and myself to believe that Elizabeth's mother Molly was actually the daughter of John Roark. Elizabeth's uncle David Brown had married John Roark's daughter Sarah, and John Roark had also relocated to Washington County, TN where John Brown's father "The Wagonmaker" was now living. Despite living in separate states, John Brown is granted by the Surry County court the appointment of administrator of John Roark's estate in 1804 which would further imply a possible direct marital connection between the two men.

At some point following Burrel's marriage to Elizabeth Brown in 1817, Surry County tax records for that same year indicate that Burrel had acquired a 100 acre tract of land in the vicinity of Hunting Creek. It's difficult to determine exactly how the land came into his possession due to the fact that not a single document of any sort pertaining to the transaction has surfaced. I tend to believe that the most likely scenario is that the land was gifted to Elizabeth from her father at the time of her marriage to Burrel. This would explain the need for a marriage bond and the eventual wording in her father's 1830 will stating that he was leaving her "50 cents over and above what she has already had." County tax records only show Burrel owning this land during the years 1817 and 1818 which corresponds with the couples relocation to Warren County, Tennessee in 1819.

Burrel's activities during his years spent in Warren County are somewhat vague due to the lack of existing documents for the county. The earliest written record of Burrel in Warren County would be the 1820 Federal Census where he is listed below his brother Thomas and shown as having two females under the age of ten now living in his home. These would be Burrel and Elizabeth's daughters Jeannette Caroline Jones (24 Jan-1818-NC) and Mary Elizabeth Jones aka "Polly" ( 10 Jan 1820-TN). A year later the couple would have a third daughter named Marthena C. Jones aka "Bethany" (1821-TN).

Apart from the 1820 Census the only other Warren County documents that make mention of Burrel are a couple of county plat records listing him as a chain carrier involved in a land survey in 1824 for a Stephen Griswold. Based on the plat record I spoke of in my earlier post about Burrel's brother Wiley, it appears Burrel and his brothers were living along the Barren Fork of the Duck River also known as the Big Duck. This area is now located in Coffee County just to the southwest of Warren County.

Set of 18th Century Survey Chains.

By 1827 Burrel and Elizabeth had had another baby girl, this one named Nancy Clarentine Jones (1827-TN). The 1830 Census seems to indicate that they also gave birth to an unknown male child born sometime between 1821-1825. With his father Isaac having left North Carolina and now living just two counties to the west, Burrel moves his family to Williamson County in 1828. County tax records for the year show him owning 35 acres on Flat Creek adjacent Isaac and his brother-in-law William Jeffrey who had married Burrel's younger sister Lidia back in Surry County. This first year in Williamson County would also mark the birth of Burrel and Elizabeth's son William T. Jones (1828-TN). Burrel's stay in Williamson County would prove to be short-lived with tax records showing him still in the county in 1829, but by 1830 he had once again relocated. This time to Henry County in the far northwestern section of Tennessee.

Due to the lack of supporting deeds and tax lists, researchers have long debated whether Burrel was ever actually in Henry County between the years 1830 and 1840. This debate has further been fueled by the fact that Burrel appears in the Calloway County, Kentucky tax records during the years 1834 and 1839. With the two counties bordering each other and the town of Wadesboro in Calloway County being the location of the entire region's land office, the notion that Burrel would own land in Kentucky while living just across the border in Tennessee is well within the realm of possibility.

Starting with the 1830 Census for Henry County, TN you definitely find a "Burrell Jones" listed, although the household information is slightly skewed with the addition of an unknown male child and the number of female children coming up short by one. Not being a person who puts much stock or faith in the federal census, let's examine some of Burrel's children from that period of time. The next child in succession to be born to Burrel and Elizabeth was my great (x3) grandfather John Logan Jones (6 Jan 1831-TN) who throughout his life consistently claimed he was born in Tennessee. After John Logan came his younger brother Marion Alexander Jones (11 April 1833-TN) whose death certificate which was filed on September 24, 1921 states he was born in Tennessee. Coupled with this is the fact that when Marion Alexander married his cousin Samantha E. Jeffrey aka "Amanda" in Calloway County, KY on August 13, 1856, the marriage registry book lists his birthplace as being Henry County, TN.

And speaking of marriage registry books, the Henry County, TN marriage registry book shows Burrel's daughters Polly and Bethany both getting married on April 27, 1839. Polly to Nathaniel P. Jones and Bethany to Martin Morefield, two young Methodist ministers living in the Jonathan Creek area of Calloway County at the time. It's important to remember that at this point in time, marriages occurred and were registered in the bride's county of residence. The combination of all this leaves little doubt in my mind that Burrel was certainly living in Henry County, TN between the years 1830-1840.

This marriage between Nathaniel P. Jones and Polly Jones has led to a lot of confusion amongst researchers with some mistakenly believing Nathaniel was a son of Burrel and others believing Polly was originally a Huffman prior to marriage. While Calloway County marriage records do indeed show that a Polly Huffman married a John Jones on November 15, 1831, the Polly that married Nathaniel P. Jones was born on January 10, 1820 making her the unlikely age of eleven at the time of this other marriage. This scenario is even more unlikely based on the fact that the Henry County marriage record makes no mention of Polly Jones being a widow, a practice common at the time; nor does it explain away the fact that the only two marriages that occurred on that day in Henry County were two women with the last name Jones and their husbands-to-be were both Methodist ministers living in the immediate vicinity of Isaac Jones' family in Calloway County. An even clearer indicator that Nathaniel P. Jones had married Burrel's daughter Polly is that from 1839 forward he shadows Burrel's every move, eventually showing up next to Burrel on the 1850 Census for McCracken County, KY and then the 1860 Census for Independence County, Arkansas. Nathaniel and Polly would also name one of their sons Burrel and it was Nathaniel that acted as the "security" on the $2000 bond posted for the administration of Burrel's estate in 1868.

And what of the Calloway County, KY tax records that list Burrel from 1834-1839? Based on the fact that the earliest tax list from 1834 doesn't show Burrel or any of his siblings owning or being taxed for land, I would say Burrel's inclusion was more a means of establishing official residency which most likely had it's benefits. This theory is further supported by the fact that on the following year's tax list, all of his siblings are shown being taxed for various amounts of land from their father's Tinsley Survey. Everyone except Burrel. It is not until the 1836 county tax list that you see Burrel actually being taxed for any land, which would make sense considering his only known Calloway County land purchases were made in 1835. These being his July 29, 1835 purchase of 160 acres for $20 from the land office in Wadesboro and his August 19, 1835 purchase of 160 acres from Adams Sutherland. As I mentioned before in a couple of my earlier posts, this land and the similar purchases made by his brothers were all signed over to his father Isaac in 1836. Despite this Burrel is continued to be shown as being taxed for various amounts of land from 1837-1840, 1842, and 1843, with the last three years being in direct conflict with his known residency being McCracken County, KY at that time. I tend to think that Burrel's inclusion on the Calloway County tax records had nothing to do with Burrel actually physically residing in Calloway County, but instead was indicative to a larger family land owning system and a shared tax burden.

When you examine the exact locations of the two Calloway County land purchases made by Burrel, it would appear the land was likely occupied by his adult children and not Burrel. The two sections of land are described as being the NW and SW quarters of Section 15, Township 3, Range 5 East which would position this land northeast and directly east of the Jeffrey Cemetery. With Burrel's oldest daughter Jennette having married John Wesley Peter in 1836 and several of their infant children buried in the Jeffrey Cemetery, I would say it's pretty likely they occupied the section directly to the east before relocating to Marshall County. In later years I think this is also the same sections of land where you find Burrel's daughter Nancy and her husband Henry Z. Hawkins living in 1850. As far as the land being signed over to Isaac in 1836, there's nothing to indicate that Isaac didn't put up the original money and Burrel just made the purchase in his absence never intending to actually own the land, once again pointing to a possible larger family land-owning system designed by Isaac or maybe just the time itself.

I would even venture to say that the land Burrel is seen being taxed for in Calloway County was just land from Isaac's Tinsley Survey with it being understood that it would eventually pass to him through his father's estate. What is interesting about these tax lists and the Tinsley land is that the stated watercourse varies from year to year, sometimes named as Jonathan's Creek and other times as being on Clarks River. This can be seen in Burrel's final three Calloway County tax listings from 1840, 1842, and 1843. This name variation lends support to my theory because after Isaac's death, Burrel is shown in the 1852 McCracken County tax records as owing 80 acres in McCracken and an additional 100 acres along Clarks River in Marshall County. This also once again backs my assertion that Isaac's Tinsley Survey was much further to the north of the area thought to be it southwest of Hico around Little Jonathan Creek.

One last argument used to dispel the notion that Burrel was actually living in Henry County, TN and not Calloway County from 1830-1840 is the Kentucky births of his children Isaac W. (1837-KY) and Lutitia P. Jones (1839-KY). With it only being roughly 20 miles or less from the Henry County line to the Hico area of Calloway County, this is hardly an unreasonable distance to travel in order to have children among the care of your immediate extended family and was quite common at the time. This would certainly have been the case with their daughter Lutitia's birth because by this point Burrel and Elizabeth's older daughters had all married and left home.

Apart from conducting some business and having a few of his children living in Calloway County, KY, I firmly believe Burrel spent the years 1830-1839 actually living in Henry County, TN before eventually relocating to McCracken County, Kentucky by 1840.

1817 Surry County, NC Marriage Bond ~ Burrel Jones to Elizabeth Brown

1824 Warren County, TN Plat Record ~ Burrel Jones (chain carrier)

1828 Williamson County, TN Tax List ~ Burrel Jones

1829 Williamson County, TN Tax List ~ Burrel Jones

Henry County, TN Marriage Registry Book ~ Nathaniel P. Jones to Polly Jones / Martin Morefield to Bethany C. Jones 1839

Calloway County, KY Marriage Registry Book ~ Marion A. Jones to Amanda E. Jeffrey (proof of father Burrel's Henry County, TN residency)

1834 Calloway County, KY Tax List ~ Burrel Jones

1835 Calloway County, KY Tax List ~ Burrel Jones

1835 Calloway County, KY Land Office Receipt ~ Adams Sutherland to Burrel Jones

1835 Calloway County, KY Land Office Receipt ~ State to Burrel Jones

1836 Calloway County, KY Tax List ~ Burrel Jones

1838 Calloway County, KY Tax List ~ Burrel Jones

1839 Calloway County, KY Tax List ~ Burrel Jones

1840 Calloway County, KY Tax List ~ Burrel Jones

1842 Calloway County, KY Tax List ~ Burrel Jones

1843 Calloway County, KY Tax List ~ Burrel Jones

1852 McCracken County, KY Tax List ~ Burrel Jones


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