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

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Child # 7.....Joshua Douglas Jones (1810-1894)

Isaac Jones' seventh and youngest child was his son Joshua Douglas Jones who was born on December 9, 1810 in Surry County, NC. Later records seem to indicate that he actually went by the name Douglas. The earliest mention of Joshua in the historic record is his marriage to Sarah C. Bizzell in Maury County, TN on May 7, 1830. Interestingly enough, his marriage bond is cosigned by George Gillespie who was most likely the son of Thomas Gillespie of Rowan County, NC that was mentioned in an earlier post. Sarah was the daughter of Hardy Bizzell (1769-NC) and Margaret Denmark (1784-NC) who had relocated first to Williamson County and then Maury County from Duplin County, NC. Sarah was born on July 12, 1812 in Tennessee and it was her younger brother Thomas G. Bizzell who had married Joshua's niece and my great (x4) grandmother Nancy Caroline Sparks.

Together Joshua and Sarah would have 14 children: Elizabeth Jane (10 Mar 1831-TN), Cynthia Angelene (10 Dec 1832-TN), Margaret Ann (17 Apr 1834-KY), Sarah Caroline (29 Feb 1836-KY), Thomas Marion (22 May 1838-KY), Isaac Hardy (26 Feb 1840-KY), William Bizzell (15 May 1841-KY), John Douglas ( 8 Apr 1843-KY), Tabitha Wells (4 Jun 1845-KY), Andrew Kelly (13 Jul 1847-KY), Lydia Adaline (6 Apr 1849-KY), Nancy Clarenda (26 Aug 1851-KY), Franklin Irvan (20 Oct 1853-KY), and Arizona Sophronia (3 Jun 1857-KY). At least three of these children died before seeing the age of 10 and are buried in marked graves in the Jeffrey Cemetery.

By the early part of 1834, Joshua and Sarah had relocated to Calloway County, KY. The earliest mention of Joshua in the county records that I've been able to locate comes in the form of a deed of mortgage dated February 18, 1834. The deed involves Joshua putting up "three head of cattle, two steers and one heifer, one sow and pigs, one man's saddle, one side saddle, one feather bed, four chairs, one kettle, and one washing tub" as collateral against a $50 loan from his brother-in-law John Jeffrey. As with the rest of his brothers, Joshua first shows up in the county tax records in 1834 without being taxed on any land. By 1835 he is shown being taxed for 331 acres of his father's Tinsley Survey, although it wouldn't be until 1839 before any sort of official transfer of any of this land was documented by deed. This would be the deed I mentioned in an earlier post involving his father Isaac selling him 154 acres for $100 on  July 24, 1839. Tax lists for the following years show him consistently owning 200 to 280 acres of land. County plat records indicate that in 1854 he owned part of the SE 1/4 of Section 15, Township 3, Range 5 East which would be a little ways to the east of the Jeffery Cemetery and adjacent to the land purchases made by his brothers back in 1835.

There is no question that there was something special about Joshua that set him apart from the rest of his brothers. Whether it be that he just had a higher level of education or was just simply a "go to" sort of guy, I find it interesting that it was Joshua who was selected to not only be the administrator of his father Isaac's estate but his brother-in-law Bowen Whitlock's as well. Calloway County estate documents reveal that he was also an appraiser for the estate of John Miller Sr. on January 6, 1844 and participated in numerous other estate sales. As I mentioned before in one of my earliest posts, Joshua was a Freemason and the only son to my knowledge to follow in his father's footsteps and become a minister of the Methodist Church.

Joshua's wife Sarah died on May 5, 1882 just a couple months shy of her 70th birthday and Joshua would follow 12 years later on January 3, 1894 at the age of 83. The couple are buried side by side together in the Jeffrey Cemetery along with many of their descendants.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Child #6.....Jane Jones (1803-186?)

Isaac Jones' sixth child was his daughter Jane who was born circa 1803 in Surry County, NC. As with all of his daughters, very little mention of her early life can be found in records. It is believed by me that she went on to marry John Sparks, the son of Isaac's neighbor Matthew Sparks, in Surry County around 1819. The primary piece of evidence that leads me to this conclusion is Jane's later Calloway County, KY marriage record to her second husband John Jeffrey. The date of the actual marriage license is January 25, 1834 and lists her as "Jane Sparks (widow)" with the marriage being performed a month later by her father Isaac on February 25, 1834.

Knowing that Jane had originally married a Sparks, the most likely candidate would have been someone living close to her family, such as Isaac's immediate neighbor Matthew Sparks. Out of Matthew Sparks' five male children, his youngest son John born circa 1800 seems to be the most likely to fit the bill. John Sparks makes his first appearance on the Surry County federal census in 1820 with his household information seeming to indicate that he was a relative newlywed and only having one daughter under the age of 10. This daughter I believe to be Nancy Caroline Sparks who was born in North Carolina on March 25, 1819. What is interesting here is that on the very next day, John's father Matthew wrote out his will dated March 26, 1819. A series of deeds can be found in the county dated two days prior that show Matthew giving various amounts of land to each of his sons, with his youngest son John receiving 50 acres next to his brother Joel. If you'll remember, this was the same Joel Sparks who purchased land from Isaac Jones in 1826. There is no record of John ever selling this particular piece of land, but a deed does exist dated August 26, 1825 showing him selling his entire rights to the estate of his father for $200. I've noticed that this action has prompted researchers with the Sparks Family Association to describe it as possible "contemplation of moving away from Surry County." I couldn't agree more because he can't be found on the 1830 Surry County census and it wasn't long after 1825 that Isaac's family left the area for Tennessee. Furthermore, out of all of Matthew Sparks' children, male or female, John has been the only one to remain a relative mystery to Sparks Family researchers. In my experience, a situation like this is often indicative of a person being absorbed into a different family through marriage which is exactly what I think happened here.

The only other child known to exist from Jane Jones' marriage to a Sparks is her son Burrell J. Sparks who was born in North Carolina around 1822. It is still unknown as to what became of Jane's first husband, although based on the rest of the family's movements and her subsequent 1834 marriage to John Jeffrey, all signs would seem to indicate that he died in Tennessee and most likely in Lincoln County. The 1830 Census for Lincoln County also seems to indicate that John Jeffrey had a prior marriage before marrying Jane. His listing shows him as being married and having two girls and two boys all under the age of 10. I have yet to be able to determine the identity of John's first wife or any of these four children. This prior marriage also produced a fifth child named William Tolley Jeffrey (1832-TN) who is often mistakenly attributed to Jane Jones, considering the couple didn't marry until 1834 in Kentucky. 

In keeping with the tradition of strange marriages within the Isaac Jones clan, it's very interesting to note that Jane Jones is actually one of my maternal 5th great grandmothers. Kind of odd considering her father Isaac is my maternal 5th great grandfather as well, and her brother Burrel was my maternal 4th great grandfather. This little bit of genetic mathematical trickery is courtesy of Jane's daughter Nancy Caroline Sparks who ended up marrying Thomas G. Bizzell in Calloway County, KY on March 29, 1836. Thomas and Nancy's daughter Margaret Jane Bizzell married my great (x3) grandfather John Logan Jones, son of Jane's brother Burrel. In simpler terms my great (x3) grandfather married his aunt's granddaughter. How's that for keeping it in the family?

With Jane now married to John Jeffrey, the couple together would have three children: Sarah J.(1835), Samantha E. "Amanda"(1838), and James Nix (1845). I tend to get the impression that Jane shared a particularly strong bond with her brother Burrel, with her having named her oldest known male child after him and in later years allowing her daughter Amanda to marry her first cousin and Burrel's son, Marion Alexander Jones.

Jane's marriage to John Jeffrey would come to an end with her death sometime prior to 1870. Evidence of her passing can be seen in her husband's eventual marriage to Francis Belle "Tennessee" Byars. I have yet to locate a marriage record for this union so the exact date is unknown to me. Born in 1846, Tennessee happened to be 39 years younger than John Jeffrey and together the couple had five children that I'm aware of: Ada P.(1871), Etna O.(1873), Judge Boone (1875), Stephen A.(1877), and Robert J.(1880). John Jeffrey would end up dying on September 22, 1885 followed by his wife Tennessee on September 21, 1899. John and Tennessee are buried in the Jeffrey Cemetery with marked graves and I expect his first wife Jane Jones is also buried there in an unmarked grave.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Child #5.....Lydia Jones (1800-1850)

The fifth child born unto Isaac Jones was his daughter Lydia, born circa 1800 in Rowan County, NC. She went on to marry William Jeffrey Jr. sometime in Surry County, NC before 1828. William had been born in Surry County in 1806 and was the son of Isaac's neighbors William and Patsy Jeffrey. As with all of Isaac's daughters, no marriage bond exists, but evidence of the marriage and a general time frame can be found in the Surry County Court Minutes where the couple are shown as having had appeared in court as witnesses for a case titled "The State Vs. Fatherwig(sp?) and Sally Benge. With the court minutes entry being dated November 17, 1828,  it is unclear whether the couple was actually present on that day because it conflicts with William Jeffrey's presence on the 1827 Williamson County, TN tax list. The entry is merely the court declaring that the various witnesses had "proved" their amounts of time served and distance traveled for the case, which would automatically imply the case had been heard at some earlier point in time.

Williamson County, TN tax records show William and Lydia living on Isaac's land along Flat Creek during the years 1827-1837. By 1838 the couple had relocated to Calloway County, KY where William is shown being taxed for 115 acres along the waters of Jonathan's Creek. The 1840 Census for the county would seem to indicate that William and Lydia had given birth to a son at some point between 1825-1830 although any later record of him has yet to surface. The generally accepted first child of William and Lydia was their son William J. Jeffrey (1835-TN), followed by their daughter Martha A. Jeffrey (1837-KY), another son named John P. Jeffrey (1842-KY), and another daughter named Alvina J. or sometimes written Malvina J. Jeffrey ( 1844-KY).

Very little mention of either William or Lydia can be found in the Calloway County records. As with his brother-in-law Bowen Whitlock, the bulk of the documents making mention of William Jeffrey are found in the county will books. The earliest being from 1839 where he is listed as someone who owes money to the estate of Edward Curd, then again in 1843 to the estate of William W. Skaggs, and finally as a buyer in 1844 at the estate sale of John Miller. Lydia can be seen as a buyer at the estate sale of  her sister Alavina in 1849, shown in the document as having purchased a side saddle. Unfortunately, at some point between this purchase and the forthcoming 1850 Census, records indicate that Lydia had passed away.

The primary evidence of this is the fact that her husband William is shown with a new wife named "Elizabeth M." on the 1850 Census. My best guess is that William's new wife is actually Elizabeth M. King, who can be found in the McCracken County, KY marriage records having married a William Jeffrey on May 28, 1850. Elizabeth can also be found in the 1850 tax lists for the county being shown as taxed for 77 acres along Spring Bayou. Starting in 1852 William Jeffrey can be seen being taxed for this same piece of land on behalf of his wife, as well as, an additional 138 acres on Mayfield Creek in the vicinity of his brother-in-law Burrel Jones. The same can be seen on the 1853 tax list as well. The only problem with reconciling the identity of Elizabeth M. King and William Jeffrey's new wife in 1850 is the presence of three children between the ages of 4 and 8 in the household, all with the surname Monday. During this particular point in time, these children could actually belong to just about anyone and just living in the home out of necessity. It's important to remember that death was pretty rampant during this point in history, with the entire nation suffering from an influenza epidemic from 1847-1848, a cholera epidemic from 1848-1849, a nationwide yellow fever epidemic in 1850, followed by another influenza epidemic from 1850-1851. A final piece of evidence that would seem to support William Jeffrey's marriage in McCracken County is the fact that his oldest son William J. Jeffrey can be seen living there as late as 1860.

Either way, this second marriage doesn't appear to have lasted very long due to Calloway County court records showing William's brother John Jeffrey making a report to the courts on July 26, 1852 as the "guardian for the four heirs of William Jeffrey." Normally a document like this would mention the fact that the individual was deceased, but oddly this one doesn't. This may just be an oversight, but considering William Jeffrey drops from the historical record after 1853, I would say this is a pretty could indication that he had indeed passed away. As with everyone else I've discussed so far, there are no known gravesites for either Lydia or her husband William.

1828 Surry County, NC Court Minutes Abstract ~ William Jr. and Lydia Jeffery

Link To A Great Website Listing Major Epidemics In The U.S. From 1657-1918

1852 Calloway County, KY Court Minutes ~ Report Of John Jeffrey As Guardian To The Heirs Of William Jeffrey

1859 Calloway County, KY Death Record For Martha A. Jeffrey Wyatt (proof of parents' identity)

(links to any other documents mentioned in this post can be found in my earlier posts)