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

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)  

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