Finding Your Folks: The Joneses of Fayette County, Part 1

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

Several months ago, Anne Westbrook wrote me and asked if I'd be interested in doing a series of articles on the Jones families in Fayette and surrounding areas. Since Jones is one of the more difficult families to keep track of, I gratefully accepted her offer. Anne has done a lot of research and gives her sources plainly in her articles. The stories appearing the next few weeks were written entirely by her. She begins with Robert Jones of Clarke County.

"Robert A. Jones's fortunate draw in the 1821 Land Lottery was the impetus for the migration of one Jones family to Fayette County. Records of that land lottery show that Robert A. Jones, then of Brown's Militia District in Clarke County drew Lot No. 195 in section 4 of Henry County. This portion of Henry very shortly became part of the newly formed Fayette County.

"Little is known of Robert A. Jones. His son Jesse Jones consistently reported his own birthplace as Georgia to census takers. Based on his age as shown on the censuses, Jesse was born circa 1788. Thus, it is assumed that his father, Robert was likely born no later than 1768 and that he was in Georgia by 1788. His actual birth date and the place of his birth are unknown. The Reconstructed 1790 Census of Georgia shows a Robert Jones in Elbert County and a Robert Jones in Richmond County. Assuming that they were the only Robert Joneses in the state in that period (which cannot be a certainty) it seems more likely that he was the one in Elbert. This supposition is based in part on the facts that the Elbert Co. Jones family included a Jesse Jones and Robert named his son Jesse. This elder Jesse Jones of Elbert Co made his will October 3, 1806 (but Robert Jones is not named in that will; thus there is no reason to believe the Elbert County Jesse was his father. "Jackson County Georgia Deed Abstracts, Books A-D 1796-1808" abstracted by Faye Stone Poss indicates that land was surveyed for Jesse Jones as early as 1784. Various deed records reported in "Elbert County, Georgia, Deed Books A-J, 1791-1806" abstracted and indexed by Michael Martin Farmer (c) 1997 show that Jesse Jones purchased land and witnessed deeds in Elbert during the 1790s.

"Possibly the Robert Jones who is the patriarch of the Fayette Co. family being examined here is the same Robert Jones who was granted land in Washington County in 1784 and 1786 according to "Index to the Headright and Bounty Grants of Georgia 1756-1909" Revised Edition edited by the Rev. Silas Emmett Lucas, Jr. Other references, including "Deeds of Franklin County, Georgia 1784-1826" abstracted and compiled by Martha Walters Acker, refer to this land being located on Shoulderbone Creek.

"Robert Jones of Oglethorpe County purchased land totaling 153 acres in Clarke County in November, 1817 (two deeds) and sold the same land the following year.

"Although land lottery records show Robert A. Jones's residence in 1821 as Clarke County, he has not been located on either the 1820 or the 1830 Clarke County census. In addition, it does not appear that he ever moved to the land he drew in Fayette County. When he conveyed the land to his son, Jesse Jones by deed dated Nov. 2, 1830, the deed was executed in Clarke County with the grantor Robert A. Jones stating that he was "of the county," presumably referring to "Georgia Clark Co." which was listed just above. Jesse did not record this deed until 1840 (Fayette Co. Deed D, page 610). No record of an estate of Robert A. Jones has been found. Nor has his wife's identity been found.

"Robert A. Jones was a contemporary of Harrison Jones who came to Georgia from Virginia. Harrison Jones served in the Revolution, losing a leg at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Harrison Jones married Ann Ligon in Amelia County, Va. in October 1781. This Harrison Jones moved to Georgia where he lived in Clarke, Greene and Newton counties (if all are the same man) before he moved to Marshall Co., Miss. where he died in 1841 at the age of 84 (thus born 1757).

"According to "The History of Spartanburg County" by Dr. J. B. O. Landrum, the Harrison Jones who lost a leg at Guilford Courthouse had a sister, Mary Ann Jones whose first husband was Thomas James killed in the Revolution and whose second husband was William Foster who moved from Amelia County to South Carolina in 1791. No definite link between Robert A. Jones and this Harrison Jones has been found but the fact that Robert Jones's son Jesse named a son Harrison is reason to keep looking for a possible kinship.

"There were other men by the name of Harrison Jones. One pastored a Fayette Co. church at the time which would make him at least a generation older than Jesse Jones's son Harrison. Also a Dr. Harrison Jones who had once represented Lee County in the legislature and later lived in Troup Co., died in Randolph Co. in 1842.

"Jesse Jones moved to Fayette County about the time his father conveyed the property to him. The timing of his move can be extrapolated from the Civil War pension applications of Jesse's sons Harrison Jones and Robert Jones. Harrison Jones's application says he was born in Clark County November 22, 1828. Robert Jones's application gave his birth date as April, 1830 and his birthplace as Fayette County."

More about Jesse Jones, his militia service and his marriage, will be covered in next week's column. Thank you Anne, for such detailed and documented research.

Family histories about your ancestors who lived on Atlanta's south side are always welcome. Send them to or Mail to The Citizen, P.O. Drawer 1719, Fayetteville, GA 30214. All letters and e-mails I receive are subject to being used in the column.


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