Finding Your Folks: Harrison Jones of Fayette County

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

We continue this week with the story of one of the many Jones families in Fayette County, that of Jesse Jones and his children. Anne Westbrook is a descendant of this family and has generously shared her research with us. It is hoped that someone out there may see something familiar and make a connection, helping to separate this common surname into family groups.

This week Anne writes about Harrison Jones, son of Jesse Jones, who was discussed in last week's column. Anne writes:

"Harrison Jones married Rebecca Jane Phillips, daughter of John Phillips and wife Louisa; she was in their Fayette County household (dwelling 61 and family 69) age 15 at the 1850 census which indicated her birth place to be Georgia. Her 1906 application for a Confederate widow's pension gives the marriage date as Feb. 12, 1856. I have seen the date Feb. 5, 1857 citing 'Fayette, Georgia, Court of Ordinary Marriages, Vols. C, D, and E, 1849-1871,' p. 260 but I have not checked that source myself.

"At the 1860 census, Harrison (shown as age 30 - actually on June 15, 1860, the census date, he would have been 31 if born on Nov. 22, 1828 as his Confederate pension application states) and wife R.J. (age 25) are in Fayette County (dwelling 280, family 280). They have a one year old daughter Zelitha. The census record shows him owning real estate worth $225.

"Harrison's brother, Robert (age 30) and his wife, Elizabeth (age 20) are listed as dwelling 283/family 283. Father Jesse, age 72, is dwelling 284. His real property is worth $1600. John and Louisa Phillips are nearby with six children still at home.

"Nearby at the 1860 census, S.K. Jones, age 44, born in South Carolina, and Martha Jones, age 34, were listed as both dwelling and family #277. Children in the household were W. A. McLane, age 12, male; Allison McLane age 10, male; Mary J. Jones, age 3, female; and Clayton Jones age 1, male. They were next door to the family of Jasper Jones, a 36-year-old man with no wife shown and five little boys ranging from 8 years to 8 months (dwelling #276). Since both S. K. and Jasper were born in South Carolina, Jasper was more likely a relative of Samuel K. than of his wife Martha. Dwelling and family #279 was Charles Jones, age 40, also born in South Carolina.

"Burton Jones, age 38, and wife Martha, 37, occupied dwelling 901. Their children were Martha, age 10, Wm G. age 9, Wiley F. age 4 and America R., age 1. Was this the Burton Jones whom older people said was another son of Jesse Jones? What happened to him and to his family? Is it possible that he was killed in the Civil War? The only Burton Jones in the 1870 census in Georgia was black and lived in Sumter Co.

"Either my notes are incomplete or Jesse, Jr. and family were no longer in Fayette in 1860.

"Harrison Jones served as a private in the 53rd Georgia regiment, Company C during the Civil War. His brother Robert and several other Jones men are listed as privates in this company: Jones, Benjamin F.; Jones, B. Parks; Jones, John, Jr.; Jones, John, Sr. and Jones, John S. in addition to Harrison and Robert.

"According to 'The History of Fayette County,' this company was called 'The Fayette Planters' and was organized May 1, 1862. Along with 10 other companies from nearby Georgia counties, it was assigned to the Division of General Lafayette McLaws, Army of Northern Virginia. Their first major battle was the bloody battle at Sharpsburg (or Antietam). Other major battles were Fredericksburg, Va. (Dec. 1862); Salem Church, Va. (May 1863); Gettysburg, Pa. (July 1863); Chancellorsville, Va. (May 1863); Knoxville, Tenn. (Nov. 1863); Petersburg Va. (June, 1864); Wilderness Va. (May 1864); Cedar Creek, Va. (October 19, 1864) and Sailor's Creek (April, 1865).

"Harrison's pension application states that he was present with his company and regiment when it surrendered at Sailor's Creek April 6, 1865. Rebecca's later application states that his company surrendered April 9 at Appomattox and that he had already been captured and had been imprisoned at the federal prison camp at Point Lookout, Md. Likely both are true and the Appomattox surrender a formality after the men were captured earlier. Harrison's federal record says he was captured at Farmville, Va., April 6, 1865. Sailor's Creek is just outside Farmville.

"The federal record indicates Harrison swore the oath of allegiance to the United States June 25, 1865. It provides a physical description of him as having a fair complexion, dark hair, blue eyes and being 5 feet 11 inches tall.

"Other than the southern tip of that part of Maryland called the 'Eastern Shore' which shares the DelMarVa peninsular with Delaware and Virginia, Point Lookout is the southernmost point in Maryland and is across the Chesapeake Bay from Newport News. Prisoners may have been moved from the prison camp to Newport News by boat for out-processing and release."

Next week, the conclusion of this Jones family story as Harrison returns home to Fayette County and his family. We also will learn a few things about his children and grandchildren. Again, many thanks to Anne for sharing her family information. If you are connected to this family or want to discuss Joneses with Anne, you may reach her at

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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