Finding Your Folks: Ancestors of Mary Amelia Jones, Part 1

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

I don’t know whether anyone’s ever stopped long enough to think about it, but we genealogists tend to be a bit sexist. We go flying off into the wild blue yonder tracking our male ancestors, but when it comes to the females, we try to find their maiden names and, that done, we just sort of leave them dangling there, hanging off an outside branch of the family tree ... petticoats fluttering in the breeze.

When I first started doing this stuff, I dug into my Blake book, written by my cousin, Kate Blake Daus in the early 1950s, reading with great fascination about my Blake ancestors who arrived in Virginia in the 1600s. Kate went into great detail about the Blake men, documenting their accomplishments and puffing them up nicely, but totally neglected the lines of the females who helped the guys get where they were going.

She didn’t even do her own female line, which just happened to be Fowler, and which just happened to be my main paternal line.

Kate’s father was Forney Linton (“Bud”) Blake and her mother was Mary Kate Fowler. Bud was my grandmother’s brother and Kate was my grandfather’s first cousin. Darn it! I needed that line — or at least a place to start.

And so, since she had done such a great job on the guys, I set out to do the gals. I think I was the only one on the Internet who was seeking information about the Hightower, Alabama, Fowlers. Now there are many of us.

The same thing happened with Milly Tidwell Boyd, mother of all those Boyds who left their descendants in Bethany’s cemetery. Everybody told who her parents were (William Tidwell and Mary Amelia Jones) but nobody bothered to go any farther, female-wise, — at least not until Mrs. McCall came along. That is the one thing about this McCall-Tidwell book that’s different from most others. Mrs. McCall even did the genealogy on some of the very remote female lines. And what a wealth of information it is. Right or wrong, at least we have a trail to follow.

Milly Tidwell Boyd not only had distinguished Tidwell ancestors, as we have shown in past columns, but she also came from a very notable Jones line. So notable, in fact, that I’m going to do her story in two parts and give as much detail as I can. (Imagine that! Two parts on a female! Judy, what are you thinking?)

In her book, “McCall, Tidwell and Allied Families,” Ettie Tidwell McCall gives reference to another book from which much of the Jones information was taken, “Richard and Peter Jones of Virginia,” by Mrs. Augusta Fothergill. Those of you who have Jones ancestors from this line may want to make a note of that. I’m going to quote a lot from Mrs. Tidwell’s book since, as I have said before, she tells a beautiful story.

She begins on page 189 in her book with the story of the descendants of “Captain Richard Jones of Virginia,” (Charles City, Prince George and Brunswick counties) and states he was born probably between 1660 and 1665 and died in the latter part of 1747 in Brunswick County. “He lived in Charles City County, later Prince George, (and in that part which later became Dinwiddie County) in Bristol Parish and not far from the present site of Petersburg, Virginia. He married (1) Amy Batte and (2) Rachel Ragsdale.”

Yes, the Batte genealogy is included and begins on page 194.

There is only one child listed with Amy, and that is Richard Jones (I will call him Jr. for the sake of clarification and he is the descendant we will carry down). Richard Jr. was born sometime before 1692.

With his second wife, Rachel, Richard Sr. had eight children: Daniel, Thomas, Robert, William, Lewellyn, Martha, Mary and Margaret Jones. Names of these children, I have no doubt, were taken from Richard Sr.’s will, which he made May 8, 1747, in Brunswick County.

In 1698, Richard Sr. had a grant for land in Rohowick, south side of Appomattox River, Charles City County, not far from Petersburg, where he probably made his first home.

In 1723, he received a patent for 521 acres on Stony Creek, Prince George County, which is recorded in the order of the Bristol Parish Vestry in June of 1724 and again in 1728, “ ... home place near Stony Creek Bridge and Monks Neck Road ...” and “...930 acres on south side of Stony Creek.”

“On Dec. 28, 1736, he was granted 650 acres on the south side of Nottoway River in Brunswick County where he made his home and died there in 1747.

“He was a Captain in the Militia 1712, ‘23, and ‘24 ... He was an important Indian Trader ... by records found in Virginia we have a picture of the typical Colonial Worthy. His position is indicated by his rank of Captain in Militia and by the suffix of Gentleman to his name.”

Richard Jones (Jr.), son of Richard Sr. and his first wife, also would be considered “Colonial Worthy,” as his rank in the Militia was that of colonel and he served in the Virginia House of Burgesses. He, also, was married twice and left a rather large family.

It took four generations of this Jones family before they made their way into Georgia — from Richard Sr. to Richard Jr. to Richard III, and, finally, to William Jones, father of Amelia Jones Tidwell, “grandma” of the Bethany Boyds. We still have a lot of story to tell — but that’s for next week.

Although time does not permit me to do personal research for others, I welcome all letters and e-mails about genealogy and info on south metro Atlanta families. Send them to The Citizen, P.O. Drawer 1719, Fayetteville, GA 30214; e-mail or Any letters and/or e-mails I receive are subject to being used in the column.

Until next week, happy hunting!

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