Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mighty Small

This past Thanksgiving my youngest asked if I could drive her around Winchester and show her some of the places that I have been writing about in this blog. She wanted to see the land around 4 Mile Creek and where our Jones family had first come into Clark County (Winchester) some 193 years ago. Well of course I said no, just kidding, and we started our drive, just the two of us. Coming down Boonesborough Avenue where the welcome to Winchester sign had been [see post titled "One of 8,000]was our starting point. We came to the junction of Boone and Main and the Catholic Church still stood proudly. Granny Ewen's house stood just past the Catholic school to the south where I first saw the picture of great-granddad Ewen. [see post "50 Years of Genealogy']

We turned north onto Main Street, passing the church district where several still remained. Hickman Street School was no longer, as well as the Presbyterian church that stood by the alley just up from our church on Main Street. Our little Main Street Church of Christ was now owned by the Baptist. What a hoot, as they say in Alabama.

The Court House still stood with its four sided clock telling the time to all who cared to look. [see post "Ringing the Bell"] The steps to the east did not seem so high as I remembered.

We turned east onto Broadway and toward Vine Street. [see "part of my imagination"] Many of the buildings had changed, but the liquor stores still seem to be pretty much the same. The house where dad grew up, the Winchester Stock Yards, and several other landmarks were gone. How sterile I thought.

Turing onto Vine Street we past at least five new houses that had been built on Old Man Elkin's land. All faced Vine Street and made the yards look very, very small. All the fences were gone. [see the post titled "Fences"] We almost past 25 Vine Street before I recognized it. The shaped was the same, but there was a wooden front porch with wooden stairs that just didn't look right. All the shades were pulled and the house seemed sad and lonely. [see post "25 Vine Street", "Welcome to the Neighborhood", and "Our House in the Middle of the Street"] I wondered if the door markings where my brother and I measured our height every now and then still stood...four foot to five foot ten for me!

We then followed my bicycle riding path which Lenny (my best childhood friend) and I frequently navigated. Leaving Washington Street out Irvine Road we flew down the longest hill to what became the headwaters of 4 Mile Creek. Not much to look at today. My daughter commented "mighty small". I had to explain this was just the beginning and as we pressed on the creek grew until we crossed it on Logan Lick Road. Here we climbed to a ridge that divided the two northern most branches of 4 Mile. It was between these two branches that our Jones family first farmed and raised their children. You could not really see for all the brush and trees had grown. Coming down on the other side of the ridge, we followed the Muddy Creek Road branch that brought us back into Winchester. We totaled some 14 miles. Our Jones family travel these miles for some 193 years. I woundered what Nicholas would have thought. [see post titled "4 Mile Creek"]

Monday, November 29, 2010

Just another Thanksgiving

Just finished another Thanksgiving holiday with my family. It is now more than 60 years that we have had a Jones family get together at this time of the year. Hard to imagine, that my folks are in their 80's, my brother and I are in our 60's, and my youngest daughter, Ellen, just turned 30! The three grandsons certainly kept us hopping, and to see the family smile as our youngest grandson Ian stood for the first time was extra special. Of course this was holding on to the leg of the card table that we were using to play Trivial Pursuit. Ian was under this table lifting himself, being much in the center of our family's activities.

My middle daughter Lesley, presented me with a hard back book of my blogs, The Jones Genealogist. How special this was to receive her love as a gift which required much effort and time. She had arranged the blogs and pictures to capture my words.

My oldest daughter Lisa's son Sam, was a joy. He led the other two grandsons, Will and Ian, in a melody of memories.

Just another Thanksgiving...well not quite.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Being the Baby

It was not always easy being the "baby" of the family. Waiting seemed to be in the job description...no matter what you tried to do. Waiting for the bathroom, waiting for the comic strips on Sundays, waiting for the last pork chop, waiting for the choice of TV programs, waiting to be asked what you wanted for Christmas, on and on it goes. There was nothing like waiting for the inevitable proclamation made by mom that "this is my baby" when ever the topic of family was discussed. I would be brought to the forefront of the group that had assembled,and required to do my duty. I often made faces and crossed my eyes which made everyone laugh.

Now in our neighborhood, being called a baby was fighting words. There was "cry baby", "baby face", "act like a baby", "don't be a baby", and many other forms of the words. From the male perspective, you did not want to be a baby. From a mother's persective it was a place of honour.

I will always be the "baby" of our family. No matter what I try to do.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Road to Caroline Co., VA

Caroline County, VA was formed 1727. It was formed out of land which had been part of Essex Co., King & Queen Co., and King William Co. Essex was formed 1692 out of Old Rappahannock Co., which was formed 1656, out of Lancaster Co., which was formed 1651 out of Northumberland Co., which was formed in 1648. Are you good and confused by now? What a road to Caroline County! My Jones family arrives "to stay" in Virginia 1649. For almost 100 years they lived in what was to become Caroline Co., VA, but it was known by different names along the way. The families' land did not change, but the name of the counties changed. At each point along the way, a family member may have been listed living in different counties, but in reality, they never moved. It was the county name and its boundaries that were changed. These changes would make the genealogist believe that the family sure moved around a lot. Unless care was taken to follow the history and formation of each county, one would loose their family along the way. For Virginia this is especially true. A book entitled Virginia Counties: Those Resulting from Virginia Legislation, by Morgan P. Robinson, has been the most helpful reference in this regard. It was initially published by the Bulletin of the Virginia State Library, Vol. 9, Jan., Apr., July 1916. It has been reprinted by the Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Identifying the history and chronology of the Virginia county in which your ancestors lived, will often guide you around many "brick walls".

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Brick Walls

Griffin Jones was identified as the father of Nicholas Jones in the Revolutionary War Service record S16169. This record also states that Nicholas Jones was born in Caroline Co., VA 1762, so it was only reasonable to suspect that Griffin Jones was from Caroline Co., VA. On a trip to the Caroline Co., VA courthouse, it was discovered that Griffin Jones first appears in the Order Books [1765-1767, p.297] on 12June 1766, where he was placed "...in the room of, William Taliferro.." for the maintenance of the tobacco rolling road along what is now highway 301. Nicholas would have been 4 years of age. This also places Griffin in the area of the Taliferro family that was to prove a key connecting point to prior generations. The Taliferro and Jones family went a long way back in time which helped settle a number of difficult genealogical questions yet to arise. [Some call these brick walls!]

By 7 April 1785, Griffin had moved to Spotsylvania Co., VA where his wife's name Agnes is given. [Agnes is a good Welsh name.] In Deed Book K - 1782 - 1785, p. 387, Thomas Turner leases to Griffin Jones and Agnes his wife, and Joseph Jones his son, 80 acres of land. This gives the Turner connection, through which Edward Turner Jones received his middle name! I suspect that Griffin followed his son Nicholas who had already moved into Spotsylvania Co., VA. This seems to have be a pattern of family organization, where the elderly father, moved to the home of a son.

With Griffin Jones becoming "legally" active around 1765, and his son Nicholas being born 1762, it would be reasonable to place Griffin's birth sometime around 1740 plus or minus 5 years. I have used this dating method, i.e., taking the oldest know child's birth year, counting back 20 years, and giving 5 years error on each side of this calculated date. This has provided a dating method which has proved solid after 50 years of facing many "brick walls".

Friday, November 12, 2010

To Genealogist Everywhere: We are the Chosen

We are the chosen. In each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.

Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before. We are the story tellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called, as it were, by our genes. Those who have gone before cry out to us, "Tell our story!" So, we do.

In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before? How many times have I told the ancestors, "You have a wonderful family; you would be proud of us." How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love for me? I cannot say.

It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who am I and why do I do the things I do. The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish, how they contributed to what we are today. It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family.

It goes to deep pride that the fathers fought and some died to make and keep us a Nation. It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us. It is of equal pride and love that our mothers struggled to give us birth. Without them we could not exist, and so we love each one, as far back as we can reach. That we might be born who we are. That we might remember them. So we do.

With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we are they and they are the sum of who we are. So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family. It is up to the one called in the next generation to answer the call and take my place in the long line of family storytellers.

This is why I do my family genealogy, and that is what calls those young and old to step up and restore the memory or greet those whom we have never known before. So we do.

Author Unknown

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Handwriting from History

Nicholas Jones, my 6th generation grandfather, was born 14 November 1762, in Caroline Co., Virginia. In 1832 he was a resident of Clark Co., Kentucky where he applied for a pension "...in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7th 1832." His Revolutionary Service Record is numbered S16169 Virginia Service. This record states that Nicholas Jones entered the company of James Johnson on the 13th day of June 1780 as a substitute for his father Griffin Jones, who had been drafted. This would have made Nicholas 17 years old when he entered the War. The military record gives a detailed account of the service given which includes the battle of Camden, SC, Guildford's Courthouse, NC, and the battle of Yorktown. A certificate of pension was issued the 10th day of December 1832 by the court in Winchester, Kentucky. The record also records that Joseph Jones and John Jones were his bothers, who also appeared in court to serve as witnesses for Nicholas. The record then goes on to document that his name was placed on the pension roll of the state of Kentucky from "...from where he has lately removed; that he now resides in the state of Indiana and where he intends to remain and live and wishes his pension payable there in the future. The following are his reasons for moving from Kentucky to Indiana. His children and grand children removed from said state of KY to Indiana, and on account of his age and infirmities he was inclined to follow them." At the end of this document is the signature of Nicholas Jones. A copy is shown to the right. Handwriting from the history of my family is part of the treasure that 50 years of genealogy has provided. What a treasure it is.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Nicholas Jones, the father of Thomas Jones, was the first to bring our Y-chromosome into Kentucky. He moved from Spotsylvania Co., VA, where he had been living since the close of the Revolutionary War. In 1811, he arrived with a fairly large number of family members (six boys), and settled initially in Fayette Co., KY. He joined with the South Elkhorn Baptist Church located close to the Fayette Co., Jessimine Co., line at the point that Harrodsburg Road now crosses South Elkhorn. This Church was the first congregation, of any kind, organized on the north side of the Kentucky River early in the fall of 1783. It had been gathered by Lewis Craig and constituted principally of members who had belonged to the Upper Spotsylvania Church. Some of our family must have immigrated to KY as part of this congregation since they originated from the same area that Nicholas Jones had lived. South Elkhorn became the "mother" Church of all Baptist Churches north of the Kentucky River. Lewis Craig was assisted by John Shackleford who started his ministry in Caroline Co., VA where our Nicholas was born in 1762. The Shackleford family obtained land on 4 Mile Creek in Clark Co., KY where Nicholas ends up moving to in 1817.

The records of South Elkhorn Baptist Church record that on the 4th Saturday, April 1817, that the following members were "dismissed": Nicholas Jones, Dorothy Jones, Richard Jones, Griffin Jones, William H. Jones, John Jones, Younger Jones, Griffin Jones, Elizabeth Jones, Permelian Jones, and Peggy Jones. Nicholas Jones with wife Dorotha, is recorded in the Clark Co., land patent book [book 15, p. 16], buying 50 acres of land on the waters of 4 Mile Creek. Who would have believed that our family started out Baptist.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


My Y-chromosome in Kentucky comes down to me in the follow way:

Me = The 50's Generation = The Vietnam War Generation

Dad (Henry Edward Jones) = The WW II Generation

Pap paw (Joseph Wheeler Jones) = The WW I Generation

E.T. (Edward Turner Jones) = The Re-construction Generation

W.C. (William Carter Jones) = The Civil War Generation

Thomas Jones = The War of 1812 Generation

Nicholas Jones = The Revolutionary War Generation.

How sad that almost each generation can be grouped by war! What generation are you?

Friday, November 5, 2010


Fences helped to define our neighborhood at 25 Vine Street. Everywhere you tried to play or wanted to climb a tree, there was a fence. The longest fence ran north to south along the middle of the block between Smith Street and Vine Street. It was generally the tallest with 6 foot wooden post and metal wire fencing material. There were a few placed you could go under or over, but these were kept a secret. In some areas tall trees lined this fence (always on the other side). These trees did provide some shade on our side of the fence on hot summer days.

Perpendicular to this long fence was a series of shorter fences that ran west to the sidewalk on Vine Street. From Broadway northward up Vine Street, the first fence was the one that separated old man Elkin's back yard from the Frazer's side yard. This fence line had all kinds of vines, grapes, two mulberry tress, honey suckle, wild strawberries, red rose bushes and lots of poison ivy. Half way up this fence was the Elkin's chicken yard with chicken coop and hen house. When we played kick ball, from home plate in our yard, to over the chicken coop was a home run. [The Elkins still raised chickens and there was nothing like watching a chicken running around with its head cut off!]

Frazer's, our yard, and the Hill's yard shared a section with no fences between. The only problem here was that the upper third of the Hill's yard was a garden. Mr. Hill planted this garden every summer which just made our "home plate" back up to the garden. Between Mr. Hill's yard and the Rankin's yard was another tall fence which was not easy to climb. I am not sure who placed this fence, but it was a good boundary keeping the Rankin's kids out of Mr. Hill's garden. Immediately next was another fence which separated the Rankin's yard from the Powell's yard. We were never allowed to play in the Powell's yard, and we called Mrs. Powell "witch Hazel" due to here pleasant disposition. She refused to let anyone play in her yard! Of course there was a fence on the other side separating the Powell's yard from the Hatton's yard.

The Hattons, Rankins, Frazers, and Joneses play together most of the time. For the 18years I lived at 25 Vine Street, all the fences remained intact. We got use to them being there. They were part of life. Fences setting boundaries. Part of my growing up was learning to live with fences.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Perfect Attendance

Attending church was a regular part of the 1950s. Each family would dress up, dad in a suit, mom in a dress, and the young-uns did the best they could do. The south end of town was the cluster of churches that became the most active part of town on Sunday mornings. Even finding a place to park a car was difficult, especially if your church faced Main street like ours. It seemed that almost all the families in Winchester attended church. We were no exception.

Dad was the "song leader" (music director), and mom taught one of the children's Sunday School classes. Being the song leader was a key position in our church since there were no organs, pianos, keyboards, drums, guitars, or any sort of musical instruments. Ours was a Church of Christ which did not believe in instrumental music. You sang from the heart using your voice only. Acapella it was called. Getting this started on the right key was a real task.

My perfect attendance pin is shown. Nine years of perfect attandance! Can you imagine, 108 Sundays in a row not being sick. I guess that some needed a little extra help, and I certainly needed it. Not that I was perfect, far from it. But, as to attendance, I didn't do too bad.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Things Back Together

The back is an amazing part of the human anatomy. You tend to take it for granted until it stops working exactly right. A slipped disc certainly throws a wringer in the back's function. I have been "laid up" the last four days with a slipped disk. Just in case you were wondering where I have been not writing on my blogs. Hope to get things back together here shortly. Not much fun at present, but will try to get back on line soon.