Friday, December 31, 2010

Life's Challenges

Life has a number of built-in challenges. At birth, for a full-term infant, regaining their birth weight by 10 days of age is usual. Birth weight doubles by 5 months of age, and triples by 1 year of age.

Growth increases by 10-12 inches in the first year of life.

Subcutaneous tissue (fat) reaches its peak at around 9 months of age.

The head is slightly larger than the chest at birth [needed to open the door], but the chest size increases to match the head size by the end of the first year.

Teeth erupt in most infants between 5 and 9 months of age. By one year of age most children have 6-8 teeth.

Challenge after challenge face us.

The picture to the right shows me at one 8-9 month assume a sitting position without help and to be able to maintain it with the back straight. My arms are extended [already talking with my hands before I could talk with my lips], fingers spread, and a sheepish grin upon my face. My back certainly appears straight. Legs are flexed, and it almost looks as though I could jump up and walk away. One of life's challenges caught on film. However most of the time, life does not always provide a camera.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Shorts and Nothing Else

The summer months in Kentucky were spent in a variety of ways. Usual dress was shorts and...well nothing else. It was common to have the summer days interrupted by a photographer pulling a small horse, house to house, yard to yard, asking folks if they wanted their children's picture taken. Can you imagine the excitement that getting on a horse in the middle of the summer would produce. [Not that horses were anything special in the Bluegrass of Kentucky!]

The picture to the right shows my brother and me in such a pose. [I was 4 years and my brother was 6 years of age.] Danny was the name. A horse called Danny and us in the summer of 1955. We had just moved into our new house at 25 Vine Street. Our summer attire was spotless and our smiles expectant. My older brother Henry was a little more reserved, but he was sitting on the back edge of the saddle. My face certainly showed the excitement and joy that I was experiencing on Danny. Holding the reigns...ready to go...getty up! But where?

Snap, the picture was taken. Down we came. Back into the summer of 1955 and our new neighborhood. Only the picture remains.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Virginia Land Laws (Part VII) Surveyor's fees

The surveyor's fees were to be paid in tobacco, collected by the sheriff, if necessary. For every survey made, plainly bounded as the directs, and for a plat of such survey, after the delivery of such plat, where the survey was not more than one thousand acres of land, cost 500 pounds of tobacco. For every one hundred acres contained in one survey above the first thousand acres would earn an additional 50 pounds of tobacco. For surveying a lot in town would cost 20 pounds. For a survey when hindered or stopped before completing the survey, to be paid by the party requesting the survey 250 pounds tobacco. For running every dividing line between parties cost 250 pounds. For surveying an acre of land for a mill was 100 pounds of tobacco. For land formerly patented and required to be resurveyed, the same fee as for land not before surveyed was charged. For an inclusive survey, as second fee was not paid for the part previously surveyed, but only for the new part. For an inclusive survey of several adjacent tracts previously surveyed the plat was made for ten shillings. For lands surveyed for one party and assigned to another, the assignee shall pay, if the other did not. For the benefit of the public, the tables of fees (costs) were to be set up in the secretary's office and in the courthouse of each county.

Indians were not allowed to alienate their lands to any but some of their own nation. All conveyances from them were declared void and heavy penalties were imposed on those who should purchase or procure conveyances from them. (the Indians) But, encouragement was given to those who would cultivate trade with the Indians.

These land laws were in force until 1713.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Virginia Land Laws (Part VI) The Surveyors

Surveyors were commissioned by the master of William and Mary College, which was founded 1693 under royal charter by King William III and Queen Mary II. The government confirmed only such surveys as had been made by surveyors so commissioned. Both surveyors and chain carriers were required to be sworn before the county court. Surveyors were required to see that every tract surveyed should be plainly bounded, either by natural bounds, marked trees or other artificial landmarks. These surveyors were to deliver plats of surveys to those for whom they were made within six months after the survey was made. They were not to deliver such plats to any other person till six months had elapsed. They were also required to enter every plat and survey in a book to be furnished him for that purpose within two months after the survey was made, The entries were to include all streams crossed in the course, and the boundaries and adjacent plantations. In June of each year, the surveyors were to return to the county clerk's office to be recorded there lists of all surveys, specifying for whom made, the quantities surveyed, and where situated.

A penalty was imposed on the surveyor for refusing to survey. It was provided that all entries should stand good till the surveyor gave notice that he was ready to survey. If the party [the one requesting the survey] failed to attend the surveyor within a month after such notice, his entry should be void. The county court might appoint inspectors of the surveyors' books to report on their condition and take care of them in case of the death or removal of the surveyor.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Decorations

Three to four inches of snow on Christmas eve made this the first white Christmas for our Jones family in about 10 years. Things were much quieter this year because only eight family members could join us. The snow, work, and the other sides of the family made us a very small group, compared to the 15 - 20 that usually joined in the family get together. Mom was unable to put up her usual "decorated to the hilt" tree this year, and many of the decorations remained in the boxes that my wife and middle daughter discovered. For several hours my wife, middle daughter, and Mom made a trip through our family history using the containers of decorations:

This one we put on the Christmas tree on Vine Street. [That would have been around 1955!] This one was taken to school by your Dad [that's me] every Christmas to help decorate the Christmas tree at school. [My intials were still on the bottom.] This one your Dad [that's me] made in Cub Scouts, which still showed the word "DAD" [for my Dad] in brightly colored letters on the large styrofoam ball. This one we got in Germany. This one I just liked. On and on our family Christmans was told through a box of decorations. My wife and daughter were excited when Mom told them to take what they wanted. This would probably be the last Christmas that she would be able to get all the decorations out and up around the house. My middle daughter loved it! Mother still wanted to keep the ones that my bother and I took to school every season. My Dad still wanted to keep the hand made one [from me] that proudly stated "DAD". We love you Mom. Thanks for the years you decorated the tree and your house with all the things you loved. May they continue to decorate our family home for generations to come.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Virginia Land Laws (Part V) The Processioning

Every fourth year the county court was to direct its vestry to lay off its parish into precincts. The appointed time for this process (a procession) was to be between the last days of September and March. Two freeholders (land owners) were to check each "procession" and were to return a report to the vestry. These reports were then directed to be registered by the clerk of each county court. Three processionings settled the bounds of lands unalterably, provided they were made with the consent of the owners and saving the cases of infants, women and persons of unsound mind. In this manner, perminent boundries were set by "precincts" for each county and vestry in Virginia following the land law changes of 1704/1705.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Virginia Land Laws (Part IV) Escheated Lands

Titles to lands previously granted [before 1704] were confirmed, whether duly recorded or not, but after that time all patents and the rights on which they were founded were required to be recorded. Patentees were required to seat [settle] and plant the granted lands within three years. Seating and planting meant the building of one acre. A failure to so seat and plant a grant within the prescribed three years meant a forfeiture of the grant and of the right on which it was founded. Time was extended to three more years in case of the death of the grantee. If lands were forfeited (escheated), they might not be patented to another for three years after the date of the first patent, and not then without an order of the general court. If any patented tract was found to contain more than the patent expressed, the patentee might obtain a patent for the surplus.

Every form (patent) contained a reservation of a fee rent (tax) of one shillings for every fifty acres and a requirement that the premises should be seated and planted within three years from the date of the grant. This fee rent (tax) for each fifty acres was the so-called quit rent. This "rent" was often waived for the benefit of the early settlers into an area which the Governor or Council felt beneficial to the colony. A Rent Roll of Virginia 1704 - 1705 was taken and described as : " A True and Perfect Rent Roll of all the Lands held by her Majesty in...(each county listed)" This account gives the owners and their acres of land patented in each county of Virginia for 1704. This reference is published in a book entitled :

"The Planters of Colonial Virginia", by Thomas Wertenbaker, Princeton University Press, 1922. It is a tax record and land record of all Virginia that had been settled up to this point. This record is an invaluable resource for the genealogist who has reached this date in their family tree climbing.

Escheated lands were forfeited or lapsed lands. This term appears in many of the records during this period.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Virginia Land Laws (Part III) Treasury Rights

On the payment of five shillings for every fifty acres of land, the receiver-general of the revenues of the Colony was directed to deliver to any person desiring to take up vacant lands a certificate. A surveyor was then to lay off for the claimant the quantity expressed in such treasury warrants. The survey was then returned to the secretary's office so that a patent might be issued. Each claimant was limited to five hundred acres, unless he owned five or more tithable servants or slaves. In this case, he might take up two acres more for every tithable. [Tithable were the inhabitants of the colony upon whom a tax might be levied. In early Virginia a tax was usually imposed upon every male person over sixteen years of age. All white male servants and all imported slaves were included. The rule varied. Each county was divided into several tax precincts and a special commissioner was appointed in each to draw up an accurate list of the resident tithables.] Grants for more than four thousand acres in any one tract were prohibited, except in entries before made for larger quantities. Swamps, marshes and low grounds adjacent to patented high lands could not be taken up till one year after notice, in the presence of two witnesses, to the patentee of the highlands.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Virginia Land Laws (Part II) Importation Rights

Under Queen Anne (1702) the Crown took a new interest in the land laws of the colonies. By 1705, there was completed a general revival of the laws, with three acts passed prescribing the forms of patents.

The first was called "importation rights". Every free immigrant to the Colony, other than transient persons, had an importation right to fifty acres of land. It allowed that every imported servant, after the term of service expired, had the right to fifty acres. Every immigrant, bringing with him a wife and children, to fifty acres for his wife and each child. It clarified that the immigrant only, or those to whom he should assign his rights in the presence of two witnesses, should be entitled to such rights, or certificate. The proof of such importation rights should be made, on oath, before the general or a county court. A certificate was to be produced in the secretary's office; upon which the secretary should grant the claimant a certificate. Based upon this certificate, any surveyor might lay off the quantity expressed, on any vacant land. The survey was then to be returned to the secretary's office, and a patent could be issued.

This first "right" would certainly encourage those to come to the colonies.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Virginia Land Laws: A Chronology (Part I)

Understanding the process by which land was "taken up" in colonial Virginia is often key to recognizing the pattern of migration and settlement that one's family may have experienced. The land laws were specific to the individuals (ancestors) who sought to buy land make a plantation among the wilderness. The following information is abstracted from the work by F.B. Kegley entitled: "Kegley's Virginia Frontier", published by The Southwest Virginia Historical Society, Roanoke, VA, 1938.

The "Land Laws of Virginia" were the laws and customs under which new lands were settled in the first English colony in the new world. In 1606, the 1st Charter of the Virginia Company, the King agreed that he would grant by patent, to such persons and for such estates, as its Council should appoint, all the lands within the territory granted by the charter. These lands were to be held by the Crown, as of the Manor of East Greenwich in Kent in free and common "Socage". [socage = Feudal tenure of land by a tenant, in return for agricultural or other nonmilitary services or for payment of in money.]

The 2nd Charter of the Virginia Company, 1609, authorized and required the lands to be distributed under the Crown's common seal, from time to time, among the adventures and planters, in such proportions as it should appoint and allow. This land distribution required a commission of survey, and the distribution was to be based " to the special merit of the grantee".

This beginning changed in 1624, when all rights and powers were resumed by the Crown. It was then provided that private planter's dividends of lands [those in the Virginia Company] would be placed under control of the Colonial Assembly. These lands were to be laid off in "severalty" [a separate and individual right to possession or ownership that is not shared by any other person] The land boundaries were to be recorded by surveyors. Petty differences were to be decided by the surveyors and important ones were to be referred to the Governor and Council.

It was not until 1666 that any changes in these land laws were made. Here, the colony of Virginia was empowered to make grants of waste and inappropriate lands.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ping-Pong Genealogy

For every genealogist there will come a time when one feels that they have reached the end of their family's trail... or feel like the tree branch they have been climbing has been cut off...or they have smacked their face into the proverbial brick wall. With a surname like JONES this has happened to me multiple times! When this happens, and indeed it will happen, take a deep breath and begin playing what I call "Ping-Pong Genealogy".

The first step is to imagine that the brick wall is actually a table tennis net. You are on one side, and the solution to your brick wall is on the other. Second is to line up all the facts (or assumptions) that you have accumulated up to this point. This may be dates, documents, associated names, maiden names, church membership, social or military records, etc., etc., until you have placed all the pieces on your side of the net. For example, my Griffin Joneses where in Caroline Co., Virginia starting around 1735. They seemed to have dealt with a bunch of people who had distinctive surnames such as Buckner, Thornton, Taliaferro, Roy, McPherson, and many others. Take one surname and serve it over the net to the other side.(a Ping) By this I mean move to the other side of the net historically, geographically, socially, or by documents to a point further back in time. The name Taliaferro spreads dramatically upon the pages of historical documents going all the way back to the 1630s! [Here I started a new notebook on each surname.] Then jump back over the net, a Pong, taking what you have uncovered. Do the same for deeds, wills, court documents, land grants, etc., etc., until you have additional information to add to your family search. Note any connection to your surname. As you bring these pieces together you will find that many brick walls begin to crumble. Ping-Pong anyone?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Unusual Places

Records found in unusual places will often prove to be the way around many of the "brick walls" confronting the genealogist. Digging around all the records that come available will often open doors unknown. At least skimming the index to books and records for the names you are searching, will not take a lot of time, and may prove helpful if your ancestor's name is present. Such is the case for my Griffin Joneses.

The "Laws of Virginia" have been published since the colonial period. [The English loved to keep records!] On the 3rd October, 1778, there was an act passed entitled: "An act to direct the sale of certain lands late the property of John Thornton, esq. deceased, and for purchasing other lands in lieu thereof, and for other purposes." These records can be found in a series of books called "Hening: Statutes at Large" in 13 volumes. This series of documents begin in 1619.

Apparently, John Thornton of Caroline Co., died without a will (intestate) and his estate was left in a mess. So much of a mess, that the legislative body had to make an act to get it all untangled. In this act Griffin Jones is listed as follows:

"...a tract of about one thousand seven hundred acres lying on Mattapony river, purchased of Griffin Jones and the executors of Reuben Thornton, gentlemen, but not conveyed, and of the reversion in fee expectant on the death of Mrs. Betty Thornton, widow of the said Reuben Thornton, of and in another tract of five hundred and thirty acres lying on Mattapony river, in the said county of Caroline, purchased of Francis Thornton, but not conveyed...". Wow, what a mess indeed! This record goes into great detail regarding the estate of John Thornton. Griffin Jones seems to be in the middle of it, but how and why. Pieces of a puzzle in unusual places.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pioneers to Cavaliers

My family to Kentucky were some of the first to settle in this new territory, thus pioneers. My family to Virginia were some of those who fled England at the close of the English Civil War, thus Cavaliers. [Cavaliers were those who had supported Charles I of England in his struggles with the Puritans and Parliament.]

For the colony of Virginia, one of the best historical record of this time period is called of all things "Cavaliers and Pioneers"! What a deal, my family in reverse! My first book in the series of records was obtained just out of high school, and as I type this post I have the copy in front of me. The publisher's introduction reads:

"The first printing of Cavaliers and Pioneers in 1934, undoubtedly represented one of the greatest contributions ever made to facilitate the study of early Virginia genealogy and history."

The Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland reprinted copies in 1963, and in 1969. My copy is of course the 1969 edition. As time went on, the Virginia State Library, Richmond, started publishing the documents beginning in 1977. What followed was a series of Virginia land patent documents right up to the firing of George III, July 1776! This series has become the root of colonial Virginia tree climbing. The following gives an outline of this remarkable series:

Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants...

Volume I, 1623 - 1666, abstracted and indexed by Nell Marion Nugent, 1934.

Volume II, 1666 - 1695, abstracted and indexed by Nell Marion Nugent, 1977.

[Nell Marion Nugent was the custodian of the Virginia Land Office from 1925 - 1958]

Volume III, 1695 - 1732, abstracted and indexed by Neill Marion Nugent, 1979.

Volume IV, 1732 - 1741, edited by Denis Hudgins, 1994.

Volume V, 1741 - 1749, edited by Denis Hudgins, 1994.

Volume VI, 1749 - 1762, edited by Denis Hudgins, 1998.

Volume VII, 1762 - 1776, edited by Denis Hudgins, 1999.

Standing upon the shoulders of these giants of genealogy, you can begin to explore the history and geography of your ancestors in colonial Virginia.

Friday, December 10, 2010

When Genealogy becomes Geography

The complexity of doing genealogy multiplies as one goes further back in time. As the world changes from what we know and experience, to that of our ancestor's world, understanding their world becomes invaluable. Each generation furthur back in time, becames a new world with new places to examine and learn. How did they live? How did they love? How did they survive? You will reach a point where the ancestor's world will becomae completely different from the world you know and think you understand. There will not be cell phones, regular phones, world as we know it! At some point, genealogy becomes our new way of understanding our old way. What fun!

One key area is geography. Genealogy will often become geography. Understanding the survice of the earth; its land, sea, and air, and how our ancetor's lived within it, will often be the way around many brick walls. This is especially true when one reaches the "frontier" where our ancester's began their lives. For me, it was in Virginia with Griffin Jones, Jr. and Sr. Owning land was the highest social symbol indicating that you had made it. In many places you had to own land to be able to vote and join the political process that ran the place. To control the land and its distribution was one of the most powerful positions. In Virginia this was done by the central government under the control of the monarchy. The central government was the "Kings" government since 13 May 1625, when "A Proclamation For Settling the Plantation of Virginia" was made by James I. This proclamation stated:

"And that our full resolution is, to the end that there may be one uniform course of government in and through our whole monarchy, that the government of the colony of Virginia shall immediatley depend upon ourself...".

A surveyor had already been sent in 1621 to make a survey of the Virginia Companies' land, and to make a map of the country. Making maps is essentially a way to understand the geography. In 1624, all rights and powers to the land were taken by the "Crown". [The Crown meaning the King's Government!] Making surveys became the law of the land. (more will be said about this)

Now the foundational references to understanding of this "land patent" process are a series of books titled: "Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants...". The first book starts 1623 and runs until 1666. It was originally published in 1934, and reprinted in 1963. I obtained my first copy just out of high school, and have used this series of books more than any other! Thank you Nell Marion Nugent. Land surveys, an aid to understanding geography.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Leaves on the Tree

Griffin Jones (Jr.) and his father Griffin Jones (Sr.) appear to have lived most of their lives in Caroline County, VA. Although, the last record of Griffin, Jr. was in Spotsylvania County records dated 5 April 1785, where the family must have moved after the Revolutionary War. The name Griffin gets past along since in 1817, there were two Griffin Joneses listed among the family that were members of the South Elkhorn Baptist Church.

Griffin Jones (Sr.) first appears in the Caroline County records dated 13 August 1736. He seems to have had a lot of trouble in the courts for there is a fairly long series of court cases involving Griffin, Sr.:

1. (1736)Griffin Jones Assignee of Charles Spoe against Joshusa King...[Caroline Co., VA Order BK, 1732-1740, Vol. 1-3, Vol. II, p 54.]

"Judgement is granted the plaintiff for 522 pounds of tobacco"

2. (1737)Action of Debt- Robert Taliaferro against Griffin Jones...[dito: Vol.II, p.112]

"case dismissed"

3. (1737/38) Action of Debt- William Taliaferro, gent. Against Griffin Jones...[dito:Vol III, p.15}

"case dismissed"

On and on it goes...most interesting is 1740/41 Action of trespass, assault, and battery. James Young against Griffin Jones [Caroline Co., VA Order BK 1740-1746, Part I, p. 15]

"Dismissed, it being agreed."

He was also ordered to be surveyor of the road in the room (the place of) Nicholas Ware. [dito: Part I, p. 70]

The eighth court record reveals his wife's name is Mary when 12 August 1743, it states: "Griffin Jones and Mary his wife, acknowledged his deed of lease and release indented to Arch. McPherson, gent." [dito:, Part III, p. 12.]

Let's see now...Spoe, King, Taliaferro, Young, Ware, and McPherson and a bunch of other surnames appear with poor Griffin, Sr. Like working a 5000 piece puzzle, it helps to group associated names together. This becomes more and more helpful as the leaves on the tree branches get thicker.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Picture on the Box

Family time at 25 Vine Street was often spent around a folding card table. Here we played Rook and put together puzzles. Rook could be done over several hours, but putting a puzzle together often took several days to a week. We would leave the card table standing, and would work together as a family or independently, as we left for school or work, putting in a piece here or there until the job was done. Each day you could tell some progress had been made. It was kind of a family team effort. There was the 500 piece, 1000 piece, and the mother of all puzzles, the 5000 piece puzzle. When finished, everyone had a chance to comment, and then back in the box it went. It was almost as much fun taking it apart as putting it together, but much less of a challenge.

We usually started by dumping the whole puzzle in the middle of the card table. You then spread out all the pieces and placed the color surfaces right side up. You then looked for the pieces that had at least one side straight. These pieces you moved to the edge of the table because they were part of the outside rim of the puzzle. Next you looked at the picture on the box lid to identified the main theme. It might be the sea, sky, mountains, windmills, or any number of things that became the picture you were trying to put together. If sky, you then grouped the color themes blue to blue, green to green, orange to orange. Once grouped, you then started with the edge fitting and matching the colors and shapes. This provided a frame in which to work, sky up, field down, trees to the right, etc., etc. After all this was done, you then tried to fit the pieces together. The outside rim was usually the fastest, and the large expanse of sky, was usually the hardest. Little by little the puzzle would come together.

Doing genealogy is much like working a 5000 piece puzzle, especially with a surname like Jones! All the pieces seem mixed up and jumbled together. Having a plan helps. Start with what you know, is like organizing the out side edge of the puzzle. Grouping the colors together is like placing family names, maiden names, church groups or other common facts that you have discovered. Some times you have to look from different angles and there always seems to be a piece missing. Getting other family members involved often helps, but if you have the genealogy virus, others in the family usually do not. Work around the table, taking turns with different facts and family members, You do not have to have all the pieces put together at once, but each piece becomes part of the picture on the box.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Through my Memories

Almost all of the posts to date have dealt with my family's past generations. This being the 99th post (can you believe it), I thought it would be nice to picture the future generation.

The picture to the right is my youngest grandson Ian. He just had his first birthday party this past Saturday. He is the son of my youngest daughter Ellen, who spent time with me over Thanksgiving visiting many of our family's past locations in Clark County, Kentucky. (Winchester) [see post titled "Mighty Small" on 30 November] Of course her husband Wes had something to do with it also.

Ian is the "youngest" future generation of my family. Happy Birthday Ian, I am sure that one day Ellen will take you on a trip through my memories.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Road Map

Separating two Griffin Joneses (there were actually three Griffins in the area) was quite a task. The county records did not seem to record which was "Senior" and "Junior" during most of the time period, and if my folks and I had not made a trip to Caroline County we might not have figured it out at all! The key date seemed to be the tax levy of 1755 where one Griffin (Sr.) was exempted from the taxes for being "old" or "infirmed". The next year, Griffin (Jr.) was placed in charge of overseeing the road past his house. With Nicholas Jones (a son of Griffin Jones, Jr.) being born in 1762, it would mean that Griffin (Jr.) would have married before 1762, fitting when he became part of the public community 1756. It is not certain that Nicholas was the oldest, but most likely the oldest male child since he was the one taking the place of his father in the draft of 1780. Given these dates, Griffin (Jr.) would have been born around 1740 (1735-1745) with the earlier dates being more likely since the male became socially active around age 18-20.

The wife of Griffin Jones (Jr.) is Agnes, given in a deed, Deed BK K-1782-1787, p. 387. Griffin was made guardian to William, Joseph, and Griffin Kelly, orphans of Edward Kelly 18 Aug. 1774. This made me wounder if Agnes was not a Kelly?

The most significant finding was that in 1765, George Todd was to be overseer of the road from his house to: a. Mary Buckner's lands, b.Richard Roy's, c. Wm. Plunkett's Sr., d. Eliz. Mcpherson, e. Thomas Jones, f. William Dismukes, g. Griffen Jones, h. Robert Taliferro, Sr.; i. William Buckner's, j. George Holloways, k. Charles Holloways, and l. Reuben Thornton's. [Caroline Co. Court 12 day September 1765, p. 144] Can you believe it! A road map is given. This road map would prove invaluable as the brick walls came tumbling down.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Making a Trip

Griffin Jones was the last of my Jones family to reside in Virginia. His son Nicholas Jones moved to Kentucky in 1811. Griffin was most likely born in Caroline County, VA since our family had settled along the waters of Pneumansend Creek beginning November 1673. This creek has been spelled a variety of ways including "Puamunaremo", "Puamunvein", "Pumansend", "Pewmansend", "Puesmonseen", and "Powmansend" and by legend was named after a Dutch trader "Newman" who met his end along this creek...thus "Newman's End". This area was to become Caroline County in 1728 after it had been Essex County since 1692, and Old Rappahannock County since 1656. Before that it had been part of Lancaster County from 1651, and before that called Northumberland County which was founded in 1648. It was an Indian district called Chickacoan at the beginning. Wow!, all without moving an inch.

As discussed in a previous post, Griffin Jones, in 1756, was ordered to be "overseer" of the road which ran by Mr. Mcpherson's house to the beverdam swamp by the house of Thomas Buckner. The order reads : "...and that he keep the same in repair according to law." [from: Caroline Co., VA Order BK 1755-1758, 9 Dec 1756, p. 246.] The problem was that Griffin Jones was exempt from taxes (Ley fee) for either being "old" or "infirmed" just the year before. [from: Colonial Caroline- A History of Caroline County Virginia, by T.E. Cambell, p. 367.] What the heck? How could Griffin Jones be exempt from taxes, being old or infirmed were the only reasons, the year 1755...then he was ordered to be overseer of road repairs and upkeep the next year? These records did not seem to make sense until Dad, Mom and I made a trip to Caroline County Virginia.

It was during this trip to the courthouse at Caroline County that we found a court record with writing on the outside reading:

"Mordecai Abram Plt. Agst. Griffin Jones Senr".

[Caroline Co. Order Book 1764-1765, p. 309]

Senior, Junior, that's it. There were two Griffin Joneses. What a deal! The father of Griffin Jones, was Griffin Jones. This explains it. Griffin Jones, Sr. was old and infirmed in 1755, and his son Griffin Jones was place in charge of the tobacco rolling road! Had we not made this trip, we would not have discovered the facts. Making a trip to the courthouse may break down many brick walls.