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12 July 2009

Nelly Jones - The 222 year history of her land



Nelly Jones (Sometimes spelled Nellie, like the road) was short for Penelope Brooks. She married Frederick Jones 16 Oct 1787 in Mecklenburg, Virginia. She outlived her husband by 41 years! Her will states that she wanted a proper burial. I was surprised that ended up being a big boulder to mark her place on someone else's property. (My ancestors' land) So I started to see what I could find out about that.

Nelly inherited this land from her father Robert Brooks. She had to sell off some of her land to pay for her large debts. She sold some land to Zachariah Jones, her husband's nephew. Part of the land sold, was the family cemetery plot where her husband was already buried. John Gray immigrated from Ireland and arrived in the US in 27 Jul 1838. In 1840, John Gray bought this piece of land from Zachariah Jones & his wife Pamelia Rottenberry. In 1847, John Gray married (his neighbor) James B. Jones' daughter Sarah Elizabeth Jones. Sarah was the niece of Zachariah Jones. John and Sarah Gray lived on this land the remainder of their lives. Then their daughter Nannie Gray and her husband Jimmy Kidd bought the land. After Nannie died, her house was sold. Edwin Lewis Lambert decided to surprise his wife Lula Margaret Kidd. He bought the house for his wife, so she could live in the house she grew up in. Lula was Nannie & Jimmy Kidd's daughter. Their descendants still own the house. I met them in August of 2004. I showed them the plat for Arimenta Kidd which had "Nelly Jones Rd" as a property boundary. The Lamberts told me their parents worked hard to get that road called Nellie Jones Rd, when the streets were being named for 911 changes. They wanted it called this, because that's what everyone already called it. They didn't know it was called that in 1870! I thought it had been called that all along.

So I asked the Lamberts if they knew of any family cemeteries. After much pondering, they remembered a cemetery they hadn't seen since being a young child. Their parents had seen notes long ago of who was in the cemetery. They erected the tombstones for Frederick & Nelly Jones. The others are forgotten, the info was lost. If I remember right, there was a total of 6 graves, with only Nelly and Frederick marked with tombstones in abt the 1960's. Attached are those pictures. The area was deeply covered by briers, on the edge of the forest, not visited in many years, in an area where vegetation grows fast. It was originally marked by walnut trees (at least two still there) at the corners. And the rest was open farm land. The dam, took at least 20 acres of the old property, and the property has changed over the years because it isn't regularly plowed or farmed anymore. I was shown where the old peanut patch was, and areas you could still see furrows in the ground. So we searched, found the cemetery & pulled away the vegetation to take these pictures. I am really grateful & impressed that the Lamberts spend a lot of time & money trying to preserve their ancestors names. It is interesting that these Lamberts are also descendants of Baxter Lambert, Nelly Jones son in law. I find it a great story that the house has stayed in the same family for about 222 years! (Counting from when Nelly married Frederick Jones in 1787 & it was her widow's dower.)

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