Welcome!

Welcome!
I realized quickly that I’d have to “think outside the box” to learn about my ancestors. I LOVE to interview people, and listen to stories about "the older days" when life seemed a little slower and simpler. I study USGS maps, plats, read chanceries, look for long forgotten cemeteries and try to help preserve memories people share with me. This blog is ad free, so it's easier to focus on sharing stories. Feel free to sign the guestbook, or join the FaceBook group. Even if we aren't related by DNA, I'd still love to hear about your research efforts and family stories. I am interested in posting (to this blog) stories relevant to the Mecklenburg-Brunswick families.

26 July 2009

Tobacco barn


Click on the picture to view it full screen. I took this picture 13 Mar 2004, off the road near Boydton. I was driving along, saw this, and stopped to get a picture. I'd never seen anything like it, so I took a picture because I thought it looked cool, and because I wanted to ask others what it was. It's what I imagined an old frontier house would look like, with rocks and plaster shoved in between the spaces of the logs. It really is leaning today. What puzzled me the most, was that the doorway was only about 3 feet high, and no windows. So I guessed it couldn't be a house. I started asking people what this building was. Well, this picture has reminded lots of people about their ties to similar old tobacco barns. I'm told that this was a Virginia tobacco barn, designed to smoke the tobacco dry. There were also the tall tobacco barns to hang the leaves in; but the Virginia heat and humidity, often caused molds to ruin much of the crop which is then a loss. So these tobacco barns were invented. I hear this barn is the type built about 200 years ago and this one may be that old. I hear this was a curing process that took several days. A little contained fire was kept to smoke it dry. Several men camped by this type of tobacco barn and took turns tending to the fire and curing. I've also heard stories about this being how Brunswick stew started. It was made while the men were doing the camping & curing. And that was the expected meal while preparing the harvest. It seems this picture is of another old timer thing being long forgotten, so wanted to post this piece of old Virginia history.

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.)

05 July 2009

Martha Reid & Martha Newman-both married a James Jones. Sorting the Martha's & James out:

According to the James B. Jones Family Bible, (in Mecklenburg) he married Martha W. _____. No maiden name written. James & Martha & Jones are of course very common names, so it's easy to get confused. I didn't have a marriage date yet. I kept seeing people write "Martha Reid" as James B. Jones wife. And then a few times I saw Martha Newman. For awhile I was confused too, so I wrote "Martha Newman or Reid." I was reading some old family records. Nannie Gray Kidd's family records say "Nannie's grandmother was Martha Newman." which is the source I trusted the most. So I started reviewing all the sources I had on Martha & her husband James B. Jones. Everything I had did not have Martha's maiden name. So I continued to scrutinize the family, and look at other people's trees to compare their sources. Well, it appeared people that wrote "Martha Reid" had James & Martha married in Brunswick county, nine years after my James & Martha were having children. This part of my family tree only married in Mecklenburg, and earlier marriages were in Warren, NC. I couldn't totally rule out Brunswick, VA but I could rule out that marriage date, which was for Martha Reid. I finally found the marriage date for my family: James B. Jones and Martha Newman married in Warren County, NC on 27 Sep 1821.

Then I found something helpful in the book "Civil War Soldiers from Brunswick County, VA" by Dr. Pritchett. If you look under the Jones section, on pg 284 it says Edward Carroll Jones was son of James B. Jones & Martha Reid who were married about 1830 in Brunswick. James B. Jones & Martha Newman already had 6 children by 1830, and were still in Mecklenburg, the same time this other James & Martha were living in Brunswick. This Edward Carroll Jones is actually the son of Jame B. Jones & Martha Newman, my family. So I believe this to be an error in he book. On page 286 of this same book, under Private James Henry Jones it says, "..was a son of Rev. James Jones & Martha Reid who were married in Brunswick County in 1830." I found this helpful information. So it appears to me that there were two James Jones that each married a Martha. It also appears the James Jones in Brunswick was a minister and didn't always use his middle initial. And the Brunswick James Jones & Martha Reid married abt 1830 in Brunswick. My James B. Jones & Martha Newman lived in Mecklenburg, and were married in 1821, 9 years before the other Jones family. These Jones lived near Rehoboth Church (Blackridge) area in Mecklenburg. Some of James B. Jones & Martha Newman's children later lived awhile in Ebony. James B. Jones used his middle initial on every paper I've ever seen his name. My James B. Jones & Martha Newman had 15 children, raised in Mecklenburg. One child only lived to be age 11, the rest grew to adulthood. So the Martha in Brunswick had the surname Reid & the Martha in Mecklenburg had the surname Newman. So these are the ways I believe we can keep the two families straightened out :)