This is the first in a series of posts on records mentioning Thomas Jones, father of Robert Thomas Jones Sr. Some of these could have qualified Thomas for the "black sheep Sunday" blogging theme. I will have a follow up post connecting Thomas to Robert with documents.
Thomas was born in North Carolina in 1778, and he came to East Tennessee with his father (who was also named Thomas) sometime in the late 1780s-early 1790s. He was a charter member of Dumplin Creek Baptist Church (later known as Dumplin Baptist Church) in Jefferson County, Tennessee. He signed its original constitution on 30 July 1797. Dumplin Baptist has been in continuous operation ever since. Duke Kimbrough, who married Robert Jones Sr and Elizabeth Thornhill in 1820, was one of the founders and pastor there for 36 years.
I contacted the church by email in March 2010, and they were very kind to send me references to Thomas Jones and other potential Jones family members from the church records. According to the church website, "the original constitution of the church stood in force for 50 years, having strict rules for attendance, moral conduct and behavior, inside the church, in public and during business meetings. During the first 50 years of the church 25 people were excommunicated for breaking these rules." Of course my ancestor Thomas Jones would be one of those people known for breaking rules.
Thomas appears in the minutes of the church from 1797 up through his exclusion from fellowship on 14 July 1832 for repeated warnings for drinking between 1829 and 1832. Prior to his exclusion, Thomas was a deacon of the church and church elder from founding up to his removal as deacon on 12 June 1830. The church minutes can also be found online on the Jefferson County TNGenWeb page.
The church is located a few miles west of Dandridge, near the end of the present day Douglas Lake and the French Broad River (via Google Maps).
"August 7th 1802, the Church met on the time appointed first - Rec'd Br. Thomas Jones by Experance"
Thomas was later on a committee to cite Sister Barnes and Grissom for disciplinary action in May 1806. See "May the 10th 1806 -- the Church met it being meeting in Corse -- 1st. the matter between Br. Isaac Newman and Br. Cate is threw out of the Church & each one is to try to Bear there own burdens -- 2nd. A report taken up concerning a grievance of Sister Barns & Br. Colyear and Br, Thomas Jones appointed to Cite Sister Barnes and Sister Margaret Grissom to attend the next meeting -- 3rd. Br. Humphrey Mount and John Hickman appointed Sister Margret Rimmonton to attend next meeting."
August 8th 1807 - the Church met it being in Corse...3rd. Appointed Bros. Thos. Jones & Maynard Colley to go to French Broad Church to enquire what was the course there refusing our members there a seat in their Church or there meeting.
September the 10th 1808 - the Church met it being meeting Corse -- 1st. Rec'd Bro. Shadrach Preait by letter -- 2nd -- the Return from the Arm of this Church there act not fully Rec'd by the body till she deligates members and sends to look into the stand of that Church people. Deligates appointed and their names taken towit -- Isaac Newman, John Cate, Wm. Cate, Humphrey Mount, Thomas Jones, (p. 33) J. Russell and Peter Lorance is to set at Bro. Daniel Hull's -- the time appointed for meeting at that place -- 4th Wm. Cate, Humphrey Mount and John Cate our deligates to the next Association.
December the 10th 1808 -- the Church met it being meeting in Corse. 1st. Brethren appointed to attend Br. Hull's on the 1st. Saturday in January next in order to set in a Church way to do the Business of the Church -- 2nd. the names of the Brethren that is appointed Thomas Jones, Joshua Newman, Humphrey Mount, Isaac Newman Sr. and Peter Lorance
January 14th 1809 -- the Church met - Appointed to attend at Br. Daniel Hull's to set as a Church and to have full power or a Church & their names, Humphrey Mount, Thos. Jones, Wm. Cate (p. 34) Isaac Newman Sr., John Cate Sr., Peter Lorance, Joshua Newman, John Cate Jr. and Br. Kimbrough Requested to go.
August the 11th 1810 - the Church met it Being Meeting in Course. - 1 - deligates chosen to our next Association & their names taken Viz - Br. John Cate & Br. Thomas Jones -2nd- Bro. John Cate Jr. Appointed to Right the letter to our next Association.
May the 9th 1812 - 3 - Br. John Cate Senr. & Br. Thomas Jones appointed deligates to our next Union meeting to Boyd's Creek
September the 12th 1812 - the Church Met it Being meeting in Course. 1st - Appointed our meeting in Nov. our communion Season. - 2 - Chose our delligates to our next Association. Br. Charles Kelly & Joseph Sullins & Br. Thomas Jones
November the 13th 1812 - Sister Nancy Jones Received by Experiance. [I believe this may be a daughter of Thomas Jones]
Aprile the 10th 1813 - Church met it Being meeting In Course. - 1 - proceeded to choose Br. Joshua Newman Clerk. 2 - Br. John Cate Laid under Censure for Drinking too much Liquer and keeping frollicas Company also appointed Br. Kimbrough & Charles Kelly to cite him to our next meeting in Course. 3 - Br. Thomas Jones appointed By private Ballard Deacon of this Church.
July 10th 1813 - the second Saturday the Church of (p. 48) Christ met after worship proceeded to the affaris of the Church. 1 - Proceeded to Examine Brethren Joseph Sullins and Thomas Jones for the offis of deacon - Br. Sullins Begd that he might have longer time to Study on the matter. It was granted. Br. Jones Rec'd and was ordained Submitting to the call of the Church. 2nd - Rec'd by letter Sister Sally Witt Senor and Sister Sally Witt with Jr. - 3 - Rec'd by Experiance Sally Elder - 1 - Betsey Ferrel - 2 - Wm. Cate - Negro woman Sarah - 3 - Robert Elder - 4 - Marget Crocket - 5 - Elizabeth Kimbro - 6 - and Wm. Elder - 7 - Wm. Ellis.
December the 11th 1813 -- the Church met it Being meeting in Course, and proceided -- 1 -- to appoint Brethren Joseph Sullins and Charles Kelly to Cite Black (Dick) to attend our next meeting in Course -- 2 -- Brethren Benj. Neal & Thomas Jones to talk with Wm. Weaver's wife to know wheather the Report be true about his having two wives -- 3 -- granted Br. Charles Kelly Liberty to exercise his Ministerial gift in the Bounds of the neighboring Churches.
Saturday the 8th of January 1814 -- The Church met at Isaac Newman's and after worship proceeded to Business -- 1 -- the Brethren that was appointed to cite Black Dick to attend this meeting they not having the opportunity of seeing him at home -- the Church appoints the same Brethren To cite him to our next meeting in February -- 2 -- The Breathren Neal and Jones Enquiring into the case of Weaver's and no sufficient proof to work upon the Chruch dismissed that Bisness at the preasant.
August 12th 1815 -- the Church met it Being meeting in Course -- first the Church took up the Reference from Last meeting concerning the matter Between Br. Isaac Newman and Br. H. Mount and it is laid over till meeting in Nov. 2nd -- and appointed our next meeting the 3rd Saturday in September -- 3- Appointed Br. Thomas Jones, Robert Elder and Wm. Elder and Wm. Elder to attend our next Association
Saturday the 12th of July 1817 -- Church met and after worship proceided to Buisness -- 1 -- the matter of grievance against Br. John Richards Brought forward and the Church acquitted him of Censure on his acknowledgment -- 2 -- the grievance against Wm. Ellis Laid over to next meeting -- the Church calls for helps -- Br. Jones and Henderson to apply to French Broad & (p. 63) Jones and John Cate to apply to flat Creek at the same time to answer a request of the Church -- Br. Thomas Jones appointed Br. Wm. Elder to be called to act as their dacon -- adjorned.
January 10th 1818 -- the Church met and after Divine Survis proceeded to Bisness -- 1 -- Reference concerning Br. Wm. Elder as our choice for deacon Laid over till next meeting in Course. -- 2 -- Appoints Br. Isaac Newman & Br. Charles Kelly to Cite Sister Lucy Cate to attend our next meeting -- 3 -- Appointed Br. Thomas Jones & Br. Robert Newman to Cite Sister Betsey Grissom to attend our next meeting.
April 11th 1818 - 5 -- the Church appoints Bro. Thomas Jones and Bro. Benj. Neal to cite Neal's (Isaac) to attend next meeting to make his acknowledgmetn for drinking too much Liquor
July 11th 1818 -- Church met and after duty proceeded To bisnes -- 1 -- the greavance concerning Rebecah Cate taken up and has Excommunicated her from the fellowship of this Church for having a base Begotten Child -- 2 -- Rec'd Br. Wm. Burnet and Doshy his wife and their two sons John & Nathan Burnet By Letter -- 3 -- Appoints Breathren as helps to the Arm of the fork of Little Pigin at Providence -- Isaac Newman Senr., Thomas Jones and Isaac Cantrell -- Wm. Burnet and Charles Kelly and John Cate -- 4 -- Rec'd Sister Rachel Cate By Experience -- 5 -- the Referance concerning Neal's (Isaac) Laid over till next meeting.
August 8th 1818 -- the Church met and after Devine Survis proceeded to Bisnes -- 1 -- the Referance concerning Neal's Isaac taken up and his Being absent Laid over till next meeting & apoints Br. Thomas Jones & Wm. Burnet to Cite him to our next meeting -- 2 -- the Church appoints Br. Elisha Cate to inquire of Black Betsey's Master wheather he has any objections of her coming to our meeting -- 3 -- the Church appoints Br. Isaac Newman to Providence To Request helps and Elisha Cate to Boid's Creek for Helps of ordination of a deacon -- 4 -- the Church appoints Brethren Isaac Cantrell & Thomas Jones as our deligates To our next Association at Dumplin Creek
July 10th 1819 - 2nd. - A grievance brought before the Church by Charles Kelley & wife against John Cate & wife concerning some Scandalous Reports against their daughter (Winney Carter) and the Church appoints John Lockhert, Thos. Jones, Humphrey Mount, Joseph Sullins, Moses Long & Matthia Teege To meet them at this place on the 4th Saturday of this instant to try for Reconciliation Betwist them.
January 8th 1820 - The Church met & after worship proceeded to Business - First - took up the Reference betwist the Brt. Newman and Elder Relative to running their Lands and the Church agrees. Six of her body Viz - Hum. Mount, John Cate, Thos. Jones, Joseph Sullins, Elisha Cate & John Lockhert To see their Land run out
April 8th 1820 - 5th. - This Church enters into a Covenant in respect of furnishing wine for her use - that is to say for all the male members to furnish one pint every Communion Season to take it by turn as they are hereafter enrolled. Viz - Humphrey Mount, (p. 75) John Elder, Isaac Newman Sr., Joshua Newman, Joseph Sullins, Wm. Elder, Isaac Newman Jr., Robt. M. Newman, John Cate, Robert Elder, Chas. Cate, Joseph Bell, Elisha Cate, Thomas Jones, Charles Kelly, Oby Gibbs & N. Cate.
June 17th 1820 - The Church met according to her appointment & after worship proceeded to business - 1st. - took up the Reference betwixt Wm. Elder & John Cate & wife the Churches Committee met according to their appointement to examine into the above charges that Wm. Elder laid in against John Cate and wife & the sd. Committee when inquiring into the Charges found Both parties faulty - 1st. - Br. Elder done wrong in not fully Complying with his agreement also forgetting in a passion & using unbecoming language and Br. Cate and wife done wrong in charging Elder for taking rails (p. 76) not his own also in reporting that Elder flee from his agreement & the Church received the Committees report and lays them all under censure & Br. Elder Being absent lays the matter over till next meeting an appoints Isaac Newman, Thos. Jones & Charles Kelly to cite him to our next meeting.
July 8th 1820 - The Church met & after worship proced to business - 1st. - Took up the reference betwixt Br. Elder & John Cate & wife and the Church laboured under so much difficulty & failed to affect peace that she calls for help to attend a Call Meeting on the Friday before the 3rd. Saturday in August next from four Sister Chrs. (Viz) French Broad, Fork of Little Pigeon, Boid's Creek and the Paw-paw hollow which helps shall have full power of the matter betwixt the sd. Brethren and the Church further agrees to send a Commitee of four members (Viz) Humphrey Mount, Thomas Jones, Joseph Sullins & Elisha Cate to ascertain the boundary's of certain tracts of lands that is in dispute betwixt the two Brethren and to report to the helps called for to set on the affair at the time aforesaid - 2nd. - Br. John Burnett Request a letter of dismission & granted.
August 12th 1820 - The Church met & after divine Sevice proceeded to Business - 1st. - appointed Br. Thomas Jones, Joseph Sullins, Charles Cates & Isaac Newman as Deligates to go to the Association
August 9th 1823 - The Church met & after divine Worship proceeded to Business - 1st. - appoints John Cate & Thos. Jones to attend and bear our letter to the Association next to be held in Knox County Spore's Meeting house on the 1st. Saturday in Oct.
September 3rd 1825 - 4th. - Appointed Br. John Cate, Thos. Jones, Joseph Sullins, John Elder, R. M. Newman, Noah Cate, Isaac Newman and Elisha Cate to visit the Arm on next fryday and to do what they can as the boddy of their Church concerning Br. Willis Hammons for joining the Masonick order.
December 3rd 1825 - 2nd. - Appoints Br. Thomas Jones to demand & receive Willis Hammons credentials
Fighting and Drinking
Beginning in the middle of 1829, several of the minutes reference Thomas Jones drinking, becoming involved in altercations. We would have been about 50-51 years old at this time. He was excluded from the church on 14 July 1832.
May 9th 1829 - The Church met & after worship proceeded to Business - 1st. - Br. Thomas Jones came forward & made acknowledgment for his miss conduct in getting angry and attempting to fight and for drinking too much Sperrits and the Church forgive him his fault - 2nd. - Quary - Shall he continue as deacon any longer or not and the matter laid over till next meeting for the consideration of the Church. - 3rd. - A grievance taken up against Br. John Elder for acting imprudently with a young woman about his house & for absenting himself from us & for abruptly refusing to attend Church meeting, also for treating his wife unbecoming, for which the Church Excommunicated him from fellowship.
June 13th 1829 - The Church met & after worship proceeded to business - 1st. - took up the Quary of last meeting concerning Br. Joneses deaconship and the Church after mature consideration continues him as deacon - 2nd. - The Church took up a grievance against Neel's (Isaac) for drinking too much Spirrits and for neglecting Church meeting and appoints Br. Thos. Jones & Rich Thornburg to talk to him & cite him to attend our next Church meeting.
June 12th 1830 - The Church met & after divine Service proceeded to business - 1st. - Br. T. Jones came forward with an acknowledgment confessing he had been drinking too much Sperrits &c. and submit the matter to the Church - Therefore the Church forgives him & continue him in fellowship but removes him from the Office of Deacon.
January 14th 1832 - The Church met and after divine Service proceeded to business - 1st. - Br. Thos. Jones came forward to the Church and told her that he had been guilty of drinking too much Sperits at a certain time not long since & the Church determines to take up the charge against him to consider of it till next meeting.
February 11th 1832 - The Church met and after divine Service proceeded to business - 1st. - took up the reference of last meeting concerning Br. Jones & after sum investigation the Church not yet being satisfied she continues it till next meeting for further consideration.
March 10th 1832 - The Church met and after divine Service proceeded to business - 1st. - took up the matter against Br. Jones & after sum consultation on the matter the Church forgives him & restores him to fellowship again but under the resolution not to do so anymore - should he not reform.
July 14th 1832 - The Church met & after divine Service proceded to business - 1st. - it was made apparently due proof that Br. Thomas Jones has been drinking too much Spirits for which the Church excludes (p. 104) him from the fellowship of the Church.
Oct 17th 1839 - 3rd. - enrold Nancy Jones & Dismissed her by letter and at night
Page 16 contains 17 Jones names on the list of names following the September 1839 meeting.
Thomas was an interesting character and I'll have more posts on him in the future.