Friday, November 30, 2012

Tennessee Progress Check

Earlier in the month I wrote about using Asana for tracking family history research as I prepare my First Families of Tennessee documentation. This month I'm going to try to put the pieces together, but in all likelihood with travel and primary duties in December that's going to be a challenge. So here's an update.

At the top of my wish list is to finally connect my Jones line to the territory of present day Tennessee before 31 December 1796. If I cannot find the required documents, I do have other lines to try, but I really want to get this done on the Jones side. The challenge is that while I have documents from me to each male Jones up the line to my 5th-great-grandfather Thomas Jones, that information still doesn't get me earlier than December 1796. While Thomas' birth state was recorded as North Carolina in the 1850 US Census, and approximate birth year of 1778, I don't know if that means he was born within the boundaries of present-day North Carolina, or born in the part of East Tennessee that North Carolina controlled at the time. For background, see the description of the pre-1796 settlements in Tennessee from TNGenWeb.

My suspicion is that his family was in East Tennessee at the time and was an integral part of the formation of the new state. Suspicion doesn't qualify for membership, so I need to look at the documents.

There are two Jones men who signed the Watauga Petition in 1776 and other Jones men who signed the follow-up petition to North Carolina in 1787 as the State of Franklin (including a Thomas Jones).
Map Source: FamilySearch, FranklinCounties.png
I do have some leads, and well as a set of deed records from Cocke County and the territory that was Jefferson County for Thomas Jones.

There's also a curious Ann or Anna Jones who married Benjamin Goins (Goan) in Jefferson County, Tennessee on 15 December 1799. This Anna appears as a widow in the 1830 US Census in Jefferson County, in the 1840 Census and in the 1850 Census. Her birth year is approximately 1775 in the 1850 Census, with birth state as Virginia. It is possible that she is the older sister of the Thomas Jones I have been tracking, but I don't have proof to link the two.
Source: 1850 US Census, Jefferson County, Dist 13, Image 3
My next post will dive into the deed records.

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