Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Settling the Estate of Thomas Jones

I spent the better part of last year's research tracking down my Jones line in East Tennessee, primarily around my 5th-great-grandfather Thomas Jones. One of my goals is to confirm that my Jones line was in East Tennessee prior to 31 December 1796, so that we qualify for the First Families of Tennessee. I didn't accomplish that last year, although I think I'm really close.

Part of last week's break was spent sorting page by page through the Tennessee, Probate Court Books 1795-1927 collection on FamilySearch, in the image-only files for Jefferson County. The whole collection is 628,641 images, but the Jefferson County set is more manageable. I focused attention on the Wills, Settlements and Bonds sets, and found quite a bit of useful information that expands the size of Thomas' family and connections with others in the county. One key find was confirming that Thomas Jones had died in 1857 in Jefferson County.

In the Bonds, Letters 1856-1882 file (Image 46 of 332), on 6 July 1857, John H. Franklin, Benjamin F. Franklin and John C. Gass appear in a $2,000 bond as administrators of the estate of Thomas Jones. In the 1850 US Census, all three men are living very close to Thomas Jones (and my 4th-great-grandmother Elizabeth Thornhill Jones) in District 13 of Jefferson County.
In the Wills 1851-1868, Volume 5 file, image 256 of 327, is a document from November 1857 showing an inventory of the property belonging to Thomas Jones, as prepared by John H. Franklin and filed with the Jefferson County Court on 7 December 1857.
He had one account with S. N. Fain for $11.55, an iron wedge, a loom, a barrel, a lock and a lot of corn. Over a long life, reduced to a few items. 

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