Wednesday, January 30, 2013

From a Talk at IU Law

In October I gave a talk at IU School of Law at Indianapolis, on working in the Internet environment after law school. The school was nice enough to write about this in their Winter 2012-2013 edition of the McKinney Lawyer (page 28). The photo credit to Indiana University below.
Credit - IU School of Law, McKinney Lawyer.
This talk was a nice opportunity to explain to law students about the work that is done in Internet policy, and how there are options available outside of billing hours in a law firm. This was my first visit back to the school since summer 2001.

I'm very lucky that I can do what I do in support of a global Internet.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Travel Tuesday - The Power of Wind

The drawings below are taken from Vanishing Landmarks, a book of pencil illustrations and stories written by my Gumpy, Keith D. Jones, for his brother Robert P. Jones on his 80th birthday in 1997. This one is based on a photo (also below) near Canyon Lake, Texas.
Art by Keith D. Jones, 1997
I'll be sharing selected pages from the book during the month of February. I previously posted artwork from my grandfather in September, showing his painting and sketch of the Bridgeton Covered Bridge.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sepia Saturday - Rowing on White River?

The photo below is dated 1912. I'm not certain, this may be my great-grandfather Harry O'Brien. I suspect he's rowing on the White River near Broad Ripple in Indianapolis.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Will of Richard Thornhill

Tuesday's mail delivered a copy of the will of Richard Thornhill from the Hamblen County Archives in Tennessee. Richard was the older brother of my 4th-great-grandmother Elizabeth Thornhill Jones, and first born of Joseph Thornhill and Sarah Sally Westall. I was hoping that his will might contain some useful information, or perhaps a connection to Joseph and Sarah.

Richard was born in Culpeper County, Virginia in October 1805 (either 2 or 22 October). He lived a long life in the area of northern Jefferson and later Hamblen County, Tennessee. He married Margaret Cline in Jefferson County on 19 November 1825. Richard passed on 15 December 1876 in Hamblen County.

Last Will and Testament of Richard Thornhill

State of Tennessee, Hamblen County:

I, Richard Thornhill of said County and State, being weak in body but of sound disposing mind and [unsure of word] calling to mind the uncertainty of life and that it is appointed unto all to die, do make and desire this as my last will and testament hereby revoking and unwilling all wills by me made in manner and form follow now to wit:

First and perpetually, I will my body to the dust from where it is taken, to be decently buried in a plain Christian-like manner and my soul to almighty God who gave it, and as to my worldly goods it has pleased God to bless me with, I will them to be divided, distributed and apportioned in the manner and form following to wit:

Item 1st, as to my lands that I now own, I will them to be apportioned and divided as I now direct. It is my will and desire that my beloved wife Margaret Thornhill shall have my house farm of one hundred and seventeen acres, including all of the dividings and appurtenaments thereto also including the lands purchased by me from M. H. Skeen set forth in said deed, to have full control of the same during her natural lifetime.

Item 2nd, what I have or may have at death of personal property, I will to be disposed of as follows: I desire my wife Margaret Thornhill to have my yellow mare and one other horse of her own choice of my horse stock, two cows and calves of her own choosing if she desires them.

I also will that she have all my household and kitchen furniture or, so much of it as she may desire, to have full control of the same during her lifetime and at her death provided she remains in her senses and [unclear] to dispose of all or any of the same as she may desire. Whatever of the same she does not desire to retain at my death, together with all my other personal property of every description consisting of hogs, cattle, horses, sheep, farming tools, and implements except to the property heretofore bequeathed to my wife and [unclear] that I desire her to have and control one two-horse wagon and harness for the same, farming tools and implements sufficient to carry on and cultivate the farm of one hundred and seventeen acres before specified.

The remainder of my personal property I desire sold at public sale and the proceeds of the same disposed of as hereafter mentioned. Should my wife from age or other infermity become [unclear] and of disposing mind previous to her death all the household and kitchen property left and remaining [unclear] I wish divided between the girl children of Margaret E. Bowers.

Further more it is my will and desire that A. L. Cline and C. C. Cline have the land conveyed to them by me sometime previous and set forth in deeds of conveyance to them upon the following named conditions that they are not to sell or put any persons in association of said lands during my natural lifetime without my consent. The remaining portion of my lands I wish disposed of as follows to wit:
Item 1, I will to Margaret E. Bowers all my lands not otherwise disposed of the interest I have in the land belonging to Mill property also all interest in the Mill that I have as many of my[unclear] together with all the lands I have at the time of my death and that I have maintained and described.
Item 2nd, I will and it is my desire that Elizabeth Bowers shall have the one hundred and seventeen acres of land afore mentioned and described with the appurtenances thereunto by her complying with the following named stipulations and requirements. Should she marry a man not competent to take care of and control said land it is to belong to Margaret E. Bowers, her mother and Elizabeth Bowers to share equal with the rest of the children of Margaret E. Bowers.
Item 3rd, it is my will and desire that my beloved wife Margaret Thornhill have and control the one hundred and seventeen acres before mentioned and described during her natural lifetime, that to Elizabeth Bowers if she complies with the conditions and stipulations in every [unclear] as above stated.

Furthermore it is my will and desire that all of my personal property not heretofore disposed of be sold at public sale, the money collected together with all my money on hand and debts due me collected the same to create a fund in the hands of my Executor or Administrator for the following named purposes to wit: Item 1st for the payment of funeral expenses and all my first debts. Item 2nd for the support of my wife Margaret Thornhill should she need to use any of the service so she may not [unclear] for the comforts of life while she may live and for any necessary expenses after her death. 3rd the remainder of money in the hands of my Executor or Administrator to be put in interest with the interest collected annually added to the general fund furnishing a new service to be expended in the following manner Equally in educating the children of Margaret E. Bowers with the exception of Elizabeth Bowers who has been heretofore provided for. Item 4th I desire that at the time the youngest child of Margaret E. Bowers arrives at the age of twenty one years that the land willed by me to Margaret E. Bowers together with all the money and debts in the hands of my Executor or Administrator be equally divided between the children of Margaret E. Bowers with the exception of Elizabeth Bowers which has heretofore been provided for.

In testimony whereof I have signed the same this the 31st day May one thousand eight hundred and seventy six and acknowledge it to be my act and for the purposes therein contained in the presence of W. H. Howell, Thomas Thornhill and called on to witness the same.

Richard Thornhill [Seal]

Signed in the presence of
W. H. Howell [x]
Thomas Thornhill [x]
Margaret E. Thornhill was the daughter of Richard Thornhill and Margaret Cline Thornhill. She married William A. Bowers in Jefferson County on 10 October 1861 (as referenced by Kate Livingston in her diary). Elizabeth Bowers was their first child. Margaret and William were living in Witts Foundry, Jefferson County, Tennessee in the 1870 US Census, not far from Madison Line.

Margaret provided an affidavit of support for Mary Gass Thornhill's mother's pension in her case following the death of Captain John Thornhill.

In the diary of Kate Livingston, she wrote that her father bought wheat and beef from "Mr. Thornhill" in early October 1862, which may have been Richard Thornhill. Kate knew the Thornhill family well, along with the Bowers.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tech Tuesday - UNESCO/UBC Vancouver Declaration

Last week UNESCO released the Vancouver Declaration on Digitization and Preservation (press release and declaration text pdf). The document was the result of UNESCO's 26-28 September 2012 conference on The Memory of the World in the Digital Age: Digitization and Preservation. In reading the text, this is an important document for the family history and genealogy community. It is a fairly short document, but has some key suggestions for private sector organizations and organizations in the cultural heritage sector.

For example, three recommendations at the end of the document urge private sector organizations to:

"a. cooperate with archives, library, museum and other relevant organizations to ensure long-term accessibility to digital information;

b. adhere to recognized metadata standards designed in cooperation with information professionals  for description and/or management of digital resources, in order to enable interoperability of sources that can be presumed authentic and guaranteed reliable and accurate;

c. take digital preservation issues into consideration when participating in national and international standards initiatives and in their work on multi-jurisdictional and other partnership initiatives where information generated in a digital format is to be retained through the long term."

In my primary field I work to support a global interoperable Internet. As an enabler for the sharing of knowledge, the Internet works because it can be used across borders, devices, languages and character sets. The Internet provides the means to explore and understand our history in powerful ways.

When I read the Vancouver Declaration, I see the need for modern, open standards for the sharing and preservation of family history data (see 9 October 2012 - Information Standards in the Family History Space). A number of private sector entities took part in the Vancouver conference. Major players in the family history information standards community should be aware of this document and consider how it can be useful to their efforts.

Monday, January 21, 2013

One Year of the Blog

Tomorrow my humble little family history blog will be one year old. I set out to use this as a way to share my research, spur some ideas and uncover a few brick walls along the way. I've been more than impressed by some of the discoveries over the past year, deepening my appreciation for the sacrifices made by my ancestors.

These discoveries have also spurred thinking in my primary field, underscoring the importance of the Internet as a platform for knowledge in preserving the world's culture and digital heritage (something I'll highlight in tomorrow's Tech Tuesday post).

One year ago, I had no idea that my 2nd-great-grandfather was involved in the foundation of an early group promoting Mexican immigrant rights (Liga Protectora Latina), or that his wife Maria Jesus' ancestry would link to a Chilean connection on one side and deep Mexican roots on the other. I had no idea of the struggles that my Jones family faced with multiple decades-long attempts for government pensions from their military service, or that a President took an interest in an issue involving a family member on the Thornhill side. I'm descended from some hard-working, fascinating people, and I look forward to uncovering more of their stories in the next year.

I want to thank a few people who've provided feedback, encouragement and ideas over the course of the first year:
- Andrea Kelleher
- Jacqi Stevens
- Jana Last
- Heather Kuhn Roelker

Special thanks to GeneaBloggers. I've learned quite a lot from reading the writings of others. I really enjoy this blog and the work that Thomas MacEntee has done to make it a prime spot for family history writing.

Search Tennessee Supreme Court Cases

The Tennessee State Library and Archives offers a search function of Tennessee Supreme Court cases for the period between 1809 and 1950. I'm searching for information on Rankin v State of Tennessee, 78 US 380 (1870), especially disposition of the case after it was returned by the US Supreme Court to Tennessee. While I didn't find what I was looking for on the Thornhill case through this tool, I did come across a potential find.

When entering "Jefferson" for the county and "Thornhill" on the keywords, I get a result for James Gibbons v Joseph Thornhill, from 1839. The cause is listed as "trespass and damages." What has me interested is in the 1830 US Census, James Gibbons is listed as the neighbor of Thomas Jones. Perhaps, just perhaps, there is a reference to Thomas Jones in this case file., 1830 US Census, Jefferson County, image 43 of 134
It would be helpful to know if the Joseph Thornhill in this case was the brother of Elizabeth Thornhill Jones, or their father, also named Joseph Thornhill. Thomas Jones was a surety for Joseph Thornhill Jr in 1830. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday's Obituary - Anna Smith Lamon

This obituary was published in the Princeton Daily Democrat on 28 May 1927, on my 2nd-great-grandmother, Anna Smith Lamon.
Anna married Uriah Lamon in Gibson County, Indiana on 9 November 1884. I have an undated photo of her, below:
Anna Luiza Smith Lamon
Anna was born in June 1861 in Gibson County, Indiana, to parents Jesse Smith and Rebecca Muck.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

New York, 1963

This photo shows my Dad (age 17) and my Nana, Gumpy's second wife, Betty Jeanne (Reynolds) Jones. The front of the photo says New York, the back shows the year 1963. It doesn't list the month, but I presume winter time with a bit of snow piled up and Nana in her mink coat. Anyone recognize the location? I'd like to know where this is to check out the view in a future NYC visit.
Dad & Nana, 1963

Sepia Saturday - Jones Family, 1950s

This photo is undated, but it shows my great-grandfather Edgar Lawrence Jones, my Dad (probably under 10 years old), and grandmother Blanche O'Brien Jones.
Edgar, Dad & Blanche, Indianapolis, Indiana
The house numbers 102 looked familiar, and sure enough, after looking back on Edgar's World War II draft card, the answer was there. The house still stands on the eastside of Indianapolis, obscured by two trees in the front yard.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Photo - My Gumpy in 1942 & 1972

The photos below are of my grandfather (who I call Gumpy) - Keith D. Jones. The first photo is from 1942 in Indianapolis (he's probably almost 22 in this picture). The second photo is from 1972 and is classic 1970s.
Gumpy, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1942
Gumpy, 1972

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Lull

With the start of 2013, I've been in a bit of a lull on this blog. Primary obligations have spiked in preparation for upcoming travel and meetings, I'm awaiting some documents to arrive on earlier queries, and I've also had a bit of a struggle on which stories to bring to the blog.

I've been looking for some ideas and inspiration, and based on Amy Coffin's review, I downloaded Reunion: A Search for Ancestors for the iPad by Ryan Littrell. I'll have my own review coming up, but so far, I haven't been able to put it down.

It's hard to believe I'm approaching a year with this blog. January began with a look back at some of the early stories from last year, on the O'Briens, my never-ending quest to research the Jones family in East Tennessee, my 4th-great-grandmother Emily Ballard Read. This helped identify some new information, such as the coal mine report from the Prairie Research Institute and the bounty land assignment in LaSalle County. I'm behind in sharing the results of Lucinda McIntosh Smith's widow's pension application for her husband Asa Putnam Smith's service in the War of 1812 and on the Lamon family. I have some additional information from the Illiana Genealogical and Historical Society on the Davis family in Vermilion County, Illinois, and am behind on exploring the Revolutionary War service of Azariah Davis. I hope to get to these stories in the remainder of January.

So it's time to break out of the January lull, take advantage of the long weekend in DC to do some reading, thinking, and writing on the blog. There's lots of history to share and it doesn't help if it sits on the shelf.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Manuela and Teresa

This photo is of the tombstone for my great-grandmother, Manuela Portillo, and her mother, Teresa Diaz de Portillo. The tombstone is located in Holy Hope Cemetery in Tucson, Arizona.
Manuela passed on 20 April 1966. Teresa passed on 16 June 1940.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Marriage License for William and Emily Allman

Thanks go to the Illiana Genealogical and Historical Society for locating a copy of the marriage license for my third-great-grandparents, William Allman and Emily Rachel Davis. They were married on 7 February 1861 in Vermilion County, Illinois.
Source: Illiana Gen. & Historical Society
They also sent me a copy of the marriage license for William's brother, Jonathan Allman, to Mary Elizabeth Smoot on 29 December 1859 in Vermilion County. I'll have more information on the Davis and Allman families in the near future.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Photo - Old Cartagena

Patrick L Jones - 8 Dec 2010, Cartagena, Colombia

Will of Emily A.H. Ballard Read

The state probate image files on FamilySearch have become an untapped resource for new information. Last night's find was a copy of the last will and testament of my 4th-great-grandmother, Emily Ann Heslopp Ballard Read, in the Kentucky Probate Records, 1792-1977, for Barren County.
FamilySearch - Kentucky Probate Records 1792-1977, Images 4, 5
The wording is faint, but my best transcription is as follows:

I, Emily A.H. Read, of Barren County, Kentucky, do hereby make this my last will and testament. 1st, I will and desire that my mare, corn, sheep, and all my poultry, four large and six silver teaspoons, my twelve silver knives and six forks, and all my household and kitchen furniture, be sold after my death, and the proceeds of the sale be equally divided between my children, namely I. F. [Isaac Franklin] Read, Sarah Jewell, J. W. [James William] Read, Geo. W. Read, B. B. [Bland Ballard] Read, Emma Patten, and Laura Ettinger, daughter of my son Samuel Read, decd, one share, and Richard Tamblin and Ella Lackey, children of my daughter Angelina Tamblin, decd, one share, making eight shares in all.

2nd, I will and desire that my whole tract of land including all on East side of Stowball, except one acre, which I reserve for a burying ground, and about one hundred acres on West side of said road be sold, and the proceeds of the sale be equally divided between the above named heirs, except any interest that my son, G. D. [Guilford Dudley] Read may claim and prove, which I will and bequeath to his wife Ellen Read for the separate use and benefit of the said Ellen Read and her children.

Lastly, I [hard to read] and appoint S. J. Jordan Executor of this my last will and testament. Given and in my hand this July 31st, 1883.

Emily A. H. Read
Emily passed away on 19 December 1884. Below the will transcribed above, is a very faint entry recording the will with the Barren County Court in January 1885. The will appears in Will Records, 1884-1902, Vol. 5.

It's interesting that Emily didn't provide specifically for son Guilford Dudley Read (my third great-grandfather) in the shares to be divided among the children, but she directed interest be set aside for his wife Ellen "separate use and benefit". I hope more Barren County records help shed some light on this. Guilford ran a butcher shop in Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

O'Brien Coal Mine

A year ago I wrote about my 2nd-great-grandfather, John J. O'Brien, who worked as a coal miner in Shelby County, Illinois. A recent publication by the Prairie Research Institute (which oversees the Illinois State Geological Survey) shows some interesting information about John O'Brien's mine activity. Thanks go to Cheri Chenoweth and her colleague Jennifer Obrad for their detailed work on the Shelbyville Quadrangle, part of the Directory of Coal Mines series (2012), located at

In the report, it shows John O'Brien with M. R. Williams in the Shelbyville area between 1903-1908. He was probably working as the foreman for Williams in the photo dated from 1903 that I posted last year:
I had not noticed the details, but you can see two of the miners holding cats, and in the far right side, is the head of a pony. Earlier in the year, a cousin mentioned that John O'Brien was involved in shipping Shetland ponies to the US, where they were used to haul coal in the mines. I don't know if this was John J. O'Brien, or his father, John O'Brien, who was involved in pony shipping. I have a query in with the Shelby County Historical Society for some assistance in tracking this down.

Back to the report, it shows that O'Brien likely took over operation of the mine from Williams between 1908-1911, and the mine produced 3,168 tons of coal during this period. O'Brien also operated his own mine in Shelbyville between 1916-1917 before turning it over to a James O'Brien in 1918 (see page 24).

While there is no guarantee that this land is the location of the M. R. Williams mine, a 90 acre plot of land owned by Williams appears in 1895 in the US Indexed Land Ownership Maps on Ancestry in the Shelbyville Township. So it's possible that this is where John O'Brien was working in 1903 when he was photographed with the miners (although not confirmed).
This gives some new leads to track down in Shelby County, and I'll be looking at deed records, newspaper articles and court records in the hopes of learning more about John O'Brien's coal mining activity.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Curious Bounty Land Assignment in Illinois

In the early days of the blog, almost a year ago, I wrote about my third-great-grandfather John O'Brien, who may or may not have served in the US Navy during the War of 1812. While I have not gotten closer to resolving that mystery, I have taken a close look at an assignment of a bounty land warrant in LaSalle County, Illinois that I am hoping will shed some light on John O'Brien's arrival in Illinois.

40 acres bounty land
On 10 October 1853, James A Booth assigned his 40 acre bounty land warrant #66521 to John O'Brien. The land was located in LaSalle County, Township 036 North, Range 002E, SW 1/4 NE 1/4, Section 27. Booth had been a private in Captain Bush's Company, Georgia Militia. It's hard to read, but below that line are the words "Florida War". This is pretty interesting. The Florida War would have been the Seminole Wars. It would help to know who Captain Bush was, and more about the company that served in this war.
Three other bounty land warrants were executed for Section 27 in LaSalle County on 10 October 1853. All of them were to men who had served in the War of 1812, not the Florida War.

Additional information would help quite a bit. I cannot find John O'Brien in the census in LaSalle County in 1860, and I know that he and family had moved to Shelby County by about 1861. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Military Monday - Widow's Pension of Anna Jones Henry

To better understand some of the family connections in early Jefferson County, I have been looking at friends and neighbors of the Jones family in the 1830s-1840s time period. Thomas Jones and Hugh Henry recorded a deed in 1833 for 100 acres on Dumplin Creek. Hugh's brother David Henry married Anna Jones (daughter of John Jones and Anna Layman). Anna Henry filed a widow's pension application for David Henry's service in the War of 1812.

Over the Christmas holiday, I teased a letter from the widow's pension file of Anna Jones Henry, showing that the records from Sevier County, Tennessee prior to 24 March 1856 were unavailable due to the courthouse fire. Anna states that she and David were married in Sevier County on 1 November 1819.  I thought it was worth looking at this pension file to see who wrote on Anna's behalf and if it might uncover other connections with my Jones line.

According to the file, David served between 13 November 1814 and 13 December 1815 in the company of Captain James Churchman, 4th Regiment of the Tennessee Militia commanded by Samuel Bayless. This regiment defended the lower Mississippi, near Mobile, Alabama (see
Source: National Archives
Witnesses in support of Anna Jones Henry included Loftus P. Henry, Vineyard Brimmer, Jonathan Allison, James Gass and Isaac Allman. There is a discrepancy in the file, Anna states her marriage was 1 November 1819, Loftus Henry stated it was October 1816.

I'm sharing this as it may be of interest to others researching these families in early Jefferson & Sevier County.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Jefferson County, Tennessee Resources

I have written 48 posts on Jefferson County, Tennessee (49 now with this entry). This is a compendium of posts and links to information that I refer back to from time to time in the continuing research in Jefferson County.

Jefferson County, Tennessee - 1874 Asher & Adams Map
Useful Links, Societies
TNGenWeb for Jefferson County
East Tennessee Roots
Tennessee Genealogical Society (TNGS)

East Tennessee Historical Society
Jefferson County Archives
FamilySearch Resources on Tennessee
FamilySearch Page on Jefferson County Genealogies
FamilySearch Page on Jefferson County
McClung Historical Collection at Knox County Library
McClung Collection
Tennessee State Library Fact Sheet on Jefferson County
Jefferson County Historical Society

Past Blog Posts Referencing Jefferson County
- Settling the Estate of Thomas Jones (3 Jan 2013) 
- A Mother's Pension Application (19 Dec 2012, on Mary Gass Thornhill)
- One Path to Membership (2 Dec 2012, on James Tucker) 
- Looking at Early Jefferson County Deeds (1 Dec 2012) 
- Tennessee Progress Check (30 Nov 2012) 
- From the Desk of the President, 1866 (21 Nov 2012) 
- Pension File of Joseph Jones - Pt 3 (18 Nov 2012) 
- Civil War Pension File of Joseph Jones - Pt 2 (16 Nov 2012) 
- Military Monday - Civil War Pension File of Joseph Jones, Pt 1 (12 Nov 2012) 
- Those Places Thursday - Bays Mountain (8 Nov 2012)
- Wordless Wednesday - Bridge at Strawberry Plains (7 Nov 2012)
- The Wives of Joseph Jones (2 Nov 2012)
- Mary Catherine Green Jones (1 Nov 2012)
- Mappy Monday - Taylors Bend (29 Oct 2012)
- Those Places Thursday - White Pine (25 Oct 2012)
- Warranty Deeds and a Third Marriage (24 Oct 2012)
- Setting Goals (24 Sept 2012)
- Published in the Mexican War Journal (4 Aug 2012)
- Those Places Thursday - Tennessee Migration (12 Jul 2012)
- Recapping the Jones Line (8 Jul 2012)
- Military Monday - The Confederate Pension of Martin V Jones (18 Jun 2012)
- Company G Pension Update #3 (28 Apr 2012)
- Company G Pension Update #2 (26 Apr 2012)
- Company G Pension Update #1 (25 Apr 2012)
- William Gilbert Daniel (17 Apr 2012)
- Jones Family in the Civil War Pt 2 (27 Mar 2012) (Note, there are corrections that need to be made on this post)
- Company G Service and Pension Comparison (25 Mar 2012)
- Sarah Melissa Jones Daniel (21 Mar 2012)
- Miles Jones of Jefferson County, Tennessee (21 Mar 2012)
- Jones Family in the Civil War, Pt 1 (8 Mar 2012)
- Sympathy Saturday - A Mother's Pension Denied (25 Feb 2012)
- Military Monday - Captain John Thornhill (20 Feb 2012)
- Down the Tennessee (14 Feb 2012)
- Mappy Monday - NC & TN Border in Jan 1865 (13 Feb 2012)
- An Island in the French Broad (11 Feb 2012)
- State of Tennessee v Thomas Jones (9 Feb 2012)
- Mappy Monday - Douglas Lake & the French Broad River (6 Feb 2012)
- Church Record Sunday - Dumplin Creek Baptist Church (5 Feb 2012)
- The Sad Fate of Robert Thomas Jones, Pt 2 (4 Feb 2012)
- The Sad Fate of Robert Thomas Jones, Pt 1 (3 Feb 2012)
- Joseph Thomas Jones (2 Feb 2012)
- Tombstone Tuesday - Cpl Francis Marion Jones (31 Jan 2012)
- Mappy Monday - Jefferson County, TN in 1836 (30 Jan 2012)
- Early Maps of East Tennessee (25 Jan 2012)
- Women in the Family - Elizabeth Thornhill Jones (25 Jan 2012)
- Tennessee 5th Infantry in the Mexican War (23 Jan 2012)
- Jones Volunteers in the Mexican War (22 Jan 2012)
- Jones Family in Jefferson County, Tennessee (22 Jan 2012)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday Photo - Golden Gate in Distance

By Patrick L Jones - 12 March 2011, San Francisco

Scribner's for January

The image below is another from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery, showing the front cover of a Scribner's Magazine. I've been reading through War of 1812 pension files and this image seemed appropriate for a post I have upcoming on the widow's pension file of Lucinda McIntosh Smith, wife of Asa Putnam Smith, and my 4th-great-grandmother.
Source: New York Public Library Digital Gallery

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. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013, Happy New Year

Here's to an exciting year. 2012 was a great one for me, and I'm looking ahead to the things to come.
Source: New York Public Library Digital Gallery