Monday, January 26, 2009

Jones Family Plot

View of graveyard

I spotted this cemetery from the road during a recent drive through the Lafayette County countryside, and my husband obligingly stopped so I could take pictures. It obviously is a family cemetery plot, and based on the names on the tombstones the plot appeared to belong to the Jones and Williams families.

William J. Jones was the oldest person buried there, born September 13, 1802, and his wife Angelina was born August 27, 1809. From the research I've done, William and Angelina owned a fairly large plantation near the community of Taylor in southern Lafayette County. They were born in North Carolina but lived in Tennessee just prior to moving to Mississippi. The 1860 Federal Census indicates that William owned real estate worth $25,000 and had a personal estate worth $45,000. The personal estate was comprised primarily of slaves as the 1860 Federal Slave Schedule indicated ownership of 40 slaves with his son Louis owning 20 slaves.

With such an estate and with several children, I expected to find a lot of information on the Jones family, but actually not much turned up. This was puzzling until I dug a bit more.

William J. Jones

1850 Census
Lafayette County, Mississippi
William J. Jones 45 NC farmer $4,000 real estate
Amelia 27 NC (should be Angelina)
Lewis B. 18 TN student
Hannah P. 14 TN
Edmond 11 MS
Sarah A. 8 MS
John J. Bolin 35 GA carpenter

1860 Census
Lafayette County, Mississippi
William Jones 56 NC farmer $25,000 real estate, $45,000 personal property
Angelina 46 NC
Martha 22 TN
Hannah 20 TN
Edmond 18 TN
Sarah 15 TN
John Hale 35 NC Overseer

Angelina Jones

Records show that William enlisted in Company G, 1st Miss. Infantry in 1861 and served for the duration of the war. As you can tell from the 1870 census, William's land lost much of its value. Both he and Angelina died not long after the census, William in 1871 and Angelina in 1873. No record is found after 1860 for son Edmond so I believe he probably died during the Civil War.

1870 Census
Lafayette County, Mississippi
Township 8
W. J. Jones 68 NC farmer $7500 real estate
Angeline 61 NC
Martha 35 TN
Virgil Tyson NC farmer 'black'
Lucy Tyson 50 KY cook 'black'

L. B. Jones 38 TN farmer $2500 real estate
H. T. 37 TN
David 14 MS
John 9 MS
Lucy 5 MS
William 3 mo MS

1880 Census
Lafayette County, Mississippi
Beat 4
Louis Jones 48 TN NC NC farmer (died 1901)
Helen 44 TN NC NC (died 1896)
John 19 MS at school (died 1898)
Lucy 14 MS (married a Bond, died 1884)
Wm 9 MS (never married, died 1901)
William Hardcastle 52 Eng Eng Eng laborer
Sarah Youngblood 28 MS KY KY cook

What a tragic turn this family took in the following years. In addition to the deaths noted above, Louis and Helen's son David also died, in addition to several of David's children. His mother Helen's tombstone was inscribed, "Tell Davie, and Willie, to meet me in Heaven." I suppose Louis had the tombstone inscribed thus. When his son William H. died in early 1901, the following inscription was put on his tombstone by his father, "When you died my son, my last earthly prop was removed." Louis himself died just weeks later.

The 1900 census includes a household for Louis B. Jones, a farmer, living with his 29 year old unmarried son, William H., and three servants, including one servant born in England. His location was the village of Taylor. As noted, both Louis and his son died in 1901. Louis's daughter-in-law, his son David's widow, had several small children in her household in 1900. So there may be some Jones descendants out there today.

It appears that this family was wiped out one at a time, from various causes throughout the years, and instead of dozens of descendants, William J. Jones has but a few. Only these graves remain to tell the story of this family. No house remains, no other sign of their existence.


  1. Great story. Cemeteries can tell us so much. Who takes care of the graves? It's well done. Someone washes that white marble!

  2. M.O. - you make a good point. Someone is taking care of that cemetery. There are several Williams graves and a couple more non-Jones graves, but this is clearly a Jones family plot. I did find a great-grandson of William J. Jones in the 1930 census with a family of children so there are some descendants somewhere. It's odd how quickly a family's course changes.

  3. Very cool. I have some Jones folks in early-mid 1800's North Carloina, too.

  4. Mona, I enjoyed your intereting and well-written post. My, what stories old cemeteries can tell!

  5. My father-in-law, Norwood Lynn Jones, lives in Taylor. He and his brother, Mitchell, still own 200 acres of the original plantation south of the cemetery in the Yocona River bottom. He is 88 and unable to care for the cemetery as he did in past years. My wife and I, also in Taylor, try to keep it mowed and clean as time permits. Coincidentally, I am a Williams, but not related to those in the cemetery. I have wondered if there is a non-destructive way to determine if there are any "empty" plots in an old cemetery. My wife's family has been buried in Oxford's cemetery for a couple of generations, but I can think of no better a final resting place for myself than the Jones cemetery. - Richard Patrick Williams, Sr.

  6. How did you determine that they were in Tenn. prior to Mississippi? I have a Jones ancestor that I am trying to connect to this family. My ancestor was born in 1829 in Tennessee then married in Lafayette Co. in 1848. It would be wonderful to finally connect them. Please email me at