Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Jones

She is entitled to all of it.

Doe on the demise of Mary Ann Jones v. William Norfleet, 52 NC 473 (1860).

This ejectment action was tried in Edgecombe County Superior Court.

The plaintiff, “a colored woman,” claims title to a parcel of land under the 1860 will of Henry S. Lloyd, which contains the following clause: “I give and devise to Mary Ann Jones, a free colored woman, of the said town of Tarborough, and to her heirs and assigns forever, the lot of ground and the house thereon erected in the said town, on which she now lives.”

William Norfleet, Lloyd’s executor, having been directed to sell all of Lloyd’s real estate in Tarboro, except that specifically devised, took possession of lot 118, insisting that lot only 107 passed to Jones.

The two lots, totaling about an acre, adjoin each other and are enclosed by one fence, except nine or ten feet of lot 118 at the upper end, which has a steep descent. There has never been a dividing line between the lots, which are situated “in the suburbs” of Tarboro.

In 1856, before the lots were enclosed, Lloyd built an ice house on lot 118, at a cost of some 800 dollars, for storing ice for a tavern in which he had one-half ownership. The lots were surrounded by a board fence in 1857, and the same year Lloyd built Jones a house on lot 107.  She moved in immediately and resided there at the time of the suit. In the spring of 1859, Jones enclosed a small portion of the ground for a garden. There is a smokehouse on lot 107, built when the house was built, and, on lot 118, a small privy. In 1858, Lloyd built a rough cabin with a small garden for an aged slave. Jones had the use of the rest of both lots for the purpose of cultivation.

Tarboro’s town plan shows lots fifty yards square, and according to such measurement, part of Jones’ garden and the privy are situated on 118. Lloyd bought both lots from the same person at the same time. He lived near them and frequently saw them, but it is unknown whether he knew where the line between them would run.

The Superior Court judge ruled that Jones was entitled to both lots, and Norfleet appealed.

“A testator, owning a parcel of land embracing two town lots, on which he had settled a woman, having built her a dwelling on one lot and an outhouse on the other, and permitted her to inclose a garden, partly on each lot, and to use the whole parcel inclosed within one fence, devised to her ‘the lot of ground and house thereon erected in the said town where she now lives.’ The facts are distinctly and clearly stated, and after duly considering them, in connection with the language of the will, we are of opinion that the entire parcel of ground, embracing lots 107 and 118, passed under the devise, except such portions as had been appropriated by the devisor to the ice-house and to the cabin and garden of the old slave.” Judgment affirmed.

John Jones.

ImageJohn Jones was an outspoken civil rights activist and a committed leader in the fight to repeal Illinois’ Black Codes. He was born in Greene County, North Carolina to a free mulatto mother and a German-American father. Trained as a tailor, Jones migrated to Memphis, Tennessee, then moved to Chicago in 1845 with his wife Mary Richardson Jones.  He established a successful tailor shop at 119 Dearborn Street. Not long after his arrival in Chicago, Jones befriended local abolitionists Charles V. Dyer, a physician, and Lemanuel Covell Paine Freer, a noted lawyer. Freer taught Jones to read and write. Jones saw the value of the skills for business and also put them to masterful use in abolition work, including the publication of a 16-page pamphlet entitled “The Black Laws of Illinois and Why They Should Be Repealed.” Jones also worked tirelessly in the struggle against the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which denied runaway slaves the right to trial by jury and imposed high fines on anyone who aided slaves or interfered in their capture. Though he arrived in the city with just $3.50 in his pocket and had no formal education, by 1860 Jones was one of the nation’s wealthiest African Americans. In 1871, Jones was elected the first black Cook County Commissioner.


John Jones’ 1844 certificate of freedom, issued by the State of Illinois, described him as 25 years old; 5 feet ten inches tall, and mulatto; “has a scarr over the Left Eye Brown a Scratch across the cheek bone a scarr on the left Shin bone Taylor to trade.”

Photo: Chicago History Museum. Text adapted from “Early Chicago: Slavery in Illinois,”,4,3,4; see also, and more particularly, Sylvestre C. Watkins, Sr., “Some of Early Illinois’ Free Negroes” in Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, vol. 56, no. 3, Emancipation Centennial Issue (1963); 

In the 1860 census of Ward 2, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois: John Jones, 43, tailor, born NC; wife Mary, 40, born Tennessee; daughter Susan, 16, born Illinois; and Rachel Pettit, 20, born Illinois. Jones reported real property valued at $17000 and personal property at $700.

Beaten, bruised and mangled.

Disgraceful Outrage. – An occurrence took place in this City, on Friday night last, which has excited a great deal of feeling, and will do much towards destroying the deservedly high reputation, which our City has always enjoyed, until recently, as a law loving and law-abiding community. A free man of colour, named Allen Jones, a Blacksmith by trade, who has rendered himself somewhat obnoxious, was forcibly taken from his own house, in the dead of night by a mob, and so beaten, bruised and mangled, that doubts are entertained of his recovery.  – Ral. Reg.

Tarboro’ Press, 22 October 1842.

Nash County Apprentices, 1778-1806.

At April Court 1778, Jesse Booth, Sylvia Booth, Henry Tayborn, the first two “base begotten” children of Priscilla Booth, the last the orphan of Henry Tayburn deceased, fees pd. Indenture to be prepared again next ct.

At July Court 1779, ordered that Isham Locas, 3, Martha Locas, 4, and Burwell Locas, 2 months, base-begotten children, were bound to Lazarus Pope to learn the art and mystery of planters for the boys and carding & spinning for the girl.

At October Court 1779, ordered that Lucy Locust, 3, Henry Locust, 6, and Joshua Locust, 2, base born children of Mary Locust, were bound to George Jackson, the boys to learn the “art and mystery” of planters and the girl, carding and spinning.

At August Court 1792, Chany Locus, 4, base-born child of Sarah Locus, was bound to Jacob Barnes until 18 to learn to card and spin.

At May Court 1806, Rich’d Shay, age 1 year, 9 months, a base-born child of color, was bound to Reuben Whitfield until 21.

At May Court 1806, Fanny Jones, 4, base-born child of color, was bound to Zadock Sneed.

Minutes, Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, Nash County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

We ain’t knowed so much ’bout slavery.

An Interview with Anthony Ransome of 321 S. Tarboro St., Raleigh, N.C.

I reckon dat I is eighty years old, an’ I wus borned in Murfreesboro in Hertford County. My mammy wus named Annice an’ my father wus named Calvin Jones. My brothers wus named Thomas, Wesley, Charlie, Henry an’ William.

We wus borned free, my mammy bein’ de daughter of a white ‘oman, an’ my paw’s paw onct saved do life o’ his master’s chile, an’ wus freed.

My paw wus a shoemaker an’ he made a putty good livin’ fer us. Course we ain’t knowed so much ’bout slavery, but Doctor Manning who lived near us owned some slaves an’ he treated ’em bad. We could hyar ’em screamin’ at de top of dere voices onct in a while, an’ when dey got through beatin’ ’em dey wus tied down in de cellar. Dey ain’t had much ter eat nother.

Dar wus a preacher what tol’ us ’bout a member of his congregation durin’ de war. De wife wus sold from de husban’ an’ he married ag’in. Atter de war his fust wife comed back an’ atter his secon’ wife died he married de fust one ober ag’in.

From Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves (1841).

Where are they now?: No. 20.

T.W. was born in North Carolina in the 1940s. He is descended from the following free people of color, all of Robeson County, unless otherwise noted:

(1) Keziah Brooks [1815-1893]

(2) Hugh Chavis [1807-1862] via Effie Ann Chavis [1827-1917]

(3) Matilda Jones

(4) Mackie Jane Locklear [1845-??]

(5) Richmond Locklear via Anna Eliza Locklear [1840-??]

(6) Thomas Locklear [1780-ca1865] via Thomas Locklear [1828-1892] via Nicholas Locklear (ca1845-??)

(7) William Maynor [1805-ca1880] via Angus Maynor [1832-ca1890] via Jordan Riles Maynor [1860-1941]

(8) Bryant Oxendine [1838-ca1875]

(9) Solomon Oxendine [1831-1897] via Martha Oxendine [1862-??]

(10) Clarissa Sweat [1814-1897]

(11) Emily Terry [1848-1919, Cumberland/Wayne]

(12) Charles Winn [1817-1892, Duplin/Wayne] via William Winn [1835-??, Wayne/Robeson]

(13) Martin Woodell via Patsey Woodell [1837-1880]

(14) Elender Young [1800-ca1865, Duplin/Wayne] via America Young [1820-1900, Duplin/Wayne]

Free-Issue Death Certificates: EVANS and PACE.

Willis Evans. Died 24 July 1932, Smithfield, Johnston County. Colored. Married to Viney Evans. Farmer. Age 74. Born Johnston County to Clem Evans and Martha Evans. 

Alexandra Evans. Died 2 Dec 1934, McNeills, Southern Pines, Moore County. Colored. Widower. Employed in merchandising. Born in Four Oaks to Clem Evans of Four Oaks and Martha Jones of Smithfield. Informant, Sudie Holmes.

In the 1850 census of Johnston County: Clemons Evans, 32, farmer; wife Martha, 25; and children John, 10, Willis, 7, Ellick, 5, Lucinda, 3, and infant, 1 month.

Harriet Pace Richardson. Died 23 June 1930, ONeals, Johnston County. Colored. Widowed. Age 80. Son of Alsy Pace and Casandra Pace. Informant, Duke Richardson.

Beadie Williamson. Died 14 March 1919, Little River, Wake County. Colored. Widow of Ruben Williamson. Age about 76. Son of Alsey Pace and Cassandia Dean. Buried Johnston County. Informant, Adolphus Williamson.

In the 1850 census of District 11, Johnston County: Alsey Pace, 65; wife Cashey, 35; and children Noah, 14, Madison, 11, David, 9, Harriet, 7, Beady, 5, and Rhenison, 3.

Register of (NC-born) Negroes & Mulattoes: Bartholomew County, Indiana, no. 1.

Enoch Jones, age 13, born Robeson County NC, registered 22 Aug 1853.  He was described as “rather a light negro”; small scar one-half inch long on back of left hand near wrist; son of William Riley Jones Esq. Witness: George B. Gaines.

Irvin Jones, age 14, born Robeson County NC, registered 22 Aug 1853.  He was described as “rather a light negro”; four feet eleven and one-half inches and growing; with no scars or marks; son of William Riley Jones Esq. Witness: George B. Gaines.

Lucinda Jones, age 5, born Scott County VA, registered 22 Aug 1853.  She was described as a black girl, “lively and of a light complexion,” with a burn scar on the right side of her neck; daughter of William Riley Jones Esquire. Witness: George B. Gaines.

Lucy Ann Jones, age 40, born Halifax County NC, registered 22 Aug 1853.  She was described as rather a dark mulatto woman; five feet two inches; “right arm very much crooked having been broken”; married with eight children.  Witness: George B. Gaines.

Mary H. Jones, age 3, born Bartholomew County VA. “A plump little darkie” with a light unblemished complexion; daughter of William Riley Jones Esquire.” Witness: George B. Gaines.

Oliver Jones, age 7, born Richmond County NC, registered 22 Aug 1853.  He was described as a black boy three and a half feet high, “but will get higher fast;” a “rather light” negro; no remarkable scars; son of William R. Jones. Witness: George B. Gaines.

Thomas Jones, age 9, born Richmond County NC, registered 22 Aug 1853.  He was described as a black boy three feet eleven inches high, a “rather light” negro who “seems to be growing;” son of William Riley Jones Esquire. Witness: George B. Gaines.

William Riley Jones, age 40, born Robeson County NC, registered 22 Aug 1853.  He was described as a rather dark mulatto man; five feet three inches; with a scar about ¾ inch long on the right hand; rather square built; with round features.  Witness: George B. Gaines.

William R. Jones Jr., age 1, born Bartholomew County IN, “plump little nigger baby,” fair-skinned, no scars; son of William R. Jones Sen. Registered 22 Aug 1853.  Witness: George B. Gaines.

Willis Jones, age 12, born Robeson County NC, light negro boy, four and a half feet and growing, no scars, son of William Riley Jones. Registered 23 Aug 1853.  Witness: George B. Gaines.

On the criminal docket.

The Fall term of Cumberland Superior Court of Law commenced its Session yesterday, that Hon. John L. Bailey, presiding.  We learn that owing to the number of cases on the State docket, several of which are for capital felonies, an Extra term for the trial of civil cases is ordered to be held on the second Monday in February next.  To-day, the trial of Daniel and James Butler, for the killing of Thomas F. Richardson, in Sept. 1850, will take place – the Grand Jury found a bill against them for manslaughter only. To-morrow and the next day will be probably occupied in the trial of Richard Jackson for the killing of James Barksdale, and Dave Jones, a free mulatto, for a the murder of a white woman in Campbellton in August last.

Fayetteville Observer, 11 November 1851.

Acount of Sale of the Property of Bethana Jones

Image“Acount of the Sale of the Property of Bethana Jones Dest: Sold the 28 of December 1852 on a Credit of Six months the Percher to give Note With Two Approved Suritis before the Rite Con is Changed Sold by Bengamin Simpson a Special Admin”

Bethana Jones was a prosperous farmer, matriarch of a sprawling family that knit all of southern Nash and western Wilson Counties’ major free colored families, including Joneses, Blackwells, Powells, Evanses, and Locuses.  Kinsmen purchasing goods from her estate included Willis Jones, Jacob Jones, William Jones, Asberry Blackwell, Dempsey Powell, Shadrach Jones, and Joseph Jones. This is the first page of three.

Estate Records, Records of Wilson County, North Carolina State Archives.