Monday, January 24, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - a Jones letter from Tennessee in 1824

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme many months ago called Amanuensis Monday. What does "amanuensis" mean? John offers this definition:

"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

The subject today is a letter written by William Jones to his sons William Jones Jr. and Richard Jones.  One of my friends at church, Sid, has a cousin who has a copy of this letter and has transcribed it.  Sid showed it to me several weeks ago and I asked if I could share it on my blog since it has some useful genealogical information in it.  Sid asked his cousin, who agreed to posting of the letter. 

The letter (partially truncated at the bottom), looks like:

The transcription of this letter is:


To North Carolina Burk
County to Morganton Post
Office to William and
Richard Jones

From: Branch Hill. Ten
October 24 1824"


"State of Tennesee Jackson County October 6 day 1824 a fue lines to let you that we are all in Common health at this time we thank the Lord for his Blesings hopings these few lines may find you all in good health  i received your letter dated April 25 1824 about the first day of october in Jackson County  we have been livign with Robert Jones Since 15 the of last October 1823  we came from kanetucky your mother was disconted my self was much Contened in that Contry  we had our health in that Sicly cor'ry  Robert jones is living in Jackson Conty 3 miles from roin river  good water and healthy place  John Rinehart is dead a man Stab him in the bely at muster the 9 day of September he lived 3 days and 4 nights the man in gainesboro jale and Expeck he will be haned  Sousanah rinehart is well and Children living 2 miles from us  got a good track of land doing well 4 boys 4 gals  Elias is maried 3 children one dead doing well  Robert Jones 7 boys one gal doingf well Jesse jones Came to See us this summer  Polly Jones hath twins boy and gal 7 months old we have from Jesse jones hand that his famaly is well John Jones famaly well thomas jones famaly well  Jesse Hupton family well 3 children nancy Brown is maried and is doing well william tallart is left Polly and gon away and taken his Children with him  Send a letter as soon as you can to us Jackson County Gainesboro Post hoffice or by some good hand right how many children you both have their names  Brother Johnson our Great love o you and famaly we thank you for your gift and love  we are contened hear our few days right about sister mavel Smyth  no more at preasant but remain your father and mother Brothers and Sisters til death  to william and Jeny Jones to Richard jones and nancy the lord Bles you our Dear Children and Consider the one thing nidful rember our love to all our friends and neubers  Isac Brown and Children re Doing very well"

What an interesting letter, notwithstanding the spelling and lack of punctuation.  He mentions a number of Jones families and I suspect that some of the other names are married daughters or close relatives.  I wondered if there was an online family tree for this Jones family.  I searched on the Rootsweb WorldConnect database for John Rinehart dying in 1824 and quickly found 11 matches for him and Susannah Jones.  One of them was the Blair and Jones Family of Georgia and NorthCarolina which shows most of the persons in the letter.

Perhaps one or more descendants of William and Dorothy Jones will find this post and be able to see the letter for the first time.

1 comment:

Susan Clark said...

I'm trying to catch my breath. I've all but given up researching my husband's Jones family but this letter may be the break I need. His ancestor Joseph Jones, son of John Jones & Patsy Smith, was born in 1821 in TN, moved from Jackson County, TN to Kentucky about 1850 and then to Illinois. Joseph's only son was Elias Jones.

Would you please pass my email address (nolichuckyroots at gmail dot com) to your friend? I'd love to compare information with him.