John W. Jones Bible

This family bible was posted in the Central Georgia Genealogical Society Quarterly Vol. 15, #4, pages 181-184, 1993, by Marion Jones Henry, Warner Robins, GA. There is no copyright on the quarterly.

The Family Bible of John W. JONES is in possession of Mr. & Mrs. Hansel Loyd RYLE of Montezuma, GA. Both Mr. & Mrs. RYLE were previously married to descendants of John W. JONES.


John W. JONES, was born 28 April 1828 in Duplin County, NC and came with his parents Edward & Mary JONES to Houston County, GA in 1834. His parents bought the Ezekiel H. BRYAN plantation on Big Indian Creek where it joins with Mossey Creek. A year later his father died. John W. and his brother Harrell Blackmore JONES, helped their mother work and clear the land until she sold the property in 1843. His mother then moved the family to the old Simon BATEMAN place, east of Perry, near Houston Lake. His mother, Mary, was frequently mentioned in minutes of the Sand Ridge Baptist Church before it was moved and merged with Smyma Baptist Church to become Houston Factory Baptist Church. The obituary of John W. JONES states he joined the Smyma Baptist Church in 1854 but there are no minutes for that church.

John W. and Susan Jane TULL, daughter of Arthur TULL and Nancy TUCKER, were married 6 January 1848 in Houston County and settled near the dam on Mossey Creek (now called Houston Lake). At the time of the 1850 census, his next door neighbors on one side were Daniel W. PARR (who built the dam) and Ivey BROOKS (who married the widow Mary HADDOCK, whose late husband William, had a mill on the east side of the dam). Next door on the other side were Mathew HUDSON and John W. HARRINGTON.

John W. was a farmer but there are no records of any deeds. He was shown on the Tax Digest of Houston County for 1858 but with no taxable property. In fact son Jesse, 9 years old, was shown eligible for Poor School Fund Relief at the John W. JOINER School. In late 1858 or 1859, John W. moved his wife and five children from Houston County to Madison County, Florida. He appears there in 1860 census, page 17, as a Planter with $1,000 in personal property.

In Houston County, Georgia Deed Book L pages 446-448, dated 2 Mar.1862, we find that John W. JONES received $822.36 final settlement from his mother’s estate. Following this is a statement where John W. JONES of Madison County, Florida appointed Bennett BARFIELD his Attorney to secure final settlement from E.W. GADDY, Executor.

An extensive three day search of Madison County Courthouse records shows that John W. JONES owned no property and made no mortgages. A listing in the Sheriff’s Office indicated that he was Madison County Sheriff from 1865 through 1867 but there were many gaps before and after these dates. The Sheriff’s Office stated the Florida Sheriff Association was trying to obtain a listing of all Sheriffs in each county and this was the most likely dates they could find. The Clerk of the Court revealed that following the Civil War their officials were appointed by the US Government until a free election could be held. Free elections begin in the fall of 1865 under close scrutiny of Federal authorities at the county level. Many of the leading confederate veterans were elected to congressional seats at State and Federal levels but in December 1865, Congress shut the door in their faces, and in some cases military officers were detailed to fill positions such as Acting Governor. We finally found where ten (10) Sheriff deeds were issued for unpaid taxes by John V JONES between 14 Jan., 1867 and 3 July, 1868. The Clerk of the Court then stated that he was probably the first elected Sheriff after the appointment period.

The old County Jail, when he was Sheriff, was serving as the County Library when we were doing the research in 1983. Following the Battle of Olustee, some 50 miles east of Madison, both blue and gray wounded were brought to Madison by train and the DAVIS Mansion was used as Hospital. A number from both sides who died during hospitalization are buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery. We later found that Marion Frances TULL, a brother to Susan Jane TULL (John W’s wife) was buried there in 1880. He served in the Confederate Service from Houston County, GA.

We do not find John W. in the 1870 census for Florida or Georgia, but about this time he moved his family back to Houston County and settled temporarily on the old HUDSON place. Two of his daughters are mentioned in the minutes of the Houston Factory Baptist Church as having joined (1871) with letters from Madison County, Florida. By 1880, John W. and Susan were living near Spaulding in Macon County and were members of the Beulah Baptist Church. About 1882 the family, with exception of daughter Martha A., wife of Reubin Dan AVERY, moved to Navarro County, Texas. Susan did not adjust to Texas and became quite homesick, so about 1888, she and John W. moved back to Spaulding in Macon County. Susan died 11 May 1893 and her obituary was recorded in a Montezuma newspaper and in a resolution of the Beluah Baptist Church.

Harrell Blackmore JONES, the brother of John W. died 24 May 1897 in Dooly County, Georgia just below Henderson. His obituary in the Houston Home Journal states John W. was at his bedside when he died. In 1900, John W. JONES traveled back to Navarro County, Texas to visit some his children and suddenly died there. We believe he is buried in an unmarked grave in Grange Hall Cemetery, Navarro County next to his daughter Liza J. JONES, wife of Robert R. DILWORTH.

I descend from Jesse Arthur JONES, the oldest son of John W. and Susan Jane. He married and remained in Madison County, Florida and eventually moved to Marion County, Florida where he died in 1910. We had no difficulty with my descent from him but John W. was another problem. GG-Aunt Ruth FARNBACH, at age 91, living in McIntosh, Florida in 1983, told us she had seen her grandfather once as a little girl and he was from Texas. This information kept leading us to look for a John W. JONES in Texas after 1870. Aunt Ruth, at her age, didn’t like to talk about deceased relatives, but could talk your head off about her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. So she had to be approached in a non-direct manner. One question, Did you and Uncle Errett have honeymoon? She replied, Yes, when we married in 1911, we got on the train and went to Montezuma, Georgia to visit Aunt Martha and Uncle Dan AVERY. Uncle Errett FARNBACH was the Railroad Station Master in McIntosh at the time. Then she mentioned another Uncle Durham Wimberly JONES. This thread of information took us through the census and courthouse records of Macon, Houston, Dooly, Crisp and Irwin Counties. Finally we found that R. D. AVERY and wife Martha E. JONES were charter members in 1910 of the Cedar Valley Baptist Church, located about 7 miles southeast of Montezuma. While walking through the church cemetery, a week before Christmas in 1983, my husband found tombstones of Martha E. Jones AVERY, Durham Wimberly JONES, their spouses and other descendants. While writing down names and dates, a man in a pickup truck waved from the road and turned into the cemetery. He got out, came over, and asked if we needed to know more about those people. That conversation led to the fact that he and his wife, were both relatives by marriage to descendants of Durham Wimberly JONES. My husband was shocked and dumbfounded when the man stated he had the family bible of John W. JONES. My husband, within 30 minutes, was sitting in the home of Mr. & Mrs. Hansel Loyd RYLE, of Montezuma looking at the Bible. They were kind enough to loan my husband (a complete stranger at this point) the crumbled and tattered bible (printed in 1885) to copy the birth, marriages, and death pages, along with obituaries and church resolutions. This was an act of providence, a great find and our thanks go to Mr. & Mm. Hansel Lloyd RYLE. We have since visited several counties and cemeteries in Texas tracing many of the fourteen children and descendants of John W. and Susan Jane. Their Bible and other records show the following: